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Costa Rica 2021-2022


Aaron
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Thought I’d try doing a live trip report thing on ebird if anyones interested.

Been here once before for 2019-2020 and had a real good time so hoping it’ll be just as good.

I made an old trip report for last time here: https://ebird.org/tripreport/9310

Though it was my first year with ebird so there’s some malpractice and stuff I wish I did differently. 

This time I hope to get above 100 species. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more knowledgeable so I should do much better. I’m not as prepared as I planned to be, as I wasn’t sure if I was actually going, so didn’t want to get too excited. 
It’s a birding trip for only me and no one else in my family, so not planning on travelling around and doing birding tours etc. Just lots of walking around the town.

My main goal is to find a Common Pauraque resting on the ground!

Anyways, here’s the link: https://ebird.org/tripreport/25668

First checklist should be up tomorrow sometime. Won’t be adding any photos until I get back, so it may look a little boring!

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About halfway through the trip now and I think I’m at 91 species so far.

It is interesting comparing it to the last time I was here as some things have definitely changed. Some everyday species I had last time I’ve yet to see or have barely seen. Green breasted mangos used to visit the yard daily, but now they’ve seemed to be replaced by Cinnamon and rufous-tailed hummingbirds. 

I’ve got loads of species high counts, and usually get flagged for having too many Baltimore orioles. It’s really neat as they all roost together in the trees around sunset, and then are often grouped together at sunrise too. Average is around 80 at night (highest I got to was 100) and 50 in the morning 

 

Today I had my best get checklist with 60 species, but it probably would have been much higher if I had better memorized the bird songs/calls down here! Sure is tough locating birds in giant trees and thick shady jungle. 

So far not too happy with my photography, as most birds seem to want to perch far away and the ones that are close and conspicuous I seem to be in the wrong setting or not getting the focus right. There was a large group of Wood storks a few feet away and reviewing the photos I’m kind of embarrassed of them! I hope to find them again so I can redeem myself. Yet, I guess things can change once the editing process begins.

 

However, everyday I seem to be getting multiple lifers or seeing something I haven’t seen here before, so hopefully that continues! I think I will be able to get to over 100 this trip in the next few days *knock on wood*.

 

Hiking in the morning along a dirt trail up in the forest, so hopefully I can add some more interesting species. Still lots to see! 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got back today at 3am after an extra night due to our flight being cancelled as a window got cracked on the plane. 
As it goes for now I got to 118 species with 35 of those being lifers!

I have many recordings to go through, so hopefully I can add a few more species but I don’t know when I’ll be able to go through those. It is weird that there is no option for passerine sp., bird.sp, etc  down there without being flagged rare. So my checklists are gonna go through some major editing.

I took over 1000 photos, but that doesn’t mean they were all good 😂. I’ll have to edit those as well. Planning on doing a free trial for photoshop or something and editing them all during that period. 
 

Super fun trip though! I am definitely tired after being up at 5 am for two weeks. I’ll do a short summary once I get through all my photos and recordings. Hopefully I can get through them soon!

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1 hour ago, Aaron said:

Got back today at 3am after an extra night due to our flight being cancelled as a window got cracked on the plane. 
As it goes for now I got to 118 species with 35 of those being lifers!

I have many recordings to go through, so hopefully I can add a few more species but I don’t know when I’ll be able to go through those. It is weird that there is no option for passerine sp., bird.sp, etc  down there without being flagged rare. So my checklists are gonna go through some major editing.

I took over 1000 photos, but that doesn’t mean they were all good 😂. I’ll have to edit those as well. Planning on doing a free trial for photoshop or something and editing them all during that period. 
 

Super fun trip though! I am definitely tired after being up at 5 am for two weeks. I’ll do a short summary once I get through all my photos and recordings. Hopefully I can get through them soon!

Nice! Did you find your paraque? I just read through the thread now and saw that. When I was down in Costa Rica I found that they were easiest to see when driving dirt roads at night and they were often near creeks, though I did flush a few during the day. 

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20 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Nice! Did you find your paraque? I just read through the thread now and saw that. When I was down in Costa Rica I found that they were easiest to see when driving dirt roads at night and they were often near creeks, though I did flush a few during the day. 

I only ever found the one and it was heard only. I never was able to find one on the ground during the day or flush one up, but this one area I just know they were there somewhere, but too camouflaged for me! I definitely spent equal time looking on the ground as well as looking up for other birds.

The house I stayed at was more in town, so not the best area for them. We only had a golf cart for one night and that’s when I was able to hear the one up a quite road in the jungle. Didn’t notice any flushing up off the ground, but I was stuck at the back facing backwards 🤷🏻‍♂️.

If we would have had the golf cart for a bit longer I probably would of done a night ride along the jungly part of town to listen for owls and things or gotten to the hiking trails/quieter roads earlier in the day. Took almost 40 minutes to walk over there from where we were, and my entourage wasn’t too inclined to wake up earlier. I’d wake up at 5, but we actually wouldn’t leave until around 6:20am. So by the time we got to the good area, it’s likely that a car or someone else had already flushed them. (At least that’s what I tell myself 😂).

I did see many lesser nighthawks however which I guess made up for it, but those were seen flying in mass at dusk. 
Next time! 

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  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)

So this took way longer than I expected, but I finally finished  everything today. 

From going through recordings, I was able to bump up my species count to 127. Also randomly had a picture of a belted kingfisher that I forgot to add to a checklist.  Have a few recordings that are still unknowns, but I have accepted that I’ll never figure those out. 

127 I don’t think is too bad, considering all but 11 of those were within walking distance from the place we were staying. Even when I’m in another country the majority of my birding happens in the radius where I can walk too 😂.

The day and a half we had the golf cart, we went over to the next town and I didn’t add anything new there, but in the morning I decided to start my checklist at the estuary of a river, as I thought I’d be crazy exciting so we drove there for sunrise. It was kinda boring 🤷🏻‍♂️. However, we took the golf cart and did some exploring and hit several smaller beaches. In that journey I added Southern lapwings, bat falcon, ruddy ground dove, morelets seedeater, dusky-capped flycatcher, hook-billed kite, and the bird I’ve been wanting to see for quite sometime, a double-striped thick-knee!

900

I definitely found the good areas for birds, and I wish we had the golf cart more so I could start the morning in those areas instead of spending the 30-40 mins walking there. But oh well 🤷🏻‍♂️
My highest checklist of the trip was 63 species, which I think is the most I’ve reported on a single checklist. I was averaging about 40-50 species in the mornings if I included walking through town. If I stuck to the beach I always ended up with a much lower count. 
We did get to spend one extra day in a whole new area, as our flight got cancelled. It was the same habitat (coastal dry forest), but it was much further North and had extensive trails through the forest. We explored it early in the morning for only a short bit as we had to leave practically right away back to the airport, but definitely would have seen some cool things if time allowed. It added my final bird of the trip, an anhinga and upped my count on lots of other species, especially scissor-tailed flycatchers. 

I missed a few birds that I saw last time, and didn’t even manage to get a photo of a green-breasted mango which were somehow nearly non-existent this time. But we didn’t really leave town as much as we did last time and unfortunately didn’t go whale watching which would have acted as a pelagic. 

I for some reason, carried my camera with me for over 2 hours each morning walking around and I don’t think I’ll be doing that again if there’s a next time 😂. Definitely wasn’t worth lugging it around, and I felt it distracted me from finding birds. I think just taking my binos and my much smaller and crappier p600 with me would be the better option, with the known sacrifice that I probably won’t be taking photos of most of the birds I’d see. Yet, I was glad I was able to provide proof and fill in the illustrated checklist of the area as it was mostly empty, even though the majority of my photos were less than ideal.

Anyways, fun trip! Still waiting for my lifer Collared-aracari. Hopefully if I go back I can travel a bit further inland and get to the tropical forests, as that seems to be where all the action is!

And here’s just a few photos 

The shadows here made for an interesting background for this Kiskadee and later a tropical kingbird

900

An itchy Turquoise-browed Motmot 

900

Vulture portrait 

900

This common black hawk landed in a nearby palm and was eating what I think was a crab 

900
 

And then a spotted sandpiper with some type of something 

900

Edited by Aaron
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