Costa Rica Day 17, 22 February 2014 - Nicoya Ferry, Curu National Wildlife Refuge and Montezuma

Today was the day we left the Santa Elena/Monteverde area and entered the next phase of the trip - the southern Nicoya Peninsular.

After breakfast we left the Arco Iris Lodge and began the long winding drive down to the coast. This is on steep dirt roads for much of the way and our heap of rubbish hire car didn't like it at all. The brakes even locked on at one point and I only managed to get going again by reversing up to free them! Eventually we pulled into Punterenas where several Magnificent Frigatebirds circled over hinting of things to come.We made our way down to the ferry terminal and grabbing tickets quickly we were the last car to board the 09.00 ferry (instead of having to wait until 11.00) - result! It was party time on board as it was a Saturday and the last day of a week long festival in Punterenas. Watching one of the ferry cleaners break-dancing to cheering passengers was hilarious!

There were a few birds from the ferry too - plenty of Laughing Gulls and Royal Terns, c6 Elegant Terns, c20 Magnificent Frigatebirds and more Brown Pelicans than you could shake a stick at. Once we'd disembarked and I'd relocated Belinda (passengers other than drivers have to walk off the ferry!) we drove the short distance to the entrance gate of the Curu National Wildlife Refuge and nearly had a major accident as 2 cars overtook as I was indicating to turn in! Jamming on my brakes made them sieze up again!

Luckily Curu was a welcome distraction from the car problems. The beach was beautiful and with Hudsonian Whimbrel, Mangrove Black Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper and Willet to add to the big numbers of Royal Terns and Brown Pelicans it was very enjoyable. A walk through the dry forest trails yielded some more goodies - eclipsing all the birds was an amazing chance discovery of a huge Boa Constrictor amongst dead wood a few meters off the path! Birds included a juvenile White Ibis, Yellow Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, a pair of Grey-headed Doves, 2 Inca Doves, Brown-crested Flycatcher, a very welcome Cinnamon Hummingbird (the only 1 of the trip), 2 Green Kingfishers, 2 Orange-chinned Parakeets, 3 Variable Seedeaters, 2 Paltry Tyrannulets, Ruddy Woodcreeper and Hoffmann's Woodpecker.

Brown Pelicans

Hudsonian Whimbrel

Spotted Sandpiper


Mangrove Black Hawk

White Ibis

Continuing our journey we left the main road onto the dirt road that drops down to the coast at Montezuma, our home for the next 3 nights. As we did so a Laughing Falcon swooped down over the road from a dead tree. After checking in at our lodge (more about that later) an exploration of the immediate area gave us Crested Caracara, Spotted Sandpiper, Turnstone, 2 Masked Tityra and Rufous-naped Wren. An evening walk along the beach into the village had us royally entertained by a pair of Bare-throated Tiger Herons and their fully grown young. They proved rather feisty but also comical as they made us unwelcome!

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (adult)

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (adult)

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (juvenile)

Black Vulture

No comments:

Post a Comment