Rain? In Costa Rica? Isn’t it the sunny, wonderful dry season? Yes, yes, and another affirmative but that dry part is mostly on the Pacific side of the country. Head to the ubiquitous mountains or to the Caribbean slope and a birder is easily greeted by mist, rain, and other forms of precipitation.
Mary, her daughter, Alec Humann, and I had that experience just the other day when we visited the Poas area. Although sun and wind reigned at our starting and ending points, they sandwiched a hefty dose of mist and rain on Poas and Cinchona.
Such weather might be challenging for cameras and staying dry but in the mountains of Costa Rica, it typically makes for excellent birding. We exchanged walking in the rain for enjoying the feeder action at Cinchona and were not disappointed. We were treated to a non-stop display of bird activity from 8 until 11 and had close looks at everything from Violet Sabrewing to Black-bellied Hummingbird and two Buff-fronted Quail-Doves.
The owners of the Colibri Cafe have mentioned more than once that rainy days at Cinchona are the best days for birds, after Sunday, I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. These were some of the birds we took pictures of:
Northern Emerald Toucanet- a few were present.
Crimson-collared Tanager- not always at Cinchona, nice to see this beauty.
Grayish Saltator- one of three saltator species present.
Summer Tanager- a common, beautiful wintering species in Costa Rica.
Buff-fronted Quail-Dove- fantastic to see this shy bird walk into the open! Rainy days are good for this one.
Black Guan- A few have been using the feeders for the past few months. I hope they continue at Cinchona.
If visiting the Colibri Cafe (AKA Mirador Catarata San Fernando), please leave a donation for the birds in addition to enjoying coffee and lunch. Keep an eye on the ground as well as the feeders and scan the forest on the other side of the canyon. If you see bright blue bird sitting out there, please eBird it and mention it in the comments!