Costa Rica. Last stop: Palo Verde National Park

Rural Guanacaste landscape

Rural Guanacaste landscape

On my last day in Costa Rica we returned to Guanacaste province since a number of places were closed due to heavy rainfall, we ended up retuning to Palo Verde National Park, coming full circle, back to the place where we started our explorations. This time though we entered the park via the road rather than the river and saw a completely different place. On the drive to the park we spotted a Crested caracara quite close to the road, the closes we’ve seen this bird.

Crested caracara in the rain

Crested caracara in the rain

Palo Verde is essentially a floodplain – its territory covers a number of marshes and seasonal pools that attract record numbers of birds, especially during the drier months.  Just outside the park we came across an impressive aggregation of water birds. There were a few different species of Egret, a Little blue heron, Wood storks, some ducks and while we were checking them out two magnificent Jabirus flew in and landed right in front of us. They are quite different from Australian jabirus and we didn’t expect to see them at all.

Jubiru

Jubiru

Jubirus with Little blue herons and a Cattle egret in the background

Jubirus with Little blue herons and a Cattle egret in the background

In the park itself we didn’t see much wildlife. It was incredibly dry. Once we got to the river we spotted a Grove-billed Ani and a few White-faced Capucins.

Grove-billed Ani

Grove-billed Ani

Weaver nest

Weaver nest

And just as we were driving away from the river a White tailed deer dashed across the road, bringing the total of mammal species we’ve seen on this trip to 30.

White tailed deer

White tailed deer

Outside of the park we passed by the same wetland and spotted a few Northern jacanas and Double-stripped thicknees.

Northern jacana

Northern jacana

Double-striped thicknee

Double-striped thicknee

The last bird we saw leaving the area was a hawk perched on top of a tree holding on against particularly strong wind gusts.

Hawk

Hawk

More images in Costa Rica Gallery

Species List for Palo Verde second trip

Costa Rica Trip Report (mammals only)

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