donderdag 17 december 2015

Costa Rica, Caribbean adventures part 1

Pura vida!

Well, that's what birding is in Costa Rica.
And especially traveling the Costa Rican Caribbean coast.
Travelling on foat, by boat and by car!

First we started at Tortuguero, where we had 3 days of discovering new birds in this wet, tropical, protected area.
Birds, spiders, bats, frogs, snakes, caymans and even a basilisks lizard. (the Jesus lizard, it can run over water, they really do :-)).
And don't forget the plantlife, which was plentiful.
All seen walking and by boat.
But, back to the birds. Next to the abundant vultures and  grackles, 3 bird species stood out.

The anhinga , the white-collared manakin and the magnificent great green macaw, which is a threatened species.

The anhinga is a bird, which I never saw in the wild. I am used to herons and cormorant, but this beauty was more of a heron / cormorant crossbread.
A long neck, and when wings spread, the wings looked like a set of piano tiles.
Near our lodge (anhinga lodge, awkward :-) ) always one was present.
A real wetlands beauty, and I can understand why they choose the name for this excellent lodge.

Another bird, the white-collared manakin, was more heard than seen.
But when you saw it, it was not inactive!
Hopping around, wings flapping, body shaking, the lot! And the sound, astonishing bird, which I also saw at more Caribbean spots.

Now, the greaty green macaw, my first macaw in the wild. A real macaw, which I immediately recognized. Not operating solo, but in a group of 4-5 birds foraging in the trees next to the river.
A threatened bird, food depended on the nuts of the almendro tree (tonka bean tree), which it can crack.
Habitat loss makes it difficult for this beautiful bird, which is a true Tortuguero treasure.

Three days bird Paradise, a shame I had to go.
No worries, the adventure continues.
Next time I will tell you about the birds seen at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, another Caribbean treat.

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