Xandari Resort & Spa’s Great Backyard Bird Count started off with the piercing whistle of a Common Pauraque, followed by some wren vocalizations and a Great Kiskadee‘s eponymous (“great kis-ka-dee!”) call. While drinking my morning coffee before the scheduled birdwatching tour I listened to the sounds from the forest and recorded my first GBBC checklist of the day at 5:30.
Then, some guests and I watched birds from the restaurant terrace for almost half an hour before walking through the gardens as well, leading to two more checklists. The most exciting sightings this time were a small group of White-crowned Parrots and a Zone-tailed Hawk soaring alongside a Short-tailed Hawk.
I also left my old pair of binoculars, which are useful for far-distance birds given their 12x magnification, on the restaurant terrace so guests can check out any birds they might see (or, if they prefer, watch planes take off from the airport below and see the faraway wind turbines across the central valley).
In the afternoon, between 4 and 5PM, I went out again with some guests to look for more birds, and we found a few more, but the morning was certainly more fruitful. You can visit the Xandari Resort eBird hotspot here to see what other species we’ve been seeing and hearing around here this long weekend for the Great Backyard Bird Count!