Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Costa Rica part 2 (Dec 22-Dec 30 2014)

White crested Coquette, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 28, 2014
White crested Coquette, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 28, 2014
Blue crowned Manakin, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 25, 2014
Red capped Manakin, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 25, 2014
Two barred Flasher, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 24, 2014
Roadside Hawk, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 24, 2014
Fer-de-lance, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 29, 2014

White ruffed Manakin, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 22, 2014
Orange collared Manakin, Los Cusingos, Costa Rica, Dec 27, 2014
Swallow tailed Kite, Rio Magnolia Lodge, Costa Rica, Dec 24, 2014
The second part of my latest trip to Costa Rica began late on December 21st with our arrival at the Rio Magnolia Lodge in the southern Pacific foothills.  We stayed at the lodge until December 30th and made just a few side trips including a trip down to the coast to Hacienda Baru NWR on the 23rd, a day long trip with birding guide Andres to Bosque del Tolomuco and Los Cusingos on the 27th and a non birding trip to Uvita to do some snorkeling (still managed to sneak in a few bird sightings on that day too…no trip is complete without some boobies).  The lodge once again proved to be a great birding location with 141 species seen or heard over the course of my time there.  No life birds there this time but after a half dozen visits that is not too surprising!  I’m sure I could have added more species with the assistance of a bird guide there but I was very happy to turn up what I did.  Besides the birds at the lodge the variety of other life was impressive including all the butterflies, moths and snakes including a Fer-de-lance that we nearly walked into along one of the steep trails there.  Thankfully we saw it in time to avoid a nasty encounter with one of the more venomous snakes in Costa Rica. 

The day trip down to Hacienda Baru was sunny and hot but produced some decent birds including a single lifer in the form of an unusual Mangrove Hummingbird.  Lots of great close looks at a couple of troops of White faced Capuchin Monkeys as they worked their way through the jungle provided some nice non avian excitement.

My day with Andres started out promising as we started bright and early at the higher elevation Bosque del Tolomuco with peaks of sun through the clouds.  Unfortunately the clouds moved in rather quickly, the temperatures dropped and the drizzle started and the birds became somewhat tough to find.  Despite the less than ideal conditions I still managed to turn up three life birds there including Spotted Wood Quail, a Buff fronted Quail Dove which called and called from the forest but never showed itself and Three striped Warbler (which I somehow missed on other trips).  With the less than stellar conditions we decided to descend a bit and stopped briefly for lunch at a location that occasionally features a Scaled Antpitta but no luck for us on that species either.  We then continued down in elevation ending up at Los Cusingos where we were immediately greeted by a tropical downpour that lasted 20+ minutes.  Eventually the rain stopped and we managed to get some birding in.  No new birds at Los Cusingos but some great views of some manikins, among others.  As we drove back toward my drop off for the day Andres noticed a birding friend of his stopped along the side of the road, so we stopped to see what he was looking at.  This quick stop produced my final life bird of the trip when we had a female Red breasted Blackbird teed up on a rock in an overgrown field.

Overall the latest Costa Rica trip produced 318 species with 41 of those being new in Costa Rica and 32 of those being life birds.  A great trip for some colorful tropical species including five species of manakins, 20+ species of tanagers, six species of euphonias and many others.

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