Sunday, January 4, 2015

Costa Rica Part I (Dec 18-Dec 21)

Collared Aracari, near Braulio Carrillo NP, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014

Emerald Tanager, Braulio Carrillo NP, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014
Blue and Gold Tanager, Braulio Carrillo NP, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014
Central American Pgymy Owl, Braulio Carrillo NP, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014
With the snowy, cold weather here today I thought it would be a good idea to review some of my latest productive and relaxing trip to Costa Rica.  I went down on December 18th and headed up to Chilamate Ecolodge in Sarapiqui where I spent the next three nights. During my two full days there I hired a guide (Kevin Martinez) and we covered a lot of ground in search of new birds. On Friday we headed up to Braulio Carrillo NP where we spent the better part of the morning on the trails there. Highlights there included a Central American Pgymy Owl at the top of a tree being mobbed by a variety of different birds including a stunning Emerald Tanager. The park produced a dozen lifers including the birds mentioned above as well as others including White whiskered Puffbird, Streak crowned Antvireo, Dull mantled Antbird,Thicket Antpitta, Nightingale Wren, Tawny faced Gnatwren, Tawny crested Tanager, Blue and Gold Tanager, Carmiol's Tanager and Tawny capped Euphonia.
Black crested Coquette, Reserva El Tapir, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014
Nicaraguan Seed Finch, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, Dec 19, 2014
Once we finished with the national park we headed just down to the road to the Reserva El Tapir (aka the old butterfly gardens) which is well known for some unusual hummingbirds. Although we struck out on the Snowcap (the caretaker said it has been absent for several days) we did manage to find me a lifer with a Black crested Coquette. After lunch at at local roadside restaurant we worked our way back toward Chilamate with various short stops on the way which produced some great birds including two more lifers: Nicaraguan Seed Finch and Thick billed Seed Finch.

Keel billed Motmot, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, Dec 20, 2014

Pied Puffbird, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, Dec 20, 2014
My second full day we stayed a bit closer to Chilamate and spent most of the morning checking out a variety of fields and hedgerows on private land as we worked our way down to the Sarapiqui River. Although we got quite muddy and tired from the heat it was a productive several hours with nine more lifers including Green Ibis, Pale vented Pigeon, Keel billed Motmot, Pied Puffbird, Smokey brown Woodpecker, Olive throated Parakeet, Great Antshrike (life bird #900), Yellow margined Flycatcher and Band backed Wren. 
Bronze tailed Plumeleteer, La Salva, Costa Rica, Dec 20, 2014
After a break for lunch we headed over to the roads near La Salva which was a bit quiet due to the heat of the day but still produced some good birds including two more lifers-Bronze tailed Plumeleteer and Plain colored Tanager.

On Sunday I made the trek back to San Jose to meet Sherri and then we headed down to Rio Magnolia Lodge for the remainder on the trip. En route I managed to pick up another lifer when a Green Shrike Vireo made a brief appearance along the road.  More of the trip to come....

Links to more photos from the trip-
'everything else'-


  1. Great stuff, Larry. Nine hundred life birds - nice! I checked out the pics on Flickr. They got some unusual looking moths down there! (Posted by Ed Kittredge)

    1. Thanks Ed...there are lots of unusual moths down there...amazing diversity...check out the albums of previous trips down there to see lots more moths (and other stuff too!)