Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sarapiqui area of Costa Rica -March 27-29

Lineated Woodpecker, Chilamate, Costa Rica, Mar 27, 2014
Long tailed Tyrant, Chilamate, Costa Rica, Mar 27, 2014
Amazon Kingfisher, Chilamate Ecolodge, Costa Rica, Mar 27, 2014
Howler Monkey, Virgen del Socorro, Costa Rica, Mar 28, 2014
Violet Sabrewing, Mirador La Cascada, Costa Rica, Mar 28, 2014
This will be one of a few posts about my most recent trip down to Costa Rica.  The first installment will cover the first few days down there when I was primarily in the Sarapiqui area on the Caribbean side of the country.

We arrived in Costa Rica late on March 26th and spent the night outside San Jose and then we headed northwest to the Sarapiqui region the next morning.   I had intentions to stop at a spot known for some unusual hummingbirds but the driver could not find the spot so I missed out on a few possible species there but oh well. We arrived at Chilamate Ecolodge around noon and I spent the afternoon exploring the grounds and nearby areas and managed ten life birds in a few hours time. Nice to be in a new area of Costa Rica and see a new suite of birds.

On Friday the 28th I had arranged for a guide for the entire day but the guide didn't show at the agreed time and for a time I thought I was in deep trouble and would miss out on my one full day I had available up there for birding.  Luckily the owner of the lodge knew the guide and called him. A bit of miscommunication on his part had me scheduled for guiding the next day...damn! The guide made it there up a bit late and was very apologetic.  Better late than never we were off to Virgen del Socorro.  Although the birding was a bit slow we did run across a family of Howler Monkeys including a couple youngsters. We spent a few hours there but it was fairly quiet. We then made it to a small restaurant nearby that had some hummingbird feeders and a great view of a nearby waterfall. We spent about an hour there and I managed a few life hummingbirds and some great photos. With the day nearly half over we headed to La Salva with a brief stop on the way to pick up a Great Potoo (just look for the handwritten 'potoo' sign...no kidding!). We arrived at La Salva and spent hours exploring the grounds and had some great birds picking up several more lifers including Agami Heron.

The guide made up for his late appearance on Friday by guiding for me for a few hours on Saturday before we made our trip to Rio Magnolia Lodge. We started off right at dawn trying to track down a pair of nesting Great Green Macaws.  We had them vocally flying away not long after we arrived so we counted ourselves lucky to see them at all. We then headed back over to La Salva and spent a few more hours there and yet again picked up some great birds. Overall a great couple days on the Caribbean side around Sarapiqui during which I managed to get 46 life birds...very happy with that. The guide (despite some initial problems with dates) turned out to be great. He is in charge of guides at La Salva and really knows his stuff. I would recommend Roldofo to anyone birding up that way.

We then made the long drive (about five hours) down to Rio Magnolia Lodge with a few stops along the way with the most productive birding spot being the feeders at La Georgina....lots of hummingbirds you can't get elsewhere coming in really close for great views.

More photos from the latest trip down there can be found on my Flickr page and I'm adding more as I get them sorted out:


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