Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Palo Verde

We'd chosen Liberia to be close to Palo Verde National Park.  We knew we had time to work our way down to the Park as it didn't open until 8am. So heading off just after 6am, take-our time we did, spotting White-fronted Parrots feeding by the roadside:

We also found an Orange-fronted Parakeet:


And just before entering the park itself, a Bare-throated Tiger-Heron:

Helen had picked a Rufescent Tiger-Heron as a target bird before the trip (not realising we weren't going to that kind of habitat) so this counted as trip bird sighting.  Splendid looking birds they are too.

Another 'road to' bird was the Eastern Meadlowlark:

Picking up spilled seeds from the agricultural vehicles traversing the area.

We entered the park.  I jumped out of the car and paid, then saw a small bird and followed it around the entrance building.  Round the corner a Mangrove Cuckoo right in front of me, but my camera was in the car.  Doh!  By the time I'd grabbed it  the bird had flown, though we both saw it clearly.  The park attendant was bemused/amused in equal proportions by this and our unbounded enthusiasm for the park.  Once in we drove along one of the main roads in, spotting Black-headed Trogon:

Crested Guan:

Common Ground Dove:

They appear to have ploughed the soon-to-be marshland, at a guess to improve the habitat for migrating ducks and geese and other water birds.    You can see the dry forest covering the various rocky outcrops too:

Above the road a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl:

The abundant Great-tailed Grackle:

Another road bird of prey, this a Hook-billed Kite:

A particular favourite of mine is the Turquoise-browed Motmot.  They are superbly colourful birds:

In a small pool, one of the last bodies of retained water, a Northern Jacana waded around:

We stopped at the administration centre for much needed cold drinks and then to enjoy a party of White-Nosed Coatis rummaging through the leaf-litter and making themselves somewhat scarce when they saw us.  We really enjoyed watching this party move around and past us, for a good ten minutes.

The water levels on the marshes were well, absent, so the birds typically encountered here were all elsewhere.  The river was in full flow still though:

And in a tree right by the water's edge White Ibis:

On the way back we saw our first Scissor-tailed Flycatchers of the trip:

Helen snapped me wandering down a trail, looking for a bird...

Which I duly found, in this case a Yellow Warbler:

Finally what I believe is a Plain-capped Starthroat was perched in cover:

Palo Verde would be better in the wet season with many more birds and species of birds, but we still enjoyed our visit.  It was to head to our accommodation in Tamarindo.



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