|Sunrise at Cerro Lodge|
We left a few days before the official trip start to get some extra days around San Jose with the chance for a few extra species. The first day was an outing to the Pacific slope lowlands dry tropical forest. On day two we went east to the wet side of the country for some rain forest birding near Rio San Jose. By evening the rest of the group was in and we were ready for the big adventure. Bird lists linked in this account are only a representative sample.
|Pacific Ocean birding|
Rio San Jose list
|Fasciated Tiger Heron|
With the group assembled we met our guide Mario Cordoba from Crescentia Expeditions and our expert drivers Alberto (owner) and Rodrigo from Transportes Vitratur were ready to make it all happen. We met Alberto on our 2002 trip to CR and it was great to see him and his family again after so many years.
Our first day was easy, birding around Heredia before heading off to a hotel in San Jose. The specialty here is the locally uncommon Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow.
We had an early arrival the next morning at Carara National Park, again in the dry Pacific lowlands. The birding was excellent on the park trails all day. As we wrapped up our day on the way in to Cerro Lodge, a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl sang away in a tree by the road.
Carara bird list
|Birding Carara NP. Guide Mario is closest|
|Ferruginous Pygmy Owl|
The following morning we were off to Rio Tarcoles for a boat trip up river from the mouth, especially for mangrove specialties like Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Vireo and Panama Flycatcher.
Rio Tarcoles boat trip list
|White-faced Capuchin Monkey at the lodge|
|View from near river mouth|
|American Pygmy Kingfisher|
|Lots of Magnificent Frigatebirds cruised over our heads|
|And plenty of Crocodiles on the bank|
|A 20+ footer|
Gulf of Nicoya bird list
|A Pacific Screech-Owl at the lodge|
|Sunset over the Gulf of Nicoya|
Solimar bird list
|Solimar Ranch wetlands|
Cano Negro boat trip list
|Cano Negro Wetlands|
|Amazon Kingfisher with fish breakfast|
|Agami Heron. A shy and secretive bird that is difficult to see|
On the way out of Cano Negro we stopped near the Nicaraguan border town of Los Chiles and the Medio Quesa marsh. Targets included Pinnated Bittern, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch (missed here but seen later in the trip) and Nicaraguan Grackle.
Medio Queso Marsh list