Friday, January 21, 2011

Costa Rica Day Six: A walk down the road

Melodious Blackbird, Xandari Pacific Resort, Playa Esterillos Este, Costa Rica

Woke up early to catch the dawn chorus. Here it would be dominated by parakeet flybys, grackles, and kiskadees.

And no guide this morning. I would go exploring on my own. On the way to Carara the previous morning, we had spotted a lively heron and egret scene at a little brook up the road from the resort. A nice destination for an early morning stroll.

I was not disappointed. Here's a sample of what was there:

Bare-throated tiger heron (adult this time)

and our old friends, the great blue heron (immature)

White ibis (immature)

green heron and cattle egret

Of special note: this teeny tiny green kingfisher, actively plucking minnows from the stream

and a family of purple gallinules.

The area between the highway and the resort is all agricultural land, full of horses (for tourists) and cattle/cattle egrets, a nice change from tramping through the rainforest. Here I could check out some of the common local, (but exotic for me!) birds, including the groove-billed ani

(I would see its cousin, the smooth-billed ani during a short visit to Quepos)

the tiny inca dove, with its scaly appearance

and best of all, the gray hawk, tolerating a pretty close encounter.

On the walk back, I heard a song that made me stop short. Could that be an Eastern meadowlark? And wait, could that be a yellow-throated vireo? Listen for yourself. Dreams of Massachusetts meadows in June...

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