Monday, February 23, 2009

Golfito Pelagic trip - Mar.7

(Red-necked and Red Phalaropes seen off Osa Peninsula, Apr.7, 07. Photo by Juan Pablo Elizondo)

March 4 - The boat has been filled. Thanks to all those who inquired about participating. Results will be posted here shortly after March 7. Thanks, JRZ.

There will be a full day pelagic birding trip out of Golfito on March 7, 2009. The trip is being organized by the San Vito Bird Club and will be led by Jim Zook. There are still four spaces available (out of 8 total birders). Cost is $100 per person. Beverages will be provided but everyone will need to bring their own food/lunch. We will be taking a typical 30-35 foot sport fishing vessel captained by fellow birder Andrew Roberston. We'll hope to get out into deep water 30 miles or so off the S tip of Osa Peninsula. Based on past trips around this time of year we can expect to see Audubon's and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Black Storm-Petrel, Brown Booby, Red-necked Phalarope, Black and Bridled Tern, Brown Noddy, Sabine's Gull, Pomarine and Parasitic Jaeger. Possible also would be Least, Leach's and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Red-footed and Masked/Nazca Boobies, Red Phalarope and other migrant gulls and terns. Costa Rica's first Black-vented Shearwater was seen in waters off the Osa Peninsual this past November so there's always a chance for the unexpected.

If you are interested in reserving a space (with a $50 deposit) please contact Julie Girard at for further details.

Swainson's Hawks wintering in Guanacaste

During a recent two week trip to Guanacaste I ran across a group of 102 Swainson's Hawks sitting on the ground in a recently tilled field that was being flooded by irrigation waters. This was on February 11 in the rice and sugar cane fields just West of the entrance to Palo Verde NP. The wind was really blowing hard and the birds appeared to be resting more than looking for food. I see Swainson's Hawks regularly in this area during the winter months but usually in flocks of 10-20. Never seen a group this big outside of migration periods. The majority of these birds appeared to be dark morph individuals. In early January Richard Garrigues sent me a note he received from a visiting Canadian birder (Ian Platt) who on January 1 saw a group of 35 mostly light morph birds kiting and circling over the east end of the Liberia airport.

There were also a good number (15+) of Tree Swallows mingling with hundreds of Barn Swallows over the flooded rice fields near the entrance to Palo Verde NP, a fairly unusual sight.