On September 29, 2013, as part of the Photography and Conservation event (Festival de Fotografía y Conservación) held at the reserve, we discovered a new bird species for Las Brisas Nature Reserve! Ernesto Carman, Jairo Jimenez and Ela Villanueva found a Sepia-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) foraging in a mixed species flock along with a dozen other species such as Royal Flycatcher (Onycorhynchus coronatus), Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis), Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra), Slaty Antwren (Myrmotherula schisticolor), Checker-throated Antwren (Myrmotherula fulviventris), Cocoa Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus sussurrans) and a congeneric of the Sepia-capped Flycatcher, the Slaty-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon superciliaris). After we found this species, we decided we definitely wanted to have evidence to backup our sighting so we followed the foraging flock for another hour to finally get a decent record photo of this species.
Why were we so keen on getting a photo? Sepia-capped Flycatchers are quite scarce in Costa Rica, and the nearest proven sightings are from nearly 100km north-west of Las Brisas Nature Reserve, near La Fortuna.
Will this species stick around? Only time and birding will tell, but meantime, what a superb species to have on the reserve!
- Ernesto Carman
Co-founder Cerulean Warbler Conservation