On Day 4 of our Costa Rica expedition, we made a lunchtime stop at Hacienda Solimar, a working cattle ranch of epic propotions in the Guanacaste region of the northwest Pacific coast. On this enormous ranch, beautiful Brahma cattle are bred and raised, mostly for breeding stock.
They are definitely a cut above the usual, even to my untrained eye. I'm guessing the red X's on these cows indicate they've been bred.
On this day, the cowboys were separating calves from moms, and there was a lot of bellering going on, and dust rising in the air.
Good as the land birding is, the marshes of Solimar are stupendous. We were gobsmacked by throngs of black-bellied whistling ducks. Struggling to comprehend why there were so many, I kept asking Mario and Solimar guide Demetrio if they were massing for migration, enjoying a post-breeding break or what? No, they replied; they're always here in numbers. Well, that just didn't make sense to me.
These endangered storks nest at Solimar, and we were privileged to see a nest, with three young, at a great distance, so as not to bother them. What a tree, what a nest, what amazing storks they are.
And why not? Wherever there are huge flocks of shorebirds and waterfowl, the wandering peregrine will attend them. These two sparred playfully, thrilling us to bits.
Look at that leg extension! Wow!!
It always gets me when birds fly upside down. It never gets old.