December birding in Costa Rica is a time of transition. Lastly, the rains appear to have gone, a minimum of on the Pacific slope and across the city asphalt methods of the Central Valley. They get changed by solar and a little bit of wind; mockingly, not the most effective scenario for birding however nonetheless higher than blinding, heavy rains. Now, we are able to head out birding once more, now, the top of the yr is immediately nigh…we’ve to exit birding!
It’s not simply birding although, a minimum of not in case you are “yr birding”. Yr birding is on the lookout for species not heard or seen since January 1st and when you nonetheless need to hit a aim for 2022, December is now or by no means time.
It’s the house stretch and despite the fact that my associate and I aren’t not doing any official huge yr insanity, we don’t thoughts seeing as many birds as we are able to. Now that we’re within the residence stretch, it’s time to see what number of extra we are able to feasibly establish in 2023. For me, that interprets to betting on hitting 700 species.
In Costa Rica, the large 7 hundred is at all times a doable yr birding aim nevertheless it’s additionally one which requires a sure diploma of effort. For instance, it’s important to go birding throughout each migrations, have to attach with Cerulean Warbler (examine), Purple Martin (examine), Chimney Swift (examine), and different species like Widespread Nighthawk (no examine!), and perhaps a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (additionally no examine).
You must go birding in should go to hotspots like Cano Negro (we did that final week), the excessive mountains, and approach down close to the Panama border. I’ve been lucky to have visited most corners of Costa Rica in 2022, the principle exceptions being San Vito and pure grasslands with Ocellated Crake and some different birds. I haven’t accomplished a pelagic journey both however at 677 species, I’m nonetheless shut sufficient to sneak a birding foot previous that end line by December thirty first.
It’s going to take some targeted birding and luck nevertheless it might occur. Right here’s my plan:
To hit my aim, a go to to the good dry northwest is important. It’s the place I might nonetheless choose up species like Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Elegant Trogon, Plain Chachalaca, and others. I hope to get these birds at Rincon de la Vieja the place we may also have an opportunity at unusual sparrows and another decidedly uncommon species.
The opposite important birds to search for within the dry forest are, oddly sufficient, wetland species. Presently to yr, the rice fields are nonetheless moist sufficient to host Noticed Rail, wintering Sora, and Wilson’s Snipe in addition to varied geese. I’m hoping for these and extra and there’s at all times an opportunity of working into one thing decidedly uncommon, perhaps some misplaced warbler or sparrow that wouldn’t imply a lot to birders in North America.
A Entire Lot of Pishing Going On
Talking of small misplaced birds, to search out them, there should be plenty of pishing. I’m alread bored with making that foolish noise however what are you gonna do? It’s what brings these small birds out of the vegetation. It even labored this very morning, if for only a fraction of a second after we noticed a tricky for Costa Rica Yellow-breasted Chat in a brushy espresso subject. There’s different unusual wintering birds on the market, pishing will get annoying however it could possibly actually assist.
The remaining collection of birds I might add to my 2022 checklist are all uncommon residents. These are the robust ones, the birds that require visits to particular spots and even then, they may not need to play. I’ve seen a good variety of such birds this yr, species like Blue Seedeater, Peg-billed Finch, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Yellow-tailed Oriole, cotingas, Black-chested Jay, and, simply the opposite day, a shock implausible Tiny Hawk that blessed the feeders of the Cafe Colibri in Cinchona (!).
There’s nonetheless extra to see although, birds like Black-banded Woodcreeper, Olive-backed Quail-Dove, and Rufous-rumped Antwren, and Black and White Becard. We’d get them, a minimum of if we do extra birding of their ordinary haunts. Naked-necked Umbrellabird could be good, hopefully one just like the featured picture for this put up.
It’s time to make the ultimate plans, time to see how we are able to join with our last yr birds. Even when we don’t meet any of the haughty targets, it’s nonetheless gonna be good, that is birding in Costa Rica in any case.