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Costa Rica Day 57

3rd March 2022

Two lifers today including this stunning Purple Gallinule on the west pond where it showed off superbly

Despite almost non-stop rain, it was another very good day all round with yet another five patch ticks including two lifers! Zone-tailed Hawk, Pale-vented Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer and the lifers were Purple Gallinule and Black Swift.

Again Justin joined me on the patch but heavy rain put us off from goin out until 10.00 when it had eased off. However, an hour in and it turned heavy again but we had so many large banana tree leaves to choose from to shelter. Throughout the rest of the morning, the rain didn’t give us a chance to dry off but it proved to be very productive and Justin stayed on until 13.30 instead of mid-day as he had planned. I wasn’t thinking that we would get any patch ticks today but instead I was sure that the weather conditions would maybe bring somethin down, particular swifts and hirudines and this appeared to be the case with Northern Oriole. Daily I might see the max of 4-5 but with in a short time we had up to over ten birds and probably more added on throughout the day. Also for the first time, an American Redstart showed up by the river while at the same time, the two were still present in the middle of the area. There was sign of both the Willow or White-throated Flycatcher on the west side but an Ovenbird nearby might be possibly a new bird in. Just before 12.00, we were passing the west pond when a Purple Gallinule on the bank, stuck it’s head out at close range in front of us. Fortunately, it slowly made it’s way to the edge of the pond out in the open and showed superbly. It was here that I spotted a small flock of swifts overhead pretty high up and quickly raised my bins. I told Justin to get on them as they were looking good for possibly Black Swift. They moved out NW and looking at the BOC shots, they appeared to look good for the latter species but couldn’t rule out the rarer Spot-fronted Swift. A smaller flock also moved through NW and this was followed by more goin NW with a total of at least 20+Black Swift. Also 7 White-collard Swift flew through with an increase in both Rough-winged Swallow and Grey-breasted Martin. As well as the swifts, on the ground of note were, 2 Yellow-billed Cacique, single Crimsoncollared and the White-lined Tanager and a Uniform Crake rushed across the path into the reeds where there were very vocal White-throated Crake. A single Red-billed Pigeon flew through followed by 2 Pale-vented Pigeon north. So standing in one spot for over an hour next to the west pond and we scored with three patch ticks and two lifers! It looked like there was break from the rain and I said to Justin that’s there’s a good chance that we might get raptors taking to the air. Sure enough, a Great Black Hawk circled over the pool only to be followed by a Zone-tailed Hawk straight through SE! Not even I wasn’t expecting that to happen.

Did this Purple Gallinule on the west pond drop in on migration due to the overnight heavy rain?

From the dire weather conditions, I predicted swifts but not the 20+Black Swift that flew through NW over the west pond and was a lifer for us both.

On immediately laying eyes on this Great Black Hawk, from no moult on the tail, this ruled out the 2 Great Black Hawk we had yesterday. This clearly proves that these are migrants moving through if you also add all the other raptors in the space of the last four days

This was probably confirmed when this Zone-tailed Hawk followed through very shortly after the Great Black Hawk and was another patch tick.

As things were really taking off, I decided to stick around while Justin reluctantly, returned to the hostel for some grub. The break didn’t last long and the rain came down hard. However, the umbrella, thanks to Graham giving it me when we met up last month, kept me dry and before dusk I added a the Tropical Pewee, a single Yellow Tyrannulet, 2 Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift and at least some 15 Cinnamon Saltator. Another species added to the patch list was a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer that showed well very briefly on the north perimeter. I thought it would return and it was while I was waiting that I could hear the male Great Antshrike singing and relocated it in the same hedge from two days ago. At the same time, I could hear another male nearby. 2 Great Antshrike!! Also a small Empidonax flycatcher that I only briefly observed, was possibly a Least Flycatcher but it got away before I could get anythin on it. While leaving at the entrance of the patch, from only two yesterday to now 12 Red-billed Pigeon, were on the wires with 2 White-winged Dove. With only a The rain is still coming down heavy as I’m writing this post at 20.30. So it’s possible it could turn out to be another day of patch ticks and migrants.

Before I left to hit the pacific coast a month ago, I was counting up to 4-5 Yellow Tyrannulet. This individual is the only one I’ve seen so far since returning a few days ago.

There was an increase with Northern Oriole with a total of at least 15 birds at the end of the day including seven together

2 male Great Antshrike! This male was in the area at the north perimeter as where Justin and I had two days ago. At the same time as this individual was singing, I could hear another male nearby!

And while observing the Black Swift hawking high up above the West Pond, 2 Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift flew straight through NW

With the first sighting yesterday on the patch, were these 7 of the 12 Red-billed Pigeon and 2 White-winged Dove also brought down by the weather on migration?

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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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