|Speckled Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
|Bay-headed Tanager, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
|Golden-naped Woodpecker, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
|Roadside Hawk, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
|Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
|White-collared Swift, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Dec 4, 2011|
I will begin my review of my trip down to Costa Rica by covering the first few days during which I stayed around the beautiful Rio Magnolia Lodge. The first day, December 4, I walked around the property on my own taking in one life bird after another with so many highlights I cannot even begin to come up with a list. Whole new families here that do not occur outside of the tropics. On December 5th I was joined by a local birding guide, Pedro, to check the area around the lodge. We started around 5:30 and went until noon spending time along the various edges and fields as well as later in the morning in the jungle. The remainder of the time I spent wandering the area by myself continuously coming across one new bird species after another. Some of the birds were familiar but the vast majority were new to me. I managed to see or hear at least 71 life birds just in this area in the course of two full days...amazing! The area around the lodge is a variety of habitats including edge and garden, a few pasture fields and a large expanse of primary forest. The elevation here was somewhere around the 800-900m level.