January 29th 2022
So pleased in locating this Chuck’s-will’s Window roosting at the edge of the primary forest at the south end of the patch. This was the only shot I got of it before it disappeared. This is why I try to discover my own patch and try to visit almost daily when visiting other countries if I can and you get moments like this.
I arrived later than usual on the reserve this morning but it started off well with many patch and life ticks. In fact it turned out to be a cracker of a day from start to finish. After getting much better views of the Bare-throated Tiger Heron on the west ponds, the first patch tick was 2 Grey-headed Yellowthroat together at the north end. They soon moved on and by the river the next tick was a Lesser Greenlet moving through with the usual yank warblers that I see on daily basis. I’ve been observing a single Olivaceous Piculet for the last few days but this morning I came across two birds together. One of them showed very well and starting preening in the tree just above me. Slowly I continued along the track until I reached the edge of the primary forest. While standing still for a while, a Keel-billed Motmot landed on a low branch only meters away from me at head hight! A species that I’ve never seen before. For the next twenty minutes, I was getting cramp from standing motionless in the same position as I was when the motmot first appeared. It was so close that I did not want to move and disturb it but now it was gettin to the stage where this was ridiculous. It felt like forever but eventually the bloody thing moved off. Onto the next branch! After thirty minutes, I made the move this time and it just watched me walk away as it stayed there. Some meters ahead, with the edge of the primary forest on my left, with my naked eye at first, I thought I was looking at a bunch of dead leaves on a branch sticking out. Somethin wasn’t right and when I lifted my bins I got a pleasant surprise. Another lifer! Chuck’s-will Window!! I had a good look at it and thinking it would stick, I took a single shot from the camera. Swapped back to my bins only to see it disappear deeper into the forest! Shite! A Wood Thrush popped up and I admired it instead of the nightjar. However, things were still on the rise and it was while stealthy moving away from the forest, through the chocolate plantation, that I came across a Uniform Rail. It was skulking in the grass but I managed to fire off some shots before it disappeared into cover. Three lifers in the space of ten minutes! Near to the centre, in the same place as a few days ago, I relocated the male Painted Bunting and seconds later, a female also popped up! only the male performed while the female flew into cover where I lost it. I was having a great time and there was no sign of Graham anywhere and it was now nearly 11.00! We couldn’t contact each other but I continued as I was sure I would eventually catch up with him on the main path maybe.
The Bare-throated Tiger Heron giving me some ideal views just above the west ponds
Many patch ticks today including 2 Grey-headed Yellowthroat at the north end
I had 2 Olivacious Piculet together and at last, after only getting glimpses before, one of them decided to show well for me out in the open
This Keel-billed Motmot showed off superbly at very close range and was also a lifer that I observed for nearly thirty minutes
I’ve seen very briefly on one occasion a White-throated Crake out of the some 10-15 I hear all the time and had no idea that there were Uniform Rail on the patch until today when this individual showed well just west of the chocolate plantation.
Relocated the male Painted Bunting in the same area as last time but on this occasion it was hanging out with a female that unfortunately stayed in cover.
I went back to the digs for a couple hours and returned mid-afternoon. As for the Rufous-tailed Jacamar, the species that Graham was hoping to see, I bumped into it throughout the day in various places. As I approached the north pond, I could see yesterday’s or another Russet-napped Wood Rail moving through the undergrowth at the east side of the pond. Eventually it came out into the open for a few minutes and blinded me again with those shocking pink legs. I was sat on one of the benches while observing the rail and it was when it disappeared that just behind me there was a Black-cowled Oriole. Nearby there was some movement on the north perimeter and my third or tenth lifer, Yellow-breasted Chat, popped out very briefly before returning from where it came from. Deep in cover and despite waiting for a good twenty minutes, there was no sign of it. I did manage a record shot of it. I had covered the six hectors and decided to return to the chocolate plantation and there on the Palms was a very showy Lineated Woodpecker. I could still hear the woodpecker knocking, when what I thought was a female passerini’s Tanger at first with my naked eye, turned out to be a Rufous-browed Peppershrike. I couldn’t believe it and boy did it look cross with those eyebrows. I had a good look at this species that I really always wanted to catch up with in Costa Rica and then quickly fired off some shots. The settings weren’t right as the light was fading fast and the BOC shots appeared to be blurred.
The patch is turning out to be a cracking area to observe almost daily and is produced the goods in every turn I take that I sometimes, I duno where to look! With the peppershrike, Chuck’s-will Window, Yellow-breasted Chat, Keel-billed and 2 Broad-billed Motmot, Uniform Crake, Painted Buntings, tiger heron, piculet and not to mention the other species that I left out because of time, I think if this was anywhere else in Costa Rica, it would of been a cracker of a day. What’s on the cards tomorrow?
The moseys pushed me off back to the hostel just before dark and later I met up with Graham in town and he told me that he came down but couldn’t find me. However he did see one of the wood rails, Uniform Crake, tiger heron and one of the 2 Three-toed Sloth that I see now and then.
Look at those shocking pink legs of this Russet-napped Wood Rail on the north pond
My first Black-cowled Oriole at the north end of the patch
A stunning species to boot was this Lineated Woodpecker in the choclate plantation
There were many lifers, patch ticks and highlights throughout the day and this record shot of a Rufous-browed Peppershrike was up there
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