Turrialba area sightings at 113


Silver-throated tanager

For birders in Costa Rica, the number in the heading above is very modest.  But let me explain!  First of all, I’m a rank amateur and in any case the number represents onlythe birds I personally have seen in the Turrialba area that have not yet shown up here in San Antonio de Santa Cruz where I live.  I currently have an additional 120 species for my house list.  Aquatic species are notably few since I have visited very few suitable localities, but a stream running alongside the road on the high flat portion at La Pastora yielded a Ringed kingfisher (Ceryle torquatus) that you normally have to go down to CATIE to find.  Our highland rivers have few aquatic species because of the lack of fish.

There.  Those are my excuses.  In any case, it was very exciting for me to be able to record this very week three new species for this particular list, the Red-throated ant-tanager and Olive-backed euphonia that were mentioned in my last post, plus the Silver-throated tanager (Tangara icterocephala) that shared a guarumu tree with a mixed flock and a porcupine today up at La Pastora.  I well remember my first-ever view of this tanager species.  It was at Bajos del Toro Amarillo up high in the mountains between the Poás Volcano and the road to San Carlos (Ciudad Quesada).  It popped up in a low bare tree right at the side of the main road, the silver throat glistening in the sun.  It was here that I also saw a group of birders with a guide for the first time.  They must have had a wonderful time in that cool high country, before the catastrophic Cinchona earthquake closed the road for a while.  I keep promising myself a return visit, but there are so many trips to make, even just in my local area, that it may be a while before I can get around to it.

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