Palm Warbler and Sharp-shinned Hawk

Tico birders continue to arrive to see the White-eyed Vireo and I benefit greatly each time. Not only do they feed me but they also find me birds here locally that I never manage to find myself! Today, our first full day of bad weather in quite a long time, guides Bernardo López (Heredia) and Hansell Rodríguez Vega (Comunidad, Guanacaste) took me up to the Guayabo Lodge in nearby Santa Cruz (almost in My Patch), where a Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) flits around the garden and parking lot.  It seems to be a winter resident, rare indeed, but is at an elevation (1550 m) well above its normal range (800 m). It stayed a fair height off the ground the whole time. This is my first view of this species in Costa Rica.

Actually, I think Richard Garrigues was the first to find the bird a few days ago. Here’s his very nice photo of this bird, this time at ground level and seemingly in non-breeding plumage. Richard says the two birds are different individuals.

palm warbler 3 B

The next photo, courtesy of Bernardo and Hansell, shows a yellow throat-patch very clearly, but I assumed it was the same individual at the time.

ACR1709

In the field behind the hotel sat the Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) shown below. Bernardo’s photos turned out beautifully despite the day’s nasty weather. This small accipiter, common enough in North America, is an uncommon migrant here and my only previous sighting was a little lower down at San Diego, which has some heavy vegetation.

As the photo shows, this individual was perched on a very low post in a completely open location. Bernardo and Hansell followed it a short way and found it to be munching on a small bird.

ACR1708

You can find these fine photographs and many more at the Biofotos link http://www.biofotos.org/biofotos/Default.aspx?Cat=1

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