An early arrival – Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) is an abundant migrant, arriving in Costa Rica from North America in mid-September, often in large waves. In our area, however, it tends not to arrive until late September and so the bird in the photograph below, taken in nearby Aquiares on September 17, is a particularly early arrival.

Thrush, Swainson´s, Aquiares Lookout

Early arrival Swainson’s Thrush in the forested area at the Aquiares Mirador; photo by John Beer, September 17, 2018

My own earliest encounter with the species in the Turrialba area, over a period of more than 10 years, was at CATIE, Turrialba, when we banded an early arrival, coincidentally also on September 17. Rather than print the very blurry photo that I took on that occasion, here’s a fine pic of a migrant Swainson’s Thrush taken in November, 2017.

Thrush, Swainson´s Reserva Las Brisas (2)

A beautiful photo of a Swainson’s Thrush at Las Brisas, one hour north-east of Turrialba; photo by John Beer

Migrants are still arriving only slowly in our area but now that at least one Swainson’s Thrush is here the big, loose flocks can be expected wherever there are well-wooded areas.



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