On January 5, 2020 I did a Blog Post 2020 Ranking of My Birding Lodges, which is now out of date and it even included Nicaragua and Panama lodges, where today’s is only Costa Rica and I have included the multiple trips to places I repeat with each bird count, but only those with 10 or more birds photographed by me. Even on eBird I count only the ones I get a photo of. These are from my birding visits since 2015, my first year living in Costa Rica.
The Feature Photo at top is my Treehouse Room at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada.
And the 2021 Rankings by number of species are . . .
This past week at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve I photographed 23 species of birds, 2 of which were “Lifers” for me or the first time seen/photographed. (3 unidentified) Because it was cloudy, windy and sometimes raining, many of my photos are not of good quality, but if interested they can be seen in this week’s “Trip Gallery” – Birds. And they are also listed below.
During breakfast this morning I got 7 species of birds from my terrace, but because I was eating, I photographed only one, just at the end of my time looking – The Yellow Warbler, both a migrant from the north and a resident sometimes, meaning I don’t know how to tell if this particular one is a migrant or a resident enjoying an insect for breakfast! 🙂
And the other 6 birds I saw were Great Kiskadee, Turkey Vulture, one of the Swallow species (unidentified), Tropical Kingbird, and Clay-colored Thrush or Yiqüirro.
I hope you are counting birds in your backyard this weekend and reporting to eBird!
Here’s about 20 species from my Christmas week side-trip from Arenal Observatory to the Caño Negro Reserva. We saw more than I photographed of course and about 5 I tried to photograph weren’t good enough to show. This is a bird-rich reserve in northern Costa Rica near the Nicaragua border. CLICK an image to enlarge it:
Two of these were “Lifers” or first-time seen birds for me and unfortunately neither with a very good photo: The Nicaraguan Seed-Finch and the Olive-throated Parakeets. I’ve seen the American Kestrel in Panama but this was the first time in Costa Rica, though not close enough for a decent photo.
For most people it would be a horrible day with almost constant rain, but my all morning birding hike with breakfast break was good for me including this one “Lifer” or first-time seen bird.
I still don’t have a count of how many birds I photographed in the terrible light, but I will report on that tomorrow. Nestor says he saw or heard 82 species and I’m sure I didn’t see half that number, but will tell tomorrow. The selfie here is me with Nestor, my guide.
This Bicolored Antbird is my first to see or photograph and my second Lifer on this trip. Learn more about him at the eBird Description. CLICK below images to enlarge:
This is one of several birds I saw at breakfast this morning including a Lineated Woodpecker, Blue-gray Tanager, Clay-colored Thrush, White-winged Dove and some unidentified flyers. But this is the only one I got a photo of and my second time to see this species here. One of my guide books says they come as breeding visitors Feb to Oct. It is a sparrow-sized bird very much like the Red-eyed Vireo which is less common here.
I saw the other one March 28 on Calle Nueva with not as good a photo, but you can see it in my Yellow-Green Vireo gallery. Or read about them on eBird with a map showing where they are found. Happy birding!
“Not humans, but birds often witness the most beautiful mornings in this world!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
And oh yes, if I haven’t said yet, “Rainy Season” or “winter” (my favorite time of year) is well under way here with rain or showers every afternoon. I love it! Cooler, fresher air and so much greener! My garden loves it too! 🙂
Thanks to my friend Larry for catching this fine AP News Article: Bird-watching soars amid COVID-19 as Americans head outdoorsRead the article linked to see what people all over the U.S. are doing more of now, then head over to eBird or just use your phone to download the free app Merlin to identify birds and start your “bird collection” online or in a photo gallery. My world-wide (10 countries) ebird count is over 530 now! 🙂 Thank you Larry for this great way to relieve one’s boredom from quarantine! And feel free to peruse my BIRDS photo collection that include 76+ species I photographed in the States before moving to Costa Rica.
Now, this quote from the article:
“The birds don’t know that there’s a pandemic. They’re migrating, building nests and laying eggs, just like they always have,” ~Michael Kopack Jr.
I got usable photos of 19 species of birds from my little one-hour walk yesterday morning, 6-7 AM, in the neighborhood on Calle Nueva, the little country gravel/dirt road that separates Roca Verde neighborhood from the adjacent farmland. Nineteen is not bad and as good as some longer walks I take when at expensive birding lodges! 🙂 PLUS, if my identifications are correct, I got 3 new species, “lifers,” for me, though I may get corrected by an eBird expert reviewer after I post them on eBird. 🙂 The new ones are Giant Cowbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher and a Yellow-green Vireo.
This road and my own street uphill above my house always yield a lot of birds early in the morning. And I have another neighborhood further away that I intend to try for even different birds, a place my birding friend Margaret found to be good.
Saturday AM Birds
Tropical Mockingbird Juvenile
“Every bird, every tree, every flower reminds me what a blessing and privilege it is just to be alive.”
― Marty Rubin
In an earlier post I introduced you to the little 5 km country lane behind our Roca Verde development and along the stream by that cow pasture in front of my house. It is called Calle Nueva which would be simply “New Street” in English and the 2018 blog post was titled Finishing the country road walk today . . . Then later I added a photo gallery: Walking Calle Nueva Atenas 2018. Same photos!
Yesterday I walked part of the road more slowly than I did with young man Jason Quesada back then. It was with another older person who is a birder from Canada! Totally different! We saw more than 15 species of birds just behind where I live and here are a few photos of some of them! Even got one lifer on this walk of about 2 hours, the Black-crowned Tityra, both male & female! CLICK A PHOTO TO ENLARGE.
And apologies for several washed out pictures with white sky. That was because I was not paying attention to details and accidentally turned the dial to “Manual” without setting the manual settings and wasn’t looking at the images on screen! Ugh! Sloppy old man!
Birds on Calle Nueva
Olive Sparrow (almost like Stripe-headed)
Rose-breasted Becard Female
Black-crowned Tityra Female
Black-crowned Tityra Male
Rose-breasted Becard Male
Interesting Flowers on Walk
Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong.
Glad to get back to nature posts after all the other stuff I’ve been posting the last week! And the featured photo above is a Passion Flower growing on a neighbor’s wall along the street uphill above my house.
In my Roca Verde neighborhood, and most neighborhoods across Costa Rica, we have “Snow Birds” or “winter residents” who come to visit or live here during the very cold months up north (Dec-Apr). One of those couples I met for the first time last year always stay in Roca Verde, just a few doors up the hill from me – she is a birder and he a relaxer. 🙂 They are from British Columbia, Canada.
Yesterday she showed me all birds she had photographed in Atenas in just one week, most right here in our neighborhood! Thus I was shamed into birding more in my own neighborhood and later some other places in Atenas – but it means getting up at 5:30 in the morning which I have not been doing much here. Mixed emotions!
This morning I spent just one hour, mostly between 6 & 7 and saw about 20 species of birds, photographing about 15 of them! ALL WITHIN 300 METERS OF MY HOUSE! For you Americans, that’s just 3 blocks, and all along the street in front of my house, up the hill. Of course I ran into Margaret who get out every morning early for birds and we birded together much of the time. I will not do it every day like her, but hopefully more often now!
By 7 there are not a lot of birds to see. It is the magical hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset that give the most birds! (Same thing on my trips!) And some of these birds from today have not come to my house or I haven’t seen them in my garden yet. CLICK AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT . . .