Monday, 23 October 2017

Serenaded by Fruitcrows

A quite un-believable start to our standard banding session at our Parque Nacional site here in Tortuguero this morning. Very quiet for migrants with only one Swainson's Thrush....but....!!

The first bird we extracted was this male Royal Flycatcher, only the second that we have ever seen on our six visits to Costa Rica.

This fine start was followed by two adult female Black-crowned Antshrikes...both of which were recaptures. One female was banded before 2012 and the other likely banded in 2014, nice ageing data !

All the Hummingbirds that we caught this morning were Long-billed Hermits except this Band-tailed Barbthroat.

Wendy working on the forest floor towards the end of the session in 30°c of humid forest heat and with many interesting biting insects.

Today was a very good session with no rain interruptions and by the end of the morning we had also captured three migrant species, an American Pygmy Kingfisher and a White-collared Manakin.

In total today's effort resulted in five new birds, three recaptures and five Hummingbirds.
Our banding in Costa Rica is usually filled with exciting species, but not numbers. I am emphasising this in response to questions received. The diversity is immense but the numbers captured are quite likely well below what you would think.
Whilst banding we were serenaded by Purple-throated Fruitcrows directly above one of the nets. Two Chestnut-backed Antbirds sang all session. Great Green Macaws flew overhead and higher still Black and Turkey Vultures, with Magnificent Frigatebirds gliding around.

Yesterday we were affected by rain, but we did catch some migrants with five species of Flycatcher - including five Great Crested Flycatchers !

We also captured a couple of  Red-eyed Vireos.

Bi-coloured and Chestnut-backed Antirds were the highlights at our Cano Palma site on Friday....

Surprisingly both these Antbirds were new rather than recaptures.

At Cano we also captured three species of migrant Thrush, including our first Wood Thrush of the Fall.
Two species of Hummingbird, including an unusual one for us, a female Crowned Woodnymph and this fine adult male Red-capped Manakin.

We don't very often catch raptors, so our second ever Semiplumbeous Hawk was a welcome chance to study raptor ageing, this apparently an immature.

In summary 16 captures of  9 amazing species at Cano Palma.

Tomorrow morning we catch our boat to the standard banding site Aero. This site is maturing secondary forest and understorey. Slowly some forest species are moving in eg, Black-crowned Antshrike, but tomorrow there should be some interesting numbers of migrant Flycatchers....
The picture shows Wendy banding at the Aero site in September 2013, a year when early morning falls of Catharus Thrushes were regular.

Richard and Wendy

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