Bat falcon in San Antonio

Bat Falcon in Mexico, click for photo credit flickr user Jorge Montejo

Bat Falcon in Mexico, click for photo credit flickr user Jorge Montejo

A fairly good view of a Bat falcon (Falco rufigularis) in flight right next to the house was the highlight of a short walk yesterday down to Quebrada La Loca, five minutes’ walk away, in between yesterday’s rain showers.  Richard Garrigues (The Birds of Costa Rica) is correct in saying that, in flight, it can look like a White-collared swift (Streptoprocne zonaris) (a common species here), because that’s exactly what I thought it was at first.  This is my first identification of this species here in San Antonio, though there have been several sightings by experienced bird watchers both here and in Verbena Norte and in Santa Rosa, two small hamlets located a little lower down the Turrialba road.  Theoretically it could have been the Orange-breasted falcon, I suppose, but that would be an incredible rarity since that species has not been recorded in the country since the 1950’s.

The rivers are now back to a normal flow and the Quebrada looks beautiful at don Martin’s place since he has cleared some vegetation to improve the view.  Things were quiet as usual, but I had glimpses of  a pair of Golden-crowned warblers (Basileuterus  culicivorus) in the  forested section.  They are resident here and this is actually the only place that I have ever seen them.  There was no sign of the Sunbitterns or the Fasciated tiger-heron on the quebrada, but I had close looks at a pair of Keel-billed toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus) high in the trees opposite the cabin.  Presumably this is the pair that nests in the nearby higueron.  I still marvel at the beauty of this toucan species, even though it is such a common bird in our area.

Keel-billed toucan takes flight, photo courtesy of Karel Straatman

Keel-billed toucan takes flight, photo courtesy of Karel Straatman

As usual, I checked out the bridge on the road to La Cinchona but found only a Roadside hawk (Buteomagnirostris), the commonest hawk species in our area.

I returned to the house feeling a little disappointed until the Bat falcon flew over in the direction of San Rafael.

In other news, the hummingbird feeder in front of me as I type now has three permanent visiting species: Rufous-tailed hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl), White-necked jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) and Green-breasted mango ((Anthracothorax prevostii), with Violet sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus) occasionally at the nearest heliconia.  The Green-breasted mango is at the extreme eastern edge of its range in Costa Rica but may well be expanding its territory, according to Garrigues and Dean.

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