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Costa Rica Day 15

January 19th-20th 2022

This male White-collared Manikin was zipping around in the garden fruit tree

Yesterday late afternoon, I arrived at La Virgen after a four hour drive in an air-conditioned very smart double-decker. Dropped off in the small town, crossed the road and there to welcome me, was Graham Gordon. After getting somethin down my neck, we started the five mile trek to where he’s been staying out at in a very remote area over 2 miles east of San Ramon, since the end of December. We had only reached the edge of La Virgen, when 2 magnificent vocal Scarlet Macaw came into view. A look at the distribution and La Virgen is well out of it’s range. We crossed the River and on the wires were Ringed and Amazon Kingfisher and below on the rocks, there was a single Spotted Sandpiper. Almost reaching San Ramon, Red-lored Parrots flew overhead and there were Orange-chinned Parrots next to the road. A kind stranger gave us a lift to the village and here we watched a local football match before moving on. Two hours later we made it and I met the owner, Ken, who looks after the Base Camp. That evening we were chatting at the table and suddenly I tried to get both Ken and Graham’s attention as behind them, there was a mother and two young Racoons just outside the building. We threw out banana and they came a tad closer. Then it just got ridiculous as all three were now only meters from Graham and I. And I kid you not again, after the experience with the possum last night, one of the youngsters walked over my foot! Graham commenting on saying, he could of picked it up. After a good twenty minutes of entraining us, they disappeared into the night. Just over two years ago while working in Florida,  I had a young pet Racoon for five weeks that I rescued after being hit by a car. She used to relax on my shoulders, while at the same time, gently massaging my beard with her paws and also nipping my ears now and then with her sharp teeth. She had a box to spend the night but preferred to sleep on top of my head on the pillow instead and I took her for walks with a lead. For the next six days, this remote place in the middle of nowhere, was my home.

These 2 Scarlet Macaw were spending a few minutes bonding together in the middle of the town, La Virgen, before disappearing.

Orange-chinned Parrot

At 06.00 the following morning and I could hear the Louisiana Waterthrush while I was still in bed. The fruit tree in garden was alive with birds including, Olive-backed Euphonia, Green Honeycreeper and Blue Dacnis and the usual tanagers but 4 Bay-headed Tanager were a first for me. Flashing back and forth, a species I’ve seen in CR before was a male Collared Manikin and overhead, the very large Pale-billed woodpecker flew north. There were also Chestnut-sided Warbler and a single Yellow-throated Vireo and Ochre-bellied Flycatcher were also present and above were a few Vaux’s Swift.

This heavy load overtook this van on a short straight but you can’t see it, another truck was just coming around the bend seconds after I took this pic at La Virgen

Up to 4 Bay-headed Tanager were feeding in the fruit tree

It was good to see a male White-collared Manikin again after nearly twelve year when I first came to Costa Rica

Pale-billed Woodpecker high overhead

This impressive spider, nearly as large as my hand, was just outside my bedroom window

We followed a track out and just above the garden there were up to 3 Long-tailed Tyrant and a single Morning Warbler and Dark-capped Flycatcher. As I’m a, pause a lot and scrutinise every branch for half the day, kinda of birder, Graham had long gone ahead of me. Less than an hour later, he was returning and he let me know that just around the corner were Wilson’s, Mourning and a single Blue-winged Warbler. I soon moved when he mentioned the latter species and it didn’t take long for me to connect with it. It showed superbly at close range but the light was shite for photography. An hour later, I had moved on another mile and came across a flock of warblers and moving through included Black and White, Golden-winged and with them was another Blue-winged Warbler! Other species were Yellow-throated Vireo, Lesser Greenlet and Tropical Gnatcatcher. Returning home and high up in the trees, I spotted a Grey-headed Kite.

This Blue-winged Warbler showed well at close range but I was always looking into the sun when I tried to get a pic and had to make do with this flight shot.

A mile down road and I came across a mixed flock including it or another Blue-winged Warbler but it always kept it’s distance this time and only record shots were possible

Male Mourning Warbler

Tropical Gnatcatcher

Grey-headed Kite

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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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