Olive-sided Flycatcher

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So…when I took this photo on Sept. 28 at Bald Knob National Wildlife, I thought it was another species of bird. I recently realized I never went through these photos so I began taking a look. Yep, it’s an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Below is another photo taken that day of a Great Blue Heron that I just like.

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Photos: A Better View

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The American Kestrel is such a hard bird to photograph – it takes off any time I get too close. However, this one at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge showed no fear! Another first for me: this pair of Northern Harriers I found together.

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Rare find: Say’s Phoebe

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Yesterday, I made a trip back to my hometown in Northeast Arkansas and, naturally, I couldn’t resist stopping at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge on my way back to see what birds I could find.

I got lucky. Right off the bat, I found a Say’s Phoebe – which is rare to the area according to eBird.org. The Say’s Phoebe is a medium-sized flycatcher that is typically found in the western part of the United States.

Whooping Crane

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For several weeks, a whooping crane has been spotted at Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge. I finally got a chance to go find him – and while I didn’t get the best photo – I am excited to say I’ve now seen my first whooping crane in Arkansas. Yay!

Whooping cranes, one of North America’s largest birds, are endangered. According to the Audubon Society, they were once pretty widespread on the northern prairies; however, they went nearly extinct in the 1940s. Strict protection has since brought the whooping crane population to over 100. When one is spotted in Arkansas, the birding community gets pretty darn excited.

Recap: Costa Rica

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Well, my trip to Costa Rica with 21 Arkansas Auduboners is now over. We saw around 189 species of birds despite three days of near constant rain.

Here’s our eBird lists as reported by our group leader:

26 May 2019
Liberia airport

Night walk
27 May
Prebreakfast birding
Santa Rosa National Park
28 May
Hacienda Guachipelin

Rincon de la Vieja volcano

PM birding walk

29 May
Cafeteria Horizonte

30 May
Monteverde Santa Elena prebreakfast birding

Monteverde Cloud Forest
Finca Life Verde Coffee farm tour

Curi Cancha Reserve Nightwalk
31 May
Prebreakfast birding Pig Farm Road

Selvatura Suspension Bridges
1 June
Prebreakfast birding walk

Tempisque River boating
2 June
Prebreakfast birding Playa Carrillo area
Chora island snorkeling trip

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Purple-throated Mountain Gem

Day 9: Costa Rica

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We went on one final walk before loading up to head back to Liberia for the airport.

While the beach resort had killer views and great staff, it’s not a place I plan to come back to. One person in our group created a list comparing what Costa Rica bird we’d seen each person would be. She said I remind her of the Lessen’s Motmot. I’m pretty happy to be back – I was greeted by my dad and nieces who will be spending the next few days with me while my sister travels for work. 🙂

Day 8: Costa Rica

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Today was my final full day in Costa Rica. It was a “free” day for the group, although there was a guided ocean kayak and snorkeling tour to Chora Island planned for anyone wanting to go. I couldn’t say no. I pretty much spent the entire time at the island snorkeling.

I admitted to being extremely cranky yesterday and I’m embarrassed to say that I complained about the room I was assigned. When I arrived back to the hotel this afternoon, I learned that the hotel staff had switched me to another room to resolve my issue. It was sweet of the staff to help me, especially when they gave my roommate a choice of what rooms we could switch to and she picked the room that completely ignored my concern but had a better view.

We wrapped up the day with a group farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 7: Costa Rica

I love Senda Monteverde Hotel! However after a final morning walk, we left Monteverde for our final destination in Carrillo Beach in Guanacaste.

Along the way, we stopped once again in Abangares for gas, where I was entertained by the Macaws.

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Macaw

The views along the route were also pretty amazing.

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We later stopped for lunch and a private, guided boat tour on the Bebedero River in the Tempisque River basin bordering Palo Verde National Park.

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We also saw so many crocodiles and babies!

We even saw monkeys, a giant anteater and bats! I need to emphasis how excited I was to see the bats!! I finally got a video of a basilisk running on water as well.

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Our final days will be spent at Nammbú Beach Resort. I’ll admit I was not in the best of moods when I arrived – I was pure crankiness. I ended up taking a quick trip to check out the beach at sunset before getting in the pool to cool off and nab a drink from the poolside bar (which definitely helped).

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Day 6: Costa Rica

We kicked off the morning with a morning bird walk in a country road near Monteverde.

It was interesting: we were headed through Monteverde when suddenly our driver pulls over and says he’s found a sloth for us. Apparently, our driver is fascinated with sloths and he really did find one as he drove through town. It was a Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, which our tour guide said we were lucky to get a good photo of.

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Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth

We then headed over to Selvatura Park, a nature and adventure ecological park with over 850 acres of protected land. We toured the cloud forest via the park’s many suspension bridges that took us through and above the tree tops. Among the birds we saw were an adult male Three-wattled Bellbird and a Resplendent Quetzal that flew over us.

I ate lunch in town at Amy’s cuisine, where I had a typical Costa Rican lunch, and then sat in on a bellbird conservation talk back at the hotel, and then ate once again at the restaurant.

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