Wednesday, June 29, 2016

from Tanagers to Tiger-herons

This was my first visit to Costa Rica without a guide, though I certainly built upon prior trips with Costa Rica Gateway.  It's easy to bird the feeders at Arenal, you just stand on the porch and see what happens by.  There was more tanager diversity than I'd experience my one prior trip here.

Emerald Tanager is always fun.
If you look carefully there's an out-of-focus, mostly obscured Bay-headed Tanager directly beneath the Emerald.  A Scarlet-thighed Dacnis was in the same flock.
This was the lifer I thought I'd glimpsed on the way in, but didn't get a good enough look to prevent doubt from slowly creeping in.

But eventually one has to pull themself away from the feeder to search for the forest interior birds.  I walked the trail that I remembered we took 4 years ago ... and discovered why Steven had chosen it.  In the areas I walked there was a lot less solid primary forest, mostly edges by pasture.  On the last morning I found some other side trails I'd overlooked that would be worth spending more time with, and there's a much longer trail up a mountain I would like to explore, but time ran out.

I did flush a Fasciated Tiger-heron on my 5 mile circuit though.

Gray-breasted Doves (if memory serves on the name) are very common.

A couple times I heard Thicket Antpittas but never came close to seeing it.  This Spider Monkey spotted me though.

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