Three years ago today, a few countries north of where I type this, Team Sapsucker had excellent results on Global Big Day 2017. Today I am reporting on the efforts of one part of the Spoonbills Dream Team.
This team’s dream is spread across multiple geographies and results will be shared later. I will share what I know from Costa Rica. A few months ago, in a world that now seems far, far away Amie and I visited the farm where the cacao is grown for the farm-to-bar chocolate we offer in our shops. The farm has a lodge (or vice versa depending on your perspective), and before our visit to the cacao plantation and chocolate-making facilities we started, at dawn, on the deck of the lodge. That is what you see in the photo above. The lodge is closed at present but the deck that you see in that photo normally has birders from all over the world because of the forest conservation surrounding the cacao and the neighboring Carara National Park.
More on the cacao-growing and the chocolate-making later. Plus, this is where I first saw a melipona bee hotel and I have photos and video from the recent harvest, so more on that later also. For now, birds. Seth, in New Haven, CT USA joined this team, then asked Amie to join the team, and she asked some birding guides who work at the lodge in the cacao plantation to join the team. I am the scribe for that Costa Rica part of the team. I do not even know who else is on the team in other countries, so will leave that for Seth or Amie to report later.
For now, some photos from the location where the bird experts have spent much of their time in recent years.
Hugo, above, has been birding the forests around the cacao plantation since late 2018, and invited three of his local guide friends to join today.
Beto Guido was born and raised within a few miles of the cacao plantation, and has been a bird guide in the vicinity most of his adult life.
Marco Umaña, also from nearby, also a local birding guide.
Santiago Adanis, also from nearby, also a birding guide here. As of breakfast time, 8am, this team, plus Amie and Maria Fernanda (more on whom later) had id’d 100 species of birds. In previous Big Day counts the men above had each had id’d between 105 and 115 species over an entire day, each counting solo. As a team today they set the goal of 125. I have a hunch they will beat their goal…