Many a Larophile has visited Costa Rica however not for the love of gulls. Sure, we’ve got gulls and we’ve got terns and a skimmer visiting these right here double oceanic shores however Larophiles in Costa Rica commerce within the gull waiting for trogons, manakins, macaws and all the remainder. They arrive right here understanding that though the official hen checklist for Costa Rica is replete with all the pieces from Bonaparte’s Gull to Grey-hooded Gull and Least Tern, in the event that they do any quantity of gull watching, they’ll be fortunate in the event that they see something greater than Laughing Gulls. Come on the proper time and sure, you may see some flocks of blush-colored Franklin’s and there shall be terns however what there received’t be are the stuff that Larophiles actually dig; huge teams of gulls in all ages and sizes, seashore scavengers which have wandered far and extensive to problem your identification abilities and immediate heated discussions on alternative boards.
Our tropical shores simply don’t get the numbers of gulls seen in different, extra northerly locations. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply that native birders don’t like gulls too. Oh we’ve got greater than sufficient native birders that can run to see a gull, twitch it so to say, even when it is only one hen. However isn’t only one hen sufficient, particularly when it’s a lifer? That’s why, as of late, probably the most closely visited birding hotspot in Costa Rica has been the busy port city of Puntarenas. Alternative gulls have come to city and native birders have responded in form.
Our personal model of Gullmania started with the first documented sighting of a Heerman’s Gull. Oh sure, straight from California and really a lot twitchable, a primary 12 months Heerman’s was present in early March hanging out on the cruise ship dock. It’s a hen species I’ve anticipated for a while, an overdue hen if you’ll. In subsequent weeks and days, this native mega was seen by many an area birder, lots of whom employed native boats to take them out to the tip of the dock and close by buoys frequented by the Heerman’s (as soon as extra, birding offers a lift to the native economic system). Throughout these forays, as typically occurs when birders congregate, extra birds of notice have additionally been seen.
These bonus sightings have included a Masked Booby perched on a fishing boat and some Sabine’s Gulls seen flying previous in addition to extra constant views of two different gulls generally seen up north however not often seen in Costa Rica; one every of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls! Each have been adventuring first 12 months birds which have stayed simply so long as the Heerman’s, and have typically been seen perched on the identical dock.
Marilen and I’ve made a pair journeys to see the birds. Because the Heerman’s stays fairly far on the market, our views have been restricted to a distant however distinctive chocolate brown gull. Uncommon chocolat is all the time a deal with and I’ll take it! We’ve got had higher seems on the Herring however one way or the other, the Ring-billed has evaded our optics. I think that, consistent with the methods of its traditional, car parking zone scavenging brethren, the hen spends a good period of time getting simple eats at inaccessible fish factories.
Oh and there’s all the time Laughing Gulls to take a look at, a couple of Franklin’s too, and truthful numbers of terns. No, not the numbers of enormous gulls seen within the Nice Lakes or at alternative landfills however actually sufficient for some pleasing birding. As well as, Puntarenas all the time presents probabilities at odd birds flying into view and at any time. Probably the greatest throughout as of late of gull watching has been a Pacific Golden-Plover!
First discovered by native information Beto Guido a pair weeks in the past, the hen has been splendidly tame and likewise seen by an excellent variety of native birders. Is it the identical particular person because the one I discovered the earlier 12 months? It might be; it’s standing round and choosing stuff from the sand in the identical spot as 2022. I ponder the place it spent the winter and what number of different Pac. G. Plovers go to our shores?
Possibly extra shall be discovered whereas gull watching, hopefully when somebody finds a twitcheable Inca Tern. I might go for a kind of on my Costa Rica checklist, that and whereas we’re speaking about Humboldt Present birds, a Belcher’s Gull too. I’ll be searching for them, transporting myself through telescope method out over the waves of the gulf.