Very well then, I’m a lister. I admit it. I don’t know what the attraction is, actually, but I just love keeping a running statistical count of bird sightings, no matter where I’m located. Soon I’ll have two years of statistics for my village of San Antonio, near Santa Cruz on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano. Today my house list reached a reasonably respectable 108 species, with at least 72 others seen and identified nearby in the Turrialba area. I do my best to include only definitely identified species, but, as you can see from my earlier blogs, a learn a little every day and have often had to question earlier identifications at first thought infallible.
Today’s surprise was a Hooded warbler hovering at my breakfast window on a grey morning that was a prelude to a fairly rainy day. This particular Reinita encapuchada didn’t have much of a capucha, and I almost dismissed it as a Wilson’s warbler at first glance. The white flash in the tail is a give-away, however, even to someone like me who was looking at a Hooded warbler for the first time. I suppose, judging from Sibley and the mere hint of a hood, that it was a female, or possibly an immature male. It loitered, low, for a while in a hibiscus bush that the locals call amapola, and then disappeared, presumably heading for Panama.
Happily, Stiles & Skutch don’t include it among all those ‘common’ birds that never find their way to my place; it’s rated as a ‘very uncommon to rare migrant and winter resident’. I’m pretty sure this one was a migrant, but I also found it pleasing that Stiles & Skutch say it occurs only up to 1200 m. because we’re at 1220 m. here in San Antonio. I experience just a tinge of disappointment, however, when I turn to Garrigues & Dean, who rate it merely as ‘very uncommon’ and found as high as 1400 m. Garrigues & Dean make no claims for residency in Costa Rica for this species.