We met Vic in Tarcoles and had a coffee in one of the local cafes, then off to the boat at 6.00am
As we left the dock mangrove swallows surrounded the boat and landed on the bow and roof. They even followed the boat as we steamed along - I assume the boat scares insects off the water that they grab.
We'd only gone a few yards when the boat slowed and we went towards the bank for a ringed kingfisher and a few yards along there was a common black hawk.
|Common black hawk|
As we moved down river waders were ignored (although I fired off a few hopeful shots) but the boat slowed/stopped for anything a bit larger.
|Black-necked stilt and willet|
|Bare-throated tiger heron - juvenile|
|Great blue heron|
Down towards the estuary we moved into the mangroves getting close to yellow-crowned night heron and almost within touching distance of boat billed heron.
|Yellow-crowned night heron|
Moving further into the mangroves we had osprey, roseate spoonbill, green heron, juvenile pelican. Overhead I spotted a couple of raptors and fired off a few shots in hope rather than expectation and whilst the shots are rubbish they clearly identify the bird as plumbous kites by the red underwing.
We then went quite a way up a narrow channel and the boatman put the boat into the bank and held it there by holding onto some branches. Vic and the boatman scanned the bank but it was the boatman's son at the stern who spotted the target - a mangrove hummingbird. Eventually after few minutes of direction everyone was on it and I'd even managed a few record shots.
As these are quite scarce and due to habitat loss and restricted range (Costa Rica mangroves really) they are regarded as endangered.
After this we made our way upstream seeing a number of herons species and getting superb views of a pair of roseate spoonbills.
|Gt White Egret|
|Little blue heron|
Eventually as the river narrowed we stopped and Vic and the boatman started whistling. Soon we had several yellow-headed caracara and a turkey vulture within a few yards of the boat as the threw out small pieces of what looked like chicken.
All to soon our time was up but even on the way back to the dock we were picking up new species.
|Bare-throated tiger heron|
We had only seen crocodile distantly during the boat trip so when it was over we popped up to the Tarcoles bridge. There were plenty to see.
Then it was back to hotel in time for breakfast.