TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Costa Rica - North and West

Saturday 2 - Sunday 17 March 2002


Leaders:
Tim Earl

José Calvo

Driver:

Juan-Carlos Rodriguez<

HIGHLIGHTS

For most in the group the close proximity of many wonderful birds and animals had to be top of the highlight list:

a male Resplendent Quetzal posing beautifully only a few feet from us while its mate called gently, close by.

a flight of Roseate Spoonbills dropping into a pool to roost.

the first pairs of Scarlet Macaws high above us as they flew over the jungle calling loudly.

Black Skimmers sitting on a mud-bank waiting for the tide to drop.

a lek of Collared Manakins doing their incredible wing-cracking, electric display-flights around us.

an Agami Heron secretly fishing in the gloom under dense foliage above a stream.

several Tamandua anteaters snuffling up their food.

or a Spider Monkey demonstrating the use of a prehensile tail in modern gymnastics.

For others it was a slightly bigger picture:

all six species of Toucans seen in the trip.

mixed flocks of American wood warblers.

brightly-coloured tanagers flitting around fruiting trees or feeding stations.

the challenge of identifying 33 different kinds of hummingbird or 46 species of tyrant flycatcher.

huge kettles of hawks and vultures migrating to their breeding grounds in North America.

And for everyone the thrill of being in true rain forest, water dripping from the vast trees after a shower, was almost indescribable.

HABITATS

Five different major habitats, plus many micro-habitats, in a country with such a vast biodiversity as Costa Rica were guaranteed to produce a long list of birds and mammals.

We began at high altitude in the thin air of montane oak forests where nights were cold and days cool as we started the great adventure based in the Trogon Lodge. Magnificent oaks dominated the views as they grew to great heights while clinging to steep valley sides. Moss and bromeliads festooned the trees. Here we found Collared Redstart, Flame-throated Warbler, Buffy Tufted-cheek, Mountain Robin and Band-tailed Pigeon, as expected.

At La Selva Biological Station we entered true lowland rain forest and experienced the micro-habitats of understory (with its large-leaved palms and herbs where Great Tinamou, Antbirds and White-whiskered Puffbirds dwell) sunlight-dappled forest streams (with their large leaved Heliconias and vine tangles) in which Agami Herons fish, and an open cacao plantation trail on which we saw Long-tailed Tyrants and Pied Puffbird.

Close to the Volcán Arenal we entered lower-middle elevation moist-wet forest with its understory of woody shrubs above which Spider Monkeys swung and Ruddy Woodcreepers joined Rufous-and-white Wrens and Golden-winged Warblers.

Crossing to the dry northern Pacific coast at La Ensenada a mixture of habitats was explored. Trees in the basic tropical dry forest of Guanacaste were leafless making the birding easier as were found Banded Wren, Black-headed Trogon and Scrub Euphonia. Forest was interspersed with burnt savannah-pastureland where Crested Caracara, Rufous-naped Wren and White-throated Magpie-jays entertained us. The seasonal marshes were wet attracting waders, Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis, ducks and Wood Stork. Mangrove swamps were explored by boat at high tide to find Boat-billed heron, Mangrove Warbler, Mangrove Vireo and Mangrove Swallow, while the low tide mudflats of the Tempisque Basin produced Brown Pelicans, waders, gulls, terns and Black Skimmers.

The Tárcoles River marks a divide between the dry northern Guanacaste region. In the Carara National Park's wetter rain forest of the Pacific coast with its massive trees with their tall clean boles and impressive buttresses, home of the Neotropical speciality families of antbirds, manakins (including the Long-tailed Manakin) and Crane Hawk.

DAILY DIARY

Saturday 2 March

We met at Heathrow and had a good BA flight to Miami. Here we were delayed by two hours but took advantage of the time to acquaint ourselves of each other and start our lists with a few birds such as Ring-billed Gulls, Common and Boat-tailed Grackles.

We arrived in San José at about 9pm where we were met by José Calvo and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, our driver. At the Hotel Torremolinos we were welcomed with a fruit cocktail and canapés.

Sunday 3 March

What a wonderful way to start this holiday, we all agreed as the evening call-over finished. It had been super.

Several of us went down to a park close to the hotel at 6am to get the ball rolling. Blue-crowned Motmot, Clay-coloured Robin, Costa Rica's national bird, Great Kiskadee, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, seen by Jac in the hotel garden, Yellow Warbler, White-tipped Doves, Mealy Parrot and Orange-chinned Parakeet were just the start.

Blue-and-white Swallows, Rufous-collared Sparrows, Blue-grey Tanager and Red-billed Pigeon were all seen by those who did not come out... from the balcony outside the rooms.

José joined us for breakfast and we were soon enjoying driving through central San José which was quiet as it was Sunday.

A Broad-winged Hawk and a White-tailed Kite were seen on the drive to Tapanti Wildlife Refuge where the birding started in earnest.

Our first stop was to examine woven, bottle-shaped nests of Chestnut-headed Oropendola hanging from a tree. The birds were active around the colony, occasionally chasing Giant Cowbirds which parasitise them. Len found a Yellow-faced Grassquit in coffee bushes below the tree. Further stops were made to watch several flycatchers - Black Phoebe and Dark Pewee - flocks of White-collared Swifts and Passerini's Tanager, later nicknamed 'liar, liar, pants on fire' because of the males' red rumps.

Our first feeding flock of birds was exciting, difficult and rewarding (as were all the others which followed). Common Bush-tanager, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Three-striped Warbler, Black-fronted Solitaire and Pronged Barbet were all flitting past our eyes. A Black-bellied Hummingbird stopped by long enough for José to point out the identification features while a Grey-breasted Wren sang in deep undergrowth.

The River Humo was our next stop and we all enjoyed watching the activities of Torrent Tyrannulet and American Dipper. José called us over to see a perched Green-fronted Lancebill which was stunning in the scopes. The second feeding party we watched included Hairy Woodpecker, Blackburnian, Golden-winged and Black-and-white Warblers, Ruddy Treerunner, Buffy Tuftedcheek, a Silvery-fronted Tapaculo heard in the undergrowth plus Violet Sabrewing and White-throated Mountain-gem representing the hummers.

After stopping to watch Band-tailed Pigeon and a perched Osprey, we had a super lunch at the Kiri Lodge where everyone agreed that a bird-walk between ordering and receiving our meal was a great innovation, especially as we saw White-throated Robin, Vaux's Swifts, Montezuma Oropendola, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-bellied Elaenia and Tropical Kingbird in the 10 minutes.

The long drive to the San Gerardo de Dota Valley in the Cerro de la Muerte highlands was punctuated with calls for Eastern Meadowlark and another White-tailed Kite. Mountain Robins were seen flitting through the bushes above 8, 000ft. Dropping into the valley we concluded our day with a walk down the road which produced Volcano Junco, Sooty Robin, superb views of Flame-throated Warbler, a female Scintillant Hummingbird found by Alec, and a Flame-coloured Tanager.

Our last bird of the day was a Pauraque which dropped onto the road in our headlights as we drove into Trogon Lodge at 6.20pm. Even by the Trogon Lodge's cool standards it was cold night and the following day José's wife told him that temperatures in San José had been very low too.

Monday 4 March

It was an excited group which met at 6am for our pre-breakfast walk - the setting was delightful, birds were busily feeding after the cold night and we were hunting one of the most eagerly sought birds of the trip, the Resplendent Quetzal.

And within minutes we were watching a pair, hardly believing our luck. Their attempts to thrill us were pretty typical. The male sat in a tree 10 metres away looking breathtakingly stunning while the female perched on a tree stump 40 metres up the valley and called quietly to him. Without doubt, their close proximity in the open was giving us the best possible views.

'Quetzals are Trogons and they never do much other than look beautiful, a bit like super-models of the bird world, ' Tim explained. Nobody cared. They were brilliant, the male's one-metre-long tail streamers were fluttering in the light breeze, green crest erect, his black eye was catching the light perfectly. The birds cared about the remark, however. The female flew to another stump next to her perch and was immediately joined by the male, his streamers waving. 'Ooooh! I can see his red rump, ' Megan exclaimed. The birds explored the potential nest site and we were all amazed.

It was that sort of morning, however. Mike had watched a Sooty-capped Bush-tanager feeding on insects around the light outside his cabin, a habit picked up by a Yellow-thighed Finch on the veranda outside the lodge restaurant, which we all watched. The first of six Black-billed Nightingale-thrushes showed well on the path for some of the group and a Mountain Robin gave us all great views perched on a stump. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, sadly sporting a white tail, circled overhead as we returned for breakfast. Even that was punctuated by stops for Volcano and Magnificent Hummingbirds which were coming into feeders on the veranda.

Our walk was continued after breakfast and rewarded with super views of Rufous-collared Redstart, found by Martin, Olive-streaked and Black-capped Flycatchers and an Acorn Woodpecker picked up feeding on a distant stump by Alec. A Swallow-tailed Kite glimpsed by Len disappeared, but then returned with two more. They passed us low overhead giving wonderful views.

We stopped the bus half way up the valley to see the first of about 30 Long-tailed Silky-flycatchers and were suddenly joined by another male Resplendent Quetzal. This made our pre-booked visit to Finca Mirador Quetzales somewhat ironic as the farm was where we were supposed to see the Quetzal. Another two males and a female were added to our list as we hiked the finca's woodland trails but views were more typical with birds higher in the trees.

It made no difference to our elated mood which was boosted by good sightings of Green-crowned Chlorophonia, Yellow-winged vireo, lots of Wilson's Warblers and a Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher. A rare Ochraceous Pewee, looking like a large Tufted Flycatcher, was the bird of the day for José who had seen only two before.

During lunch at the farm Oscar, our guide on the hike, brought us two Quetzal tail feathers he had found on the ground a few days earlier, allowing us to see the amazing iridescent colours in the hand.

We went up to 12,500ft in an unsuccessful search for Timberline Wren among the stiff broom-like dwarf bamboo Swallenochloa stands before walking a private trail to the lodge. An adult Red-tailed Hawk showed us why it is named while a Black Guan rested above the group for a few seconds before scooting off into the jungle. Our last group bird was a Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush which hopped down the path in front of us for some distance.

The rest of the afternoon was spent around the lodge. Some people watched hummers on the veranda, sipping drinks, while others went out to test their new-found birding skills.

One such trip resulted in fabulous views of Spot-crowned Woodcreeper for Mary, Martin and Jac. They also saw the Resplendent Quetzals examining the potential nest site the birds had found that morning. The female went into the hole low in the stump and was throwing out detritus while the male watched from on top of the stump.

It had been another super day.

Tuesday 5 March

A change of plan was to bring about a wonderful afternoon exploring Braulio Carrillo National Park on our way to Selva Verde Lodge. We cut short the birding around Trogon Lodge, limiting ourselves to an excellent pre-breakfast walk and a short stop to admire another male Resplendent Quetzal.

The walk produced no new birds and the Quetzals admired yesterday had not returned. We were able to reinforce some of the bird identification lessons learned the previous day, however. The first Spot-crowned Woodcreeper for many was found

We found a feeding flock of birds which included Yellow-thighed Finch, Mountain Elaenia, Tufted Flycatcher, Rufous-collared Redstart, Black-and-white, Wilson's and Black-throated Green Warblers. Another Rufous-crowned Nightingale-thrush on the path was joined by its mate briefly.

A couple of Ruddy Pigeon were disturbed from the road in front of us as we left the lodge but we all had good views as it was easy to move around the spacious bus. We stopped and disembarked for our eighth Resplendent Quetzal, however.

Lunch was had in a roadside restaurant as we waited for rain to stop. As ever in Costa Rica, a stop meant new birds and we teased out Masked Tityra, a female Summer Tanager, Blue-black Grassquit and Buff-throated Saltator from the surrounding bush and trees.

The pause meant that the rain had stopped for us and we entered Braulio Carrillo National Park with great expectations. We did not get far. A feeding party of birds passed over the rangers' accommodation and our first 15 minutes were spent by the bus gasping at the brilliance of Emerald Tanager, Black-faced Grosbeak, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Violet-crowned Woodnymph and an Olive-winged Woodpecker.

An adventure and wonderful wildlife experience began the moment we stepped into the dripping lowland rainforest. A Blue Morpho butterfly landed on a leaf close to José but was ignored as he started pointing out birds. Stripe-breasted Wren, Orange-billed Sparrow and Lesser Greenlet were all seen in the first stop.

The birds were an incidental, however, to the experience of being in such magnificent forest. It was the top experience for many group members. José and Tim were working hard on the birds and a host of new species was recorded. One flock included Squirrel Cuckoo, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Tawny-faced Gnatwren and Russet Antshrike, while a stop to examine the view across a steep valley produced Tawny-crested Tanager and a Slate-throated Redstart.

A Broad-billed Motmot was bird of the day for many until the following occurred: The cold night of two days ago had forced some birds down from the hills and we were delighted when José spotted a Central American (Least) Pygmy-owl high in the canopy. We had wonderful views of the bird as it looked down on us.

Even this star bird did not stop the show completely as a Yellow-eared Toucanet delighted us all. The walk ended all too soon, after almost three hours, and we continued to Selva Verde Lodge and our rustic cabins on stilts.

Wednesday 6 March

It was clear from the start that we were going to have a great day. Our pre-breakfast walk at Selva Verde Lodge started on the bridge across the River Sarapiqui where we saw a nesting Fasciated Tiger-heron, Little Blue Heron and our first Chestnut-mandibled Toucan. Grey-breasted Wood-rail was seen in the grounds along with Red-throated Ant-tanager.

Crossing the road into the hotel's gardens we soon picked up Collared Aracari, Green Honeycreeper, Golden-hooded Tanager and a super pair of Black-headed Tody-flycatchers which had a nest high in a leafless tree. Progress was slow as birds popped up around us: Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Common Tody-flycatcher, Violaceous and Slaty-tailed Trogon plus several Chestnut-sided Warblers were all firsts. Martin renamed a Paltry Tyrannulet 'Darren' as it was more charismatic.

We decided to hurry back to the restaurant in order to get off for the day but the short walk still took 30 minutes as Purple-crowned Fairy, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Red-throated Ant-tanager and Olive-throated Parakeet conspired to hold us up. Three Black River Turtles were swimming in one of the streams running around the lodge.

A Chestnut-backed Antbird was found between the restaurant and our rooms after breakfast and we set off for La Selva Biological Station in high spirits. They were raised even further when House Sparrow was added to the list on the way. Cocoa Woodcreeper (also known as Buff-throated - who changes these names?) White-winged Tanager, Variable Seedeater, and Plain-breasted Ground-dove were all watched on the short entrance road we planned to explore in depth the following day.

We met our guide for the day, Erick Castro, and set off for the rain forest. Well, not exactly set off... it took another half-hour to leave the reception area as Banaquit, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Grey-rumped Swift, Grey-breasted Martin, a stunning female Snowy Cotinga and an Olive-backed Euphonia were all recorded.

The walk across a suspension bridge and into the forest was no quicker as Osprey, Chestnut-collared Woodpecker, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, two Central American Whiptail lizards and lots of Green Iguanas toasting themselves in trees, were added to our lists. After seeing House Wren, two King Vultures and several Red-and-blue and Green Poison-dart frogs, we finally entered the rain forest. It was raining as a heavy shower went over making for a perfect atmosphere.

Still dripping, we watched a Great Tinamou and his chick picking their way through the undergrowth as a mixed feeding flock of birds passed overhead. This produced Shining Honeycreeper, White-collared Manakin, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis and many other species already seen on the trip.

Walking onwards we were struck by the silence and lack of activity between feeding flocks. Indeed, the only other bird added to our ever-growing tally was a Black-striped Woodcreeper. A Rainforest Hog-nosed Pit-viper coiled by the path looked like something one might not want to tread in as it waited patiently for passing prey, and the mammal find of the morning was discovered by Juan-Carlos as we turned around to return - a superb, feeding Tamadura anteater. Slender and Ground Anoli lizards were seen on the return to the restaurant.

Costa Rica coffee after lunch was taken looking out from the restaurant plaza. With excitement, we were rewarded by a Short-tailed Hawk which flew low over the centre, doing a short circuit, Black-cowled Oriole and Social Flycatcher.

Once again it was difficult to reach the forest as we discovered a feeding flock only 100metres from the restaurant. Barred Woodcreeper, White-winged Becard, Fasciated Antshrike, Tennessee Warbler, our twelfth species of this glorious group, and another Collared Aracari were all in one vine-covered tree.

As a Peregrine wheeled overhead we entered an area of open cacao plantation where stops were made for a number of species. Top of the list was a pair of Long-tailed Tyrants, beautiful black birds with white caps and stunning long tails twice the length of their bodies. One was in a nest hole peeping out at us while its mate sat close by. Inspections finished, they both hawked flies vigorously before disappearing. A brilliant Pied Puffbird was our next highlight and again magnificent views were had through the 'scopes.

Mike spotted raptors at a great distance and with some difficulty we were able to make out a flock of about 30 Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks accompanied by Turkey Vultures. The views were poor, however, and we walked back towards the biological station discussing the possibility of seeing hawk migration in the coming days.

Birds stopped all that as again we connected with a feeding flock. Listing its contents makes this report seem a little tedious but we were again struggling to identify all the birds in it, surely one of the great challenges of Neotropical birding. The rewards included Olive-backed Euphonia, Yellow-margined Flycatcher, Dusky-faced Tanager, Yellow-throated Vireo and Band-backed Wren.

There were more but suddenly our attention was caught by the sight of a huge kettle of raptors soaring upwards in a thermal. Hundreds of birds were in it. Scopes revealed hundreds of Turkey Vultures, with smaller numbers of Swainson's Hawks and fewer still Broad-winged Hawks. The birds reached the top of their thermal and spilled out towards us, passing high over our heads.

Behind them another wave was forming a distant kettle and soon these too were coming over, except they were overtaken by yet another group. All were heading northwards. This was raptor migration at its most exciting. For the next half-hour we saw an estimated 5,000 Turkey Vultures, 3,000 Swainson's and 150 Broad-winged Hawks. It was an overwhelming sight and as the movement finished we asked Erick if we could return to the restaurant for a cup of tea.

Even then the show did not finish. Drinking our cuppas on the plaza a Peregrine came past while White-crowned Parrot, Plain-coloured Tanager and Palm Tanager were seen.

We thanked Erick for his help and headed for home.

Our total of birds for the day was 98 species and most of us had spinning heads.

Thursday 7 March

Costa Rica's biodiversity was demonstrated on our early morning walk in which we had planned to visit a pool in the gardens. So many birds popped up that we never made it past the entrance to the gardens.

The day started with a stunning male Snowy Cotinga sitting in a tree above the restaurant. Mary and Martin popped off to see another Tamandua anteater while views from the bridge produced Green Kingfisher.

A Bay Wren was calling n the garden and our first Keel-billed Toucan was found in a high tree. José heard a Bright-rumped Attila and we managed to find the bird, which can be elusive. Tim found an Agouti which was uncharacteristically shy but a Deppe's Squirrel was more obliging.

The journey back to La Selva Biological Station took only about 10 minutes but that was long enough for a Bat Falcon to be spotted high in a tree. It eventually dived at a bird nearby demonstrating its Hobby-like flight. A Peregrine went overhead to contrast the appearances.

Erick was again on hand for our walk on the wild side and starting the jungle section was quicker because we had seen many birds at the start. Four Crested Guans, Blue-chested Hummingbird and White-lined Tanagers by the restaurant were all trip species, however.

A super Agami Heron - the first recorded on the reserve this year - was watched fishing in deep shade in a stream while a Band-tailed Barbthroat nest, suspended from a broad leaf, had a chick which was fed by a visiting adult.

We connected with the edge of an Army Ant swarm but were unable to get close due to the terrain. Several birds were active around it and Ocellated Antbird was seen well. Erick demonstrated his extraordinary eyesight and skill with a 'scope by getting everyone good views of Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant and Double-toothed Kite.

After lunch, as a break from neck-straining forest birding, we walked the approach road to the station which was teeming with birds (and rather rude Belgian birders). By now many were familiar and everyone was finding and calling birds, which had the leaders hopping rapidly from one place to another. Black-capped Tityra, Dusky-capped Flycatcher and Pale Vented Pigeon were identified for the first time, as was a Groove-billed Ani, and a pair of American Redstarts. Mary called a Crimson-collared Tanager and a hummer perched was identified as Bronze-tailed Plumleteer, once known as Red-footed Plumleteer. A Wedge-billed Woodcreeper was seen well.

As the day closed many parrots were flying around calling loudly, among them Orange-chinned Parakeet and Mealy Parrot. The day ended with a mini-class on seed-eaters and finches as we found Nicaraguan Seed-finch (another strange name-changed from the more descriptive Pink-billed Seed-finch) and Thick-billed Seed-finch.

Friday 8 March

This was to be something of a rest day from the exertions of jungle birding at its best. We travelled to Virgen del Socorro and onwards to a café with special feeders before setting off for the Arenal Volcano.

Our pre-breakfast walk was around a pool in the forest where we saw Basilisk Lizards and a Green Poison-dart Frog but no new birds.

The journey up into the mountains was stunning with views back across the plains which were dotted with bright yellow flowering Poui trees, known as Savannah Oaks. A Laughing Falcon carrying a snake flew past the bus for everyone to see - better views of another found perched in a tree by Jac were obtained during the afternoon. A Red Turtle - a land turtle which looks like a tortoise - was helped across the road (probably for the third time that day if Tim had judged its direction incorrectly). We stopped at a small pond which had Pied-billed Grebe and Northern Jacana.

Our first walk was down the steep road at Virgen del Socorro where a Slaty-capped Flycatcher was imitating a small warbler and a Bananaquit was building a nest. We watched it stripping strands of vine bark which were taken up to the nest high above us.

José found a troop of White-faced Capuchin Monkeys in trees on the other side of the valley but they disappeared before 'scopes could be trained on them. A feeding flock of stunning, jewel-like tanagers included Bay-headed and Silver-throated with Tawny-throated Euphonia in attendance.

The walk down the valley was fairly quiet but a great delight nevertheless. Tim found Black-chested Hawk and got 'scope views of it for some. Things hotted up as we approached the river at the bottom - a flock of seven Swallow-tailed Kites came cruising over, occasionally swooping into the treetops to grab prey which was eaten on the wing, the avian equivalent of a take-away.

Zeledon's White-fronted Tyrannulet was feeding in the trees and the river held the usual pair of Torrent Tyrannulets. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was also in the trees, adding to our list of this most difficult group of birds.

Juan-Carlos had brought the bus part way down to meet us and was admiring a Green Toucanet when we arrived. It was joined by a feeding flock of tanagers and fabulous Red-headed Barbet, one of the most colourful birds in Costa Rica. The field-guide illustrations did not do it justice, we decided.

The Mirador Catarata Café overlooks a 300-foot waterfall deep in the valley below where White-collared Swifts were swooping. Its main claim to fame, however, is for the hummers which feed inches in front of the windows and observation platform. Our visit coincided with the fruiting of a fig tree in the garden which was also full of birds.

José gave a lesson in hummer identification and we were all soon calling wonderful sounding names like Green-crowned Brilliant, Copper-headed Emerald, Green Thorntail, and White-throated Mountain-gem as if we had them in the garden at home. Two pairs of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were in a bush outside the café as we left for a late lunch.

The restaurant had hummingbird feeders too and we were able to reinforce the earlier lesson. Did this make us experts? Er, probably not.

The bus trip to Arenal was punctuated with stops for birds and our first Three-toed Sloth which was sound asleep and unaware of the Melodious Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole and Keel-billed Toucans which were keeping it company at the roadside.

Red-winged Blackbirds and Bronzed Cowbirds were common around the dairy farms we drove through as were more Groove-billed Anis. The rivers we passed looked interesting but we did not stop, except to admire a Fasciated Tiger-heron which was fishing in one of them.

We arrived at an hotel at the foot of the volcano as dusk was falling.

Saturday 9 March

Thick cloud around the volcano prevented us from seeing the lava flows which must have been falling down the mountain, if the noises coming from it were anything to go by. Huge explosions rumbled through the night and during our morning walks but we saw nothing of the activity.

That was reserved for the bird scene with a singing Greyish Saltator getting the day off to a good start. Mike and José saw Black-striped Sparrow and Slaty Spinetail before most of us were awake.

We took our time driving towards the Pacific side of Costa Rica, especially in the morning when we stopped at a site for Lovely Cotinga, with success, and walked along a road through mid-elevation forest.

Besides seeing Plain-brown Woodcreeper and Yellow-throated Vireo in the feeding flocks, we also enjoyed listening to three Thicket Ant-pittas and José all whistling in tune. No sign of the nearest bird could be seen, despite it being only a metre or two away from us in deep undergrowth.

That disappointment was made up for by a Central American Spider Monkey, which put on a gymnastics demonstration for us, a troop of 10 Howler Monkeys and five separate White-nosed Coatis which, sadly, were begging for food from passing cars. Deppe's and Variegated squirrels made up the mammal tally for the day.

Smokey-brown Woodpecker, Grey-headed Chachalaca, Great Antshrike and a difficult Alder/Willow Flycatcher found by Mary were all seen well. Yellow-billed Cacique, a Blue-throated Goldentail hummer and Black-headed Saltator added to the cast.

The journey to La Ensenada Lodge went quickly after lunch as we stopped for occasional birds. Things really picked up on the road down to the lodge on which we saw four Northern Crested Caracaras, Streak-headed Sparrow and a Green-breasted Mango, yet another hummer. Cinnamon Hummingbird, Black-headed Trogon and White-lored Gnatcatcher were all a backdrop to the most exciting bird of the day for some, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Amazingly, 15 were to pass over our heads as we sipped a home-made lemonade 'welcome' drink at the lodge a few minutes later.

Two more new hummers - as expected in the different site - put in an appearance: Cannivet's Fork-tailed Emerald and Plain-capped Starthroat. They represented tough luck for everyone who had felt confident about identifying hummers after seeing so many at the Miramar Catarata.

The queue for dinner was abandoned when Juan-Carlos announced that a Pacific Screech-owl was in trees above his cabin. We all had good views of the bird by torchlight before returning to our meal. And an otherwise peaceful night was broken for many by a troop of vociferous Howler Monkeys which passed along the line of trees which hung over our cabins.

Sunday 10 March

No lie-in this morning as we gathered at six for the pre-breakfast walk. Full of excitement at being at another site with new birds to see and learn about, we set off around the grounds. A Ferruginous Pygmy-owl was calling but we could not find it and switched attention to Rufous-naped Wrens, Rose-throated Becard and Yellow-naped Parrots instead. Suddenly, as a Magnificent Frigatebird and four White Ibis drifted past our view across the Gulf of Nicoya, Mary said: 'I am sure this is an owl.'

It was. The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl had come to find us instead. It settled long enough for us to get good 'scope views before turning in for the day. We returned for breakfast in high spirits.

A boat trip up the gulf had been booked and soon we were watching a host of new birds, waders, terns and Brown Pelicans. Whimbrel, Sanderling, Royal Terns and Snowy Egret were the first to be recognised before we drifted alongside a mangrove mud bank.

Here good views were had of Western Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Willet and hosts of Little Blue Herons, some of them all-white juveniles. A Bare-throated Tiger-heron sloped off into the mangroves and a Green-backed Heron eventually showed up at the base of the mangroves.

Ospreys were to become common with at least 19 seen in the morning, but each still gave us a thrill. Two Mangrove Black-hawks added to the raptor list and our first few American Anhingas flew past or posed in trees.

Heading into deeper water, we saw roosting Olivaceous Cormorants and Brown Pelicans sharing sand bar with a flock of Black Skimmers, Sandwich Terns and Laughing Gulls. Among them we teased out two Gull-billed Terns and a few red-billed Caspian Terns, both uncommon species in the area.

Several 'Water Potoos' were identified by the keener twitchers in the group who were restrained from expanding their lists by the explanation that these birds were sticks. A flock of seven Turnstones was picking on a stony beach among the mangroves and our skipper spotted a stunning Roseate Spoonbill nearby. Several Semipalmated Plovers, a Tri-coloured Heron and Wood Stork were our final birds of the cruise.

Juan-Carlos met us at a ferry crossing of the river and drove the group back to La Ensenada Lodge for lunch, stopping at a large pond to see 12 Least Grebes, seven Black-necked Stilts and a Northern Jacana on the way.

After a siesta - Tim's cabin was 38°C in the shade at 1pm - we climbed aboard a trailer which was towed around the finca by a huge tractor, hardly the way to see wildlife one might imagine. Not so, it was terrific. The extra height gave great views of birds and animals which were used to the tractor. Even so, a Lesser Nighthawk spotted by Megan as José was showing us Spot-bellied Bobwhites was an unusual find. A Roadside Hawk posed for us while yet another Lesser Nighthawk was found, and a lone female Howler Monkey demonstrated her climbing skills.

Passing saltpans from which sea-salt is extracted we arrived at a pond which was teeming with waders, ducks and herons. Taking our time, we gradually sorted out Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least and Solitary Sandpipers, plus a lone Semipalmated Plover. Two duck species were seen, Blue-winged Teal and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. There were several stunning Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis, Great, Little Blue and Snowy Egrets, also.

Our trip ended on a hill-top overlooking the lodge, saltpans and pool, the Gulf of Nicoya, hills behind and a dramatic sunset. Our host and hostess Senior and Seniora Lelio and Augusta Treti who had brought drinks and canapés with them to our delight. Lesser Nighthawks were starting their day's activity while a flock of 40 or so Scissor-tailed Flycatchers passed us to find a roost at the end of theirs.

The perfect day ended after dinner when some of the group did a few minutes star-gazing. As there was no moon, the sky was pitch. Streaked across it almost as a continuous source of light, was the Milky Way. Jupiter and its moons showed well as did the Orion Nova. We could not but wonder if someone out in deep space was enjoying a birding holiday to their equivalent of Costa Rica.

Monday 11 March

We woke to a chilly day - the temperature had dropped to 27°C, 80°F. Mantled Howler Monkeys had again passed over our heads calling loudly during the night, as was a Pacific Screech-owl. (We discovered later that the howlers were in a stand of trees 100m. away but sounded as if they were above our rooms.)

The pre-breakfast walk produced great views of our first Spot-breasted Oriole but after three days in the area we were familiar with most of the other birds seen.

The lodge's hospitality continued when manger Kike Chinchilla led us out to a field in which a pair of Double-striped Thick-knees were nesting. We had super views before hurrying off so that they could be left in peace to raise their young.

We visited yesterday's pool after breakfast but approached from the opposite direction to ensure good light. What a sight...

More than 100 Blue-winged Teal were in residence and as we watched from an observation platform a stream of Roseate Spoonbills joined them. Black-necked Stilts were abundant and picking around their legs, a little like children at the feet of stilt-walkers, were lots of waders. We were finally able to identify them all and know their salient features - a real master class. Our gaze then moved on to those we had not seen before - Stilt and Pectoral Sandpipers.

Our drive continued off-road as we made the most of a Costa Rican Travelling Naturalist birding rule... there will be birds at every stop and most will be new to us.

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, destined to breed in the USA a few weeks later, led us to Cannivet's Fork-tailed Emerald and Cinnamon hummers.

A couple of Streak-headed Sparrows, which we had seen the day before, were joined by a spectacular Lesser Ground-cuckoo. Interestingly, all three birds were feeding in the shadow of tree branches, wisely never setting foot into full sunlight.

And as we watched them, José called a Zone-tailed Hawk. The rule never seemed to fail.

A Grey-crowned Yellowthroat was joined by Scrub Euphonias, our first of both, and a Grey Hawk was seen soon after. The tour finished at noon for a 12.30 lunch and siesta before setting off on a boat trip up a mangrove-lined river.

It was yet another treat. The mangrove habitat is special and boating through it was great fun, especially drifting with the engine off. Small birds were hard to see in the thick growth and tangle of aerial roots, but a Mangrove Vireo was soon found, hotly followed by a flock of about a dozen Mangrove Swallows. Our first of two female Mangrove Warblers was seen only after a false alarm with a Northern Waterthrush, one of two.

The tide was high and we disturbed flocks of Whimbrel and Willets which were roosting close to the water on mangrove roots.

Our last great find was about six Boat-billed Herons, illustrated on the front of our check-lists, hiding in deep cover. The boat's skipper managed to get all of us into positions where we could see the birds at some time or other.

Tuesday 12 March

The group met for a pre-breakfast walk without guides. Worryingly for the guides, it proved a most enjoyable experience as now familiar birds were seen and identified. Highlights included Ferruginous Pygmy-owl and Turquoise-crowned Motmot among others.

The drive down to Carara was uneventful until we stopped for a rest-room break and coffee at a café on the Guanacaste side of the Tárcoles River bridge where a Ferruginous Pygmy-owl sat watching us drink refreshments.

We headed for the Tárcoles Estuary, stopping on the way to investigate a flowering tree which was thronged with orioles and hummers. Scarlet Macaws were calling tantalisingly close but we could not locate them.

Our timing for the estuary was excellent as birds were being pushed in by the rising tide. Soon we were watching roosting gulls, terns, skimmers, pelicans and waders. Two Yellow-headed Caracaras flew past in succession, the first carrying prey, followed by a Broad-winged Hawk. We were studying our first Wilson's Plover when Tim called the attention of everyone to a Yellow-crowned Night-heron which was out for a stroll along the bank.

Lunch was taken in a local fish restaurant on the top of a Pacific Ocean beach with a welcome cooling breeze from the sea. We were watching a fishing boat with huge outriggers covered in Brown Pelicans when we noticed that among them were two hitch-hikers... Brown Boobies perched on the wires along with Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls and the pelicans. The boobies should have been far out to sea, beyond the range of our 'scopes, but luck had brought them to us.

The luck continued that afternoon when two, then four and soon lots of Scarlet Macaws were seen as we walked the Villa Lapas river trail. Steely-vented Hummingbird, Blue Ground-dove, Dusky Antbird and a superb male Painted Bunting all fell to José's or Tim's eyes.

Our final new bird of the day was a Fiery-billed Aracari, making the set of all six Costa Rican toucans, quite an achievement.

Wednesday 13 March

An early start at 5.30 saw us in the restaurant enjoying a coffee before walking one of the Carara National Park trails. It was lovely experience, in the coolest part of the day, watching the forest come to life. Black-hooded Antshrikes were singing and a stunning male gave us great views - the first of eight in the day. Several Hoffmann's Woodpeckers were disturbed by a raptor calling from 'their' tree but close examination showed one to be a male Red-headed Woodpecker.

Views of a Rufous-tailed Jacamar were difficult but everyone managed to get sight of it eventually. A White-whiskered Puffbird was easier and proved to be the first of three in the day. Dot-winged Antwren was another skulker found in the under-storey along with a female Cherrie's Tanager, the Pacific equivalent of Passerini's.

Mary was on form and found one of the forest's most entertaining character birds, a Plain Xenops. Like a small woodcreeper, it is an acrobat hanging upside down from some small branches, digging holes in others as it roots out grubs.

The walk ended with an immature King Vulture passing over our heads reminding us that if we did not return for breakfast (it was now three hours since we entered the reserve) we could end up as vulture food.

We walked the same track later in the morning adding Southern Beardless-tyrannulet, Tropical Gnatcatcher and Scaly-breasted Hummingbird to the list.

Half the group extended their siesta to the whole afternoon - it was tempting in the lush grounds with a super pool on hand - while the rest went to explore a different trail in the park. It was dense and narrow with vast trees overhead. We could not see their tops through the undergrowth which was a shame as each sounded to have at least one pair of squawking Scarlet Macaws in the top.

However, we were kept busy with an amazing tally of six Black-faced Antbirds scuttling around like tiny chickens, three Riverside Wrens, a pair of Black-throated Trogons and a female Blue-capped Manakin among many others. A Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner took some finding although its habit of throwing leaves out of vine tangles and bromeliads made the task easier.

Our afternoon highlight was one which featured close to the top of several best-bird lists: José judged the walk perfectly, getting us to a little stream in time to see a male Red-capped Manakin drop in, take a quick bath and shoot off with a characteristic wing-snap. It was a magical moment.

Our walk back to the bus was preceded some of the way by a Spectacled Antpitta which was strolling down the path like a tail-less Song Thrush on tiptoe.

We ended a super day munching choc-ices bought on the way back to the lodge, with one each for those who had not ventured out, as well.

Thursday 14 March

Once again we were to be found birding the farm-workers' track through Carara National Park at 6am. And amazingly, the birds were different from yesterday's with a few overlaps.

A Band-tailed Barbthroat zipped into view followed by Little Hermit, two gorgeous hummers. A search for Northern Bentbill, continued from yesterday, at last produced good views of the bird on two occasions. The same persistence led to the discovery of a Long-billed Gnatwren, although we all knew the call well before a sighting was obtained.

Mammals were also showing well with a small party of Collared Peccaries (possibly a peck of Peccaries) near the entrance, an Agouti part way through the walk and a Nine-banded Armadillo pointed out to some of the group by friendly American birders.

New birds kept on coming as Golden-naped Woodpecker, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper and Slaty-headed Tody-flycatcher all falling to binoculars or 'scopes.

Tim suddenly spotted a huge bird flying through the forest and was able to get his 'scope onto a wonderful Pale-billed Woodpecker. As Martin pointed out a second, José heard a Long-tailed Manakin which responded to his whistle and perched close to the path, back on so that we could see the big blue panel and tail streamers. We were torn between which to watch, utterly spoilt for choice. A pair of Baird's Trogons watched us leave the forest for a late breakfast.

Things calmed down a little on our second walk as the temperature and humidity rose. We tried out a new rangers' trail which connected with the one walked the previous afternoon. Once again it was rich in birds and we delighted in another new hummer - Beryl-crowned or Charming Hummingbird. José picked out a red head poking from a hole in a hollow tree seemingly miles away (we never did learn how he did that). It was a nesting Scarlet Macaw, quite a find. White-collared Seedeaters were disturbed in a grassy patch before we went back into the jungle where Yellow-olive and Ruddy-tailed Flycatchers were noted.

A White-lined Sac-winged Bat was found roosting on a tree before the walk ended (as had so many in Carara National Park where José is the leading expert guide) with a lek of Orange-collared Manakins.

A long siesta was followed by a rather poorly timed visit to the Tárcoles estuary where most birds were seen sitting on dead tree trunks or in mangroves as the tide was at its peak. Nevertheless, we stood on the beach and enjoyed our last sunset on the wilderness trail as an Osprey swooped down in front of us and took a dogfish and terns streamed past in the background.

Friday 15 March

A change of scene, and therefore birds, followed the decision to bird the Villa Lapas road above the hotel before breakfast. In the cool of the morning we found a couple of Swainson's Thrushes, stunning Western Tanagers and a fabulously cooperative Barred Antshrike.

The view was magnificent and in the clear air we could see Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigatebirds following a trawler out at sea.

Len found one and then a second Yellow-billed Cuckoo, our 400th species of the trip - an outstanding total. Two Tamadura anteaters were found in separate trees and a Coati was climbing a third.

Our last jungle experience was to walk the old rangers trail after breakfast, an occasion on which our sadness to be leaving was banished by the birds which popped up. Two feeding flocks were found and besides hosts of species already seen we found Plain Antvireo and Spot-crowned Euphonia.

A Black-faced Ant-thrush was found behaving in its usual way, like a tiny chicken flinging leaves aside as it rummaged in the undergrowth. 'I am sure I left it here somewhere,' Martin muttered and yet another bird-nickname was invented.

Yet another lek of Orange-collared Manakins cracked their good wishes to us as we approached the end of the trail, a most appropriate end to the Pacific coast visit. It was not an end to the wildlife, however.

Tim and José had conspired to visit Orotino town park on the way back to San José where a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth was sleeping wild in the tree tops with two Black-and White Owls for company. We gained a few strange looks from the many people in the park who share their facility with the wild animals and birds.

Costa Rica is full of the evidence of this attitude to wildlife and we discussed how friendly local people had been to us and the way in which they look after their natural assets. It makes a visit to this country stand out among other wildlife destinations.

All this was explained to Jackie Aguilar from Horizontes, our hostess for a wonderful final meal at the Le Chandelier Restaurant, who had organised the itinerary in conjunction with Jamie McMillan from Travelling Naturalist. The result of Tim's competition to win a tiny guide book to hummingbirds was announced at long last - Sue took away the prize. A booby-prize of a carved toucan was awarded to Martin for his persistence and luck which helped us to see six species of the family, his expedition ambition achieved.

Most importantly, we were able to thank José Calvo and Juan-Carlos Rodriguez for the wonderful contribution to the holiday they had made as our travelling companions over the last two weeks. It was fun evening with many pleasantries exchanged to the delight of us all.

Saturday 16 March

After seeing the first half of our group off to the airport for an early flight home, Sue, Mike, Alec and Tim returned to the park where the birding had started.

To our horror it was fenced off and building work was under way. We managed to get in and a night-watchman told us it was being developed as a park (or at least that is what we thought he said). Whatever, the place was not the same and we returned to the hotel having seen our second Greyish Saltators and little else of note.

Annotated list of species

BIRDS

The order follows Clements Birds of the World.

TINAMOUS Tinamiformes Tinamidae

Great Tinamou Tinamus major

La Selva Biological Station (male with chick on 6th, single on 7th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th, one calling on 14th)

Slaty-breasted Tinamou Crypturellus boucardi

La Selva (one seen 7th - leaders only)

GREBES Podicipediformes Podicipedidae

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus

La Ensenada area (one on 10th)

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Lake near St Miguel (one on 8th)

PELICANS Pelecaniformes Pelecanidae

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

La Ensenada (100+ on 10th and 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (100+ on 12th and 14th)

GANNETS & BOOBIES Pelecaniformes Sulidae

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Two on a fishing boat rigging with Brown Pelicans, Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls on 12th

CORMORANTS Pelecaniformes Phalacrocoracidae

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus

La Ensenada (30 on 10th and 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (three on 12th and 14th)

ANHINGAS Pelecaniformes Anhingidae

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga

La Ensenada (three on 10th, one on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (one on 12th)

FRIGATEBIRDS Pelecaniformes Fregatidae

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

La Ensenada (100+ on 10th and 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (100+ on 12th and 14th); Carara Reserve (50+ soaring over the jungle on the 13th)

HERONS & EGRETS Ciconiiformes Ardeidae

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

La Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th and 8th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (one on 12th and 14th)

Great Egret Ardea alba

La Selva area (two on 5th, two on 7th); Lake near St Miguel (one on 8th); Tárcoles estuary and river, Carara (15 on 12th, one on 13th and 14th)

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor

La Ensenada (three on 10th and 11th); La Ensenada (two on 12th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (two on 12th, and three on 14th)

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th, three on 7th, five on 8th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (15 on 12th, and four on 14th)

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

La Ensenada (20 on 10th, 10 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th and 14th)

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Common daily

Green Heron Butorides virescens

La Ensenada (one on 10th and 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (three on 12th)

Agami Heron Agamia agami

Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Yellow-crowned Night-heron Nyctanassa violacea

Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (one on 12th and 14th); night drive (one in a stream bed on 14th)

Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius

La Ensenada (six on mangrove boat trip 11th)

Bare-throated Tiger-heron Tigrisoma mexicanum

La Ensenada (one in mangroves on boat trip 10th); Villa Lapas (one nesting on 12th)

Fasciated Tiger-heron Tigrisoma fasciatum

La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and 7th - on nest); driving (one on 8th)

STORKS Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae

Wood Stork Mycteria americana

La Ensenada (three on 10th, five on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (three on 12th)

IBIS & SPOONBILLS Ciconiiformes Threskiornithidae

White Ibis Eudocimus albus

La Ensenada (30 on 10th, 50 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th); Villa Lapas river walk (15 on 12th and six on 14th)

Roseate Spoonbill Ajaia ajaja

La Ensenada (seven on 10th, 15 on 11th)

DUCKS Anseriformes Anatidae

Black-bellied Whistling-duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

La Ensenada (two on 10th)

Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata

La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); driving (one on 8th); La Ensenada (three on 10th)

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

La Ensenada (20 on 10th, 100+ on 11th)

NEW WORLD VULTURES Falconiformes Cathartidae

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Common daily

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Miami Airport (two as we were coming in to land on 2nd)
Common daily, but passage of 5,000 on 6th, 00s on 7th

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa

La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Carara Reserve (one immature, one adult on 13th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 14th)

OSPREY Falconiformes Pandioidae

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Kiri Lodge, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station (singles on 6th and 7th); La Ensenada (one on 9th, 19 on 10th, five on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (three on 12th and six on 14th)

HAWKS, EAGLES & KITES Falconiformes Accipitridae

Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus

Trogon Lodge, San Gerrado de Dota (three on 4th); Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti (one on 4th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th); Lake Arenal area (one on 9th)

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus

Pan-American highway (two on 3rd); driving (one on 8th); La Ensenada (one on 10th)

Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus

Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea

La Ensenada (one on 11th)

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens

Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Barred Black-chested Hawk Leucopternis princeps

Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Common Black-hawk Buteogallus anthracinus

Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th); Tárcoles estuary (one on 14th)

Mangrove Black-hawk Buteogallus subtilis

La Ensenada (two on 10th, four on 11th, one on 12th)

Grey Hawk Asturina nitida

La Ensenada (one on 11th); Tárcoles River, Carara (one on 12th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris

La Ensenada (one on 10th)

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

Pan-American highway (two on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station (200 on passage on 6th, several on 7th); driving (two on 8th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (one on 12th)

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus

La Selva Biological Station (five on 6th); Lake Arenal area (one on 9th)

Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni

La Selva Biological Station (one flew around the centre grounds on 6th, passage of 3,000 on 6th, some movement on 7th)

Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus

La Ensenada (1on 11th)

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Trogon Lodge / San Gerardo de Dota (immature and adult on 4th, one on 5th)

FALCONS & CARACARAS Falconiformes Falconidae

Crested Caracara Caracara plancus

Road to La Ensenada (four on 9th); La Ensenada (four on 9th, one on 10th, two on 11th, one on 12th, 13th and 14th)

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima

La Ensenada (one on 9th); Carara area (two on 12th and 14th)

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans

Near La Selva Verde Lodge (two on 8th, one carrying a snake); La Ensenada (one on 10th); Villa Lapas river walk (one on 12th); Carara Reserve (one heard on 13th)

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis

Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); driving (two on 8th)

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th)

GUANS & CHACHALACAS Galliformes Cracidae

Grey-headed Chachalaca Ortalis cinereiceps

Lake Arenal area (four on 9th); Villa Lapas road walk (six on 15th

Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens

Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara National Park rangers' station (one on 13th); Villa Lapas road walk (four on 15th)

Black Guan Chamaepetes unicolor

Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota (one on 4th)

NEW WORLD QUAIL Galliformes Odontophoridae

Crested (Spotted-bellied) Colinus cristatus

Bobwhite La Ensenada (seven on 10th)

RAILS & GALLINULES Gruiformes Rallidae

Grey-necked Wood-rail Aramides cajanea

Selva (three on 6th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (one on 12th)

American Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica

Tárcoles River, Carara (one on 12th)

JACANAS Charadriiformes Jacanidae

Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa

Lake near St Miguel (one on 8th); Tárcoles River and estuary, Carara (10 on 12th)

AVOCETS & STILTS Charadriiformes Recurvirostridae

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

La Ensenada (20 on 10th, 30 on 11th)

THICK-KNEES Charadriiformes Burhinidae

Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus

La Ensenada (nesting pair on 11th)

PLOVERS & LAPWINGS Charadriiformes Charadriidae

Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola

La Ensenada (six on 10th, one on 11th, two on 12th)

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus

La Ensenada (10 on 10th, one on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (two on 12th)

Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia

Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (two on 12th)

SANDPIPERS Charadriiformes Scolopacidae

Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus

La Ensenada (50 on 10th)

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

La Ensenada (100+ on 10th and 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th and 14th)

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

La Ensenada (two on 10th, four on 11th)

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria

La Ensenada (one on 10th and 11th)

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia

La Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th and 7th, six on 8th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th and 14th); Villa Lapas river walk (three on 12th, and 13th)

Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

La Ensenada (10 on 10th, 50 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th and one on 14th)

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

La Ensenada (eight on 10th) Tárcoles estuary (six on 12th and 30 on 14th)

Sanderling Calidris alba

La Ensenada (one on 10th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th)

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla

La Ensenada (one on 10th, 15 on 11th)

Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri

La Ensenada (100+ on 10th, 10 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (10 on 12th)

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

La Ensenada (five on 10th, 15 on 11th)

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos

La Ensenada (one on 11th)

Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus

La Ensenada (six on 11th)

GULLS Charadriiformes Laridae

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
La Ensenada (100+ on 10th, 20 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (100+ on 12th and 14th)

Ring-billed gull Larus delawarensis
Miami Airport (two on 2nd)

TERNS Charadriiformes Sternidae

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
La Ensenada (two on 10th)

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
La Ensenada (two on 10th)

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
La Ensenada (100+ on 10th, one on 11th); Tárcoles estuary (100+ on 14th)

Royal Tern Sterna maxima
La Ensenada (two on 10th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (30 on 12th and 20 on 14th)

SKIMMERS Charadriiformes Rynchopidae

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
La Ensenada (120 on 10th, 10 on 11th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (40 on 12th and 20 on 14th)

PIGEONS & DOVES Columbiformes Columbidae

Rock Dove Columba livia
Common in towns

Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (several large flocks on 3rd); Finca Miramar Quetzales (3one on 4th)

Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (two on 7th); Lake Arenal area (five on 9th)

Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris
San Jose (10 on 3rd); Braulio Carrillo National Park (three on 5th); Villa Lapas river walk (one on 12th)

Short-billed Pigeon Columba nigrirostris
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Lake Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea
San Gerado de Dota, Tapanti (two on 5th)

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
La Ensenada (one on 9th, 10 on 10th, four on 11th; 20 on 12th)

Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Ensenada (one on 9th, 10 on 10th and 11th, six on 12th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

Plain-breasted Ground-dove Columbina minuta
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th); La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Ruddy Ground-dove Columbina talpacoti
La Selva (one on 6th); La Ensenada (one on 10th, 11th and 12th); Carara Reserve (six on 13th and 14th)

Inca Dove Columbina inca
La Ensenada (one on 9th, four on 10th)

Blue Ground-dove Claravis pretiosa
Villa Lapas river trail (three on 12th); Carara Reserve (six on 13th and 14th)

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
San Jose (three on 3rd); La Ensenada (one on 9th, four on 10th, two on 11th, six on 12th); Carara Reserve (six on 13th and 14th)

Grey-chested Dove Leptotila cassini
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th); Villa Lapas river walk (one on 12th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 14th)

PARROTS Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scarlet Macaw Ara macao
Villa Lapas (six on 12th); Tárcoles River (1one on 12th); Carara Reserve (10 on 13th, two at nest-hole plus evening flight on 14th)

Crimson-fronted Parakeet Aratinga finschi
Selva Verde Lodge (two on 6th)

Olive-throated Parakeet Aratinga nana
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Villa Lapas road walk (one on 15th)

Orange-fronted Parakeet Aratinga canicularis
La Ensenada (six on 10th, five on 12th)

Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis
San Jose (four on 3rd); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (two on 7th); La Ensenada (one on 9th, 12+ on 10th and 11th. 20 on 12th)

Brown-hooded Parrot Pionopsitta haematotis
La Selva Verde Lodge (two on 6th and 10 on 7th)

White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and four on 7th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons
La Ensenada (10 on 9th and 10th, 1two on 11th)

Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis
San Jose (several small flocks on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station(two on 6th and 7th); Tárcoles River (eight on 12th)

Yellow-naped Parrot Amazona auropalliata
La Ensenada (seven on 10th)

Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa
San Jose (one on 3rd); La Selva BS (two on 6th and 10 on 7th); Arenal area (two on 9th); Carara Reserve (four on 13th)

CUCKOOS Cuculiformes Cuculidae

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
Common most days

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
Common almost daily. Max count: 30 on 12th

Lesser Ground-cuckoo Morococcyx erythropygus
La Ensenada (one on 11th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 14th)

OWLS Strigiformes Strigidae

Pacific Screech-owl Otus cooperi
La Ensenada (one on 9th, heard on 10th)

Black-and-white Owl Ciccaba nigrolineata
Orotino town park (two on 15th)

Central American (Least) Glaucidium minutissimum

Pygmy-owl Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th)

Ferruginous Pygmy-owl Glaucidium brasilianum
La Ensenada (one on 10th, calling on 11th, seen on 12th); Tárcoles River bridge, Carara (one on 12th at a cafe); night drive (one on 14th)

NIGHTJARS Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae

Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis
La Ensenada (20 on 10th including two seen in trees, six on 11th, 40+ early am on 12th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (20+ on 12th, 15 on 13th and five on 14th)

Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
Villa Lapas, Carara (one on 13th)

Dusky Nightjar Caprimulgus saturatus
Trogon Lodge (one on 3rd)

SWIFTS Apodiformes Apodidae

Black Swift Cypseloides niger
Mirador Catarata (six on 8th)

White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris
Tapaniti WR (50+ on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); near St Miguel (scores on 8th); Villa Lapas (10 on 12th)

Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and four on 7th)

Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (30 on 3rd)

Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and four on 7th)

HUMMINGBIRDS Trochiliformes Trochilidae

Bronzy Hermit Glaucis aenea
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (one on 8th - leaders only)

Band-tailed Barbthroat Threnetes ruckeri
Selva Biological Station (one visiting nest on 6th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Green Hermit Phaethornis guy
Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th); La Selva (two on 8th)

Western Long-tailed Hermit Phaethornis longirostris
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (one on 8th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Little Hermit Phaethornis longuemareus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

Green-fronted Lancebill Doryfera ludovicae
River Humo, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Scaly-breasted Hummingbird Phaeochroa cuvierii
Carara National Park (one on 13th and 14th)

Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (eight on 8th); Carara Reserve (four on 13th and one on 14th)

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora
La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th, one on 7th)

Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus
Trogon Lodge (four on 4th)

Green-breasted Mango Anthracothorax prevostii

Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); La Ensenada (one on 9th, female on 10th, one on 11th); road to Tárcoles Estuary (one on 12th); Carara National Park (one on 14th); Villa Lapas road walk (one on 15th)

Green Thorntail Discosura conversii
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (six on 8th)

Canivet's Fork-tailed Emerald Chlorostilbon canivetii
La Ensenada (one on 9th, 10th and 11th)

Fiery-throated Hummingbird Panterpe insignis

San Gerardo de Dota area (10 on 4th)

Coppery-headed Emerald Elvira cupreiceps
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (five on 8th)

Black-bellied Hummingbird Eupherusa nigriventris
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (two on 8th)

Violet-crowned Woodnymph Thalurania colombica
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th, one on 7th); La Selva (six on 8th)

Blue-throated Goldentail Hylocharis eliciae
La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl
Common almost daily

Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila
La Ensenada (one on 9th, 10th and 11th)

Blue-chested Hummingbird Polyerata amabilis
Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th)

Beryl-crowned (Charming)

Hummingbird Polyerata decora
Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Steely-vented Hummingbird Saucerottia saucerrottei
Villa Lapas river trail (one on 12th)

Bronze-tailed (Red-footed) Chalybura urochrysia

Plumeleteer Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

White-bellied Mountain-gem Lampornis hemileucus
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (six on 8th)

Purple-throated Lampornis calolaema

Mountain-gem Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (three on 8th)

Grey-tailed (White-throated) Lampornis cinereicauda

Mountain-gem Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); San Gerardo de Dota area (four on 4th, four on 5th)

Green-crowned brilliant Heliodoxa jacula
Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (six on 8th)

Magnificent Hummingbird Eugenes fulgens
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (10 on 4th and 5th)

Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); La Ensenada (two on 9th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Plain-capped Starthroat Heliomaster constantii
La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris
La Ensenada (female on 11th); road to Tárcoles estuary, Carara (one on 12th)

Scintillant Hummingbird Selasphorus scintilla
San Gerado de Dota (female on 3rd, four on 4th)

Volcano Hummingbird Selasphorus flammula
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (10 on 4th); Mirador Catarata, St Miguel (two on 8th)

TROGONS & QUETZALS Trogoniformes Trogonidae

Black-headed Trogon Trogon melanocephalus
La Ensenada (one on 9th, three on 10th, one on 12th); Carara Reserve (one on 12th)

Baird's Trogon Trogon bairdii
Carara National Park (pair on 14th)

Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus
La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th and one on 7th); Lake Arenal area (two on 9th); Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus
Carara Reserve (pair on 13th)

Slaty-tailed Trogon Trogon massena
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Carara National Park (two on 14th); Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (six males, one female on 4th, including a pair prospecting for a nest site at the lodge; male on 5th)

KINGFISHERS Coraciiformes Alcedinidae

Belted kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
Selva Verde Lodge (pair on 7th); La Ensenada (three on 10th, one on 11th)

Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
Driving (one on 8th; several on 9th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th); Tárcoles estuary (one on 14th)

MOTMOTS Coraciiformes Momotidae

Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota
San Jose (one on 3rd); Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th); Villa Lapas road walk (one on 15th)

Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii
La Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th)

Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Selva Biological Station (1on 7th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Turquoise-browed Motmot Eumomota superciliosa
La Ensenada (one on 9th and 10th, two on 11th)

JACAMARS Piciformes Galbulidae

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda
Carara Reserve (one on 13th, pair on the wardens' old walk 15th)

PUFFBIRDS Piciformes Bucconidae

Pied Puffbird Notharchus tectus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila panamensis
Carara Reserve (one on 13th morning, one in the afternoon)

BARBETS Piciformes Capitonidae

Red-headed Barbet Eubucco bourcierii
Virgen de Socorro (two on 8th)

Prong-billed Barbet Semnornis frantzii
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

TOUCANS Piciformes Ramphastidae

Emerald Toucanet Aulacorhynchus prasinus

Virgen de Socorro (four on 8th)

Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus
La Selva Biological Station / Selva Verde Lodge (three on 6th, nine on 7th, three on 8th); Arenal area (10+ on 9th)

Fiery-billed Aracari Pteroglossus frantzii
Villa Lapas river trail (one on 12th and 13th)

Yellow-eared Toucanet Selenidera spectabilis
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th)

Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus
Selva Verde Lodge (three on 7th, two on 8th); driving (two on 8th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos swainsonii
La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th, seven on 7th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Selva (two on 8th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 13th and six on 14th, one seen and lots heard 15th)

WOODPECKERS Piciformes Picidae

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (four on 4th, including a bird picking up grit from the road, one on 5th)

Golden-naped Woodpecker Melanerpes chrysauchen
Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanerpes pucherani
La Selva Biological Station (eight on 6th and four on 7th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Selva (one on 8th)

Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus
Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

Hoffmann's Woodpecker Melanerpes hoffmannii
San Jose (one on 3rd); La Ensenada (one on 9th, three on 10th, three on 11th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th and 14th)

Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
Tapanti National Park (one on 3rd)

Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus
Lake Arenal area (two on 9th)

Rufous-winged Woodpecker Piculus simplex
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus
La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Chestnut-coloured Celeus castaneus

Woodpecker Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th)

Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis
La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Carara National Park (two on 14th)

OVENBIRDS Passeriformes Furnariidae

Slaty Spinetail Synallaxis brachyura
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Red-faced Spinetail Cranioleuca erythrops
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Ruddy Treerunner Margarornis rubiginosus
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti (one on 4th)

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus
Carara Reserve (one on the pre-breakfast walk, three on the second on the 13th); rangers' walk (two on 14th, one on the 15th)

Buffy Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes lawrencii
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus ochrolaemus
Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

WOODCREEPERS Passeriformes Dendrocolaptidae

Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Northern Barred Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae

Woodcreeper One or two most days from Braulio Carrillo onwards - a high number

Buff-throated (Cocoa) Xiphorhynchus guttatus

Woodcreeper La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and two on 7th); Carara Reserve (three on 13th, singles on 14th and 15th)

Black-striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Carara Reserve (three on 13th, two on 14th)

Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th)

Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); La Ensenada (one on 9th and 10th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes affinis
Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Tapani (two on 4th and one on 5th)

TYPICAL ANTBIRDS Passeriformes Thamnophilidae

Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Great Antshrike Taraba major
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Black-hooded Antshrike Thamnophilus bridgesi
Carara Reserve (eight on 13th, three on 14th and 15th)

Russet Antshrike Thamnistes anabatinus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis
Carara National Park (one on 15th)

Streak-crowned Antvireo Dysithamnus striaticeps
La Selva Biological Station (one on 5th)

Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis
Carara Reserve (three on 13th morning, one in the afternoon, two on the 14th and 15th)

Dusky Antbird Cercomacra tyrannina
Villa Lapas river trail (one on 12th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th); rangers' walk (one on 14th, two on 15th)

Chestnut-backed Antbird Myrmeciza exsul
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th, singles on 14th and 15th)

Ocelated Antbird Phaenostictus mcleannani
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis
Carara Reserve (amazingly, five on 13th); rangers' walk (singles on 14th and 15th)

Streak-chested (Spectacled) Hylopezus perspicillatus

Antpitta Carara Reserve (one walking down the path ahead of us on 13th)

Fulvous-bellied Antpitta Hylopezus dives
Lake Arenal area (three heard on 9th. One called up by Jose refused to show itself.)

TAPACULOS Passeriformes Rhinocryptidae

Silvery-fronted Tapaculo Scytalopus argentifrons
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two heard)

COTINGAS Passeriformes Cotingidae

Lovely Cotinga Cotinga amabilis
La Fortuna area (pair on 9th)

Snowy Cotinga Carpodectes nitidus
La Selva Biological Station (female on 6th, male on 7th); Selva Verde Lodge (male on 7th)

Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata
La Selva Biological Station (three on 7th - leaders only)

MANAKINS Passeriformes Pipridae

White-collared Manakin Manacus candei
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (3+ on 6th, four on 7th); Arenal area (female on 9th)

Orange-collared Manakin Manacus aurantiacus
Carara National Park (5, including a lek of 4, on 14th); rangers' walk (second lek on 14th; final lek - of up to 1two birds - on 15th)

Long-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia linearis
Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Blue-crowned Manakin Pipra coronata
Carara National Park (single females on 13th and 14th)

Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis
Carara Reserve (two females on 13th); Carara Reserve (one male bathing on 13th)

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS Passeriformes Tyrannidae

Southern Beardless- Camptostoma obsoletum

tyrannulet Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata
Carara National Park (one on 13th and 14th)

Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
Kiri Losdge, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (six on 4th, two on 5th)

Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea
River Humo, Taranti WR (two on 3rd); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th); La Paz waterfall (one on 8th)

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes olivaceus
Trogon Lodge (one on 4th)

Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon superciliaris
Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Zeledon's White-fronted Phyllomyias zeledoni

Tyrannulet Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Paltry Tyrannulet Zimmerius vilissimus
Selva Verde Lodge (one at the nest on 6th and 7th, two on 8th); La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and 7th)

Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant Myiornis atricapillus

La Selva Biological Centre (one on 7th)

Northern Bentbill Oncostoma cinereigulare
Carara National Park (two on 14th)

Slate-headed Tody-tyrant Poecilotriccus sylvia

(Tody-flycatcher) Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Black-headed Tody-flycatcher Todirostrum nigriceps
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Common Tody-flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum
Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th and two on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 14th)

Yellow-margined Flycatcher Tolmomyias assimilis
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Royal Flycatcher Onychorhynchus coronatus
Carara National Park (two on 14th, leaders only)

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus
Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 14th)

Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (six on 3rd); Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Tapanti (one on 5th); Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Dark Pewee Contopus lugubris
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd)

Ochraceous Pewee Contopus ochraceus
Finca Miramar Quetzales (one on 4th)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris
Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens
Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Black-capped Flycatcher Empidonax atriceps
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (six on 4th)

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); Virgen de Socorro (four on 8th)

Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th)

Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus
Selva Biological Station (four on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th); Carara National Park (singles on 14th and 15th)

Great crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
Carara National Park (singles daily)

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus
La Ensenada (one on 9th, and 10th, two on 11th)

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
Common daily

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th); Selva (two on 6th, 7th and 8th); Arenal area (six on 9th)

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
Common almost daily

Grey-capped Flycatcher Myiozetetes granadensis
La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th and 7th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

White-ringed Flycatcher Conopias albovittata
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th)

Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus
Villa Lapas river trail (two on 12th and 13th); Carara Reserve (singles on 14th and 15th)

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes luteiventris
Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius
La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th, three on 7th); Arenal area (six on 9th)

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
Common daily

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus
La Ensenada (1six on 9th, 35 on 10th, four on 11th); Tárcoles estuary (two on 14th)

Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th)

Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae
La Ensenada (one on 10th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
Common daily to 10th

Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor
Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th and 14th)

SWALLOWS Passeriformes Hirundinidae

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th and 7th); driving (1one on 8th); Tárcoles Estuary, Carara (two on 12th)

Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
La Ensenada (10+ on mangrove boat trip 11th, five from jetty 12th); La Ensenada (five on 12th); Tárcoles estuary (one on 14th)

Blue-and-white Swallow Pygochelidon cyanoleuca
Common Tapanti area 3rd to 5th; Mirador Catarata (two on 8th); a few on the way into San Jos on 15th

Northern Rough-winged Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Swallow Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (three on 3rd); driving (10 on 8th and 9th)

Southern Rough-winged Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

Swallow La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th); La Ensenada (10 on 10th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Common daily after the 9th - Pacific coast

SILKY-FLYCATCHERS Passeriformes Ptilogonatidae

Black-and-yellow Silky- Phainoptila melanoxantha

flycatcher Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 4th)

Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher Ptilogonys caudatus
San Gerardo de Dota (50 on 4th)

DIPPERS Passeriformes Cinclidae

American Dipper Cinclus mexicanus
River Humo, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (three on 3rd)

WRENS Passeriformes Troglodytidae

Band-backed Wren Campylorhynchus zonatus
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Arenal area (two on 9th)

Rufous-naped Wren Campylorhynchus rufinucha
La Ensenada (five on 10th, six on 11th); Villa Lapas, Carara (two on 13th); Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Black-bellied Wren Thryothorus fasciatoventris
Carara National Park (one on 14th)

WRENS continued...

Rufous-breasted Wren Thryothorus rutilus
Carara Reserve (four on 13th)

Riverside Wren Thryothorus semibadius
Carara National Park rangers' old walk (three on 13th, four on 15th)

Bay Wren Thryothorus nigricapillus
Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th) and La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and 8th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Stripe-breasted Wren Thryothorus thoracicus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (five on 5th)

Rufous-and-white Wren Thryothorus rufalbus
Carara Reserve (five on 13th)

Plain Wren Thryothorus modestus
Carara National Park rangers' old walk (two heard, one seen by Martin and Mary)

House Wren Troglodytes aedon
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Arenal area (six on 9th)

Ochraceous Wren Troglodytes ochraceus
Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 4th)

White-breasted Wood-wren Henicorhina leucosticta
Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

Grey-breasted Wood-wren Henicorhina leucophrys
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two heard on 3rd); Finca Miramar Quetzales (one on 4th, two heard on 5th)

THRUSHES Passeriformes Turdidae

Black-faced Solitaire Myadestes melanops
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Black-billed Nightingale- Catharus gracilirostris

thrush Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (five on 4th)

Ruddy-capped Nightingale- Catharus frantzii

thrush Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota (one on 4th and 5th)

Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th); Selva Biolocial Station (one on 6th and 7th)

Sooty Robin Turdus nigrescens
San Gerado de Dota (30+ on 3rd, four on 4th, three on 5th)

Mountain Robin Turdus plebejus
Pan-American highway near San Gerardo de Dota (five on 3rd); Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (10 on 4th, three on 5th)

Clay-coloured Robin Turdus grayi
Common most days

White-throated Thrush Turdus assimilis
Kiri Lodge, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

GNATCATCHERS Passeriformes Polioptilidae

Tawny-faced Gnatwren Microbates cinereiventris
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th, leaders only)

Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus
Carara National Park (one seen, many heard on 14th, one in a feeding flock 15th)

White-lored Gnatcatcher Polioptila albiloris
La Ensenada (one on 9th and 10th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea
Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

JAYS Passeriformes Corvidae

White-throated Magpie-jay Calocitta formosa
La Ensenada (10+ on 9th, five on 11th, three on 12th)

Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (25 on 3rd); Braulio Carrillo National Park (25 on 5th); driving (one on 8th); Villa Lapas, Carara (five on 12th, one on 14th); Carara National Park (singles on 13th and 15th)

OLD WORLD SPARROWS Passeriformes Passeridae

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Road to La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th)

VIREOS & ALLIES Passeriformes Vireonidae

Mangrove Vireo Vireo pallens
La Ensenada (one on mangrove boat trip 11th)

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
La Ensenada (one on 9th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (one on 11th, 12th and two on 14th)

Yellow-winged Vireo Vireo carmioli
Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 4th)

Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
Selva Biological Station (three on 6th); Carara National Park (four on 15th)

Tawny-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus ochraceiceps
Carara National Park (one on 15th)

Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (six on 5th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

WOOD WARBLERS Passeriformes Parulidae

Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
Common daily

Flame-throated Warbler Parula gutturalis
San Gerardo de Dota (five on 3rd); Finca Miramar Quetzales (one on 4th); Trogon Lodge (one on 5th)

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Common daily

Mangrove Warbler Dendroica erithachorides

La Ensenada (two females on 11th)

Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica
Common hourly

Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (three on 4th, three on 5th)

Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica
Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); Trogon Lodge (one on 5th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (singles on 14th and 15th)

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (a pair on 7th)

Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
La Ensenada (two on mangrove boat trip, 11th); Villa Lapas river trail (one on 12th); Carara National Park (common on paths daily)

Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla
La Paz waterfall (one on 8th)

Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Grey-crowned Yellowthroat Geothlypis poliocephala
La Ensenada (two on 11th); Villa Lapas road walk (pair on 15th)

Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
Common almost daily

Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Mirador Catarata (one on 8th)

Collared Redstart Myioborus torquatus
Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota (three on 4th, two on 5th)

Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

BANANAQUIT Passeriformes Coerebidae

Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Virgen de Socorro (two on 8th); Arenal area (10+ on 9th)

TANAGERS & ALLIES Passeriformes Thraupidae

Common Bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (15 on 3rd); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Sooty-capped Bush-tanager Chlorospingus pileatus
Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (30 on 4th and 5th)

Dusky-faced Tanager Mitrospingus cassinii
La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th); Carara National Park (six on 13th and two on 14th and 15th)

Tawny-crested Tanager Tachyphonus delatrii
Braulio Carrillo (six on 5th)

White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus
Selva Biological Station (two on 7th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Red-throated Ant-tanager Habia fuscicauda
Selva Verde Lodge (four on 6th and two on 7th and 8th)

Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
San Gerardo de Compustella (two on 3rd)

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Mirador Catarata (one on 8th); La Ensenada (six on 9th)

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

Flame-coloured Tanager Piranga bidentata
Tapanti NP (two on 3rd); La Ensenada (one on 9th)

White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th and 7th)

Crimson-collared Tanager Ramphocelus sanguinolentus
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (male on 7th); Mirador Catarata (two on 8th)

Passerini's Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (pair on 3rd); La Selva Biological Station (20 on 6th and 7th); Mirador Catarata (eight on 8th)

Cherrie's Tanager Ramphocelus costaricensis
La Ensenada (six on 9th); Carara Reserve (pair on 13th)

Blue-Grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus
Common most days, Central Valley and Pacific coast

Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
Common most days, Central Valley and Pacific coast

Scrub Euphonia Euphonia affinis
La Ensenada (six on 11th)

Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla
La Selva Biological Station (two on 7th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th); La Ensenada (one on 9th); Carara National Park (two on 15th)

Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris
Carara National Park (one on 14th)

Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea
Carara Reserve (two females on 13th)

Spot-crowned Euphonia Euphonia imitans
Carara National Park wardens' old walk (female on 15th)

Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th)

Tawny-capped Euphonia Euphonia anneae
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Golden-browed Chlorophonia Chlorophonia callophrys
Finca Miramar Quetzales, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (six on 4th); Virgen de Socorro (one on 8th)

Plain-coloured Tanager Tangara inornata
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th and 7th)

Emerald Tanager Tangara florida
Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th)

Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala
Kiri Lodge, Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd); Virgen de Socorro (10+ on 8th)

Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola
Virgen de Socorro (10+ on 8th)

Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata
Selva Verde Lodge (two on 6th), La Selva BS (10 on 6th and 7th); Virgen de Socorro (10 on 8th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara (three on 13th); rangers' walk (five on 14th, two on 15th)

Spangle-cheeked Tanager Tangara dowii
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (one on 3rd)

Scarlet-thighed Dacnis Dacnis venusta
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Virgen de Socorro (two on 8th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana
La Selva Biological Station (female on 6th and 7th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th, female on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara National Park (two on 14th and 15th)

Shining Honeycreeper Cyanerpes lucidus
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Virgen de Socorro (two on 8th); Arenal area (one on 9th)

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (male on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th); Carara Reserve (one on 13th)

BUNTINGS, SEEDEATERS

& ALLIES Passeriformes Emberizidae

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
Braulio Carrillo National Park (two on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th and two on 7th); Arenal area (one on 9th); La Ensenada (two on 10th)

Variable Seedeater Sporophila corvina
La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th, three on 7th); Arenal area (four on 9th); La Ensenada (two on 10th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola
Carara National Park, rangers' walk (three on 14th)

Nicaraguan Seed-finch Oryzoborus nuttingi
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

Thick-billed Seed-finch Oryzoborus funereus
Entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (four on 7th)

Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (five on 3rd)

Slaty Flowerpiercer Diglossa plumbea
San Gerardo de Dota (one on 3rd); Trogon Lodge and San Gerardo de Dota area (two on 4th)

Yellow-thighed Finch Pselliophorus tibialis
Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota (one on 4th, three on 5th)

Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); Selva Verde Lodge (one on 6th); Selva Biological station (one on 6th and 7th); Carara Reserve (two 13th)

Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris
La Ensenada (one on 9th); Carara National Park (one on 15th)

Stripe-headed Sparrow Aimophila ruficauda
La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
Abundant daily to 5th

Volcano Junco Junco vulcani
San Gerardo de Dota (two on 3rd)

Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
Arenal area (one on 9th); San Jos park (two on 16th)

Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th); Selva Verde Lodge (10 on 7th); Carara Reserve (one on 12th, 13th, 14th); Villa Lapas (one on 15th)

Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Black-faced Grosbeak Caryothraustes poliogaster
Braulio Carrillo National Park (10+ on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); entrance road to La Selva Biological Station (two on 7th)

Black-thighed Grosbeak Pheucticus tibialis
Braulio Carrillo National Park (one on 5th)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Mirador Catarata (two pairs on 8th); La Ensenada (one on 9th)

Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th, two on 7th); Arenal area (two on 9th); Carara National Park, rangers' walk (two on 13th)

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
Villa Lapas road walk (two males on 15th were seen only by Jos )

Painted Bunting Passerina ciris
La Ensenada (female on 9th); Villa Lapas river trail (male on 12th and 14th)

TROUPIALS & ALLIES Passeriformes Icteridae

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Driving (50+ on 8th and 9th)

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Pan-American highway (five on 3rd); La Ensenada (one on 9th, three on 10th, four on 11th and 12th)

Melodious Blackbird Dives dives
Driving (two on 8th); La Ensenada (four daily)

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
Common daily

(Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major)
Miami Airport (two on 2nd)

(Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula)
Miami Airport (five on 2nd)

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus
Driving (50+ on 8th and 9th); La Ensenada (two on 10th)

Giant Cowbird Scaphidura oryzivora
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (four at chestnut-headed oropendola colony on 3rd)

Spot-breasted Oriole Icterus pectoralis
La Ensenada (two on 11th and 12th)

Streak-backed Oriole Icterus pustulatus
La Ensenada (one on 9th, three on 10th, four on 11th, two on 12th)

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Driving (two on 8th); La Ensenada (three on 9th, one on 10th, two on 11th and 12th); Villa Lapas river trail (four on 12th); Carara Reserve (two on 13th)

Black-cowled Oriole Icterus dominicensis
La Selva Biological Station (two on 6th, six on 7th)

Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus
Arenal area (one on 9th)

Scarlet-rumped Cacique Cacicus uropygialis
Braulio Carrillo National Park (six on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (four on 6th, one on 7th)

Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (40 on 3rd); La Selva (five on 5th); La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th, one on 7th)

Montezuma Oropendola Gymnostinops montezuma
Common daily until 13th

MAMMALS

ARMADILLOS Xenarthra Dasypodidae

Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus
Carara Reserve (singles on 13th and 15th, two on 14th)

AMERICAN ANTEATERS Xenarthra Myrmecophagidae

Northern Tamandua Tamandua mexicana
La Selva Biological Station (one on 6th); Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th); Villa Lapas road walk (two on 15th)

TWO-TOED SLOTHS Xenarthra Megalonychidae

Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth Choloepus hoffmanni
Orotino town park (one sleeping on 15th)

THREE-TOED SLOTHS Xenarthra Bradypodidae

Brown-throated Three-toed Bradypus variegatus

Sloth Arenal area (one sleeping on 8th)

SQUIRRELS Rodentia Scuridae

Red-tailed Squirrel Sciurus granatensis
Tapanti Wildlife Reserve (two on 3rd); San Gerardo de Dota Valley (one on 4th)

Deppe's Squirrel Sciurus deppei
Selva Verde Lodge (singles on 7th and 9th, two on 8th); La Ensenada (one on 10th)

Variegated Squirrel Sciurus variegatoides
Common daily, maximum six at La Ensenada and Carara on the 12th

AGOUTIS Rodentia Agoutidae

Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata
Selva Verde Lodge (one on 7th); Carara National Park (singles on 13th and 14th)

OTTERS Carnivora Mustelidae

Neotropical River Otter Lutra longicaudis

La Selva Verde Lodge (one swam across the river on 6th - leaders only)

RACOONS Carnivora Procyonidae

White-nosed Coati Nasua narica
Arenal area (five sadly begging food at the roadside); Carara National Park (two on 13th, one 14th and an adult with six youngsters on 15th)

SHEATH-TAILED BATS Chiroptera Emballonuridae

Greater Sac-winged Bat Saccopteryx bilineata
La Ensenada (nine roosting in the restaurant roof); Carara National Park (one roosting on the side of a tree gave great 'scope views)

AMERICAN LEAF-NOSED BATS Chiroptera Phyllostomidae

Vampire Bat Desmodus rotundus

Not seen but the bloody wound on a horse's back at La Ensenada was undoubtedly caused by a Vampire bite.

APES Primates Hominidae

Human Homo sapiens

Common daily

NEW WORLD MONKEYS Primates Atelidae

White-faced Capuchin Cebus capucinus
Virgen de Sorocco (1 on 8th); Carara National Park (troops of eight overhead on 13th, five on 14th and 12 on 15th)

Central American Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi
Arenal forests (one giving gymnastic display on the 9th)

Mantled Howler Monkey Alouatta palliata
Selva Verde Lodge (3 on 6th); La Selva Biological Station (several heard on 6th); La Ensenada (3 troops heard nightly 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th); Carara National Park (heard daily but not seen 12th to 15th)

PECCARIES Artiodactyla Tayassuidae

Collared Peccary (Javelina) Tayassu tajacu
La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th and four on 7th); entrance road to La Selva BS (three on 7th); Carara National Park (one of several seen on 13th)

DEER Artiodactyla Cervidae

White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
Carara National Park (one seen by Mike and Mary, another by Megan on 13th)

Footnote: We ended the trip having seen 413 birds and 17 mammals. Five birds and one mammal were 'leaders only' species.

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES

Marine (Cane) Toad Bufo marinus

Singles almost daily on Caribbean and Pacific slopes

Green Poison-arrow Frog Dendrobates auratus

Singles at La Selva Biological Station and Lodge on 6th and 8th

Red-and-blue Poison-arrow Dendrobates pumilio

(Blue-jeans) Frog Eight at La Selva Biological station on 6th

American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus

La Ensenada lagoon (nine on 10th, three on 11th); Tárcoles River (20 on 12th, four on 14th, one on 15th)

Black River Turtle Rhinoclemmys funereal

La Selva Verde Lodge (five maximum 6th, 7th and 8th)

Red (Painted Wood) Turtle Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima

One crossing a road near Mirador Catarata rescued by Tim on 8th)

White-lipped Turtle Kinosternon leucostomum

Carara National Park (one found by Juan-Carlos on 14th)

Rainforest Hog-nosed Viper Porthidium nasutum

Our only snake was lying curled next to a path in La Selva Biological Station forest, its position marked with a ribbon and hand-written sign on the 6th

Yellowbelly Gecko Phyllodactus tuberculosus

Several seen and heard daily from 10th

Green Iguana (Tree Chicken) Iguana iguana

La Selva Biological Station (25+ on 6th and 7th sunning themselves in trees - the best place for them as they are sometimes eaten)

Ctenosaur (Spiny-tailed Ctenosaura similis

Iguana) Common daily on the Pacific coast from 9th

Basilisk (Jesus Christ Lizard) Basiliscus basiliscus

Seen most days from 7th. One 'walked on water' across a stream at Villa Lapas

Green Spiny (Fence) Lizard Sceloporus malachiticus

Several seen on the road up from Trogon Lodge on 4th and 5th

Ground Anole (Leaf Litter Anolis humilis

Lizard) La Selva Biological Station (three on 6th)

Slender (Border) Anole Anolis limifrons

La Selva Biological Station (five on 6th)

Big-headed (Pug-nosed) Anolis capito

Anole La Selva Biological Station (one on 7th)

Central American Whip-tail Ameiva festiva

(Central American Ameiva) Up to 20 seen most days. Common in most forests and under our cabins at La Ensenada

INSECTS, BUGS & CRUSTACEANS

Butterflies were numerous but generally not identified. Exceptions were Blue Morpho, Morpho amathonte, Monarch, Swallowtails, Papillo sp., Cream Owl Butterfly and Long-winged butterflies.

Other insects included Peacock Moth, Tarantula Hawk Wasp, Firefly sp., Helicopter Damselfly, Dragonflies of at least two species, Cicada of several species, Wolf-spider, Ant Lion, Preying Mantis, Leaf-cutting Ants and other ant species and Metallic or Tiger Beetle.

Crustaceans included a Hermit Crab and Ghost Crab.


© The Travelling Naturalist 2002