Three year birds from guiding this past weekend at Lands in Love hotel, two of those being new species for my CR list!
623. Sepia-capped Flycatcher- rare in CR.
624. Short-tailed Nighthawk- overdue for the year.
625. Lanceolated Monklet! Much wanted bird for the country and very rare in Costa Rica. Not the best looks but good enough!
A Sunday jaunt to dry forests and wetlands at Chomes gave me 6 new species for the year. Although we didn't see the Maguari Stork that was found a few weeks ago (and will probably be a one day wonder), I still picked up some excellent birds:
626. Clapper Rail: This rarity has been showing lately at Chomes. Heard at least 3.
627. Rufous-necked Wood Rail: Heard and seen very well, this bird might be a migrant to the coast. No one knows because it's so secretive.
628. Common Tern: I was happy to get this uncommon migrant.
629. Spot-breasted Oriole: Great looks at a pair with juvenile.
630. Semipalmated Sandpiper: Several of this overdue bird.
631. Elegant Tern: Nice looks at this one.
Was just going over the bird list for Costa Rica to see if I can hit 650 by the end of the year (I can if I go to the right places) and realized that Black and white Owl from the trip to Lands in Love was new for the year. That makes bird 633. Hopefully, I can get over to the Caribbean lowlands this week and find some migrants.
Tropical Screech Owl made it onto the year list yesterday (bird 634) while picking up my daughter at dusk. This is a common owl in surburban areas around San Jose but calls more often at this time of the year.
I just got back from a weekend at Zota Research Station, a little known site in northeastern Costa Rica with lots of potential. There weren't as many migrants as I had hoped but I still added some key species to the year list. Shortly after arrival, a Snowy Cotinga flew by to become 635. Next to make it onto the list were Bay-breasted Warbler (636) and Chimney Swift (637), both common migrants at this time of the year, but mostly in the Caribbean lowlands.
Number 638 was Great Green Macaw. Long overdue for the year, the northeastern part of Costa Rica is good for this endangered species.
The final new year bird for the trip, and bird 639, was a Magnolia warbler, an uncommon migrant in the country. Since I missed out on several other new year birds, some of which are migrants, I doubt that I will hit 650 for the year, but I still have a couple of months to work with.
A 4 day trip to the Sierpe area was productive for several year birds, including 3 new species for my Costa Rica list and one lifer! On a boat trip to Cano Island, we managed a few pelagics, including:
641. Wedge-rumped Storm Petrel
642. Black Storm Petrel
643. Red-necked Phalarope
644. Red-billed Tropicbird- very happy to get this one for my country list.
645. Red-footed Booby- finally, got this lifer! There were several nesting on rocks near shore. Seems like the Cano Island boat trip is just about guaranteed for this one. All dark morphs.
646. Wandering Tattler- another country list bird. Two were at the Booby rocks.
Other new ones were:
647. Common Yellowthroat- uncommon wintering species in Costa Rica.
648. Chuck wills Widow- excellent find, I wasn't sure if it was this or the very similar Rufous Nightjar until checking images of undertail patterns just now. Jan Axel did a nice post about that on his blog. We had the bird at night and couldn't see the undertail until it flew. Luckily, I got a good look at it and it had extensive buff on what appeared to be the entire length of at least the outer recs- in short, a feature for the chuck. The Rufous would have been a lifer but I'm still happy to see a Chuck for the year!
649. Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet
So, one more to go for 650 for the year. A Cape May Warbler was seen at Cinchona recently so I might go for that tomorrow. That vagrant would make for a nice 650!
With a good amount of effort, I could actually hit 675 for 2013. I hope I find time for that!
A trip to Chomes and nearby for shorebirds and ducks ended up being slim pickings for duck species but good for adding 4 more birds to the year list. My 650th bird for the year was Caspian Tern- a dozen at Chomes and a country first for me!
Also picked up three more year birds:
651. Stilt Sandpiper at Punta Morales salt ponds.
652. Northern Shoveler: at same salt ponds.
653. Painted Bunting: Way overdue although they have become less common.
I got 654 last night while driving at 10 pm between Tibas and Santo Domingo. Along this urbanized, busy route, there is a riparian zone that acts as a corridor for birds. Just as we were driving past, an owl flew up and landed on a cable. A brief look while driving confirmed its identity as a Striped Owl- overdue as this is one of the most common owls in Costa Rica! On a side note, I have driven past there hundreds of times and have never seen an owl. No place to stop and bird though and nearly always busy.
Guiding in the Carara area yesterday turned up 2 more species for the year. Since I have nearly everything from that area for the year, new additions for 2013 would have to be good and they are:
658. White-crested Coquette- Very rare around Carara, we had brief glimpses of a female on the Bijagual road.
659. White-tailed Hawk- Uncommon in Costa Rica and very rare near Carara. Had one high soaring bird near the Orotina- Turrubares river crossing.
Since I just have one more to go for 660, I need to go birding and get it!