Costa Rica 2018 With Alan And Ruth Of Birdwatching Trips Part 1



We hope you enjoy this guest bird blog from Ivan and Rose who joined our Costa Rica tour in 2018.

Sunbittern 2

Sun Bittern one of the many spectacular birds enjoyed in Costa Rica.



Our background in birding is fairly limited, gently year ticking in the UK over the past five years and on a few work related trips overseas, but Rose has been desperate to see some hummingbirds after a dash to Bosque del Apache a couple of years ago to find a single black chinned hummer at the end of their season gave her a brief taste. So what to do? Well we’d come across Ruth and Alan via social media and had bumped into them on a couple of occasions whilst birdwatching back ‘home’ in North Wales so after a bit of thought we contacted them to see what was possible. On an exploratory day out in North Wales with Alan (Ruth was swanning around in Spain…) we had an amazing time, kicking off with a pair of skydancing male hen harriers in the sky at the same time and spotting ring ouzels as soon as we got out of the car and having a good laugh along the way, so we booked up for the 2018 tour to Costa Rica.


Seen in the hotel garden on day one in Costa Rica the huge Rufous-naped Wren - Rose Hughes.



After counting down the months, weeks and then days we arrived at departure day at Gatwick, this didn’t go too much to plan as we only left after three attempts at boarding two different planes and nine hours after we were supposed to leave. Fortunately, we’d been in touch with Alan and Ruth who were already in San Jose so we didn’t have too much to worry about and were met by local guide Abelardo at the airport and ferried to the hotel at well past midnight where we would join up with the tour for the official start in the morning.

Clay coloured Thrush 1

Clay-coloured Thrush, the National Bird of Costa Rica, yes really!



Up at dawn, the view from the hotel room balcony had us consulting the guide book and taking some (what would turn out to be very poor) photos, before we headed downstairs to meet up with Ruth, Alan and Abelardo in the hotel grounds. The first wow moment kicked off almost immediately when Abs called us over to a hedge where a White-cheeked Ground Sparrow was looked for food; a new bird for Ruth and Alan (we saw it before them so that was one up at that stage!) and a 9 out of 10 bird on Abs’ ranking system. After quickly adding rufous napped wren, boat-billed flycatcher, wood peewee and blue crowned motmot (among a huge amount of others) to the list we had a relaxed breakfast with the rest of the group before heading off east to Chilamate where we would be based for a few nights.


A "Hummingbird Garden" allowed superb views, here a Black-crested Coquette.



On the drive out of San Jose a quick stop at a roadside garden delivered a brief taste of the hummingbird action to come with violet crowned woodnymphs, black crested coquettes, snowcaps and rufous tailed hummers shining despite the drizzle and then another stop coughed up great green macaws almost as soon as we stepped out of the bus. On to Selve Verde and our first encounter with their feeding tables. If you’ve been to Selve Verde you will know what I mean, but, if you haven’t, the stunning bird life that dropped in almost defies description. Summer, scarlet rumped, palm and rose throated ant tanagers, Baltimore and black cowled orioles, yellow throated and keel billed toucans, collared aracaris, shining, red-legged and green honeycreepers, blue dacnis, black cheeked woodpeckers and rufous motmots providing a regular backdrop to meal time when the sun was up, and kinkajous, cat’s eye snakes, green and black, blue jeans and red eyed tree frogs providing the evening entertainment.

When we could drag ourselves away from base, Chilamate delivered some spectacular sights with a river boat trip yielding white lined bats, sloths galore, a magnificent great curassow sitting on the river bank and a whole range of kingfishers and stunning herons despite the unseasonal rain. A brief stop at a hummingbird garden produced a few more species to the list including bronze tailed plumeleteers and long billed hermits, with oropendolas (Montezuma’s and chestnut-headed) and orange chinned parakeets visiting the feeders and a russet napped wood rail skulking around the pond. With some brief breaks in the downpours over the next couple of days, and some stops at fabulous cafes and wonderful woodlands, we soaked up some astonishing views of owls of the spectacled, vermiculated screech and crested varieties, a very confiding squirrel cuckoo, sneaky sunbitterns, a snoozing great potoo, crested guan, trogons, rufous-tailed jacamar, broad billed motmots, bat falcons, grey breasted wrens, more hummers including green crowned brilliant, blue chested, stripe throated hermit and violet headed, golden-browed chlorophonias, golden hooded and silver throated tanagers, Zeledon’s antbird and black headed nightingale thrush. The mammals were pretty good too with spider monkeys, white faced capuchins, agoutis, collared peccaries and the ridiculously cute roosting ghost bats.

So that, in brief was the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and we were only four nights in. We packed up and then headed upwards into the mountains which we will pick up in the next installment.

Please check back soon for more of Ivan and Rose's Costa Rica adventure.





Contact us


* * *

*


Submit

Our Tweets


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this
 

Cookies

What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.


<