Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Diria National Park


Our accommodation in Tamarindo was pleasant enough, the food good enough, etc.  Nothing special but air-conditioned and comfortable so we had an early night ready for our trip to Diria National Park.  We did however decide to curtail our stay to a single night so would be looking for accommodation closer to our next birding destinations, come evening.  

So up and out as soon as they would let us, 6am, we headed back inland to Diria.  Diria is unusual in that it is so new it's still in development and there's no controlled entrance, no fee, no facilities.  It also had no other visitors while we there (being the end of the dry season only the signature parks seemed to have any visitors).

We parked-up and started wandering about.  We soon started hearing howler monkeys and walked back to the river we'd crossed in the car, and stood listening to the magical noise of a troupe of howler monkeys calling together, some distance upriver.  They moved towards us through the trees and the sounds grew.  Fantastic experience and hard to communicate in a dry method such as a blog, but one that will linger long in the memory!

We set out on the circular trail, encountering Streaked Flycatcher:


A Barred Antshrike pair, preening, first the female:



and here the male:


Black-headed Trogon, which seemed surprisingly common or just easy to see:


Boat-billed Flycatcher, building a nest:


One of the best bird sightings in the forest has to be Manakins, here the Long-tailed Manakin:



Whenever a (drab) female appears, as here:


The males go into their display routine, which includes wing-snapping, zooming from place to place, hopping about frantically, etc., all to grab their attention.  Fabulous birds and great to watch and indeed listen to in the forest.

Another Green Kingfisher, it helps to be in the right places, clearly:


A late season forest flower:


And here another Texas target, the Rose-throated Becard.  I have no idea why they are called Rose-throated, but they are:


Another relatively common bird is the Squirrel Cuckoo:



So called it turns out because when it runs up and down branches it looks just like a squirrel, that and the chestnut-brown plumage we guess.  They are quite big birds, magpie sized.

A Yellow-green Vireo was singing and foraging:


And back on the circuit around the park building, a pair of Turquoise-browed Motmots:


Diria is relatively small so we were finished by around 11am so we decided to head on to another National Park, Barra Honda.

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