Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Patch Update

Lots of new migrants added last week.  Always nice going away in early spring and coming home to the sound of Whitethroat and Sedgies in full song.

Stone Curlew was a nice addition to the year list, having not seen one since 2008.  The rest was bread and butter stuff.

Last Sunday was a bit of a red letter day.  Overnight rain and a cool northerly, I arrived in Aveley bay just after 7am (yes i had a lay in!) It was obvious that there were a group waders on the low tide line, scope up and was amazed to see 23 Knot! 4 Bar-tailed godwit, 6 Dunlin, 4 Ringed plover and a single Sanderling!!

Just beyond the waders sat a pair of Mergansers. All in the same scope, Amazing sight.

Med Gull and a good number of Arctic Terns moved up river, Whinchat on aveley marsh and Gropper reeling along the seawall topped off a great couple of hours birding - all before breakfast.

Rainham Yearlist: 118

bye bye bar-wit.....

Sunday, 24 April 2016


I had a trip out from the hotel to the Monteverde cloud forest.  This was a Thomson run trip so wasn't expecting to see too much, but was keen for a change of scenery.  Plus it was a long way to come and not take the opportunity to go visit a cloud forest!

The journey was a slow four hour minibus ride for our group of twenty.  We went up 1600 metres above sea level on absolute terrible road surface, but this was broken up by a stop at a coffee plantation on route, which to be honest wasn't my cup of tea..... lol

A worth wile visit though as this gave my only opportunity to see Two-toed sloth.  Two were seen not doing too much, hanging around proper sloth style.

Also a nose around here after some lunch produced Rufous-collard sparrow, Common Today-flycatcher, Brown Jay, Yellow-faced grassquit and a fly through Swallow-tailed Kite.

rufous-collared sparrow

swallow-tailed kite harassed by boat billed flycatcher (i think!)

Finally reaching Monteverde (Hanging Bridges), we done the loop trail led by our guide who wasn't too clued up on the bird calls!  We did manage to help him out in finding a singing male Three-Wattled Bellbird and shortly after a pair of superb Resplendent Quetzals (both my target birds!)

the stunning Three-wattled bellbird

on top of everyones wish list - The Quetzal 


Both Collared and Slate throated Redstarts were seen alongside three Black Guan a singing White-throated thrush and several Three-striped warblers fed up in the canopy.  Not bad for an hours walk!

Black Guan

white-throated thrush

The last visit here was the superb Hummingbird garden.  I was absolutely blown away by the number of Hummers zapping around the feeders provided.  An absolute must for anyone visiting Costa Rica.

fem Green-crowned brilliant

fem Purple-throated mountain gem


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Manakins and more

One of the birds I was looking forward to seeing in the dry forest was the Long-tailed manakin!  These were amazing little birds.  Lek visits early morning proved my best views of this species, as males gathered to display over a nearby female.  Upto six males was my highest count together.


These birds proved hard to photograph as were many other species in the forest.  Here is a selection of some more.

streaked flycatcher

rose-breasted grosbeak

Cinnamon hummingbird

Tennessee warbler

Red-eyed vireo

Yellow-throated vireo

Black-headed trogon 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Costa Rican Raptors

As previously mentioned both Black & Turkey vultures were in constant sight over the hotel. Walking along the beach the black vultures was their to mop up any rubbish that anyone had left behind.

A pair of Crested Caracara's seen daily were also muscling on in the act.

I got lucky one morning when I found a pair of Plumbeous kites moving north high over the hotel.

Common black-hawk were fairly regular, and I was treated to a flyover juv Great black-hawk.

Had two King Vultures late one evening.  Apparently a scarce bird to see over the lowlands.

Osprey was seen on two days along the beach.

This Roadside Hawk showed well just metres away, and was unfazed by my presence.

Gray Hawk were seen fairly regularly too.

Collard Forest-Falcon - Glimpsed this bird distantly through the forest on week one and bizarrely one appeared over my shoulder and landed just metres away whilst I was pishing out some vireo's!