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Costa Rica Day 6-9

10th-13th January 2022

A 5 mile walk back to Santa Elena along Monteverdi Road from the Cloud Forest Reserve produced many species including this Yellowish Flycatcher

After staying in Tilaran for two nights, I made myself further south towards Santa Elana, Monteverdi, on a two hour bus for only £3! This is a place I’ve never been before and I wanted to make a visit to the Santa Eleana Cloud Forest reserve nearby. I thought that Tilaran was windy but that night, it felt like the roof of the hostel I was staying in, was goin to blow off! With heavy rain also, no one got any sleep I don’t think. I still got up at 05.00 to catch the first bus to the reserve. 05.30, I was back in bed! It would of been a total waste of time goin and instead, I got stuck into my breakfast with a view of the cloud forest. Suddenly, I jumped out of my skin as the French windows slid open directly in front of me by a bloody Squirrel Monkey!! He did it with such ease and I just stayed still hoping he wouldn’t see me As I’ve found out, they can be very aggressive when food is about and I was sure he was goin to jump on my table and take my melon, yogurt and granola away into the forest. He had a look around, briefly turned towards me and went back out. And he didn’t slide shut the doors letting the rain and wind in. As it was 06.30, there was no one else around and it was later that the owner told me that he comes in and they feed him Normally there’s three! The following morning it was a repeat of yesterday. Got up early, the weather was still shite, returned to bed and this time while staring out of the window, I was ready for the monkey’s.

Finally, on my third day, I arrived at the entrance of the reserve at 06.15 on the bus. The wind had died down but it was still overcast and very blustery. Scanning the canopy proved hard work as birds moved through and I couldn’t get anythin on them as a result of the conditions. I wasn’t goin to fork out £25 to probably end up in frustration trying so hard to pin anythin down in the dire weather. Instead I decided to walk the 5 miles back to the digs along the Monteverdi Road. After two hours, I had only covered a single mile, due to pausing and trying desperately hard to get onto anythin. However, shortly afterwards, the wind subsided but it was still overcast with light showers. This made birding a lot easier and at last I could start to identify birds and pin them down with my camera. This included Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, Golden-winged, Black-throated Green, Yellow and Chest-sided Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo and a single Slaty-tailed Trogan. Only the Brushfinch was a new species but taking a track off the main road proved productive. However, the first bird that I saw, after a few species of hummingbird, was a Red-billed Thrush Nightingale. In an open area there were Yellowish Flycatcher, Mountain Elaenia, both Collard and Slaty-throated Redstart, Ochraceous Wren, Slaty Spinetail, White-naped Brushfinch, Common Chlorospingus, Spotted Woodcreeper, Black and White and Wilson’s Warbler. A few new species and the wheather was turning for the better as the sun came out for the first time since arriving in Santa Eleana.

So pleased in getting this Red-billed Thrush Nightingale but it proved to be very elusive

Only a small number of species of hummingbird including this Green Violetear

And this Violet Sabrewing

I came across many White-cheeked Sparrow in driveways

A total of 4 Black and White Warbler were seen

8 Black-throated Green Warbler

And at least 10 Wilson’s Warbler

Some 15 Philadelphia Vireo were observed but this was the only individual that showed well in the dull light

Ochraceous Wren

Mountain Elaenia

Yellowish Flycatcher

Another two miles down road and I was seeing the same species that I had earlier on except for the exemption of Golden-winged Warbler, Ovenbird, White-cheeked Sparrow, Mistletoe Tyrannulet, Emerald Toucanet and Golden-browed Chlorospingus The two first species were the only ones that I’ve seen before. I was always scanning the skies for raptors and was kinda of taken back when I spotted fairly high up 2 Magnificent Frigatebirds. But the coast is only a few minutes away as the crow flies and that’s the direction that they were heading for, west. I also explored the large gardens that I was passing and came across a small flock of White-throated Blackbird feeding. While in another garden there was a stunning, Silver-throated Tanager. Closer to the town, I took a quiet track from the road and came across 2 Black Quan with more species of north American bird including Tennessee Warbler, Summer Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole. The highlight were up to 6 White-throated Thrush feeding a large fruit tree. Approaching the hostel, the showers became heavy rain and I continued to watch it downpour, looking out from the French windows. I might of lost two days of birding, due to the weather, but I’m not here to run around after birds. Just relaxing at the hostel, with the view I had, was spot on.

Only a single Golden-winged Warbler but a stunning male

2 Emerald Toucanets were in the same tree as the warbler

Good numbers of Tennessee Warbler along the way

Out of the 4 Golden-crowned Chlorophonia I could only get record shots including this male

Near to town this Black Guan was out in the open next to the track I was passing on just before dark

A common bird is this Squirrel Cuckoo

However, the highlight were a small group of White-throated Thrush

The Tories Are Taking The Pi** At This Stage!


Jan 17, 2022

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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