Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last of the Talamancas

Well, I haven't been birding hella lately. I know that's not what you want to hear, since I am a birding hero and all. EBird has been getting little love from me, as has eCreosote ("Do you eCreosote?"). Not having a Perpetual Weekend really gets in the way of scouring the earth for Vague Runts. So instead of posting uncrushy, nonrare things I thought I would dip into my everlasting Costa Rica cache. As readers know, I was there for a few weeks 2012-2013 and saw hella birds (which, as I've said, I've not been seeing lately), and I can't ever seem to finish posting the whole trip on here. So here is to the tranquilo times.

Dan found this crippling eye-fucker above the Savegre Lodge, in the Talamancas. We had decent looks at them before at Paraiso Del Quetzales, but this bird was low and unobstructed. Holy shit, what a bird. Just looking at these photos makes me want to utter endless strings of expletives. It is truly something to behold.

The length of the tail is staggering. How can such a thing exist, let alone thrive? Nature is a humbling thing. Oh, this is a Resplendent Quetzal, in case you were still wondering.

Last time I posted a photo of this bird it was called a Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager. Now it is called a Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, which is silly but at least it's a good "birder's bird" sort of a name. Anyways, if you run into a flock of these in the highlands of Costa Rica, be sure to sort through them for other goodies with better names and more rarity.

Hey! It's a Steely-vented Hummingbird! I don't know too much about this species, we only had them at a few sites. Obviously, they are attractive and I wish to see more of them.

In the canyon up the road from El Toucanet Lodge, we saw this Red-faced Spinetail building a massive and ridiculous nest overhead. As it was a lifer that day, it came as a total shock that such an unassuming bird was into constructing such grandiose, fuck-off nests. But hey, I was surprised the first time I saw a Bushtit's nest too.

Flame-colored Tanager is one of my favorite tropical birds, as they are a of a likeable abundance, don't skulk and make me happy when I look at them.

Many of Costa Rica's crippling tanager species will come to feeders, and Flame-colored is no exception. This one was in a parking lot though, I'm not sure what it was doing besides cleaning it's bill on that railing.

To the tune of Black-faced Solitaires (a lovely tune), Don Mastwell surveys the Talamancas.

White-throated Mountain-Gem is another winning hummingbird to be found in the Talamancas. The feeders at the Savegre Lodge was the only place we had them. We did not stay at Savegre, which was quite large and seemed like an actual resort, but I can't deny the nearby birding opportunities it has to offer.

I know it looks satanic with the eyes flashed like this, but this is actually a lovely bird. Quite the crippler at the right angle, as you can probably surmise.

Ochraceous Wren is a good-looking bird as well...not that you can tell from this photo. Who wouldn't like an orange wren that only dwells at mid to high elevations?

This is the commonest sparrow in Costa Rica, which is insane because it looks better than practically every sparrow in the U.S...and it's a Zonotrichia, of all things. Rufous-collared Sparrows galore in Costa Rica.

Not that I remember what they sound like anymore, but I recall being quite chuffed when serenaded at close range by these birds...but like White-crowned Sparrows here in California, you can only handle so much of a good thing when you are trying to find less abundant things.

After the Talamancas, Dan and I lurked south toward San Vito, to meet up the Dave Spag and Leslie Tuc. Lifers were to be had, a weird rodeo was to be attended, and much cheap, ineffective beer needed to be consumed. It might take another three (3) months for BB&B to get there, but get there we must.


  1. Awesome and enviable as always.
    The Flame-coloreds that reach AZ always seem to be the progeny of unholy Flame x Western unions, bastards all (a good bird for this site, now that I think about it).

  2. Hi Steve,
    very beautiful bird pictures you show us here, this species is available in Germany only in the zoo or park
    greetings Frank