Costa Rica Trip Report Part (Part VIII) – Well We’re Movin’ On Up

Sunrise over Heliconias Lodge - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
The Howler Monkeys were….well, howling as the sun rose over Heliconias Lodge – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

This is the eight post in a series documenting my Costa Rica birding trip from March14-28, 2015. To read the previous post, click here: Costa Rica Trip Report Part (Part VII) – “Forget the Horses!!”

Yes it’s true – we were movin’ on up, but not to an east side deluxe apartment in the sky. On this day, Sunday, March 22nd 2015, we were movin’ on up towards the Nicaraguan border and a complete change in habitat. This shift in location presented a whole new group of birds and greater opportunity for photos. So buckle up for a photo intensive post – I hope to be sparse with words, but long on photos.

Heliconias Lodge to Cano Negro 3-22-2015. Black line represents approximate travel route to date. Blue line is todays travel.
Heliconias Lodge to Cano Negro 3-22-2015. Black line represents approximate travel route to date. Red line is todays travel.

We spent the morning birding the trail at Heliconias Lodge and taking in the suspension bridges which had us near the top of the canopy.

The trail at Heliconias Lodge indicating distance and suspension bridge locations - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
The trail at Heliconias Lodge indicating distance and suspension bridge locations – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

Along the trail we came across a number of large Leaf Cutter ant mounds. The photo below doesn’t do justice to just how big this area is – I’d estimate it was 20 feet wide by 15 feet across.

Leaf Cutter Ant Mounds - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Leaf Cutter Ant Mounds – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

I shot a brief of the ants in action:

Below are some of the birds and flora we came across while on the trail:

Heptatic Tanager - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Heptatic Tanager – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
White-ruffed Manakin - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Our 5th Manakin of the trip: White-ruffed Manakin – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Flower - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Flower – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Northern Barred-Woodcreeper
Northern Barred-Woodcreeper – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
My roommate Dar and I on a suspension bridge at Heliconias Lodge.
My roommate Dar and I on a suspension bridge at Heliconias Lodge. Not sure who gets the photo credit, but I know it isn’t me. Carol possibly?

Not a very good photo, but I was on a suspension bridge and yes, they do swing. Photography from the bridges added a new challenge.

Blue-throated Goldentail
Blue-throated Goldentail – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
I believe this is a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer. Unfortunately, one of the diagnostic field marks is red feet, which obviously can't be seen from in this photo. Costa Rica 3-22-2015
I believe this is a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer. Unfortunately, one of the diagnostic field marks is red feet, which obviously can’t be seen in this photo. Costa Rica 3-22-2015

Near the canopy level Tom spotted something below on the canopy floor and being a true birder, he was ready to climb over and jump down. Thankfully Dar was able to ID the species from the suspension bridge thereby saving Tom’s life. Did I ever mention I can be facetious?

IMG_7496

After our morning hike, we said a final good-bye to this region of Costa Rica and began our trek Northeast.  Although we weren’t moving far, we were movin’ on up (technically we were movin’ on down, but that doesn’t fit the song). As always, we birded a bit along the way and found this cooperative Roadside Hawk right where he should be – along the roadside.

Roadside Hawk - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Roadside Hawk – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

The afternoon was our first chance to do some lazy birding; no trails, no mountains, no roadside birding. No, it was time to relax on a boat ride through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located just a few miles from the Nicaraguan border and consists of wetlands, rainforest, and swampland. Encompassing 25,000 acres, the refuge is of the most important wetlands in the world and was named Wetland of International Importance in 1991. The diversity at Cano Negro is stunning with more than 350 species of birds, 310 species of plants, and more than 160 mammals! Instead of boring you with more commentary (and at the same time relieving me of having to do so more writing), kick back as we did and enjoy some photos from Cano Negro.

Michael enjoying the boat ride in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Michael enjoying the boat ride in the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Amazon Kingfisher - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Amazon Kingfisher with lunch – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Snowy Egret - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Snowy Egret – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Boat-billed Heron - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Boat-billed Heron – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Ringed Kingfisher - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Ringed Kingfisher – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

Below you’ll see the American Pygmy Kingfisher (male in first two photos, female below). This bird stands out not just for it’s color, but it’s size. Clocking in at a mere 5 inches (13 cm), it’s easy to see where the “pygmy” portion of the name came from. Checkout how tiny the legs are on the male!

American Pygmy Kingfisher (female) - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
American Pygmy Kingfisher (female) – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Gray-necked Wood-Rail - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Gray-necked Wood-Rail – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Roseate Spoonbill - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Roseate Spoonbill – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Great size comparison - Snowy Egret in front, Great Egret in back - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Great size comparison – Snowy Egret in front, Great Egret in back – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Limpkin, White Ibis, Pale-vented Pigeon - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Limpkin, White Ibis, Pale-vented Pigeon – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Limpkin, Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Egrets - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Limpkin, Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Egrets – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-collared Hawk - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Black-collared Hawk – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Glossy Ibis - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Glossy Ibis – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Caiman - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Caiman – Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Wood Stork - Costa Rica 3-22-2015
Wood Stork – Costa Rica 3-22-2015

So, is that enough photos for ya? If not, stay tuned – we’ll be back at Cano Negro in the next installment of the Costa Rica Trip Report. Until then, Bird It Up!!

 

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Costa Rica Trip Report Part (Part VIII) – Well We’re Movin’ On Up”

  1. Good post and variety of photos. I especially like the photos of the American Pygmy Kingfishers. Is there color really a little greener?

    And was the Gray-necked Wood-Rail out in the open for long? Or is it like all rails and walked out and right back into the brush?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback Bob!! Yes, most the photos I’ve seen of the Am. Pygmy Kingfishers they do look more green – I’m thinking it was the late afternoon sun and lighting that makes it look a bit dark navy blue.

      The wood-rail isn’t nearly as much of a skaulker as our rails here. He walked along the stream bed out in the open for a minute or so and then disappeared around a bend. The next day we had a few on the sides of the river again. Darn good questions!

      Like

  2. I can see why you sliced your trip into multiple posts. That boat ride must have been awesome!! I’m taking a blog hiatus, but will check back for other BIU! updates. Happy Migration, Matthew. Bird it up!

    Like

      1. Hey Shannon, I’m still alive and kickin! Just been busy – May migration flew by and I just got back from 9 days birding North & South Dakota. And I don’t need to tell you – there is always to much yard work!! I think I finally have my hummingbird/butterfly garden complete – hopefully I’ll find time to post about it later this summer.

        Well, thanks for the message!!! Hope all is well with you and it’s not to hot yet down in Texas!! I’m hoping to get back to blogging at the end of the month – need to finish Costa Rica up and do a report on my N & S Dakota adventures.

        Like

      2. We are in birding doldrums at the moment, just enjoying the regular yard variety do their thang. Itching to go out and find new ones! We too are in butterfly heaven and our yard is slowly returning to the birds and bugs as well. Even got a new license plate for the van: 4SOIL. If that doesn’t explain what I’m doing, I don’t know what will! Looking forward to your comeback, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s