La Mesa Rd & Cara Iguana Trail
Tuesday, July 23rd: Yesterday we took La Mesa Road to the cutoff for the Rio Indio. This morning, we focused on La Mesa Road itself, with the sounds of chicken farms in the background (common around El Valle). Early on I had a quick flurry of lifers, with Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, White-tipped Sicklebill, and Tawny-faced Gnatwren coming in quick succession. The area we were in was quite birdy, and we added more birds as we walked the road. More importantly, we added new birds such as Plain Antvireo, Slaty Antwren, and Spot-crowned Antvireo. After this, the flow of new birds slowed down. A Bran-colored Flycatcher eventually showed up. I had been surprised to not see any Roadside Hawks on this trip. This was corrected today as we found 3 Roadside Hawks.
Our afternoon birding was in a neighborhood on the side of Cerro Cara Inguana. We again tried unsuccessfully to find the Rosy Thrush-Tanager. I did finally catch up on the Rufous-and-white Wren. Other birds of note included a family of Spectacled Owls (2 adults and a branchling), a Common Pauraque on the ground, and Whooping Motmot.
Before the day was done we paid a visit to Canopy Adventure, just up the road from the lodge. We visited a Mottled Owl that the Canopy guides had discovered during the day and saw another White-tipped Sicklebill perched near the falls. One or two caught a glimpse of a Sunbittern. After much searching, the rest of us gave up on the Sunbittern for the day. Bob was unable to participate in this as he was struck by a sudden intestinal disorder, a harbinger of the next few days.
I ended up with 61 species for the day, same as yesterday. Ten of them were new for the trip, bringing my trip total to 268. I also got 4 lifers today, bringing my total to 49 for the trip.