Monday, December 23, 2013

Costa Rica - Day 7 (Part 1) - March 22, 2013

     In my last post I had mentioned that out of the whole trip, I had the best sleep at the Nature Pavilion. Perhaps it was because I was able to be further away from those of my group who snored, or maybe the beds were just that much more comfortable. Regardless, unlike my traveling companions, I managed to sleep through the racket that the Howler Monkeys made in the wee hours of our first morning. When I did finally awaken shortly after dawn, I rolled over and looked out the large windows that surround the entire house. To my surprise I immediately spotted two Rufous Motmots who were hanging out in the trees right next to the house along with two White-collared Manakins! Two life birds while I was still in bed, and barely awake! I immediately sat up in bed and grabbed my camera to capture the moment. The rapid fire shutter noises convinced one of my companions to get out of bed, grab his binoculars, and come investigate. He was very sleepy-eyed since he had gotten woken up much earlier by the Howlers, but as soon as I pointed out the birds his eyes snapped open.....and thus the day began!

Rufous Motmot - this photo was taken from my bed at the Nature Pavilion Casa, through the window!
     We birded the Nature Pavilion property from about 6am to 8:45am and saw many new species to add to our trip list. I took a little time to get some photos of any bird that would cooperate.

Red-throated Ant-Tanager

Great Kiskadee

Buff-throated Saltator

Montezuma Oropendola

Golden-hooded Tanager

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Blue-gray Tanager stuffing its face with banana

White-crowned Parrot

Baltimore Oriole and Blue-gray Tanager

Green Honeycreeper (male)

Passerini's Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager having a discussion with a Palm Tanager

3 species in one frame! Left to right: Palm Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Black-mandibled Toucan (was previously called Chestnut-mandibled Toucan)

Black-mandibled Toucan throwing back some banana

Collared Aracari eating Papaya

     By the time 9am rolled around we were very hungry and decided it was time for breakfast. We piled in the car and headed down the road to one of the few restaurants that was actually open this early. It was called Restaurante Pollo Ranchero and served delicious, quality food for a very good price. I got a huge omelet generously stuffed with flavorful ingredients and an iced tea. With tip my entire breakfast cost around $4-$5 USD. The seating for this restaurant was all open air, but we sat where we could see the sky and had our binoculars with us throughout the meal. While we were waiting to be served we spotted both Black and Turkey Vultures, a few Oropendula, and a Double-toothed Kite!!!!!!!!!
     After stuffing our faces, we returned to the Nature Pavilion to spend some time exploring the trails (only this time in daylight!). be continued...

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