The birding team of Chris (NED), Jane (CAN) and myself started out at stupid o clock this morning with a tour of San Francisco in their sights. The aim was to record species that frequent the area and interact with the local people who’s gardens provide sanctuary for the birds.
After a short boat ride we made land and the birding began in earnest however it was not a bird that stole the show as I spied a slow moving mammal high in a tree to Charlotte’s old house. A Sloth no less this was a perfect start to the day with very good views of this magnificent creature.
The toucans were next to announce their presence with Chestnut Mandibled, Keel Billed and cousin Collared Aracari following close behind! A pair of Pale billed Woodpecker took our attentions away from the toucans. A male Olive backed Euphonia was my first new species of the day. A Black and White Warbler was the first migrant of the day high in a tree by the path leading into San Francisco.
We continued our journey towards the school and Charlotte’s house logging a few usual garden suspects in Variable Seedeater, Ruddy Ground Dove, Rufous tailed Hummingbird, Groove billed Ani, Great tailed Grackle, Montezuma Oropendia, Great Kiskadee and White ringed Flycatcher.
A brief watch of the channel gave us brief views of the second non birding surprise of the day in a pair of Dolphin. Mangrove and Barn Swallow were also passing in numbers.
The walk back to the boat produced a Roadside Hawk and the Costa Rican national bird Clay Colored Robin. We had recorded forty species with many other regular species missing from this tally. Macaws were heard but not seen during this visit.
Migration is gaining pace in the area with an Osprey passing over the Cerro the previous evening. The Cerro is the highest point in the area at 119m and access is only permitted on Macaw survey days which is a great shame as the four hundred plus steps to the viewing platform dissects pristine forest habitat. Once you reach the viewing platform you get a panoramic view of San Francisco. Great Tinamou have been heard here at dusk.
A return to San Francisco is planned for Jane and I on Wednesday and on today’s count of forty species I am looking forward to it already.