TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

COSTA RICA (South & East)

25th January – 8th February 2003


Leaders:
José Calvo
Keith Grant
Juan-Carlos

Daily Diary:
Saturday 25th January Arrival.
Windy and overcast
The trans-Atlantic flight was late arriving at Newark and this, combined with the security arrangements and the need to go through immigration, the baggage hall, customs, and then emigration and security, meant that we were late for our onward flight. The group, together with one or two other passengers, were sufficient in number for the flight to be re-opened. However, John and Katherine had a minor problem at passport control and security and got separated. The rest of us arrived at the gate and walked down the tunnel to find the doors already closed and the tube retracted! This is the only time that I've known a plane reopen its doors for late arriving passengers, and our thanks to Continental Airways for this consideration. Mind you, it was their Atlantic flight which was originally late. John and Katherine, however, failed to reach us in time.
Despite the delayed departure, we arrived at San José on time, to be met by José and Juan-Carlos, our guide and driver respectively; then a 20-minute transfer to our hotel, check in and retire to bed.

Sunday 26th January Tapanti NP and Trogon Lodge
Cloud and rain at Tapanti, clear at Trogon Lodge, windy.
We all had a brief look around the hotel gardens and began to get our collective eyes adjusted to the array of new species. These included Clay-coloured Robins, the national bird of Costa Rica, Greyish Saltators, Rufous-collared Sparrows and Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds. Also seen were Hoffman's Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, Summer and Blue-grey Tanagers, Tennessee and Wilson's Warblers and several of the delightful Prevost's Ground-sparrows. A good breakfast and we loaded up the bus and set off for the Tapanti National Park. This high altitude forest is on the Caribbean slope and was unfortunately cloud covered and very wet. We sheltered for a while on the veranda of the warden's building at the entrance to the park, seeing a pair of Collared Trogons, a Black Phoebe, and a feeding flock containing Red-faced Spinetail, Spectacled Foliage-gleaner, Tropical Parula, and Wilson's and Chestnut-sided Warblers. Further up the main track, we found three hummingbirds, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Green-fronted Lancebill, and White-bellied Mountain-gem. We cut short our time here as, to be honest, it really was too wet and uncomfortable. Back in the bus and we headed down the valley for lunch in a restaurant with superb panoramic views. Both species of vultures continually glided close by, sometimes just below the veranda of the restaurant, and two Short-tailed Hawks drifted overhead. After an excellent lunch, we headed for Trogon Lodge, stopping a couple of times on the mountain road to view Hairy Woodpeckers, Long-tailed Silky-flycatchers, Sooty-capped Bush-tanagers, Spot-crowned Wood-creepers, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush and further New World warblers. The sun set behind the mountains and this was our signal to head for Trogon Lodge itself and an excellent trout dinner.
Monday 27th January Trogon Lodge
Mainly sunny though cloud occasionally spilled over the peaks
6 am, dawn, and we were just finishing our coffee before the bus took us a little way down the valley. We walked up through a small finca to the forest edge, immediately finding several Resplendent Quetzals feeding in avocado trees. One male in particular sat quietly in full view, allowing unparalleled views through the telescopes. A Torrent Tyrannulet was found near the river. We returned to the Lodge for a brief period on the veranda before breakfast. We then visited a hotel further down the valley, walking slowly through its grounds where we gained excellent views of Collared Redstart, Dark Pewee, Mountain Elaenia, and both Black-and-White and Flame-throated Warblers. There were also good numbers of both Hairy and Acorn Woodpeckers. John and Katherine caught up with us at this point and we continued along the trail, finding a very resplendent male Quetzal sitting quietly alongside the trail, and a mixed feeding flock containing Silver-throated Tanager and Yellow-thighed Finch. A Yellowish Flycatcher gave us excellent views. We eventually had to retrace our route, and in response to a brief call heard alongside the track, José tried luring a Silvery-fronted Tapaculo. What a problem to see this most elusive species, even though it was at eye level on an almost vertical bank right alongside the track! Most of us, I think, eventually had some views, albeit very brief.
Back to the nearby hotel for lunch and to view the feeders. Here we found Green Violet-ear and Scintillant Hummingbird in the majority, with Magnificent and Volcano Hummingbirds rather fewer - exactly the opposite at Trogon Lodge. Grey-tailed (or White-throated as it should be called now) Hummingbirds were also present at both sites. After lunch we returned to Trogon Lodge for a rest and a quiet viewing of the veranda feeders. Mid-afternoon and we took the bus up the road above the lodge, stopping and walking a couple of times. This was generally rather quiet except for close views of Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush, excellent views through the telescopes of a female White-throated Mountain-gem on a nest and a Black Guan trying to clamber elegantly in a tree. We finally retraced our steps and took a forest trail for the last kilometre back to the lodge. Still very quiet except for eventual nice views of Louisiana Waterthrush on the river edge.

Tuesday 28th January South to Esquinas Rainforest Lodge becoming hot and humid
We found Flame-coloured Tanager during our pre-breakfast walk at Trogon Lodge and also saw Yellow-thighed Finch very close just outside the main buildings. We packed our things and set off south after breakfast. Climbing up the ridge above the Lodge meant we entered the cloud zone, it really was very cold, damp and windy all along the Talamanca ridge. Our first stop was along a track on the summit, through stunted bamboo scrub, where we eventually found Timberline Wren. A little later, Juan-Carlos pulled into a roadside restaurant, immediately pointing out a Volcano Junco beside the parking lot. We went through to view the hummingbird feeders and found several Fiery-chested Hummingbirds, together with Green Violet-ear, Magnificent and Volcano Hummingbirds. As we dropped down the Pacific slope, we left the clouds behind us and the temperature began to rise. A photo stop produced Flame-breasted and Black-throated Green Warblers.
Our next stop, at a mirador near San Isidro, enabled us to have coffee whilst watching a number of feeding tables with Baltimore Orioles, Buff-throated Saltator, and Silver-throated, Golden-hooded and a lovely male Summer Tanager. A stunning Violet Sabrewing unfortunately didn't stay long. Two White-faced Capuchin Monkeys were loafing about nearby. Then a stunning male Red-headed Barbet appeared, followed by two Swallow-tailed Kites flying over. A Large-footed Finch was scraping around under the hedge near the bus, but we had to move on to Los Cusingos, Alexander Skutch's garden. We had our picnic lunch here, but not before watching Turquoise Cotinga and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Walking round the grounds, we found Golden-naped Woodpecker, and Black-and-White and Chestnut-sided Warblers. A swarm of army ants moving through the woodland attracted a number of birds, including a Roadside Hawk, Northern Barred and Tawny-winged Woodcreepers, and Grey-headed Tanager.
We then had quite a long drive south to the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. As we entered the flatter, agricultural areas with sugar cane and rice fields, we began to find a different range of species. Both Crested and Yellow-headed Caracara, White-tailed Kite, Blue-black Grassquit with the males leaping vertically in their little dance, Variable Seedeater, Cherrie's Tanager (the Pacific form of Scarlet-rumped, now defined as a distinct species), Palm Tanager, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Black-striped Sparrow and Green Heron were all seen. We arrived at Esquinas in time for a quick look around before dusk and an introduction to a Spectacled Cayman, which has now returned to the pool for four years running, and to ‘Hola’, the free-flying house Red-lored Parrot.

Wednesday 29th January Esquinas & Golfito mangroves
Mainly sunny, hot & humid
It took us half an hour to walk 30 yards during our pre-breakfast walk! Apart from Cherrie's Tanagers on the bananas, we also added Beryl-crowned Hummingbird, Rufous-winged and Golden-naped Woodpeckers and Wedge-billed Woodcreeper. A Mealy Parrot flew over. Further along the main drive, a burst of activity added Spot-crowned Euphonia, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Lesser Greenlet, a Banana-quit attending a rather ramshackle nest, Northern Waterthrush on the lawn, and better views for everyone of Black-striped Sparrow.
After breakfast, we drove across to the coastal town of Golfito, to pick up the boat to explore the mangroves. Magnificent Frigatebirds and Brown Pelicans were immediately obvious and stayed with us for the entire day. Terns included Royal and Sandwich, and there was at least one Elegant Tern on a sandbar. Once into the mangroves themselves, we started finding shorebirds and herons amongst the root systems. Snowy Egrets, Great White Egrets and Little Blue Herons vied for our attention with Willets, Marbled Godwits and Whimbrels. We eventually came across several Grey Plovers and a party of Semipalmated Plovers. We followed Belted and Ringed Kingfishers along the mangrove edge, and had several sightings of Green Kingfisher. After the first Osprey was watched with a fish, we became quite blasé (‘only another Osprey!’) until the last, which had a superb Roseate Spoonbill sitting in the same tree. Finally we had two sightings of Mangrove Black-hawk, an immature sitting on an overhanging branch, and a little later, an adult sitting close to a nest in a large tree.
We returned to Golfito mid-afternoon and returned to the lodge, stopping many times along the approach road to scan the fields on either side. Blue-headed Parrots showed well, Red-thighed Dacnis and Thick-billed Seedfinch were also seen, then a field of weedy rice contained large numbers of Blue-black Grassquits and Variable Seedeaters, with Yellow-bellied, Collared and Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters also present.

Thursday 30th January Esquinas to Wilson Botanical Gardens
Pleasantly sunny & warm
We again spent an hour before breakfast exploring the grounds in the immediate vicinity of the cabins. Buff-rumped Warbler and Riverside Wren both led us a merry chase round the restaurant building, but we did eventually get views of both. A pair of Thick-billed Euphonias were feeding on the bananas and a Black-throated Trogon and Yellow-bellied Seedeater showed well. A Frigatebird flew over at great height, and we heard Great Tinamou calling from deep in the forest. A pair of Wedge-billed Woodcreepers were performing a mating ritual just outside the restaurant during breakfast. As we left the lodge, a Green Heron perched on a fence post and showed well, and as we drove past the fields, a thermal of vultures contained at least 10 Swallow-tailed Kites. A Crested Caracara also showed well sitting on the ground in a field. Juan-Carlos stopped the bus, and there beside us was a White-tipped Dove shading its chick on top of a fence post.
Later, climbing up out of San Vito, a King Vulture and a very pale-plumaged Broad-winged Hawk were circling over the road. We arrived at the Wilson Botanical Gardens in good time for lunch. Rufous-tailed, Beryl-crowned and Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds were much in evidence. A brief walk before lunch produced Buff-throated Saltator, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Green Honeycreeper, as well as Speckled, Palm, Blue-grey and Silver-throated Tanagers all coming to the bananas. Red-tailed Squirrels were also seen regularly. We then boarded the bus to explore the area just to the east. This produced a dark-plumaged Short-tailed Hawk, which promoted a lot of discussion, and a 'flame tree' produced Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Red-legged Honeycreeper and Crimson-fronted Parakeets. Streak-headed Woodcreeper and Lesser Goldfinch were new to the list and a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak showed well in the telescope. Further on, we found both Blue-headed and White-crowned Parrots sitting up on the tops of trees. A brief talk to one of the local residents gave us the opportunity to walk through his ground to a roosting hole of an owl, probably Tropical Screech Owl but none of us got enough of a view. Finally, as we gathered again for dinner, several of the group had been watching a Blue-crowned Motmot from their balconies.

Friday 31st January Wilson Botanical Gardens and area
Mainly sunny, warm
We spent the day in and around the Botanical Gardens, some exploring the gardens alone, others walking some of the trails. Blue-crowned Motmots were much in evidence. A Crested Guan was found in the morning near one of the trails, followed by a group of three Marbled Woodquail foraging on the path itself. Hummingbirds were exceptionally well represented with Little, Green and Long-tailed Hermits being seen on the trail, and Garden Emerald, White-tailed Emerald, Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds and Long-billed Starthroat all seen from the terrace. Wedge-billed and Spotted Woodcreepers were seen during the morning. A Rufous Piha proved easy for some, but rather more elusive for a later group down the trail. José eventually found it by walking into the forest and setting up the scope, looking almost vertically up through a small ‘window’ through the vegetation! Plain Antvireo was also spotted by both groups, the first finding the female and the second the male. Eye-ringed Flatbill and both Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were all new to the list. During the afternoon, some stayed to chill out in the gardens and we found Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, a Wilson's Warbler was a surprise, and we confirmed Red-thighed Dacnis, Thick-billed Euphonia and Spot-crowned Euphonia on the bananas. A White-throated Robin was found in the forest below the cabins and two Swallow-tailed Kites flew overhead. Sarah had opted to sit quietly on the terrace and was rewarded with exceptional views of Fiery-billed Araçari. Meanwhile, Juan-Carlos, José, Rhoddy and John explored the surrounding areas in the bus and added American Kestrel and Golden-olive Woodpecker.

Saturday 1st February Wilson Botanical Gardens to Marenco
Sunny, hot & humid
The Chestnut-mandibled Toucans were on their usual tree before breakfast. A party of Crimson-fronted Parakeets were in the area and there was the usual array of species coming to the bananas. We then took the bus to Sierpe, adding Great Blue Heron, Wood Stork, two Double-toothed Kites and a flock of White-collared Swifts on the way. A pale-plumaged Broad-winged Hawk overhead caused more discussion. Crested Oropendola is a recent colonist from Panama and we stopped briefly at a roadside colony. The boat trip down-river produced a Common Potoo on a broken stump overhanging the river just downstream from Sierpe itself, and a Hoff-man's Two-toed Sloth was seen in a riverside tree. A Bare-throated Tiger-heron and a Tricoloured Heron were on mudbanks as the river widened out. We arrived at Marenco in time for lunch, with Scarlet Macaws much in evidence and being heard long before seen! Red-capped Manakins were found just below the lodge on the way for a swim after lunch, then our first exploratory walk in the rainforest but not much seen.

Sunday 2nd February Marenco & Corcovado NP
Hot & humid
We awoke to Scarlet Macaws noisily demolishing fruit outside our cabins, and a Bright-rumped Attila calling noisily from the nearby forest, but were not able to see it. The boat picked us up after breakfast and we headed for the Corcovado National Park, a 20-minute trip along the coast, accompanied by Brown Boobies on the way. It was an easy landing in calm seas directly on to the beach, and we immediately found a Bare-throated Tiger-heron at the river mouth. There followed an excellent walk in the rainforest, learning about Strangler Figs, buttress roots and leaf-cutter ants. Slaty-tailed Trogon, Thrush-like Schiffornis and both Red-capped & Blue-crowned Manakins showed well. A feeding party contained White-throated Shrike-tanager on guard, and Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Dot-winged Antwrens, Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher and Black-striped Woodcreepers. Dropping off the ridge, we descended to the beach for a well-earned dip in a pool where a stream tumbled down over some rocks. Returning along a trail just behind the shore, we found Mangrove Black-hawk and Black-throated Trogon. A White-necked Puffbird was perched up on a dead tree behind the landing beach.
After lunch in the shade of the warden’s buildings, we found Proboscis (or Long-nosed) Bats roosting, lined up one behind the other under a branch of one of the trees. Several Common Tent-making Bats were also roosting under a palm frond. Back to the lodge for a siesta. A short walk during the late afternoon produced excellent views of Red-capped Manakins again, Summer Tanager, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and both Red-crowned and Golden-naped Woodpeckers, all in or near the garden.

Monday 3rd February Lankester Botanical Gardens & Rancho Naturalista
Sunny, very pleasant
A male Blue Dacnis was perched up on a distant dead tree before breakfast, and some of us had close views of an Agouti just outside the kitchen before it walked off into the forest. The boat collected us from the beach after breakfast, and with a fast journey on calm seas, we were back in Sierpe and at the airstrip in good time for our charter flight back to San José.
We rejoined Juan-Carlos and the rest of our luggage and headed for lunch before visiting the nearby Lankester Botanical Gardens for a gentle walk admiring the collections of orchids, bromeliads, bamboos and other plants. A small group of warblers in one tree contained Golden-winged, Black-and-white, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided Warblers. A Green Heron sat obligingly in a clump of bamboo behind a small pond. We moved on to a nearby shallow grassy pool and quickly identified Blue-winged Teals in some numbers, together with Moorhen, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Short-billed Dowitcher and Lesser Yellowlegs. A Grey-crowned Yellowthroat briefly came and sat on the fence beside us. Travelling on, we stopped briefly at a water reservoir near San Viñas, finding more Blue-winged Teal, but also a female Lesser Scaup and several Killdeer. We arrived at Rancho Naturalista just before dusk, in time for dinner.

Tuesday 4th February Rancho Naturalista
Bright & sunny, some cloud
6am on the balcony and we were treated to a whole array of species, some new and some old friends. The 'scarlet-rumped' tanagers were now Passerini's Tanagers, the males of which looked identical but the females lacked the reddish hues of the Cherrie's on the Pacific side. Crimson-collared Tanagers were stunning. Two new species of Oropendola were Montezuma and Chestnut-headed, and gangs of these rather took over the bird tables. A White-throated Crake put in brief appearances as it made sorties from the cover of the hedge bottom. A Black-headed Saltator dwarfed the other visitors. A Cinnamon Becard appeared briefly in the large tree just down from the garden and further down the valley, a Keel-billed Toucan appeared in the top of a dead tree. Two Collared Araçaris came briefly to the bird tables and a small number of Groove-billed Anis were exploring the veranda and nearby shrubs. Black-cheeked and Hoffman's Woodpeckers came to the bananas. A Slaty Spine-tail, quite a rare species not often seen, collided with one of the windows and one of the lads brought it up to the veranda. After a few minutes recuperation, it flew off strongly. But it was the ‘hummers’ which attracted most attention, with 10 species noted at the feeders by the veranda and just up the trail into the forest. After breakfast, we walked a forest trail with Frederik, a young Belgian guide attached to the Rancho. His knowledge of bird calls was unsurpassed, and we added quite a few species, some seen but others merely heard. White-collared Manakins eventually showed well if briefly. Golden-winged Warbler, Long-billed Gnatwren and two Tropical Gnatcatchers were also seen. The tail-enders found a Rufous Motmot on the way back. After lunch and a siesta, we took the bus down to the river, Rio Tuis, and walked upstream. A pair of American Dippers showed well by the bridge. But little else until we came across a feeding flock containing Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Slate-throated Redstart, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Tawny-capped Euphonia, and Emerald, Silver-throated, Speckled and Bay-headed Tanagers. We walked back to the bus to find Juan-Carlos watching Bay Wrens, which proved extremely secretive and no-one I think got a good view. Finally, after dinner, we tried luring a Mottled Owl from the forest edge by the cabins, and after much searching of the trees, we all got views through the telescopes.

Wednesday 5th February Rancho Naturalista
Sunny & warm, becoming cloudy in afternoon
Several of us were woken before dawn by a rather noisy Pauraque. 6am and the veranda before breakfast produced the usual array of species. Great Cowbird, Black-crowned Tityra and Brown-hooded Parrots were added, though rather briefly for the first two mentioned. A walk in the forest after breakfast was very pleasant, but again it was quite difficult birding. Even so, some new good species were noted, if not by the whole group. These included White-throated Spadebill, Dull-mantled Antbird, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Purplish-backed Quail-dove. A Band-tailed Pigeon was quite an unusual species for RN though not new for trip. Second sightings of Thrush-like Schiffornis and Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher enabled some to catch up with these species, having missed them at Marenco. After lunch and a siesta, we drove and walked down the main drive, adding Tropical Pewee and seeing Tropical Parula which we hadn't seen since day 1 at Tapanti. We drove back to the lodge, some had a further walk in the forest, whilst others stayed at the hummingbird feeders or tried photographing the butterflies in the meadow. We all met up again and went down to the pools to watch the hummingbirds coming in to bathe. These were mainly Purple-crowned Woodnymphs, but also included a few Snowcaps and, a new species to finish with, Purple-crowned Fairy. A full day with 14 species of hummingbirds recorded. After dinner and the checklist, we made an unsuccessful attempt at luring Striped Owl, though the Mottled Owl was vocal once or twice.

Thursday 6th February Café Britt & back to San José
Pleasantly warm
One or two insomniacs managed a pre-dawn walk in search of Pauraques, but though several were heard, none were seen. Pre-breakfast on the veranda as usual, then farewell to Rancho Naturalista and we headed back to San José for our tour of Café Brit. This was most enjoyable and after lunch there, we arrived at our hotel in San José early in the afternoon. An excellent dinner at La Chandelier restaurant.

Friday 7th February Departure
Departure for our flight home.

Saturday 8th February Arrival in UK.

Species Lists:
[ 25th Arrival at San José
26th travel to Tapanti (TAP) and Trogon Lodge (TL)
27th Trogon Lodge & immediate valley (TL)
28th TL, Talamanca ridge, Mirador Vista del Valle, Alexander Skutch’s garden Los Cusingos (SK) and Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (ESQ)
29th ESQ & Golfito mangroves (GOLF)
30th ESQ, travel to Wilson Botanical Gardens (WIL)
31st Wilson Botanical Gardens & area (WIL)
1st WIL, travel to Sierpe, boat to Marenco (MAR)
2nd Marenco & Corcovado NP (MAR)
3rd boat back to Sierpe, air transfer to San José, then to Lankester Botanical Gardens (LAN) and Rancho Naturalista (RN)
4th – 5th Rancho Naturalista (RN)
6th RN, travel to Café Britt and return to San José
7th – 8th Flight home ]

BIRD LIST:
Great Tinamou:
Noted on 2 days, heard ESQ on 30th, seen RN on 5th.
Least Grebe: Noted on 4 days, 26th, 30th, 1st, & 3rd.
Brown Booby: Noted on 2 days, 2nd, & 3rd.
Olivaceous/Neotropical Cormorant: Noted at GOLF on 29th.
Brown Pelican: Noted on 4 days, 29th, 1st - 3rd.
Magnificent Frigatebird: Noted on 5 days, 29th, high over MAR on 30th, 1st - 3rd.
Great Blue Heron: Noted on 3 days, from bus on 1st, MAR on 2nd, from boat on 3rd.
Cattle Egret: Noted most days.
Great [White] Egret: Noted on 3 days, 29th, 1st, & 3rd.
Tricolored Heron: Noted on 3 days, GOLF on 29th, MAR on 1st, from boat on 3rd.
Little Blue Heron: Noted on 5 days, 29th - 1st, & 3rd.
Snowy Egret: Noted on 3 days, 29th, 1st, & 3rd.
Green[-backed] Heron: Noted on 3 days, at ESQ on 28th & 30th, LAN on 3rd.
Boat-billed Heron: Noted at GOLF on 29th.
Bare-throated Tiger-heron: Noted on 2 days, at MAR on 1st & 2nd.
Wood Stork: Sierpe & Marenco river trip on 1st.
American White Ibis: Noted on 3 days, GOLF on 29th, from boat on 1st & 3rd.
Blue-winged Teal: Noted on 2 days with a pair on 29th GOLF, and many near LAN & San Viñas on 3rd.
Lesser Scaup: Noted only near San Viñas, a female on 3rd.
Turkey Vulture: Noted each day.
[American] Black Vulture: Noted each day.
King Vulture: Noted only above San Vito, on 30th.
Osprey: Noted on 2 days, many seen GOLF on 29th, heard MAR on 2nd.
American Swallow-tailed Kite: Noted on 4 days with the first 2 over the Mirador on 28th, then 10 ESQ on 30th, 2 WIL on 31st, & from the bus on 1st.
White-tailed Kite: Noted on 2 days, ESQ.
Double-toothed Kite: Noted on 2 days with 2 near San Vito on 1st, MAR on 2nd.
Cooper's Hawk: Noted at TL on 28th.
Mangrove Black Hawk: Noted on 3 days with an immature & later an adult at nest GOLF on 29th, MAR on 2nd, pr Sierpe on 3rd.
Roadside Hawk: Noted on 6 days.
Broad-winged Hawk: Noted on 5 days.
Short-tailed Hawk: Noted on 3 days, 2 overhead on 26th, 1 dark phase on 30th, and another LAN on 3rd.
Red-tailed Hawk: Noted only near TL on 26th.
Northern/Crested Caracara: Noted on 4 days, ESQ & WIL.
Yellow-headed Caracara: Noted on 5 days, 28th - 1st, ESQ, WIL & Sierpe.
Laughing Falcon: Noted at ESQ when heard at dawn on 29th.
American Kestrel: Noted only near WIL on 31st.
Grey-headed Chachalaca: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Crested Guan: Noted at WIL, 1 on 31st.
Black [Piping-]Guan: Noted at TL, 1 on 27th.
Great Curassow: Noted at MAR, when heard on 2nd.
Marbled Woodquail: Noted at WIL, 3 on trail on 31st.
White-throated Crake: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Common Moorhen: Noted only near Lankester, on the pool on 3rd.
[American] Purple Gallinule: Noted only on 29th, ESQ.
American Coot: Noted at the Lankester pool on 3rd.
Northern Jacana: Noted on 5 days, ESQ, WIL & Lankester pool.
American Oystercatcher: GOLF, 29th.
Black-necked/South American Stilt: Only at the Lankester pool on 3rd.
Grey Plover: GOLF, 29th.
Semipalmated Plover: GOLF, 29th.
Killdeer: 5 at the reservoir near San Viñas on 3rd.
Marbled Godwit: GOLF, 29th.
Hudsonian Whimbrel: Noted on 4 days, mangroves and river trips.
Lesser Yellowlegs: Only at the Lankester pool on 3rd.
Spotted Sandpiper: Noted on 5 days, mangroves, river trips and the Lankester pool.
Willet: GOLF, 29th.
Ruddy Turnstone: GOLF, 29th.
Short-billed Dowitcher: GOLF on 29th, and a further 3 Lankester pool on 3rd.
Laughing Gull: Noted on 4 days.
Royal Tern: Noted on 3 days, mangroves and river trips.
Elegant Tern: GOLF, 29th.
Sandwich Tern: Noted on 3 days, mangroves & river trips.
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon: Noted on 3 days, San José & larger towns only.
Band-tailed Pigeon: Noted on 3 days, TL, and unusually, RN on 5th.
Pale-vented/Rufous Pigeon: ESQ on 29th.
Red-billed Pigeon: Noted on 2 days at RN.
Scaled Pigeon: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & WIL.
Short-billed Pigeon: Noted on 7 days at ESQ, WIL, MAR & RN.
Ruddy Ground-dove: Noted on 7 days.
Inca Dove: Noted at TAP on 26th.
Blue Ground-dove: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & WIL.
White-tipped Dove: Noted on 7 days at SK, ESQ, WIL, MAR & RN.
Grey-chested/Cassin's Dove: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Purplish-backed Quail-dove: Noted at RN on 5th.
Scarlet Macaw: Noted on 3 days, MAR.
Crimson-fronted Parakeet: Noted on 4 days, WIL & RN.
Brown-throated Parakeet: Noted at WIL when 12 flew over on 31st.
Sulphur-winged Parakeet / Hoffman's Conure: Noted at TL, 6 on 27th.
Orange-chinned/Tovi Parakeet: Noted on 2 days with 6 at SK on 28th, at least 2 near San Vito on 1st.
Brown-hooded Parrot: Noted at RN on 5th.
White-crowned/-capped Parrot: Noted on 5 days, WIL & RN.
Red-lored [Amazon] Parrot: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & MAR.
Mealy [Amazon] Parrot: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & WIL.
Blue-headed [Amazon] Parrot: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & WIL.
Smooth-billed Ani: Noted on 5 days, ESQ & Sierpe lowlands.
Groove-billed Ani: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Squirrel Cuckoo: Noted at SK on 28th.
Mottled Owl: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Tropical Screech Owl: 1 briefly on 30th was possibly this species.
Common/Grey Potoo: Noted on 2 days, from the boat near Sierpe on 1st & 3rd.
Common Pauraque: Noted on 4 days, heard at MAR & RN.
White-collared Swift: Noted on 3 days, 40 over San Vito on 1st, Sierpe on 3rd, RN on 4th.
Band-tailed Barbthroat: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & RN.
Green Hermit: Noted on 4 days, WIL & RN.
Western Long-tailed Hermit: Noted on 2 days, WIL & MAR.
Stripe-throated [Little] Hermit: Noted on 5 days, WIL, MAR & RN.
Green-fronted Lancebill: Noted at TAP on 26th.
Violet Sabrewing: Noted on 3 days, 1 briefly at the Mirador on 28th, regularly RN.
White-necked Jacobin: Noted on 5 days, MAR & RN.
Green Violet-ear: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Green-breasted Mango: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Black-crested Coquette: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Green Thorntail: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Garden Emerald: Noted on 2 days, WIL on 31st, RN on 5th.
[Violet-] Crowned Woodnymph: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Fiery-throated Hummingbird: Noted only on 28th, at one of our brief stops near the summit.
Blue-throated Goldentail: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Beryl-crowned/Charming Hummingbird: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & WIL.
Snowy-bellied/-breasted Hummingbird: Noted on 3 days, WIL.
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird: Noted most days throughout the trip.
Black-bellied Hummingbird: Noted at TAP on 26th.
White-tailed Emerald: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Snowcap: Noted on 4 days, RN.
White-bellied Mountain-gem: Noted at TAP on 26th.
White-throated Mountain-gem: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Green-crowned Brilliant: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Magnificent Hummingbird: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Purple-crowned Fairy: Noted at the bathing pool, RN, on 5th.
Long-billed Starthroat: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Volcano Hummingbird: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Scintillant Hummingbird: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Resplendent Quetzal: Noted only near TL on 27th.
Slaty-tailed Trogon: Noted only near MAR on 2nd.
Collared Trogon: Noted at TAP, a pair on 26th.
Black-throated Trogon: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & MAR.
Ringed Kingfisher: Noted on 2 days, mangroves.
Belted Kingfisher: Noted on 2 days, mangroves.
Amazon Kingfisher: Noted on 2 days, river crossings on 28th & 3rd.
Green Kingfisher: GOLF on 29th.
Rufous Motmot: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Blue-crowned Motmot: Noted on 5 days, WIL & RN.
Rufous-tailed Jacamar: Noted at RN, briefly on 5th.
White-necked Puffbird: Noted only on 2nd, behind the landing beach, Corcovado NP.
Red-headed Barbet: Noted at the Mirador on 28th, a stunning male.
Collared Araçari: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Fiery-billed Araçari: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Keel-billed Toucan: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan: Noted on 4 days, GOLF, WIL, & MAR.
Acorn Woodpecker: Noted at TL on 27th.
Golden-naped Woodpecker: Noted on 3 days, SK, ESQ, MAR.
Black-cheeked Woodpecker: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Red-crowned Woodpecker: Noted on 5 days, ESQ, WIL, MAR.
Hoffmanns' Woodpecker: Noted on 4 days, San José & RN.
Hairy Woodpecker: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Smoky-brown Woodpecker: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Rufous-winged Woodpecker: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & RN.
Golden-olive Woodpecker: Noted on 3 days, near WIL & RN.
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper: Noted at SK, 2 on 28th.
Olivaceous Woodcreeper: Noted at RN on 4th.
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper: Noted on 4 days, ESQ, WIL & RN.
[Northern] Barred Woodcreeper: Noted at SK on 28th.
Black-striped Woodcreeper: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Spotted Woodcreeper: Noted on 3 days, WIL & RN.
Streak-headed Woodcreeper: Noted on 3 days, WIL & RN.
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper: Noted at TL on 26th.
Pale-breasted Spinetail: Noted only near WIL on 31st.
Slaty Spinetail: Noted at RN, one flew into window on 4th, flew off a little later.
Red-faced Spinetail: Noted at TAP on 26th.
Ruddy Treerunner: Noted at TL on 27th.
Spectacled Foliage-gleaner: Noted at TAP on 26th.
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner: Noted on 2 days, WIL & RN.
Plain Xenops: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Black-hooded Antshrike: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Dull-mantled Antbird: Noted at RN on 5th.
Plain Antvireo: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Slaty Antwren: Noted at RN on 5th.
Dot-winged Antwren: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Silvery-fronted Tapaculo: Noted at TL on 27th.
Mistletoe/Paltry Tyrannulet: Noted on 4 days, TL, WIL & RN.
Yellow-bellied Elaenia: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Mountain Elaenia: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Torrent Tyrannulet: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher: Noted on 4 days, ESQ, MAR & RN.
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant: Noted at RN on 4th.
Common Tody-flycatcher: Noted on 5 days, ESQ, MAR & RN.
Eye-ringed Flatbill: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Yellow-olive Flycatcher: Noted at SK on 28th.
White-throated Spadebill: Noted at RN on 5th.
Golden-crowned Spadebill: Noted only on 1 day, MAR on 2nd.
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher: Noted on 2 days, MAR & RN.
Tufted Flycatcher: Noted at TL on 27th.
Olive-sided Flycatcher: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Dark Pewee: Noted at TL on 27th.
Tropical Pewee: Noted at RN on 5th.
Yellowish Flycatcher: Noted at TL on 27th.
Black-capped Flycatcher: Noted at TL on 27th.
Black Phoebe: Noted on 3 days, TAP, TL & RN.
Bright-rumped Attila: Noted on 3 days, MAR & RN, unfortunately only heard.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Great Crested Flycatcher: Noted on 3 days, ESQ, MAR & LAN on 3rd.
Great Kiskadee: Noted most days.
Boat-billed Flycatcher: Noted on 2 days, TAP & RN.
Social Flycatcher: Noted on 8 days, ESQ, WIL, LAN & RN.
Grey-capped Flycatcher: Noted on 2 days, ESQ.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Piratic Flycatcher: Noted at ESQ on 29th.
Tropical Kingbird: Noted each day.
Cinnamon Becard: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Black-crowned Tityra: Noted at RN on 5th.
White-collared Manakin: Noted on 2 days, RN.
White-ruffed Manakin: Noted at RN on 4th.
Blue-crowned Manakin: Noted on 4 days, SK, WIL & MAR.
Red-capped Manakin: Noted on 2 days, MAR.
Thrush-like Schiffornis: Noted on 2 days, MAR & RN.
Rufous Piha: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Turquoise Cotinga: Noted at SK on 28th.
Mangrove Swallow: Noted on 3 days, mangroves and river trips.
Grey-breasted Martin: Noted on 3 days, lowlands.
Blue-and-white Swallow: Noted on 6 days, TAP, TL, San Vito & RN.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow: Noted on 4 days, TAP, ESQ, WIL & LAN.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow: Noted on 5 days, TAP, ESQ, WIL & RN.
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher: Noted on 3 days, TL.
American Dipper: Noted at RN, a pair on the river on 4th.
Whistling Wren: Noted on 2 days, RN, unfortunately only heard.
Riverside Wren: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & MAR.
Bay Wren: Noted only near RN on 4th.
Stripe-breasted Wren: Noted at RN, heard on 5th.
Plain Wren: Noted on 4 days.
House Wren: Noted on 8 days.
Timberline Wren: Noted only above the treeline on 28th.
White-breasted Wood-wren: Noted on 2 days, heard RN.
Grey-breasted Wood-wren: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Black-faced Solitaire: Noted on 2 days, heard TL.
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Sooty Thrush/Robin: Noted on 3 days, TL.
Mountain Thrush/Robin: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Clay-coloured Thrush/Robin: Noted most days.
White-throated Thrush/Robin: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Long-billed Gnatwren: Noted at RN on 4th.
Tropical Gnatcatcher: Noted at RN on 4th.
Brown Jay: Noted on 6 days.
Rufous-collared Sparrow: Noted on 5 days.
Volcano Junco: Noted at our brief stop near the summit on 28th.
Blue-black Grassquit: Noted on 3 days, ESQ.
Variable Seedeater: Noted on 9 days, ESQ, GOLF, MAR & RN.
White-collared Seedeater: Noted only near ESQ on 29th.
Yellow-bellied Seedeater: Noted on 2 days, ESQ.
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater: Noted only near ESQ on 29th.
Thick-billed Seed-finch: Noted only near ESQ on 29th.
Yellow-faced Grassquit: Noted on 6 days, TL, WIL & RN.
Prevost's Ground-sparrow: Noted at San José, 3 in hotel garden on 26th.
Orange-billed Sparrow: Noted at RN on 4th.
Black-striped Sparrow: Noted most days.
Big-footed Sparrow / Large-footed Finch: Noted at our brief stop near the summit on 28th.
Yellow-thighed Sparrow/Finch: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Noted on 4 days, SK, WIL & RN.
Black-headed Saltator: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Buff-throated Saltator: Noted on 6 days, Mirador on 28th, then at WIL, LAN & RN.
Greyish Saltator: Noted at San José on 26th.
Streaked Saltator: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Common Bush-tanager: Noted on 4 days, TAP, TL & WIL.
Sooty-capped Bush-tanager: Noted on 3 days, TL.
Grey-headed Tanager: Noted at SK on 28th.
White-lined Tanager: Noted on 4 days, ESQ & RN.
Black-cheeked Ant-tanager: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Flame-coloured Tanager: Noted at TL on 28th.
Summer Tanager: Noted on 9 days.
White-throated Shrike-tanager: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Crimson-collared Tanager: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Passerini's [Scarlet-rumped] Tanager: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Cherrie's [Scarlet-rumped] Tanager: Noted on 7 days, ESQ, GOLF, WIL & MAR.
Blue-grey Tanager: Noted most days.
Palm Tanager: Noted on 8 days.
Thick-billed Euphonia: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & WIL.
Spot-crowned Euphonia: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & WIL.
Tawny-capped Euphonia: Noted on 2 days, RN.
Emerald Tanager: Noted at RN on 4th.
Silver-throated Tanager: Noted on 6 days, TL, Mirador on 28th, WIL & RN.
Speckled Tanager: Noted on 4 days, WIL & RN.
Bay-headed Tanager: Noted on 3 days, TAP, MAR & RN.
Golden-hooded Tanager: Noted on 5 days, Mirador, WIL, MAR & RN.
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis: Noted on 3 days, ESQ & WIL.
Blue Dacnis: Noted at MAR, a male on 3rd.
Green Honeycreeper: Noted on 6 days, SK, WIL, MAR & RN.
Red-legged Honeycreeper: Noted at WIL on 30th.
Slaty Flowerpiercer: Noted on 2 days, TL.
Bananaquit: Noted most days.
Golden-winged Warbler: Noted on 3 days, LAN & RN.
Tennessee Warbler: Noted most days.
Flame-throated Warbler: Noted on 2 days, TL on 27th, and at a brief photo-stop on 28th.
Tropical Parula: Noted on 2 days, TAP & RN.
Black-and-white Warbler: Noted on 5 days, TL, SK, WIL, LAN & RN.
Yellow Warbler: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & WIL.
Chestnut-sided Warbler: Noted on 7 days.
Black-throated Green Warbler: Noted at a brief photo-stop on 28th.
Northern Waterthrush: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & MAR.
Louisiana Waterthrush: Noted at TL on 27th.
Grey-crowned Yellowthroat: Noted at the Lankester pool on 3rd.
Kentucky Warbler: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Wilson's Warbler: Noted on 6 days, TAP, TL, WIL & RN.
Slate-throated Redstart/Whitestart: Noted on 2 days, WIL & RN.
Collared Redstart/Whitestart: Noted only near TL on 27th.
Buff-rumped Warbler: Noted at ESQ on 30th.
Golden-crowned Warbler: Noted at RN on 4th.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike: Noted only near TL on 27th.
Yellow-throated Vireo: Noted at WIL on 31st.
Brown-capped Vireo: Noted only near TL on 27th.
Tawny-crowned Greenlet: Noted on 2 days, MAR & RN.
Lesser Greenlet: Noted on 2 days, ESQ & MAR.
Lesser Goldfinch: Noted on 2 days, WIL.
House Sparrow: Noted only as we passed through San Vito on 30th.
Crested Oropendola: Noted only near San Vito where we watched a small breeding colony on 1st.
Chestnut-headed Oropendola: Noted on 3 days, RN.
Montezuma Oropendola: Noted on 4 days, RN.
Baltimore Oriole: Noted most days.
Orchard Oriole: Noted only near WIL on 30th.
Red-breasted Blackbird: Noted on 3 days, ESQ.
Melodious Blackbird: Noted on 2 days, heard San José on 26th, then seen RN on 4th.
Great-tailed Grackle: Noted most days.
Bronzed Cowbird: Noted on 5 days.
Giant Cowbird: Noted at RN on 5th.



MAMMALS:
Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth:
Noted only from the boat, in a riverside tree near Sierpe on 1st.
Gtr White-lined [Sac-winged] Bat: Noted on 2 days, ESQ.
Proboscis Bat: At least 12 were roosting under branches of tree, MAR, on 2nd.
Common Tent-making Bat: At least 4 under a palm frond, MAR, on 2nd.
White-faced/-throated Capuchin: 2 at the Mirador on 28th.
Mantled Howler Monkey: A group observed in mangroves, GOLF, on 29th.
White-nosed Coati: 1 on one of the verandas during the early hours, MAR, on 3rd.
Alfaro's Pygmy Squirrel: Noted at MAR on 2nd.
Red-tailed Squirrel: Noted on 5 days, Mirador on 28th, WIL & MAR.
Variegated Squirrel: Noted on 5 days, San José, eating coconut near Sierpe on 1st, LAN & RN.
Central American Agouti: Noted on 3 days, WIL & MAR.



AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES:
Common Dink/Tink Frog:
Heard at ESQ on 28th.
Bransford's Litter / Common Brown Frog: Noted at SK on 28th.
Green Iguana: ESQ.
Gecko sp: Noted on 2 days, MAR.
Anole sp: Noted on 3 days, WIL & MAR.
Central American Whiptail: Noted on 2 days, MAR.
Green Spiny Lizard: Noted at TL on 27th.
Spectacled Cayman: Noted on 2 days, in the pool at ESQ.


I hope you all enjoyed the trip and have returned home with your own special memories. At Trogon Lodge of course, it must be the Quetzals, Esquinas we have 'Hola' the Red-lored Parrot, Wilson was just superb with the botanical gardens, Marenco and the Scarlet Macaws, Red-capped Manakins and the excellent Corcovado National Park, and finally, Rancho Naturalista with its balcony over-looking a stunning view of the valley. The final evening watching Woodnymphs and Fairies at the bathing pool was, I think, a fitting end to a great trip.
Well done to all of you who made this trip the success it was, and our special thanks to Jackie and the team at Horizontes who put together an excellent itinerary, and to José and Juan-Carlos for all their hard work and expertise during the week.

Keith Grant, February 2003


© The Travelling Naturalist 2003