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April 18 - Costa Rica in search of the Resplendent Quetzal (1 Viewer)

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Correct again

More good birds and several we didn't get,

Tawny-chested Flycatcher, White-ruffed Manakin, Checker-throated Antwren were not seen by us, we didn't do that well for large Owls either with only Spectacled seen.

I don't want to start getting on your nerves with my pedantry but I think you mean Dull-mantled Antbird rather than 'Dusky-mantled'.

You seem to have stayed at more up market places than we did, Rancho Naturalista is on the list for next time!

Will you be producing an annotated species list at some point?


A

Correct, and I can't even blame Sarah's notes she has it down as Dull-mantled - I think it is me being Dull-minded :) when I type things up.

Yes, I'll attach it to the final PDF version of the report.

Rancho is certainly recommended.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Last day at Rancho Naturalista

Last day at Rancho Naturalista

At first light I headed to the insect light, there were 6 Brown Jays eating the months and the only other bird around was the Red-throated Ant-tanager. The Tawny-chested Flycatcher was again calling near the lodge and I saw him again although I couldn’t photograph him. There was a couple of Grey-headed Chacalaca near the road down and a Stripe-breasted Wren.

After breakfast we headed around the irongate and pasture area where we had fun finally seeing three male White-Collared Manakins lekking with just a single female in attendance, in the same area there was a Rufous Motmot and a Yellow-olive Flycatcher. We also saw a couple of Crimson-fronted Parakeets, Yellow-faced Grassquit and a White-winged Dove before we stopped for the morning.

From the balcony I had fun trying to get some flight shots of hummingbirds as Green Thorntail, Crowned Woodnymph, Green-breasted Mango, Rufous-tailed and White-necked Jacobin all moved way too quick for me to stop their wings even with a flash and high shutter speed. Interestingly a guy we met showed me his set up of 7 flashes which he was getting great shots with – but it looked like too much effort for me, all I want is decent record shot.

After lunch – I had a wander on my own and showed two older ladies who were staying at the lodge a White-breasted Wood Wren doing nest building and the White-ruffed Manakin on his favoured display branch.

Around 15.00 we set off to try to find the lek for White-crowned Manakin – I had been told by a local guide that it was between Bufo Link and El Mirador, the furthest point on the trails. We decided to take the Quail Dove trail up but I should say the trails are poorly marked; on the way up we added Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Plain Xenops and Collared Aracari.

It then started to rain and get quite dark, Danny and Sarah were for turning back but I said I’m sure that sign for the tree fern leads to the Mirador and just before that is the lek, so I said you wait hear and I’ll go ahead. About 0.5KM ahead I heard the manakin, and saw the male well, so I quickly headed downhill to fetch Sarah, when we finally got up to the point where I had saw the bird, we found him but he had stopped displaying and it was just a glimpse that they got. Still White-crowned Manakin was the third black and white manakin of the day. We headed round to the mirador had a drink and a dry in the shelter before heading down the Manakin trail, only bird added was Olive-backed Euphonia; somehow we went wrong and found ourselves at the closed section of the Pepper road, I recognised where were from yesterday’s walk with Cali but Danny had a tumble and hurt his knee and didn’t want to take a chance in getting lost so he called the lodge for help, a little to my embarrassment, as I had walked ahead on my own and knew where we were; just across the river from the pools and only about 15 minutes from the feeders, 25 minutes from the lodge but I went back and waited with them until the guy from the lodge came and we walked down together.

We arrived back in the dark – no owls calling and we didn’t go out in the rain to try later.
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Jose Perez’s place (known as Cope) and Tirimbina NP

Jose Perez’s place (known as Cope) and Tirimbina NP

Just a brief walk before breakfast, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Snowcap, Speckled Tanager, White-necked Jacobin and Roadside Hawk seen.

We had decided to leave immediately after breakfast to go to Jose Perez’s place about an hour from La Selva. Jose is a well-known local artist / photographer who has a nice garden but who has staked out the local area for subjects for his paintings.

Just before we stopped we spotted a 3 toed Sloth, the first of this trip, and saw another actually in Jose’s garden. Jose now had a local guy working for him and he was going to guide us.

Danny drove us to some riverine forest and the guy pointed out a Great Potoo, only our second sighting of this bird which we managed to get a record shot of and see in the scope, next up after a walk through the forest was pair of Crested Owls. The birds were well hidden but one of them was just viewable through the scope, the guide suggested I play the call, I did briefly and the bird turned slightly and raised one ear tuft (almost like an eyebrow); I think you can at least tell what the bird is in a photograph, the other bird sat motionless in thick vegetation.

Back in the car and we parked up in a busier area – Danny had to stay with the car. First the guide showed us a female Black-throated Trogon just sitting low down in a tree stump, then he lifted a large palm leaf and showed us some White-tented Bats underneath it.

It was now time to be totally silent as we crept down to the river and looked up at two Spectacled Owls, one of the birds was awake and looked down disdainfully at us, we couldn’t stay though as we didn’t want to move the birds from the hard found day roost.

On the way back to the road as a bit of a bonus we had the best display of lekking White-collared Manakin, I think we had ever seen; the vegetation surrounding the display area was cleared so views were uninterrupted.

Back to Jose’s place and there wasn’t much on the feeders – Long-billed Hermit was only new bird. The charge for possibly the best 2 hours birding of the trip was very reasonable US$20 each.

After an early lunch it was on to Tirimbina Reserve located directly on the Sarapiqui River. It has its own Cocoa plantation and Chocolate making and a sizeable area of rainforest, located over a series of suspension bridges that cross the Sarapiqui. There is an island only accessible from the bridges but the steps down were closed. The trails in Tirimbina are well marked although the distances on the marker post seemed a bit out, access is available to visitors having lunch or just doing the chocolate tour as well as guests. The hotel rooms are a bit like a University or Dormitory but perfectly fine and food was OK.
Our walk of the trails gave us Orange-chinned Parakeet, Yellow-throated Toucan, Dusky Antbird(female), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Passerini’s Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Melodious Blackbird, and after much looking a Tawny-faced Gnatwren, and Grey Hawk.

Other wildlife included Strawberry Poison Dart Frog and Black Howler Monkey.

On the bridge on the way back we watched the Keel-billed Toucans fly in and added Great Blue and Little Blue Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, Fasciated Tiger-Heron and Black Phoebe on the rocks below.

Another night of heavy rain washed out our planned owling but we didn't care.
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
What a terrific session!

Would love to see pix of the sloth and the bats and the frogs plus the manakin

Cheers
Mike
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Some Photos as requested

What a terrific session!

Would love to see pix of the sloth and the bats and the frogs plus the manakin

Cheers
Mike

It was a great session - hope these are ones you wanted.
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
La Selva Biological Station

La Selva Biological Station

As a last highlight of our trip we visited La Selva. This site is comprised of 1,614 hectares (3,988 acres) of old growth and disturbed tropical wet forest. The species diversity here is spectacular as La Selva is home to more than the half of the 886 species of birds in Costa Rica, with hindsight we should have stayed here to get access to the trails which seemed much better than Tirimbina.

A mix up with our booking meant we were on the 8.00am general wildlife walk, but Danny contacted them and asked if we could do the 5.45am birding walk. We were told it at this time it was a longer walk and therefore we needed to pay an extra $10 each. No problem.

On arrival at 5.30 we had time for cups of coffee and then we were introduced to another UK couple who we would be going round with. They seemed a nice enough couple but had just arrived yesterday, hadn’t slept or eaten and clearly had no idea of even common birds as I pointed out a few Tanagers to them; only the lady had binoculars (guy had a camera but was more of a birder), she was mainly interested in seeing Frogs. So while the guide tried his best to find birds we didn’t see anything new – best we saw were Stripe-breasted Hermit, Brown-headed Parrot, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Paltry Tyrannulet, Long-tailed Tyrant, Buff-rumped Warbler, Broad-billed Motmot and Black-and-Yellow Tanager. We did see White-capuchin and Howler Monkeys, Basilisk Lizard [/B]and lots of Strawberry Poison Dart frogs.

However we arrived back after two hours not the three and half I expected, Danny wasn't fue to pick us up for another couple of hours.
I wasn’t happy and asked to just do the trails on our own – not allowed but we could join the 8.00 general walk that was just setting off, while not ideal I thought we could just walk behind the group.

In any event my mood soon lifted as we made our way to join the group I spotted a female Snowy Cotinga which was soon joined by a showy male. I got Sarah on it and then managed to get the group led by Jorge (who was a keen birder) on the bird – Sarah said I sort of shouted in a whisper “Cotinga”, - talking to Jorge later he had only seen the Cotinga 3 or 4 times in the last couple of months. Fortunately there were a few birders in the group so the next walk went really well. We got a nice Cinnamon Woodpecker in the next tree to the Cotinga and as soon as we entered the trail Jorge pointed out a Vermiculated Screech Owl that we would never have found ourselves, bearing in mind we were with a mixed group and couldn’t really spend time looking for skulkers to add Black-throated Wren was really good. There was also the nice showy birds like Yellow-throated Toucan, Double-toothed Kite, Collared Aracari, Rufous Motmot, Buff-throated Saltator, Passerini’s Tanager and Montezum’a Orependula.

We saw the same monkeys and added Collared Peccary and just as the heavens opened we saw a Two-toed Sloth in the trees near the cabins where we sheltered from the rain.
Last bird of the walk was a nice Black-faced Grassquit.

We decided to have lunch at Selva Lodge where included in the price of the buffet lunch is access to the trails, some of which are covered. In the entrance area there was a Three-toed Sloth but we didn’t see a lot of birds life, just Green Honeycreeper, Grey-capped Flycatcher, White-crowned Parrot and Orange-billed Sparrow.

On the drive back we saw a large movement of hawks, we jumped out the car and counted over 150 Swainson’s Hawk and around 100 Red-tailed Hawks.

Just a quick walk around the garden trail before heading over the bridge and trying the longer trail in the reserve. In the garden we found a very confiding Slaty-tailed Trogon, Clay-coloured Thrush and female White-collared Manakin.

Onto the trail it was mainly the same birds as yesterday but we did see Chestnut-headed Oropendula, Variable Seedeater, and a nice Olive-backed Quail-Dove – the trails were really quite muddy and we only added Rufous Motmot and Swainson’s Thrush before fast tracking it back as torrential rain started to fall. It rained right through until the next morning.
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Other Wildlife

Some other wildlife
 

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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Envious of Crested Owl, we couldn't find that when we were with him.

The Potoo seems to have changed his perch too.

Cotinga is a real find, not being seen during our visit at all or even recently.

Your Basilisks are Emerald (not Helmeted) and Brown, Helmeted attached for comparison.

Where did you stay for La Selva?


A
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
I'm sure she would

Yes indeed -thank you!

All the other wildlife plus the large number of stunning birds is starting me wondering if my non birding wife might enjoy such a trip.

Cheers
Mike

Mike

I'm sure she would particularly if you added a week on Nicoya Peninsula for some R&R at the end.

David
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Thanks again

Envious of Crested Owl, we couldn't find that when we were with him.

The Potoo seems to have changed his perch too.

Cotinga is a real find, not being seen during our visit at all or even recently.

Your Basilsks are Emerald (not Helmeted) and Brown, Helmeted attached for comparison.

Where did you stay for La Selva?


A

Thanks Andy

We did see all three Basilisks - must go through and see if I've got a photo of the Helmeted.


We stayed at Tirimbina Reserve on basis it had better rooms, was cheaper and was less busy. Also less expensive than Selva Verde Lodge
It is in La Virgen about 20 minutes from La Selva.

David
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Thanks Andy

We did see all three Basilisks - must go through and see if I've got a photo of the Helmeted.


We stayed at Tirimbina Reserve on basis it had better rooms, was cheaper and was less busy. Also less expensive than Selva Verde Lodge
It is in La Virgen about 20 minutes from La Selva.

David

I know it, we did the guided walk there.

We stayed not far away at Gavilan Lodge which we really enjoyed, fairly basic rooms but a very nice setting and good food. Sitting outisde in the morning darkness, eating our porridge to the chorus of Howler Monkeys was a trip highlight here. Some good birds in the grounds including our only Crimson-winged Woodpecker and Short-tailed Nighthawk.


A
 

stuartvine

Well-known member
Yes indeed -thank you!

All the other wildlife plus the large number of stunning birds is starting me wondering if my non birding wife might enjoy such a trip.

Cheers
Mike

I've been there twice on non-birding trips for the same reason, but you're still going to see an awful lot! Most tours will include a lot of wildlife and even the normal hotel/lodge grounds (outside the cities) are bursting with birds. :t:

The Voyages Jules Verne tours (add a beach extension such as Manuel Antonio) are pretty good.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Back to Bougainvillea

Back to Bougainvillea

We passed on a last morning of birding at Tirimbina to give a last try for some missed birds at a spot near La Paz falls and then near Poas Volcano, the park was still closed due to Volcanic activity but hopefully should have opened for the May Day holiday. The first stop was at a café with some feeders and some captive pheasants and a view of the first waterfall but as there were no birds around there was no charge – we only saw an Orange-fronted Parakeet, Swallow-tailed Kite, Blue-Grey and Passerini’s Tanager we did hear distant Prong-billed Barbets but they did not respond to calls. The owner thought that as fruit was in such abundance birds were feeding near their breeding sites rather than coming to his fruit as they do before the trees carry fruit.

Next stop at a bridge near Poas, added Green-crowned Brilliant, [/B]Keel-billed Toucan and Rufous Collared Sparrow but none of the target birds.

We stopped for lunch near Santa Domingo with Danny and we were joined by his wife Olga, it was at a Chocolate Factory with a nice restaurant. After lunch we said our good byes and had our last afternoon and evening at the Bougainvillea Hotel.

Our afternoon walk neatly book-ended things with many of the birds we saw on the first morning, like Clay-coloured Thrush, Lesson’s Motmot, Rufous-naped Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Hoffman’s Woodpecker and Tropical Kingbird. Then I spotted something different on the ground near the new apartments, I said Brush Finch, but when we actually looked closely it was a couple of White-eared Ground-Sparrow not bad to be adding a lifer on our last afternoon.

That evening we had a stroll round the ground looking for Owls and Frogs, we did spot the Common Pauraque, sitting on the Tennis Court and managed to see the Ferari’s Leopard Frog but couldn’t find the Coffee (Golden-eyed Tree) Frog.
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
And finally - full version of trip and list as PDF

We had time for a walk before and after breakfast and it brought home to us how good an introduction the hotel grounds are to Costa Rica (or in our case a recap). We saw Inca Dove, Ruddy Pigeon, Crimson-fronted Parakeet, Lesson’s Motmot, Hoffman’s Woodpecker, Tropical Kingbird, Rufous-capped Warbler, Clay-coloured Thrush, Melodious Blackbird, Rufous-naped Wren, Wood Thrush, Blue-grey Tanager, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Great Kiskadee with little effort. We also added a surprise Barred Hawk from the bird tower.

We also managed to see the leopard frog in daylight.


PDF version of Trip and List attached

 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
My top 5 birds

My top 5 birds for the trip were Resplendent Quetzal, Thicket Antpitta, Spectacled Owl, Great Curassow] and Snowy Cotinga.
 

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dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
Sarah's top 5

Red-headed Barbet, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Respendent Quetzal, Snowcap and Gartered Trogon
 

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