The Hallowed Honeymoon Hummingbird Hunt - Costa Rica - Part 2

We were up before dawn and again made our way down to Tarcoles beach, aiming to spend time with the waders and seabirds before Carara opened.

Brown Pelican - Impressive beasts at sea - There was a great atmosphere to the Pacific I must say, I would have liked to spend more time by it.

This proved a good choice, as fresh waders were in situ, including new species, Surfbird and Wilson's Plover.


Surfbird - A species I have long wanted to see. I genuinely did not expect to see them for the first time in Costa Rica



Wilson's Plover - One I was only half hoping to run into, but very glad we did. Was enjoyable watching 3 species and various ages of plover on this beach.

Semi-palmated Plover


Willet

Neotropic Cormorant - Good numbers of these around, both coastal and inland.

Tri-Coloured Heron - Booking our trip in summer, Costa Rica's wet season, it was difficult to know how available wetland species, typically considered winter visitors would be. Tri-coloured was a much desired bird and this guy showed wonderfully both mornings on the beach.



Yellow Headed Caracara - A juvenile bird. These were great beach setting birds, though were of course all over the country


Yellow Headed Caracara - Juvenile

The same juvenile Common Black Hawk was also still present and exceptionally tame. Stunning bird.

General numbers of waders had increased too, with more Least, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Western Sandpipers, Willets, Short Billed Dowitchers, Spotted Sandpipers and a flyover Southern Lapwing.

From here we moved gradually back inland, stopping at sites we had identified as particularly of interest, especially a small area of pools and mangrove. This area proved very productive, yielding Black Bellied Whistling Duck, Boat Billed Heron, Gartered Trogon, Cinnamon Becard and our first Hummingbird of the trip, Mangrove Hummingbird.


 Black Bellied Whistling Duck



 Ruddy Ground Dove

 Inca Dove

White Winged Dove

An area of gardens a little onwards produced our second hummingbird, Cannivet's Emerald.

We made our way back for breakfast, picking out our only Reddish Egret of the trip from the balcony, and then returned to Carara for more humid rainforest birding. 


No. YOU'RE a Northern Bentbill

Wedge Billed Woodcreeper - Brown Gank - The woodcreepers were a pain in the arse to be quite honest. Often a lot of effort to view, even more effort to ID and very little satisfaction out of it. If you must see gank, it should be pretty gank.

Turquoise Browed Motmot - A fine example of pretty Gank. More of these please.



White Whiskered Puffbird - Brown, but interesting gank. These reminded me almost of European Pygmy owls, bombing through the forest. We only encountered them at Carara, but were quite common here.


Capuchin


Slaty Tailed Trogon




Pale Billed Woodpecker - One of the birds of the trip for me. A mind crippling creature.

Many mammals made an appearance this time, including Howler and Capuchin monkeys and Three-toed Sloth.

Three Toed Sloth

Mantled Howler Monkey

After we had our fill of rain-forest it was time to start the drive to Monteverde, with the drive through the hills producing yet more pigeon and parrot species and stunning Swallow Tailed Kites.

Moving up towards the cloud forest views became spectacular

We checked in to our hotel late evening, and after a late snack, enjoyed the bizarre experience of a storm caused blackout, with a cold beer on the hotel balcony, before crashing out for the night.

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