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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Panama and Costa Rica February 2024 (1 Viewer)


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Patricia and I just came back last week from a three week trip to Costa Rica and Panama. It was a private tour, and not strictly birding. Our guide, Fred Muller, was more of a plant guy than a birder, but he had insight into finding birds. We didn't try to cover the two countries and stuck pretty much to the mountains between Panama City and San Jose.

Here's where we stayed:
La Semilla Ecolodge, just east of Panama City was nice, and had active feeders, though the hummingbird feeders were less active and not well maintained.
Refugio Caraiguana in Anton Valley. This was a nice place too, though without feeders. The owners had a son who was enthusiastic about birds, though not a birder. We showed him how to download Merlin, thus possibly ruining his life. He showed us where the Spectacled Owls were near the lodge.
Coffee Mountain Inn in Santa Fe, Panama was alright, but when I suggested they maintain their hummingbird feeders, they seemed to get surly. Patricia thought I was inappropriate with my suggestions, so perhaps it was my fault.
Refugio La Brisa Del Diablo, in La Plana near Reserva Forestal de Fortuna was really very nice, though not cheap. We stayed in a two- room "Jungle House" with a very nice balcony for birding, where I watched Emerald Toucanets look at a nest hole. It had a kitchenette, but we don't fool with cooking on vacation. The lodge meals were pricy, but pretty nice.
In Cerro Punta we stayed in a cheap hotel that was frankly lousy, and we left a day early. It was next door to Los Quetzales Ecolodge and Spa, which would have been nice, but expensive. There were good hummingbird feeders across the street, Jardin de Colibries.
.Mount Totumas Cloud Forest was nearly ideal, and we stayed three nights. It required 4WD to get there, but the owner probably would make arrangements to help you get there. It's right up in the cloud forest, and you can hear bellbirds almost all the time. They had feeders that were well attended by good hummingbirds.
We crossed into Costa Rica at Rio Sereno and stayed two nights at Las Cruces Biological Station. I recommend it. They had fruit feeders on the terrace that were very active. No hummingbird feeders, but we saw good ones there, including White-crested Coquette.
Outside San Jose, near Los Quetzales National Park, we stayed at SueƱos del Bosque Lodge in San Gerardo de Dota. I'd stay there again. No feeders, but a nice patch of marmalade bushes brought in lots of hummingbirds. On their trails we saw Spotted Wood-quail and Silvery-fronted Tapaculos.
Before leaving for home we stayed with friends near Grecia, outside San Jose. They moved to Costa Rica 11 years ago, and are very pleased about it.
Here's my eBird trip report: https://ebird.org/tripreport/201086

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