There are a few different ways in which I enjoy birding. In the last post I showed photos of birds which we were able to enjoy just by sitting around, in this case, near a feeder, and let the birds come to us. This may be my favorite way. I get to just sit around, relax, maybe have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the birds. Here are a couple more birds that we saw while sitting at those feeders at Selve Verde.
The first is a Purplish-backed Quail-Dove. Wow! What a mouthful! These were so cool to see. They very clearly resembled both a dove and a quail. These were the first quail-doves that I had ever seen, so I was pretty excited to see one for the first time.
The second is an Orange-billed Sparrow. Another wow! Such distinct markings. Several of each of these species just sort of wandered past the fruit feeders, although none of them went up to take any fruit. Two lifers in a row, just by sitting out on the patio!
If I want to be a bit more active, I can hike a trail or two, preferably not too hilly of one as I am a bit out of shape. After sitting for a while watching the feeders, we decided to take the short trail that is supposed to exit at the lodge. For some reason, we always walked this trail backwards so we entered it from the lower level of the restaurant and walked backed to the entrance. While hiking it we saw a couple of different bird species and these were a lot harder to identify. But part of the fun of birding is trying to identify the birds with my field guide. It’s a bit like a puzzle and I enjoy the challenge. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t. It’s all fun.
Here is a real challenge. While out hiking we saw this woodcreeper. But which one is it?
I tentatively id’d it as a Cocoa Woodcreeper based on its bill, markings, and our altitude but I could be wrong.
We had a little better luck id’ing the next bird, a male Red-throated Ant-Tanager. (At least I’m pretty sure.) Success! Two lifers identified!
The third way I like to go birding is with a guide. Usually taking a guide takes away the puzzle aspect of birding. I don’t have to do much work to identify the birds, so I can relax a bit more and just enjoy watching them. Usually you see and learn more with a guide as well and you get to ask questions.
At Selve Verde we went on a morning walk with a guide and as is usual, we probably saw and identified lots more than we would have on our own.
Some of the highlights were this Black-Headed Trogon, right by the side of our path:
and a beautiful Pale-billed Woodpecker near the lodge.
There are lots of different birds and lots of different ways to enjoy birding. It just depends on your mood.