The Hallowed Honeymoon Hummingbird Hunt - Costa Rica - Part 11 - Golfito

Our day started badly. We had intended to visit last Alturas ranch, however had been informed that access may now be severely restricted to research groups. 

The staff at Las Cruces basically shrugged their shoulders and said you can chance your arm. We chanced said arm to no avail. 

With several hours lost in the drive out there and back, we decided to head downhill to Golfito, particularly Las Esquinas lodge. We had intended to visit here the following day regardless. This site proved to be superb.

A delightful Caiman was present, surprisingly enough, in the so named "caiman pond".

The garden around the lodge held several Band Tailed Barbthroat. I don't know what it was with the orange coloured hermit species but they all seemed very shy. 


Band Tailed Barbthroat

A couple of hours up one of the trails proved exceptionally productive, with Mangrove hummingbird, Long Billed Hermit, Black Cheeked Ant Tanager, White Throated Shrike Tanager, Riverside Wren and various Tanagers, Flycatchers and Tyranulets.

Long Billed Hermit
White Throated Shrike Tanager and Rufous Winged Woodpecker

White Throated Shrike Tanager

Baird's Trogon

Black Cheeked Ant Tanager - A Costa Rican Endemic

Grey Chested Dove

Grey Necked Woodrail - These were ridiculously tame at esquinas lodge

Grey Capped Flycatcher

We then ran into an American birder who informed us of a productive site at Ciudad Nelly. As this was on the way back uphill, we made our way through the grasslands outside the lodge towards this site. On the way we took in birds such as Fork Tailed Flycatcher (another much desired lifetime bird), and both Ringed and Green Kingfishers.

Grasslands near esquinas lodge

Fork Tailed Flycatcher - A dream bird for me. A stunningly elegant creature

Ringed Kingfisher - Monstrous. Much better views than at Turrialba and seeming one at every river bridge in the south west of the country.

Green Kingfisher - This beauty posed beautifully for us at a small stream between the fields. 

It was an excellent decision to move to Ciudad Nelly. Had we known just how good the rice pattys in this area were we may well have booked our accommodation here instead of higher up. 

The fields were teeming with raptors, doves, cowbirds, orpendola, waders, and many other grassland species. 

A productive two hours here included seeing our first Pearl kite, a species we badly wanted, Bat Falcon, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers and Collared Plovers, Blue Ground doves etc etc. 

Torrential, world ending rain came in around 3pm and forced us back uphill, where unfortunately it turned to mist. Though we did bag a few birds around the coffee plantations, particularly the oddly named Bran Coloured Flycatcher.
Roadside Hawk 

Crested Caracara - Snapped sitting out the rain as it moved in.
The rain was like nothing I have ever seen. The 4x4 came in very handy on these tracks as they turned to rivers

That's the end of that

Our Bed and Breakfast and it's surroundings at the end of the evening. An hour and a half of light left, eerily turned to twilight by dense cloud.


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