January 14th 2022
This Northern Waterthrush was one of many North American species that I uncounted this afternoon on my new birding patch that I’ve discovered on the outskirts of la Fortuna
I left Monkey Hostel 2, Santa Elaena, in glorious sunshine after the shite weather I had to put up with in the three days while I was there. At the hostel, I got to know a young Israeli and he let me know, as we said farewell to each other, that he tested positive with covid and had to go into isolation! Mid-afternoon and I arrived in La Fortuna after a three hour bus for less than a fiver!! I made the twenty minute walk west to my hostel, Rio Danta, that was on the edge of town. In the town, I passed a hostel which is now a very posh hotel, that I stayed in some fifteen years ago when I first came to Costa Rica. Next door, what was a restaurant that I ate in most nights at the time, is now a furniture shop. There was somethin about the town that I liked a lot that I made the effort to visit it again on my second visit to the country over five year ago and here I am again. After passing Red-winged and Melodious Blackbirds and Ruddy Ground Doves on the garden lawns and Tropical Mockingbird on the wires, I found the last building out of town, was the hostel. The only thing I’m traveling with is a small rucksack and nothin else. It’s all I need and I threw it onto my bed and with only two hours of light left, I ventured out to find my own patch to bird in the five days I’ve planned to stay here. I had only stepped outside, when I could see a lot of activity in a large weedy field boarding the road on the opposite side from the hostel. I could see good numbers of grassquits and seedeaters and with them were 4 Tricolored Munia with the odd Indigo Bunting. There was a Greyish Saltator on the far side of the field and above the saltator, there was a lot of movement in the trees and needed to get closer. As a result, I passed the trees and discovered a gravel path that I followed as it twisted around small ponds with the odd bench on either side. I guess I was in a public park and I didn’t leave until dark and didn’t bump into anyone but there was a good selection of birds. On the first small pond I came across, there were a pair of Northern Jacana and a single Green Heron and in the tall grass there were very vocal White-fronted Crake sounding similar to that of Little Grebe. Just around the corner there was a smaller pond with over hanging branches and on them were 4 Boat-billed Night Heron roosting and 2 very noisy loud rattling Ringed Kingfisher that were probably keeping them awake.
Rio Danata Hostel on the outskirts of La Fortuna
Good numbers of Red-winged Blackbird in the area
The only other Indigo Bunting that I’ve seen was the first Scilly record last year
Both Tennessee and this Yellow Warbler were also in the weedy field
Up to 4 Boat-billed Night Heron were roosting
Other common birds included Common-tody Flycatcher, Bananaquit, Streaked Woodcreeper, Yellow Tyrannulet, Dark-capped Flycatcher, Barred Antshrike and a number of species of tanagers. All the time I could hear Chestnut-sided Warbler all over the shop and saw small numbers of Yellow and Tennessee Warbler, Northern Oriole with single American Redstart and Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush. 2 Wood Thrush were fighting, a Streaked Woodcreeper was flying from tree to tree and a step off the path flushed 2 Common Pauraque. Both birds immediately settled back down only a few meters from where they had got up and I left them alone in peace. It was almost dark, as I could hear Orange-chinned Parrots goin to roost overhead with the odd pair of the larger Red-lored Parrot with them. I needed to make a quick exit as I was getting eatin alive by the moseys. I was making my way out when I got distracted by a grunting sound coming from cover next to one of the ponds just off the track. The bird came out very briefly and what I observed was an ibis sp with a white face. This rules out any ibis I know of and being in the Americas, I ain’t got a clus what species it could be. I guessed it was probably one of the wood ibis. I could only get a single record shot and was back in doors within a few minutes.
Female Barred Antshrike
The comic looking Common-tody Flycatcher checking me out
Chestnut-sided Warbler, as expected were all over the shop
There were up to 2 Wood Thrush
Out of the 2 Common Pauraque
Well that turned out to be a lot easy than I expected in finding a patch to bird on and it was just across the road from the digs I’m staying at! And looking at Ebird, it appears as though no one is observing this area.
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