Thursday, April 05, 2018

Costa Rica - Day 4 - Scoring Cerro Birds

March 8, 2018 - We woke up early on our first full day at the Cerro Lodge. By the way, Cerro means hill in English. While enjoying our breakfast at the dining area, birds were already active all around. The regular resident - Rufous-backed Wren - was calling as aloud as usual. Then came lifer #23 - the Hoffmann's Woodpecker. It was so common here that we gave it the name "Dustin". 

After our morning repast, we got photos of lifer #24 - the Turquoise-browed Motmot. 

There was a hummingbird that we kept ignoring thinking it was just another Rufous-tailed, a species we've seen plenty of already. However, as it perched on a branch I took a good look and was sure it was of a different kind. Then I remembered the guide at Rancho Naturalista told us to be on the look out for the Cinnamon Hummingbird. We now have lifer #25.

Then we heard some loud, and I mean very loud, squawking. Soon a flock of Scarlet Macaws came flying by and then swooped  down and landed on the trees near the dining area. Finally, we got our target bird - the very reason we came to Costa Rica for the second time. Of course that would be another lifer for us. Number 26.

A total surprise was when a pair of White-throated Magpie Jays came. Those beautiful crests were a sight to behold. Unexpected lifer # 27!

We made a short excursion around the premises of the lodge. We tried looking for the owl that Diana said was in a tree next to Cabin #5 but failed to find it. Further down the cabin areas, there was a family of Yellow-headed Caracaras. But that was just about it.

At 3 in the afternoon we went on a tour on the Tarcoles River. It was supposed to be a crocodile and bird tour but the boatman and guide preferred to go closer to the crocodiles, perhaps for the benefit of the passengers most of whom were not birdwatchers. Nevertheless, we got lifer #28 as soon as we left the dock - Mangrove Swallows!

Cruising the river we saw birds that we had already seen in Texas and Florida, such as Little Blue Heron, Tri-colored Heron, Great Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron and Yellow-crowned Night Heron.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Then came lifer #29 - the Bare-throated Tiger Heron.

Further down the river we saw a raptor which I believe we hadn't seen before. We asked the guide and he said it was a Common Black Hawk! And that was lifer #30.

The sun was setting as we neared the river mouth. Somehow it gave a nice shade to the already colourful Roseate Spoonbill.

As the sun set on the horizon, and as we enjoyed the gorgeous view, we were so thankful for the birds we had seen.

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