This past month at Xandari was a good one for the resort’s eBird hotspot, since it saw the beginning of the migratory bird season in earnest (some species start migrating from North America in September or even late August). Not only were 91 distinct species seen throughout the month, but 15 of these species were newly observed on property (including three new representatives each of both raptors and warblers; four new swallows; and even a new hummingbird that was probably fleeing the rain-induced cooler temperatures at its higher elevation habitat). These fresh observations have bumped the hotspot’s species count up to 137, putting Xandari in a tie for 54th place by species count within the entire province of Alajuela, which as the third-largest province of Costa Rica includes some of the stronger birding sites in the country, like Arenal and Poás volcanoes and Caño Negro National Park (not to mention all the private reserves––like Xandari’s––that get lots of bird-watchers every year).
Last night, fittingly for Halloween, Jocelyn and I saw a Mottled Owl (not the first time at Xandari, but the first time filmed that I know of):
In the next few months of continued bird migration, I hope to see more new species and keep expanding the resort’s checklist. On Friday morning, for example, in about four and a half hours I saw 55 species around all the trails, two of which were newly reported on eBird for Xandari (a Merlin, which migrated from North America, and a Yellow-billed Cacique, which is a shy Costa Rican resident). Xandari’s hotspot has received a total of 299 checklists since 2008, and with this afternoon’s bird walk it will reach 300! In a happy coincidence, for this month Team eBird is encouraging repeated observations in the same area, writing that “With repeated visits to a spot, we can learn so much about how the birds using that location change across seasons and years. Having repeated ‘sampling’ at a location is very powerful for scientific analysis.”