Slogging For Costa Rican Birds – This Ain’t Kansas, Dorothy. Birder of the Year Trip #5

The continuing saga of our WildBird Birder Of The Year Costa Rica Trip. (My eternal and sincere gratitude and thanks to Swarovski Optik and WildBird!)

“Bring at least one pair of shoes that you can get TOTALLY wet and muddy. The walk at Carrara is on a flat road that is about 1/3 water and 1/3 mud.” Clay Taylor – He wasn’t kidding!

Clay, ready as always.
I’m not quite sure what this hut was. Possibly a Ranger Station?
We started off early to visit our last big birding location Carrara National Park. Being duly warned I wore my older New Balance running shoes I use to mow the lawn in and Al was similarly prepared. One of our first birds from the gate was a Royal Flycatcher. He did raise his gorgeous crest for us, but I was not able to grab a photo. Yes, I know Obvious Vignetting in this photo.
Al got pretty darn good at finding birds. He’d say, “there’s something that looks like a woodpeckery thing!” And we’d all scramble to find it. Here is Clay and he trying to see something at a weird angle. That is how most of the birding is done in the jungle – at weird angles.
A mysterious jungle creature was here before us.
This Gray Hawk gave us great looks and a nice photo op.
Takin’ a short break.
Ahh, yes, here is where the fun began. I didn’t even THINK of what could possibly be in this water.
My feet certainly were. Somewhere.
I wish I could have seen Amy’s face here. The water was getting higher, at it’s deepest it was over halfway to my knees.

Nice view of a Short-billed Pigeon
Very cool Variegated Squirrel stopped long enough for me to snap a shot.
Here is a beautiful bird. Check out that mug! Boat-billed Herons.

This guy was a trip, I think he is a mature Black Iquana. He approached us unconcerned and we nabbed several nice shots as he posed. Then he proceeded to..
the top of a nearby dirt hill and really gave us his best side. This dude was obviously posing. We cracked up!
Clay’s $10 Walmart Tennies in reverse rolls. They were falling apart so he put one sock over his shoe. Did the job. Poor shoes never left Costa Rica.
This little gem stopped us in our tracks. Even our guide Alex exclaimed he did not expect to see this bird. He was very cooperative and allowed us plenty of time for photos. So tiny and so beautiful. American Pygmy Kingfisher. I love you.
I don’t know if we were coming or going in this shot. We walked a long way in the water. I think we were getting delirious.

So, what’s Kansas got to do with it? Well shortly after we got out of the water-road we ran into a group from Kansas with a local guide. We could tell they were NOT prepared to water-slog as we did. In fact after a brief chat we arrived at our car and before we even had all our gear loaded they were back! They missed a LOT of birds by not venturing into the deep. It was SO worth it. We saw so many more birds than I got photos. One of my favorites of the day was the Black-faced Antshrike. A smallish, rail-like bird, walking stately through the jungle. Amazing.
Here is a very sweet bird we saw at a nest – Barred Antshrike.
Alex our guide. We would not have seen many birds without him!

This entry was posted in Birder of the Year, Costa Rica. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Slogging For Costa Rican Birds – This Ain’t Kansas, Dorothy. Birder of the Year Trip #5

  1. Connie, Don’t they use rubber boot (wellies) in Costa Rica. Would have been my preferred footwear in such a situation. Cool boat-billed Heron.
    Wouldn’t you like to submit this to this weeks birders tweet club?

Comments are closed.