Saturday, April 20, 2013

La Ensenada Lodge


The birding around La Ensenada Lodge however was really good which, on balance, probably made staying there worthwhile, though it wasn't the first time we wondered if staying somewhere more pleasant and then heading in at dawn wouldn't have been better...

They have a number of trails around the lodge, we decided to start the day by walking down to the Pacific shoreline and then along behind some mangroves.

I was very pleased to see a Northern Waterthrush, particularly as this was a first for Helen:


A small group of Orange-chinned Parakeets flew in to the trees:



Spotted Sandpiper fed along the shoreline:


White-lored Gnatcather moved about overhead:



A specialist of the habitat and soon to be a species in its own right is the Mangrove Warbler, this is a juvenile:


They are a sub-species, and resident, of the Yellow Warbler.  The adults are told by an all chestnut head plumage.  We saw a couple but they were in the trees rather than on the ground on this drab morning.

Flying past Wood Stork:


Helen managed a quick snap of a wooden jetty before it was swamped by French birders:


A lonely tree on the shoreline:


We headed up to the lodge for breakfast, which was reasonable, and then headed out on a longer walk through the grounds.  

On the drier ground above the shoreline a female Collared Seed-Eater:


And then while walking on what we thought was the trail but in fact it wasn't we spotted the highly elusive Lesser Ground-Cuckoo:



This was a cracking bird to see and one of the prime targets for staying here, we were very pleased with the sighting.

There was a small pond off the trail, on which we saw a new species, a Solitary Sandpiper:














Hunting overhead a Panama Flycatcher:


The now ubiquitous Squirrel Cuckoo:


In the tree above the car as we made ready to leave, a Masked Tityra:

One the drive off the property we were lucky enough to get really close views of Turquoise-browed Motmot, one of my favourite birds of the trip:



Then we saw a Yellow-olive Flycatcher:



We still had a lot of the day left so Helen had planned in a stop at Chomes, where we added a few more species, including Neotropic Cormorant, before heading on to Jaco and our hotel there.  

Helen had picked a fantastic hotel for our stay in Jaco.  Not spectacular, but warm, friendly, helpful and close to the town centre.  Costa Rica looks to have been hit hard by the financial crisis, lots of only-just-started property developments on hold and others that are finished by mostly empty, Jaco reflects this, however the Hotel Mar De Luz was an oasis and we loved it!

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