Monday 27 February 2017

Costa Rica sightings update

We were delighted to find a pair of Elegant Trogons near the hotel.  I glimpsed what I thought was a female at the start of the trip so had an idea they were here. After some perseverance, we got lucky when a male flew across the road. It joined a female. This species seems very shy and too keen to hide away.  I managed one half decent record shot though.

Ad male Elegant Trogon


Saturday 25 February 2017

Costa Rica sightings update for the last few days

The last few days has been busy with ticks found every day.  A visit to the Rincon Rain Forest was well worth it with many great speciality birds seen.  Better still there was no rain as the cloud was well above the volcano. Perfect, though humidity is still very high. Top birds were Long-tailed Manikin, the Jurassic looking Crested Guan and Great Curassow, the intriguingly named Masked Tityra, several hummers including the stunning Blue-throated Goldentail, Lesser Greenlet, male Kentucky Warbler (a first for me) and perhaps the best of all was a Keel-billed Toucan.  Today we also found a pair of Pale-billed Woodpeckers and Boat-billed Kiskadee.  Sadly I couldn't get images of them all as tropical rainforest birding is tricky, let alone papping.

Coppery-headed Emerald

Green Violetear visiting a nectar feeder

Green-crowned Brilliant

Male Streak-backed Oriole

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Costa Rica sightings update

There are daily surprises here at Guanacaste, Costa Rica.  Ticks seem to come regularly.  Today we found the endemic Dark Pewee, some way out of its normal range as well, so I was well pleased with that. We also found Stripe-headed Sparrow and Scrub Euphonia, a brand new bird family for us. We had good views of the normally shy Mangrove Cuckoo and eye level views of Cinnamon Hummingbird.  A pair of Pacific Screech Owls are giving lovely views roosting in a tree on the beach!

Cinnamon Hummingbird

Dark Pewee

Stripe-headed Sparrow.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Costa Rica sightings

We visited the Monteverde rain forest with the intention of seeing some hummingbirds and tropical specialities. We saw plenty of the former though sadly missed the quetzal.  New birds continue on a daily basis plus many familiar North American species wintering here turn up regularly.  There are plenty of Yellow Warblers wintering here and we had some stunning views of a group of four Prothonotary Warblers.  The Black and White Warbler seems to turn up everywhere.  The bright green parrots take some sorting but I reckon we have seen about five species. We saw the endemic Sooty Thrush in the rain forest but the hummers stand out as something special.  Of the hummingbirds, we have seen Violet Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Plain-capped Starthroat, Cinnamon, Ruby-throated, Green Violetear, Violet-headed, Steely-vented and a couple more still to id correctly.

Violet Sabrewing at Monteverde Rain Forest

Friday 17 February 2017

Costa Rica sightings today

Today was a Trogon day with great views of the stunning Black-headed Trogon and also our first Elegant Trogan, albeit a slightly drab female.  Patsy also found the intriguingly named Northern Beardless Tyrannulet. Other goodies included one of my favourite Nearctic warblers: Prothonotary Warbler, a stunning male of course.  We also got to grips today with some hummingbirds. They are really difficult but we managed to id Cinnamon, Ruby-throated, Steely-vented and Plain-capped Starthroat.  We also found a Mangrove Cuckoo, which I was pleased with as we missed this species in Florida.
Photography is not the easiest as usually these birds are deep in forest canopy and the scene is quite dark. The first shot was taken with 3200 ISO.

Black-headed Trogon

Thursday 16 February 2017

Birding in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica today

Today's highlights included five Black-headed Trogons inc three males, three Turquoise-browed Motmots, Squirrel Cuckoo, Tropical Mockingbird, Black Hawk, Streak-backed Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Groove-billed Ani's and Hoffman's Woodpecker.  Off shore were about 50 Frigatebirds chasing flying fish along with a few Brown Booby and Brown Pelican.  The temperature here is in the 80-90's which sounds great which all but suspends effective birding from 10-3.

Fem Black-headed Trogon

Ad Crested Caracara

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Nice introduction to Costa Rica

We arrived for a two trip to Costa Rica yesterday.  Today's highlights are too many to mention but we did manage to find the stunning Turquoise-browed Motmot (incidentally the national bird of Nicaragua). We also saw some stunning Tropical Kingbirds, various orioles and hummingbirds.  I don't think there is time to find all 59 of the latter in this hot country. Anyway, here's a couple pics from today.

Turquoise-browed Motmot

Tropical Kingbird

Red-lorred Parrot eating a leaf

Saturday 11 February 2017

Blackbird on berries

Its just a first year male Blackbird but there's something I quite like about this image.  It was taken last November in the garden when hundreds of mixed thrushes were on the move.

Purple Sandpiper at Jubilee Pool Penzance

I counted a maximum of 36 Purple Sandpipers at the Battery Rocks, Jubilee Pool last week. High tide is best here when they are joined by Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling.

Purple Sandpiper, Penzance.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Iceland Gull at Helston boating lake

This second winter Iceland Gull showed well for 20 minutes this morning as it preened on the pool. I was lucky as it approached to within 30 meters.  The light was very intense this morning so I had to reduce the exposure down thus darkening out the pond colour.