January 16th 2022
I passed this Black Phoebe by the side of the road while cycle twitching the Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo at Arenal Observatory Lodge
Yesterday, Martin Goodey let me know that there was a Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo at Arenal Observatory Lodge showing well on the Waterfall Trail. I had no idea what one looked like but after have a look in the guide, it was enough for me to hire a bike for a day at only £6 from the hostel. Heavy rain overnight continued well into the morning and I found myself setting off two hours later than I wanted to. It was gone 09.00 when I started the 16 mile cycle twitch east, on the road out of La Fortuna towards Lake Arenal. Makes a change to twitching in my kayak back home. I had done close to ten miles and had already had four brief rests to get in the shade as I was out in open to the sun that was killing me! I gave up and slowly returned to the digs and as usual when hiring a car while I’m traveling, took detours off the main road and started to explore the area. One I took was only a few miles from town and as a result by a river, I saw Black Phoebe and Buff-rumped Warbler with a vocal Bay Wren that showed briefly and nearby there were a pair of Tawny-capped Euphonia. The two latter species were firsts for me but the warbler I’ve only seen in Peruvian Amazon when worked out there some seven years ago.
Male Tawny-capped Euphonia
Another stop near to town produced another new species with single Black-hooded Antshrike and White-winged Barcard. Also present were Black and White, Yellow and Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart and Olive-backed and Yellow-throated Euphonia. As I approached town, I had no idea where I was until I recognised the hostel I stayed at on my second visit to La Fortuna some five year ago at the SE end. By the time I returned to the digs it was dark and I was ready for some grub!
Male White-winged Barcard
Male Black-hooded Antshrike
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