Sunday, May 1, 2016

PURA VIDA IV: All Good Things Must Come to an End (or do they?) #371-374

We woke up at our B&B in Playa Carillo, which we had arrived at in the dark, to a private deck overlooking the ocean. We had a (distant) ocean view, but the nice thing was that we were in an elevated spot in the tree tops and it was great for bird watching. We chowed down on yet another gallo pinto while watching hummingbirds come to the feeders and iguanas sunning themselves on the roof. The best part was watching some parrots and parakeets that appeared to be nesting in the tree beside our porch.
#371: White-fronted Parrot/Amazon (spectacled amazon parrot); Playa Carillo, Costa Rica; December 2015
These birds can live up to about 40 years!
Orange-chinned parrot
A clay-coloured thrush was hanging around. It makes an interesting choice as the national bird of Costa Rica, known as el yigüirro.

I always get a special thrill when I discover at home while writing up my blog that I saw a new bird and didn't realize it at the time. I have never even heard of this variety of oriole:
#372: Streak-backed Oriole; Playa Carillo, Costa Rica; December 2015
Thought this would make an interesting reference....this is the picture above BEFORE processing. Pretty awesome how powerful editing software is (and how much good info could be in a "bad" shot)
Not totally sure--maybe a Nutting's flycatcher (leaning this way) or Brown-crested flycatcher?
 Down on the beach we wandered among the rocks and tidal pools and made some good finds too. 
Spotted Sandpiper--I think we see these everywhere we go :)

It would have been easy to miss these guys, since they blend in so well, and it's easy to assume sandpipers are all the same. Always important to look closely! I think these are super striking birds! I love that long bill.
#373: Whimbrel; Playa Carillo, Costa Rica; December 2015

 We noticed this guy flying around and chased him for a while...
Until we found his hilarious friends...
Royal terns at Playa Carillo
Brown Pelican--Still my fave
Finally! A black tern caught on camera. We've seen these a few times and never managed to catch it! Even though it's not in its full black plumage,  it has distinctive markings.
#374: Black Tern; Playa Carillo, Costa Rica; December 2015

Inca dove having a snooze. Lazy beach days...
Just down the road, outside of Samara we stayed one night at an amaazing tucked-away "hotel" (The Flying Crocodile--really, I can't speak more highly of this place). Not far away was Playa Barrigona (OH MY GOD--I FOUND HEAVEN) and also Playa Buenavista, where there is a turtle sanctuary. We went to check it out; there were young volunteers from all over the world there, in what I would call far-from-luxurious conditions, in fact, the conditions were basic at best. I really had no idea how tough/rough these volunteer experiences can be--I'm a pretty tough chick but I think those conditions would snap me like a brittle twig! The work these guys are doing is amazing and so encouraging that people are doing this stuff, out of their own pocket, to make this world a better place. Makes me hopeful despite all the crap that is happening everywhere! Oh I am tearing up a little just writing this.

We had high hopes to see turtles but it was just the wrong time, and I hated the idea of going out in huge mobs at night looking for them, but we did see this guy fishing on the beach. You know where  there is a big school of fish if you just watch the birds! These are all black terns!

From there, we eventually moved on to Tamarindo for a little sun and surf and eventually onward home. Which means this is the last CR post! I've got to say, it's nice to finish this off, and I'm glad I managed to get through the 2000 pictures (which is why these posts sometimes take me so long to post). But it's been fun revisiting the memories now that a few months have passed.

Meanwhile, migration season has begun at home and I've returned to a few of my old haunts (my own kind of migration, I guess!). We even had a new bird right in the backyard!