Part Three Costa Rica With Birdwatching Trips 2018 By Ivan and Rose




The word "awesome" is over used but not in this case - King Vulture.



From the highland delights of San Gerardo de Dota we headed pretty much due west to pick up the Pacific Coast highway, another of those roadside stops saw us greeted by white faced capuchins which were a quick introduction to the beautifully laid out gardens. Again the hedges were humming with white-crested coquettes, white-tailed emerald, green-crowned brilliant, violet sabrewing, and snowy-bellied hummingbirds all within a very short time. Downwards we went and black-bellied whistling-ducks, grey-breasted martins and ruddy ground dove were spotted around a small urban reservoir before hitting the coastal strip of monotonous palm oil plantations on our way north to our next destination.


In total contrast to the vulture a tiny but gorgeous White-crested Coquette.



A couple more stops added the first gulls (laughing and Franklin’s) of the trip, a pair of scarlet macaws, scissor tailed flycatchers, mockingbirds, turquoise-browed motmots, a prehistoric looking gathering of groove billed anis and a flyover king in amongst a kettle of mixed vultures. Further up the coast and through the tourist resorts we hooked sharp east and up the coastal range to the stunning ecolodge where we would be for the next three nights.


Roadside Scissor-tailed Flycatcher had us doing an emergency stop!




Pretty close to paradise we think, the wonderful Macaw Lodge.



Although we were now getting used to the night song of the forest, this appeared to be amplified with mesh floor to ceiling windows in the gorgeous rooms and providing a taster of what we would experience over the next couple of days. First up was an exploration of the grounds starting at the lodge and another new hummingbird for the trip, this time aptly named charming hummingbird, together with some more curious bananaquits and some considerably less confiding white-throated crakes. Spot crowned euphonia and grey-cowled wood rail were also seen before we stepped out of the main building.


The wonderfully named Charming Hummingbird that came to the flowers by the breakfast table.



Off on to the waterfall trail and the opportunity to get acquainted with non-avian components of the local flora and fauna including brown basilisks, roosting long nosed bats, colourful butterflys and a shout of “snake!” caught one’s attention as it came from Rose behind me who had spotted some movement on the path as my foot brushed past something. Turns out it was a dosing fer-de-lance pit viper which then had us rapidly switching focus from the trees to the floor and back again, but what an experience. Onwards and sulphur rumped flycatchers, plain xenops and dot winged antwrens caught the attention at eye level, while the western variety of green and black dart frogs, skinks and young tarantulas scurried around in the leaf litter. Again we suddenly came to a halt, but this time our eyes all looked up into the forest canopy as a king vulture was sitting directly above us. The rest of the day was spent relaxing around the lodge in the company of scarlet macaws that joined us for lunch, golden naped woodpeckers, Inca doves, bay headed tanager, crested caracara, least flycatcher and more macaws that accompanied an afternoon stroll. We were joined for the evening by Serge again and one of the new guides that had just started work at the lodge, having travelled up from Bolivia. In one of those curious coincidences, Hugo’s last job was working with Ricardo Céspedes Paz (director of the superb d’Orbigny Natural History Museum in Cochabamba) who Ivan had spent time with in the field looking for very old fossil fish around Cochabamba in 2004, what a strange and small world we now live in!


Of course anywhere called "Macaw Lodge" has superb Scarlet Macaws - seen from the veranda.



Next day and we headed off the ranch and down to the coast, clocking yellow bellied sapsuckers and lineated woodpeckers on the way, before heading into a coastal forest reserve where humidity was rapidly increasing. It didn’t stop the birds, ruddy tailed flycatcher, gartered trogon, white whiskered puffbird, grey headed tanager posed nicely, whilst an orange collared manakin gave us a bit of a runaround darting through the branches. Lunch was calling so we headed off to another fabulous spot with great food, pausing on the way at a bridge crossing a river where tens of American crocodiles were basking in the sun and black and grey hawks were cruising the thermals. The afternoon had us back on a boat and cruising through the mangrove swamp, although not before we had upgraded our views of a scissor-tailed flycatcher. The swamp trip was a tale of small crocs, hawks, ospreys, kingfishers, racoons, frigatebirds, pelicans, ibis, warblers, mangrove swallows and herons, and what a variety of herons. Little blue, tricolored and yellow-crowned night herons were a teaser with (yet) another wow moment as we quietly drifted past a day roost consisting of double figures of boat-billed herons that were practically within touching distance.


The mind-blowing birds just keep coming in Costa Rica - Boat-billed Heron.



Back up to the lodge for our final night there, with a toast to the fabulous day and venue before hitting the hay again accompanied by the chorus of frogs. The morning dawned and the white-throated crakes reappeared, a colourful kiskadee and green kingfisher posed in some branches draped with dew covered spiders’ webs overlooking the lodge ponds and a pair of Muscovy ducks waddled in front of us during breakfast and we reluctantly packed up and headed further north to our next destination, leaving this bit of paradise behind. We’ll pick up on the remaining part of the trip in the, you’ve guessed it, next instalment.


Our brilliant local guide Abelardo always smiling and so enthusiastic!



If you would like to join one of Birdwatching Trips tours to Costa Rica please drop us a line here...

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We only have six guests and three guides on these wonderful tours so come along and see the mind-blowing birds and wildlife you will fall in love with Costa Rica!





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.


<