After our three night stay in the lush and tropical flora and fauna of La Fortuna, we packed up our rental car and drove the three plus hours to Papagayo with the Occidental Allegro Papagayo Resort as our destination. The drive was great with a gradual change from the large leafed, dense, jungle like foliage to arid and mostly leafless surroundings as we got closer to the coast. By the time we were half way through our trip, the contrast was already obvious. The resort is in an area of Costa Rica which is in dry season in January and most trees have shed their leaves with the lack of rain. The temperature we left in La Fortuna had never gotten above about 23 degrees and we were welcomed with 35 degrees and blue, sunny skies as we got to the all inclusive resort, cut into the steep bank of the volcanic slopes.
We saw a few sights along the way including Cattle Egrets in flight (no really worthwhile pictures), Black Vultures eating some roadkill, and a Coati.
When we arrived, the first birds we saw were the very large, and starkly differently shaped Magnificent Frigatebirds. They are huge, and their angular shaped wings are nothing like our Southern Ontario birds. Later I got some good looks and chances for pictures as they circled endlessly over the Ocean bay we were on.
During the next three days, I spent lots of time wandering the beach and enjoying constantly sighting a new bird, sometimes a few at a time as they clustered in the few trees which were flowering or had fruit of some sort. Here is another selection of the birds I saw during our stay here.
(lots around, but never got any better a shot than this)
(Not quite sure where this bird name came from!)
|female Hoffman's Woodpecker|
|male Hoffman's Woodpecker|
|female Nicaraguan Grackle|
|a mutant Royal Tern|
(note the strange protrusion from the bottom of its beak)
The next bird deserves some introduction... the Rufous-naped Wren. I got up early most mornings to do some birding before meeting Holly for breakfast. This bird was nicely cooperating with the morning light when it turn around, looked down into the underbrush below, and clearly called out . In a flash, another wren flew up to its side, and immediately, obliged to search in the first bird's plumped up feathers and preen it. Both continued this for a few minutes before heading off, possibly for their own breakfast engagement. Did I just witness the morning routine for two birds after just getting out of bed? It was so comical as the first birds call seemed so deliberate, and the response of the second bird so immediate. I do not know of any other bird that does this.
|Rufous-naped Wrens preening each other|
|Rufous-naped Wrens preening|
|Snowy Egret and Tri-coloured Heron - fishing buddies.|
|Tri-coloured Heron portrait|
|Tri-coloured Heron with catch|
|White-winged Doves making more doves.|
|female Connecticut Warbler |
(this one took me forever to ID)
|Great Kiskadee |
(these were at the resort too, but my best shot was here)
(again, lots at the resort but got my closest shot here)
|Little Blue Heron|
|Orange-fronted Parakeet making more parakeets.|
On the same outing, I happened to catch sight of something flitting about, which had a very weird flight pattern; very un-bird like....because it was not a bird, but a bat. I'm not sure if I flushed it from its roost as a pushed through some foilage along the water's edge, but it landed on a big tree up the bank and this is the best shot I could get of it. It seemed bigger than our little brown bats.
|A Bat of some sort.|
And so ends my posts on the trip we enjoyed to Costa Rica. It was a great trip and we thorougly enjoyed it. Who knows where our 20th anniversary trip will bring us. :) Hopefully there's some new birds to see there.
Again, here is a short summary of the birds which I saw in Papagayo, totalling 35 birds to bring the total I saw in CR to 71 birds. If my numbers are correct I think all but about 3 were life birds! I hope to update my life list soon as it gets a massive bump into the 200's I think.
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Spring is coming, and I just found out about a third screech owl location.... I know of two other spots where everyone but me has seen the birds. It's not for lack of trying... I've stopped by both locations over the last two years many times, but never seem to see the little owls. I hope adding a third location will increase my chances, especially because this spot has a pair there. Hopefully I have a post to put up with pictures of them soon, but I'm not going to count on it! :)
Till next time...
Keep enjoying HIS handiwork!