Day 8 (Friday, 25th February)
We had planned to spend our last night at the Hotel Bougainvillea, since it was recommended for two Ground-sparrows which are very difficult to pick up anywhere else in the country, so we had booked our room some months earlier. The hotel isn’t particularly easy to find, but we managed without any problems, so were annoyed and disappointed to find that the agency we had used, CostaRicaLink, had failed to pay the hotel to secure our booking, and the hotel was otherwise fully booked. After some deliberation, we managed to book a room at short notice back at the Buena Vista, and this proved to be very rewarding. We didn’t have to return the hire car until noon for an early afternoon flight, so had the full morning to look for birds again at this productive hostelry. The omens looked good at first light, when we found the first Swainson’s Thrush of the trip along the entrance drive to the owner’s house, and the Blue-crowned Motmots only seen on the first morning reappeared here as well. With more time to spare than that first morning, we took the opportunity to explore the coffee plantation to the front of the property, and this was where we spent most of our time, since it was very bird rich, and incredibly offered not only birds which we hadn’t seen through the week, but also totally new birds to our world lists. Early wins came in the form of a couple of Vireos – singing Yellow-olive and foraging Yellow-throated. Then came the first of 2 new Hummingbirds. A pair of long billed hummers were in flight together, with one subsequently posing for long enough on a branch to clinch Plain-capped Starthroat. While searching for this, one or two Rufous-capped Warblers passed through. Overhead, a very close Zone-tailed Hawk passed over, the first of two sightings for the morning. Last find was the second of the new Hummingbirds – a Steely-vented which showed a marked preference for one of the flowering trees, returning to feed and rest here regularly. It often tussled with one of the resident, and slightly larger, Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds. When at rest, which usually was only for very short periods, the white “socks” could often be discerned.