New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Monday, October 17, 2016

Krausman's Woodcarving Studio 2016 Costa Rica "Pura Vida" Birdcarving Extravaganza!!

         Part Two Continues..........Day 14, Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016- Damas Island/Quepos Mangrove Monkey and Bird Boat Tour with Rafa "The Father of the Monkeys"-  

       We were soon at the boat dock in Quepos at Damas Island for our "semi-private" boat tour. There were two local "regulars" that were waiting to board as well. Beny introduced me to his friend Rafael "Rafa",-"The Father of the Monkeys" (right), and the Captain, his son, John (left). Within a few minutes we had boarded and were underway-

               We started seeing birds as soon as we left the dock like this Green Heron-

                                                               Plenty of White Ibis-

                                                               Little Blue Heron-

            On a series of sandbars in the middle for the river, there were many flocks of Shorebirds loafing in the hot sun. These flocks included Western Willet, Greater Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitcher, and Ruddy Turnstone.-

                                                          Little Blue Herons-

                                                                 More White Ibis-

               The mangrove branches a few feet out of the water had many roosting Western Willet and Whimbrels-

        Captain John motored farther down the river to where the first small feeder river mouth opened up into the main river. He pulled the boat into the edge of the mangroves and tied the boat to the mangrove branches. Rafael started uttering loud mouth calls into the deep mangroves. He waited a minute and started calling again. Soon a pair of White-faced Capuchin Monkeys appeared in the mangroves near the boat-

       Slowly and cautiously, the Monkeys came closer to the boat and began boarding the boat accepting banana hand-outs from Rafa and regular patron John!-

         Actually John enjoyed the Monkeys and placed pieces of banana on his hat and in his beard-

             The monkey described as one of the Grandmothers by Rafa, appeared to be almost tame-

          After spending ten minutes with the Grandmother Monkey, Captain John started motoring down river again while all the time Rafa was calling out to the Monkeys back in the deep mangroves. Suddenly the boat slowed its forward momentum and turned around, Beny told me that Rafa found something especially for me. As we got closer to the mangroves, Rafa pointed into the branches hanging over the water, there was a Rainbow Boa that was fully coiled on the branch, excellent!-

            Captain John started motoring back towards the mouth of the rivers where it meets the Pacific Ocean. All along the edge of the mangroves in the branches were roosting Western Willets and Whimbrels-


                                                                     Western Willet-

                             At the mouth of the estuaries, a single Osprey on a sandbar-

                                         Mangrove Trees at the mouth of the estuary-

                                 The mouth of the estuary where it meets the Pacific Ocean-

                                                                  Pacific Ocean-

                           Heading up one of the many Mangrove Rivers and Lagoons-

                                            There were many Spotted Sandpipers-

                                                   and a few Ringed Kingfishers-

                                                 Large Mangrove estuary lagoon-

                        heading up into the backwater rivers up stream from the mangroves-

                     One tree hanging over the river had several roosting Boat-billed Herons-

                                                               A double Wasp nest-

                                             The Iguana numbers were high-

                      And a few Basilisk Lizards were sunning themselves with the Iguanas-

                                                    And yes, quite a few Crocodiles-

                                                              Spotted Sandpipers-

                                                          Still heading up river..........

                                             .....with spectacular tropical scenery-

                                                                Tri-colored Heron-

                                  and of course, more Iguanas. this one a Green Iguana-

                          Under a small one hundred year old bridge, a small group of roosting Bats-

            At this point Captain John turned the boat around and we started heading back down river towards the main estuary-

                   Rafa started calling the Monkeys again, and this small female answered his call-

            Lots of small passerine birds up the rivers, never got good enough looks at them to identify them such as this unidentified Flycatcher-

            Capt John headed back up river to the inner reaches of the marsh near Damas Island and closer to the boat docks. Pair of female Great-tailed Grackles-

                                                   Pair of Greater Yellowlegs-

        The upper river seemed to attract quite a few Yellow-headed Caracara; they were flying all around and landing on many of the tree snags in the river. Adult Caracara-

                                                  Beautiful striking plumage-

                                                 Juvenile Yellow-headed Caracara-

                                                        juvenile Yellow-headed Caracara-

                                                                       Snowy Egret-

                                                                    Green Heron-

                                                 Immature Yellow-headed Caracara-

                                              a handsome adult Yellow-headed Caracara-

              The trip ended with this amazing showing with close encounters with many Yellow-headed Caracara. The entire trip lasted two hours and it was incredible......the scenery, the birds, the magnificent mangroves and the enjoyable White-faced Monkeys.

     At the dock, I thanked Rafa and Capt. John for a truly special day on the water with them, it was a memorable day! In fact, it was the best Pacific mangrove tour that I have been on. Thank You Rafa and Capt. John, we will see you again next year........this will be on the tour schedule!

            Part three, Day 14, Wednesday, October 12, 2016 Continues........Coastal Rice Field birding, Jaco and Tarcoles-

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