I went on a birding tour in Costa Rica.
Usually I am the bird guide, but for once I decided to be the guest and hire a bird guide, who is more familiar with the fauna world of Costa Rica. Here is how my day went:
Around 6.30 Am I was picked up by Fito Downs. As I booked a one day tour via Tropical Birding Tours, it was also a private one. The drive from my hotel to the Carara National Park was approximately 1 hour. As you can see the roads are even accessible by wheelchairs. My bird guide decided to check this Park for the morning tour.
The Carara National Park is also one of the popular tourist stops in Costa Rica. You can hike inside the park without a guide as there are everywhere roadmaps.
The easy thing about birding is that you can spot at almost every corner some feathered friends. Right before we went inside the park we spotted this Boat-billed Kiskadee sitting on the electricity wire.
I heard a familiar sound in the neighborhood and there it is; a Northern Violaceous Trogon. It was playing a game with me, because it kept turning his back when I tried to focus with my camera.
The park was also 'full' of Iguana's and Lizards so I was alert. Here you see a Black Iguana crossing over. Didn't mind all those visitors.
Inside the park I noticed 3 diffferent Black-and-Green Poison Dart Frogs. They were right next to the path. Most of the time I spotted them on dead leaves in the shadow and were absolutely still too.
A familiar face in Costa Rica; the Black Mandibled Toucan. They are also known as the Yellow-throated Toucan, Chestnut mandibled Toucan or Swainson's Toucan. Inside the park I spotted many but few were visible for onlookers. This was my lucky shot.
Iguana's and Lizards where seen quite often, most of the time they were pretending to be part of the surrounding. They didn't fool me.
I spotted about 3 different agouti's too inside the park, this was the only one who didn't notice me at all. To occupied with what it was eating.
There were also paths that weren't accessible for wheelchairs, they usually went up- and downhill.
The Park was well organized, right next to the paths there were water pipes where you can refill your bottle. There was even a toiletcorner for bathroom breaks, as they didn't want visitors to spoil the area. Near the toilets a Black-hooded Antshrike was spotted while eating a butterfly. A difficult one to photograph as she was also in the shadows active.
It was almost 1.00 Pm so time for lunch. On our way back we also spotted a Variegated Squirrel, too busy with what it was holding inside its tiny 'hands'.
And of course more American Crocodiles. Here are just a few near Garabito, in total I counted at least 27 lying on the river bank.
We also tried near the Ocean, but this beach wasn't meant for swimming or scuba diving. It was more for the fishermen.
A lot of coastal birds were spotted. Here we spotted a group of Brown Pelicans.
And even a Woodstork tried his luck with the free food.
You really had to keep your eyes open as the birds were everywhere. On a coconut tree I even spotted a Rufous-naped Wren with a young.
The ground was also well covered. Here you see a lonely Great-tailed Grackle looking for some insects between the grass.
And a bit closer to a stream we spotted a Tiger Heron, patiently waiting until a fish appeared.
The Variegated Squirrel was also well represented and also not shy ones. They were too busy finding something to eat. Even if it meant getting closer to the ground.
Black Iguana's were also everywhere, so I really needed to watch my step (literally). Here is a close up shot.
I first saw this one for a flycatcher, but it was the Striped-headed Sparrow resting on a barb wire.
Like I said before, you really had to look everywhere as you are not sure where these birds were 'hiding'. Some were barely moving, like this Ferruginous-Pygmy Owl, for instance. It was only visible via the telescope.
In the end it was a great birding day and Fito Downs was also an excellent company. Below you'll find a list of what we spotted on that day:
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