The Rio Tempisque and its tributaries are home to a multitude of Costa Rica birds, some migratory and some residents. - Wood Storks
I recently booked an early morning wildlife tour on the river with my visiting sister.
We were richly rewarded. - Roseat Spoonbill
The boat could’ve seated about 20 but we shared it wiith only two young German women.
- There were comfortable seats and life jackets available.
Carlos, the driver and guide, spoke some English. - Great Egret
While Jorge was the spotter with a great eye. - Double-striped Thick-Knee
But after living here for nearly 6 years, I have pretty good eye, too. - American Bittern
My sister, Janna Nichols, took all the amazing photos here. - Snowy Egret
The Rio Tempisque dumps into the Gulf of Nicoya. - Great Blue Heron
Cutting the Nicoya Peninsula off from the mainland of Costa Rica. - Great Blue Heron
Thus, it is tidal where we were touring.
At low tide, there are mud flats and bars, which provide great fishing for the birds. - A pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons
And nice sunbathing for the crocodiles. - Crocodile
Carlos pointed out “Big Charley” at least three times. - Crocodile
Soon after we left the dock, Jorge was pointing out a Baltimore Oriole off the right side of the boat. - Male Green Iguana in mating colors
He described as “small and red”. - Ochre-bellied Flycatcher?
On the other side of the boat, Janna was yelling, “No. It’s big”. - Great Blue Heron
Instead of arguing, Carlos turned the boat until we all saw the pair of Scarlet Macaws –los Papagayos - high in the trees.
They’re not common in Guanacaste anymore but their populations are getting stronger. - Pair of Little Blue Herons
Our destination that morning was the Isla de los Pajaros – Bird Island – a protected nesting sanctuary which is popular with many species.
The sight was overwhelming because of the numbers of birds there.
At first we saw the flocks and pairs flying over, nest materials in their beaks. - Wood Stork
As we approached, we became aware of the stench - Wood Storks
which is the consequence of a mountain of guano on the forest floor below the nests. - Wood Stork nest
We saw a few nests, - Roseat Spoonbill
hundreds if not thousands of nest builders - Roseat Spoonbill
And more than a few fishermen along the shore. - Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
You can catch a boat tour of the Rio Tempisque at Palo Verde Park - Female Green Iguana
or at the pueblo of Puerto Humo, - Common Tern
about 40 minutes north of Nicoya
and about 1 1/2 hours from Casa Mango & Casa Papaya. - White Ibis
We paid about $40.00 each for a 1 1/2 hour tour. - Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Make reservations for early in the morning for the best bird watching. - Bare-throated Tiger Heron
Anyone recognize this bird?
Pair of Wood Storks
Wading Wood Storks
Roseat Spoonbill & Anhinga
All Photos copy-righted by Janna Nichols.
Your mystery birds are mangrove swallows. And I’m pretty sure your American Bittern is a juvenile tricolored heron changing into his adult plumage. The shadowy character in the back of the little blue heron shot is, if I am not mistaken, a boat billed heron. Can’t really see the bill, but the Moe hairdo is a dead give-away.
These images are breathtakingly beautiful! Fabulous photography. Are you quite sure that all of these birds are not on contract with the tour company?
My sister took those photos two years ago. Coincidentally, she is again visiting this week. She took another boat tour yesterday – I hope to have her newest photos posted soon.
After more research and a consult with a better birder than I, it seems that the proper identification of your American Bittern is a juvenile great blue heron.
The BBTI also says that the last photo is a group of cormorants. I believe that it is the dark neck and the bill that distinguishes one from the other.
Beautiful – would love to see them
Looks like a great “birding”! Wonderful photographyJana!
Great shots, Janna!