Costa Rica is a relatively small country with an immense wealth of avifauna that inhabits a variety of habitats ranging from rainforests and beaches to upland, volcanic areas and coastal mangrove swamps. Alongside this excellent array of biodiversity, Costa Rica also boasts a relatively decent infrastructure and is a relatively safe country, with it seeing no need to have a national army or air force! The following trip report summarizes my trip to Costa Rica in March 2003, documenting where we went, what birds we saw as well as hints and tips for successful travel. In navigating ourselves around the country, several books were immensely helpful:
Mølgaard, E., Meedom, J. and Rasmussen, S.K. (1997) Birdwatching in Costa Rica March - April 1996. Danish Ornithological Society, Copenhagen.
Sekerak, A.D (1996) A Travel and Site Guide to Birds of Costa Rica. Lone Pine Publishing, Canada.
Stiles, G.F. and Skutch, A.F. (1989) A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Helm, London.
In addition to these birding resources, it was necessary to use a map of Costa Rica (all maps of the country are pretty basic but the Globetrotter's map that we purchased was sufficient if you take into account the poorly signposted Costa Rican road systems) and a combination of "The Rough Guide to Costa Rica" and "Lonely Plant - Costa Rica" (in order to sort out accommodation and where to eat/drink in the evenings as we had only booked our first four nights accommodation at Selva Verde Lodge, Chilamate).
Basically, the country is relatively straightforward to negotiate your way around and it bares some parallels to the southern U.S. (particularly in the San José area). We hired a 4x4 vehicle (a Rav4), and after driving through some fairly rough roads cannot stress too strongly the importance of hiring one of these vehicles. The only other practicality is the language - although you can normally find someone who speaks some English, I found that speaking Spanish (or trying to) was occasionally necessary when trying to get accommodation in some of the more remote areas. In March 2003, US$1 = 385 colones, with the US$ pretty much acceptable anywhere (although you always get your change back in colones). The time difference from Britain is -6 hours GMT, -7 hours BST.
In 2 weeks of birding in the country, we recorded some 410 species. What is essential to note is that Costa Rica is full of micro-climates and that the country is of variable altitude, and as a consequence avifauna from one site to another often bears little resemblance to each other, with a completely new array of species often being present at each site. Undoubted highlights of the trip included excellent views of several target species including Mangrove Hummingbird, Three-wattled Bellbird, Jabiru, Sunbittern, Resplendent Quetzal and Chiriqui (Masked) Yellowthroat. On a more general note the sight of 2,000+ Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks on a Palo Verde lagoon, Common Pauraques on the road as we descended the hill above Golfito at dusk and a pair of Black-and-white Owls looking down at me in the centre of Orotina were also undoubted highlights of the trip.
Particular thanks to Stan Brunton who had the impetus to book the flights, car hire etc and who was excellent value throughout the holiday, particularly when it came to trying the Costa Rican food, and who also was extremely patient when it came to driving on Costa Rica's variable roads. The next section is a daily diary of where we went, what we saw and where we stayed as well as detailing some value moments of the trip.
14th March early morning flight Heathrow to Amsterdam with KLM, then mid morning flight Amsterdam (via Miami) to San José (arriving mid evening) with Martinair. 2-hour drive to Selva Verde Lodge, Chilamate when we arrived in San José.
15th March the morning was spent in and around the grounds of Selva Verde Lodge, familiarizing ourselves with what's common, what's not etc. The highlight of the morning was excellent views of a pair of Sunbittern as they rested on a log close to the bridge over the Rio Saripiqui in the lodge grounds. Other interesting birds noted included a Red-footed Plumeleteer, Red-throated Ant-Tanager and a King Vulture over the grounds of the lodge. During the afternoon, we went to La Selva and explored the grassy area and adjacent forestry on the access road to the Biological Reserve until it started to pour down with rain (at which time we were miles from our car so deservedly got suitably wet). We noted such species as Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Grey Hawk, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat and a fly-over Muscovy Duck. A small pool in the village of Chilamate produced a few waders including a couple of Solitary Sands, Least Sands and Northern Jacanas.
16th March a check of the pond at Chilamate early morning produced the hoped-for Fasciated Tiger Heron and we then drove the 1 ½ hours or so west to Volcan Poas National Park. Although the volcano's last large blowout was in 1910, it is still classed as an active volcano and as such is immensely attractive to tourists. As a consequence, it is a fairly good idea to be by the park entrance gate for when it opens at 8a.m. in order to get in before the masses arrive. This site is often left out of Costa Rican bird itineraries as the majority of the species here can be seen (along with a few more species) at the other high altitude site, Cerro de la Muerte. Nevertheless, we had some success with species such as Black-and-Yellow Silky Flycatcher, Black Guan, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Large-footed Finch, Peg-billed Finch and Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush being recorded here. With heavy cloud and drizzle setting in by late morning, we drove back towards Selva Verde and stopped off by the road at Virgen del Socorro (west of La Virgen, accessed by the 1st sharp bend above the waterfall and toll booth when coming from the Chilamate direction). Luckily, our visit coincided with a feeding flock and many species were noted in quick succession including Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Slaty Spinetail, Spangled-cheeked Tanager amongst more regular species such as Wilson's Warblers, Black-and-White Warblers and Chestnut-sided Warblers. We drove back to Selva Verde Lodge (with a Laughing Falcon and a Three-toed Sloth providing en-route attractions) and spent late afternoon birding there with little significant reward. In the evening, we were greeted with the news that several members of a tour company had been violently ill after eating the sandwiches from their packed lunch - looks like your comments may not have been wholly unfounded Stan! To finish the day off, views of a Great Potoo in trees adjacent to the river in the lodge grounds went down better than the sandwiches probably would have done.
17th March we re-traced yesterday's route as far as Virgen del Socorro and walked down the track into the valley. Although passerine activity was not as great as the previous afternoon, we were rewarded with excellent views of a pair of Solitary Eagles as they circled the valley, with other species noted being Silver-throated Tanagers, White-ruffed Manakin, Bay-headed Tanager and Lattice-tailed Trogon to name but a few. We proceeded up the hill by car for about 5-10 minutes and one of the first buildings on the left hand side in the first sizeable settlement (Chincona) is called Mirador Catarata San Fernando (translated as San Fernando Waterfall Viewpoint). It is free to enter (with a US$2 donation suggested) and just outside the windows are many hummingbird feeders that attracted species such as the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, Violet Sabrewing, Green-crowned Brilliant, Crowned Woodnymph, Green Violetear, Brown Violetear and Green Thorntail whilst we were there. Emerald Toucanet, Short-tailed Hawk and many White-collared Swifts were also observed here. We drove back in the direction of Selva Verde Lodge and stopped by a small roadside pond (near Tome Café Rey) and deposited our packed lunch by the roadside as we watched a Pied-billed Grebe on the pond with a few Blue-and-white Swallows hawking nearby and a couple of Yellow-faced Grassquits skulking in the reed fringes. Birding near the river north of the small town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui was relatively slow, although a pair of Yellowish Tyrannulets fly catching from low vegetation was sufficient reward. We birded the La Selva entrance track again mid to late afternoon and after negotiating with the security guard, we were allowed as far into the grounds as the shop. A few Olive-throated Parakeets were studied as they perched in the tree tops, a couple of Banded-backed Wrens skulked in isolated bushes by the chalets and both species of Toucan performed admirably throughout the late afternoon.
18th March we left Selva Verde lodge and armed with our packed lunches (as well as our belongings) were ready for the long drive to the Monteverde area. As we expected a drive of 6 hours or so, we stopped off at Braulio Carillo NP (north of San José on the Limon road) for a few hours. Fortunately, we arrived at 8a.m. just as the bloke was opening up and as a consequence we were first up the trails that morning. We concentrated on the Quebrada Gonzales area, and although birding was fairly slow to begin with we soon started seeing some interesting species (quite a few we did not see anywhere else on our trip) such as Snowcap, Long-billed Gnatwren, White-throated Robin, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Rufous Mourner, Olive Tanager, a pair of White-throated Shrike-Tanager and a few Tawny-crested Tanagers. After leaving Braulio Carillo we drove through the centre of San José (and had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch at Denny's) and out to the west in the general direction of Liberia and Puntarenas. We were fortunate enough to see a Crane Hawk circling over the Pan-American Highway near Alajuela, but the real experience of the day was the drive up towards Monteverde once we had turned off the Pan-American Highway. Within minutes, the road had turned to one of rocks and deeply eroded channels and in addition to this, the gradient of the road had significantly increased. After a couple of near incidents with lorries and buses around blind bends - as well as seeing species such as Turquoise-browed Motmot, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Orange-fronted Parakeet and White-throated Magpie-Jay en-route - we arrived early evening in the town of Monteverde. In terms of accommodation, we had been recommended the Pension Manakin by a couple of mates, and for US$6 per night we got a pretty good deal. The place was clean and the owners Mario and Yolanda Villegas (firstname.lastname@example.org) were fairly helpful in recommending areas to bird. We stayed here for two nights.
19th March we drove up to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, and parked by the entrance gates waiting for the place to open at 7a.m. Unfortunately birding in Costa Rica is often dictated by the opening hours of the National Parks and when they do open, don't be surprised about the fairly steep entrance fees! I don't mind paying these fees, but when they try and flog you guides for US$50 per day I did start to take offence. I told them that we did not want, and did not need a guide, and when we bumped into these guides they all had Swarovski binoculars and Leica telescopes - it's no wonder really considering the exorbitant fees they charge! Anyway, next to the cloud-shrouded entrance gate we were treated to excellent views of Orange-bellied Trogon and Buff-fronted Quail-Dove and then all of a sudden, a pair of Resplendent Quetzal showed themselves in the trees above us. Although somewhat bedraggled in the wet conditions, these birds weren't bad considering I'm not really a fan of gaudy looking species. Once the park opened we walked up the main trail, with several interesting species seen including Eye-ringed Flatbill, Azure-hooded Jay, Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Woodcreeper and several Three-striped Warblers squeaking near the forest floor. Perhaps the highlight of a trip to the Monteverde area is the hummingbird gallery (free entry) situated just downhill of the entrance gates to the Cloud Forest - when we were there, you could get within feet of Purple-throated Mountain-Gems, Magenta-throated Woodstars, the impressive Violet Sabrewings, Green-crowned Brilliants and a couple of Stripe-tailed Hummingbirds. We ate a perfectly adequate lunch at Stella's Bakery in Monteverde, and watched a couple of Baltimore Orioles in the garden there. After lunch, we took the road past the petrol station in the village and after parking in the Hotel Belmar we walked uphill along the track and saw species such as Yellow-throated Brush-Finch, Mountain Elaenia, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Black-throated Green Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler along this track. Another track in the village (near the school and a Mexican restaurant) leads to some Biological Gardens where we saw White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Blue-crowned Motmot, Ochraceous Wren and a Blue-headed Vireo amongst the more common species.
20th March we left Monteverde with the next site being Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. Being of similar habitat to Monteverde and of similar altitude, species that occur here are fairly similar with birds such as Collared and Slate-throated Redstarts, Common Bush-Tanager and Three-striped Warbler being fairly numerous. Once again, we birded the area near the entrance before the park opened and once we entered the park birding was relatively difficult due to the dense vegetation. Few species were seen with highlights being a couple of Black Guans, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush and a Black Hawk-Eagle over the forest canopy. However, pride of place has to go to the immaculate views of a male Three-wattled Bellbird as it honked out its tune from a slightly exposed perch. Once out of Santa Elena, we descended the mountains in the direction of Tilaran and stopped a couple of times to view a Red-tailed Hawk and a small pool that briefly attracted a few Cliff Swallows. Once down at sea level, the temperature soared and the afternoon's birding at Lomas Barbudal (just off the Pan-American Highway halfway between Liberia and Bagaces) was relatively rewarding with species such as Black-headed Trogon, Yellow-green Vireo, Roadside Hawk and Scrub Euphonia being typical of this dry bush habitat. We spent the night in the Hotel Gunanacaste in Liberia and at US$15 per night this was perhaps slightly overpriced but the rooms were adequate. As we pulled into the car park a few minutes before dark, a flock of about 100 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were hawking insects above us. We had dinner at the nearby Burger King.
21st March we drove back to Bagaces and followed signs from the Pan-American Highway to Palo Verde NP, with the NP accessed by driving about 25km along rough roads and following signs to the park. Birding along this road early in the morning was especially productive with two excellent sightings being a Pinnated Bittern standing upright in a paddy field and a group of 3 Double-striped Thick-Knee immediately beside the road. Hundreds of Great Egrets and Cattle Egrets lined the damp fields, whilst Streak-backed Orioles, Turquoise-browed Motmots and a Squirrel Cuckoo were also noted. We paid US$6 to enter the park and in my opinion, this area was possibly the most impressive site visited in Costa Rica (and it is off the tourist route so void of large, noisy groups). We drove another few kilometres into the park and arrived near the Biological Station and overlooked a lagoon where over 2,000 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks had congregated alongside lesser numbers of Wood Storks, Blue-winged Teals, Black-necked Stilts, Bare-throated Tiger-Herons, Glossy Ibis and White Ibis. When we arrived at the lagoon, one of the closest birds to us was an adult Jabiru and although it only stayed a couple of minutes, we were able to admire its red neck sack whilst marvel at its sheer size. A Black-collared Hawk flew over the marsh and a Least Bittern was seen in the reeds with Steely-vented Hummingbird and Yellow-naped Parrot also seen in the environs. We carried on the track, took a left turn by the Tempisque River and all of a sudden the car began to slip and slide towards the riverbank. Not realizing we were driving in the previous nights tidal reach, a full-scale struggle in order to keep our vehicle away from the river eventually was deemed successful as we managed to turn the car round and get it back onto dry land. Nevertheless, everyone but the driver was covered in stinking mud for the next couple of hours. Negotiating our way back past the lagoon, we took a right turn midway between the lagoon and the entrance gate and followed this track for over two kilometres until it reached another marshy area. Birds present here included numerous Northern Jacanas, a couple of American Purple Gallinules, Black-crowned Night-Heron and an Anhinga whilst two Grey-fronted Doves fed on the path and a Peregrine flew over whilst a Laughing Falcon sat in a nearby tree. We left Palo Verde late morning and journeyed towards the Tarcoles area. Using some info we had been given (cheers Fred and Jonno), we stopped off at the town square in Orotina and were treated to an owl fest with a pair of Black-and-White Owl staring down at us as well as a couple of the diminutive Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl also roosting in the park (alongside a Two-toed Sloth). It seems that a street vendor knows where these birds are on a daily basis and once he sees birders wandering aimlessly in the park, he will point you in the right direction. Although he doesn't ask for money, buying one of his ice-creams surely wouldn't be asking too much as a means of saying thank you. A brief stop at the river bridge at Tarcoles revealed the resident Crocodile population, a couple of Northern Waterthrush and about 10 Scarlet Macaw. The number of tourists and the busy road made this site one of my least favourite visited and so on that note we headed off south to Jaco to find some accommodation for the next three nights. Large numbers of Magnificent Frigatebirds and Brown Pelicans frequented this area of the Pacific Coast with both Yellow-headed and Crested Caracaras frequently being encountered by the roadside. Once in Jaco, we found some accommodation at Cabinas Calú that was US$10 per night, with the rooms being fairly spacious and equipped with fairly powerful fans.
22nd March the day was spent in and around the Tarcoles area, with the early morning spent overlooking the estuary near Tarcol Lodge with typical waders such as Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet and Semi-palmated Plover being seen alongside Roseate Spoonbill, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Tricoloured Heron. In the vegetated area by the lodge a Prothonotary Warbler skulked whilst a Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner were also noted. After watching a diurnal Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl undertake its hunting sallies, we took a track north from the road into the mangroves and were rewarded with sightings of Grey-crowned Yellowthroat, Northern Scrub Flycatcher, Panama Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard and Barred Antshrike. We returned to Tarcol Lodge to see whether there was a possibility of doing a boat trip along the river either - as it turned out, we were in luck and we arranged to do a boat trip the following afternoon. We drove out of Tarcoles village and crossed the main road, going slightly up the valley to the grounds of the Villa Lapas Hotel. This fairly classy establishment is typical of the Costa Rican upscale tourist market that primarily caters for the retired North American clientele. Birding was relatively good here with Blue-throated Goldentail, Western Tanager and Dusky Antbird quickly seen with other goodies including a pair of Black-crowned Tityras, a male Red-headed Barbet and at least a couple of male Long-tailed Manakins perching motionless on small branches by a steep incline whilst an Orange-billed Sparrow twittered from nearby. In the evening we again visited the bridge by the river, being almost deafened by the traffic or from the screams from visitors as more Scarlet Macaws flew by.
23rd March we parked at the Tarcoles River Bridge and walked back towards the 1st entrance to Carara Biological Reserve. By the roadside, a male Painted Bunting skulked in low vegetation whilst a Slaty-tailed Trogon sat motionless occasionally uttering its call. We entered the area before its official opening time (it is apparently fine to do this and pay your entrance fee on the way out) and soon found a small lek of Orange-collared Manakins by the path. This area of coastal, dry forest adjacent to the banks of the Tarcoles River produced many interesting sightings such as a Kentucky Warbler feeding on the path in front of us, Northern Bentbill, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Dot-winged Antbird, Pale-billed Woodpecker, a couple of Barred Woodcreepers and a Double-toothed Kite perched in a tree above the path. Late morning we drove along the main road, past the Reserve Centre, and parked by the road and had a brief look a long the "figure of eight" trails. Due to the time of day, bird activity was relatively subdued with a small group of Riverside Wrens and another Orange-collared Manakin being the highlights. We headed down to Tarcoles and after chilling out on the beach for a bit, watching the Magnificent Frigatebirds overhead and the plunge-diving Royal Terns offshore, it was time for the boat trip along the Tarcoles River. The price of the boat trip was US$25 and we were guided was Steve Easley from Rancho Naturalista. All in all it was worth the money for one species alone, the endemic and fairly scarce Mangrove Hummingbird - we saw a male fairly well as it perched conspicuously on an exposed twig in the mangroves. Other highlights of this trip included at least 7 Boat-billed Herons roosting in riverside trees, close views of an American Pygmy Kingfisher, a couple of Blue Ground-Doves, at least 2 Plumbeous Kites as well as several Mangrove Black-Hawks and a few Lesser Nighthawks over the river at dusk. We drove back to Jaco for another Pizza Hut meal and a few beers.
24th March we left Jaco early morning and drove south along the coast, past Parrita, Quepos and Dominical in the direction of Palmar Norte. The roads were of variable standard with gravel and dirt tracks dominating up until Dominical with the road from there to Palmar Norte being completely tarmac. A Fiery-billed Aracari was spotted on the drive, as were a couple of Blue-black Grassquits and Black-striped Sparrows near a river bridge but a apart from these species the drive was relatively uneventful. Even when we did stop on the coast, it was the usual Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds and the odd Chestnut-sided Warbler in the bushes that typified the common Costa Rican Pacific coast avifauna. From Palmar Norte, we headed up the Pan-American Highway and turned off to San Vito where we were to go birding in the afternoon and the next morning. Before we started birding, we found a place just outside the town centre called Cabinas las Mirlas. In the grounds of our accommodation we saw Purple-crowned Fairy, White-throated Robin, Mistletoe Tyrannulet, Blue-crowned Motmot and numerous Silver-throated and Golden-hooded Tanagers. We drove up the road towards Lourdes and after a couple of kilometres you pass an airstrip on your left, and soon after that (slightly set back from the road) you will see a small marsh on the left with an observation tower. We parked our car by the houses on the dirt track and walked down to the marsh - at first glance this area wasn't too impressive but after a couple of hours birding we saw some excellent species that we saw nowhere else on our trip. Birds seen at the marsh (called San Joaquin Wetlands) included a drake Masked Duck, 10 Blue-winged Teal, numerous Moorhens and American Purple Gallinules, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, one Blue-headed Parrot in amongst a large flock of White-crowned Parrots, a couple of Rufous-capped Warblers but most impressively at least two Chiriqui (Masked) Yellowthroats as they skulked in the reeds adjacent to the marsh.
25th March we re-visited San Joaquin Wetlands early in the morning and viewed the Masked Duck again. Many White-collared Swifts passed low overhead whilst a couple of pairs of Yellow-bellied Seedeaters frequented the allotments near the houses. We drove back through San Vito and south for a few kilometres to the Wilson Botanical Gardens where we were to spend the morning and early afternoon. The gardens themselves were fairly productive with a pair of Thick-billed Euphonia, a Streaked Saltator, a couple of Swainson's Thrushes, a Plain-capped Starthroat along with Eye-ringed Flatbill, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, a Lesser Elaenia and several species of Nearctic wood-warblers including American Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler amongst the ever-present Chestnut-sided Warblers. Near the viewpoint (mirador) a couple of loop trails enter a more mature forested area and birding along these trails produced a male White-ruffed Manakin, Brown-billed Scythebill, Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and a few Blue-crowned Motmots. We returned to the car after a brief chill-out session by the visitors centre and headed south on the steep road down towards Ciudad Neily, having to navigate the road in sudden heavy downpours. We took the Pan-American Highway for a little while before turning off to our next destination - Golfito - where we would stay for two nights. Our early arrival meant that we were able to bird the area in the afternoon with species such as King Vulture, Blue Ground-Dove, Pale-vented Pigeon, Band-rumped Swift and Smooth-billed Ani noted in or over the mangroves to the north-west of the town. We stayed in the Hotel Gran Ceiba whilst in Golfito and at US$10 per night possibly represented the best value accommodation of the trip, as they were complete with fans and satellite television as well as being fairly spacious.
26th March the whole day was spent in the Golfito area, with two areas being birded - the mangrove area (particularly by the bridge over a small stream) to the north-west of the town and the concreted road up the hill above the town towards the telecommunications masts. Two of us waded up the small stream near the bridge in the early morning and were rewarded with views of White-winged Becard and Scarlet-rumped Cacique not to mention a couple of Green Kingfishers flying over our heads from time to time. Also in the area near the bridge we noted at least 3 Mourning Warblers skulking low in the vegetation, a pair of Slaty-tailed Trogons, Rufous-winged Woodpecker and a Bronzy Hermit. Once the heat of the day set in, we drove up the hillside and birded the forested area up to the radio masts and, although birding was at times slow, saw some excellent species such as Black-tailed Flycatcher, White-shouldered Tanager, White-vented and Spotted-crowned Euphonias, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Eastern Wood-Pewee, several Fiery-billed Aracaris and Swainson's Thrushes whilst a King Vulture showed relatively well overhead. As the sun set behind the hill we started driving down the 5 or so kilometres towards the town and during this drive we saw at least 6 Common Pauraques as they rested on the road, several of them calling and showing exceptionally well.
27th March we started our drive north towards San José early in the morning and by 8 a.m. we had arrived in San Isidro de General just as the McDonalds was opening. Time to leave and continue on our journey to Cerro de la Muerte (literally translated means Mountain of Death). As we reached the summit, constant rain hampered our attempts to bird the track up to the radio mast and in a 5-minute attempt at birding I was able to note a Volcano Junco and a Volcano Hummingbird sheltering from the inclement weather. We drove on (leaving this area until tomorrow morning) and as the rain eased we pulled in off the road to do a little birding. A couple of Slaty Flowerpiercers, Black-and-Yellow Silky Flycatcher, Timberline Wren, Volcano and Fiery-throated Hummingbirds were noted alongside common mountain birds such as Sooty Robin, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush and Mountain Robin. We arrived at the Albergue Montana de Tapanti early afternoon and were told that a cabin for 4 people would cost a reasonable US$13 per person per night. We unpacked our bags and in light rain, we commenced birding the grounds of the lodge seeing an excellent array of species including Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Flame-throated Warbler, Flame-coloured Tanager, Hairy Woodpecker, the exquisite Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher and the endemic Grey-tailed Mountain-Gem. After a couple of hours of birding we drove out of the lodge and visited the pulperia (Newsagent) in the nearby village of Trinidad where we were supplied with a key (US$2 per person) to open the gate at Finca el Jaular (situated on the south side of the Pan-American Highway about 1km east of Trinidad). Birding along the track late afternoon produced an assortment of species including a pair of Yellow-winged Vireos, at least three Black-cheeked Warblers as well as several Collared Redstarts, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanagers, Ruddy Treerunner and a Black-throated Green Warbler. We returned the key, went back to the lodge and were presented with some excellently cooked chicken and vegetables that were much more sufficient than the mornings McDonalds. Albergue Montana de Tapanti was excellent, with the interior of the main building being finely decorated alpine-like by wooden paneling yet the Tico-style ornaments and hanging toy Quetzals assured us that we were still in Costa Rica. We found out that at this high altitude the nights are fairly cold and T-shirt and shorts did not suffice.
28th March we parked the car off the Pan-American Highway at the start of the track towards the radio masts at Cerro de la Muerte and walked the couple of kilometres up to the radio masts. At this high an altitude we did not expect many species yet were still did not expect the birding to have been this slow. Apart from several Volcano Juncos, Volcano Hummingbirds, Sooty Robins and Wilson's Warblers, very little else was seen of note and a couple of distant raptors had not prepared us for the morning's event. We walked back down the track and drove a few kilometres east along the highway and parked by the Hotel Georgina. As we got out of the car, a couple of Broad-winged Hawks moved themselves north-north-west along the mountain ridge and through the next hour or so a conservative 50 more (and one Swainson's Hawk) migrated through the area. In addition to the hawks, a few Vaux's Swifts glided over us, as did a Red-tailed Hawk. In the forestry on the opposite of the road to the hotel, a male Resplendent Quetzal was watched as it called rather forlornly whilst other birds noted in the area included Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, a few Long-tailed SilkyFlycatchers, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush and quite a few Wilson's Warblers. We drove back to our lodge to pick up our bags and continued west along the Pan-American Highway towards San José. We continued to the town of Cartago where we were to stay for the next two nights at the Hotel Los Angeles - US$15 per night - a friendly, clean establishment with satellite television opposite the Plaza de la Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles (translated (or so I think) as Our New Mother of Angel's Cathedral Square). Repeatedly battered by earthquakes since it was originally built in 1576, the current Byzantine style design is dated at 1926 since the old structure was completely destroyed in the major earthquake of 1910. Back to the birds, and the remainder of the day was spent to the east of Cartago in the valley near Paraiso, with the small park (where the ruined church of Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion, built in 1693, can be found) in the village of Ujarras being particularly productive with Melodious Blackbird, Black Phoebe, Masked Tityra and a few Baltimore Orioles being seen as well as common species such as Great-tailed Grackles, Blue-grey Tanagers and Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds. 29th March We left Cartago with the aim of getting to Tapanti NP within the hour. Unfortunately, as in most places in Costa Rica, the lack of sign posts meant that it took somewhat longer but in the end we got there. A few kilometres after driving through the tranquil town of Orosi, there is a large road bridge (wooden, with a few planks missing but still easily passable) over the river. We parked just north of this bridge and were treated to excellent views of a Dark Pewee, a couple of Black Phoebes, a few Northern Rough-winged Swallows as well as a noisy gang of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas that appeared to be nesting in roadside trees. During a rush of excitement, one of us tried to run across the bridge but fell through where a missing slab should have been and had to hang on and gradually haul himself back up to normality. He survived, albeit with scars to prove the event, and we entered Tapanti National Park (US$6 per person entrance fee) and commenced birding on the Camino Principal (the main track), stopping at a couple of sunlit places as we drove up. We quickly encountered a couple of White-bellied Mountain-Gems as they perched motionless on exposed stems, with Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Bay-headed and Silver-throated Tanagers, White-throated Robin, Blackburnian, Golden-winged and Chestnut-sided Warblers also prospering in the bright sunlight. We parked up and walked down the Sendero Oropendola (Oropendola Trail), stumbling upon a gorgeous male Blue-hooded Euphonia as well as seeing Azure-hooded Jay, Yellow-throated Brush-Finch, Blue-and-Gold Tanager, Elegant Trogon, Sharp-shinned Hawk and a pair of Torrent Tyrannulet on rocks in the centre of the river. Another trail, Sendero La Pava, was virtually void of bird activity although at least one Torrent Tyrannulet was noted by the river at the end of this trail, whilst numerous Band-tailed Pigeons and White-collared Swifts pierced the cloudless sky. By mid afternoon we left the National Park and found ourselves on the infamous bridge again, noting a couple of Torrent Tyrannulets nest-building on the river below it. We slowly drove back, stopping by a small bridge over a stream on the outskirts of Orosi (on one side of the bridge is the start of housing, on the other is a footpath leading slightly uphill alongside the stream). Here we finally located an American Dipper and whilst watching it a Swainson's Hawk circled over the valley whilst a Golden-bellied Flycatcher perched momentarily on the streamside vegetation. We gradually drove back towards Cartago, feeling fairly contented and that the trip had been a success.
30th March we left Cartago mid morning and took the car to a car wash where it was immaculately cleaned inside and out for under US$4. We slowly ambled towards San José stopping briefly at a couple of shopping malls to stock up on the odd souvenir or two. After a hearty lunch at Denny's, we returned the car to the car hire place and went to the airport to catch our evening flight (via Miami) to Amsterdam.
31st March we arrived at Amsterdam Airport mid afternoon after an unsurprisingly non-eventful flight and got our connection back to London Heathrow, landing back in Britain mid evening.
The following is a list of species seen, with bird names following Stiles and Skutch (1989) except for Hudsonian Whimbrel (as opposed to Whimbrel which includes non-Nearctic races of the superspecies), Grey Plover (instead of Black-bellied Plover), Blue-headed Vireo (with Plumbeous Vireo split from the superspecies Solitary Vireo), Passerini's and Cheri's Tanagers (split into two from the superspecies Scarlet-rumped Tanager) and Chiriqui Yellowthroat (sometimes treated as a race of Masked Yellowthroat).
1) Pied-billed Grebe, 1 on pond between Chilamate and La Virgen.
2) Brown Pelican, common on the Pacific coast.
3) Olivaceous (Neotropic) Cormorant, c.10 Tarcoles area.
4) Anhinga, singles at Palo Verde and Tarcoles.
5) Magnificent Frigatebird, common on the Pacific coast.
6) Pinnated Bittern, 1 Palo Verde entrance road.
7) Least Bittern, 1 Palo Verde.
8) Fasciated Tiger-Heron, 1 Chilamate, 1 Selva Verde.
9) Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, a few in the Palo Verde and Tarcoles areas.
10) Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2 Palo Verde.
11) Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, c.10 Tarcoles area.
12) Boat-billed Heron, 7 Tarcoles area.
13) Cattle Egret, common.
14) Green Heron, common, small numbers seen in most locations.
15) Little Blue Heron, common, largest numbers Palo Verde and Tarcoles.
16) Tricoloured Heron, 3 Tarcoles, 1 Golfito.
17) Snowy Egret, common especially at Palo Verde.
18) Great Egret, common with hundreds at Palo Verde.
19) Great Blue Heron, 3 Palo Verde, 1 Tarcoles.
20) Wood Stork, 20+ Palo Verde, 1 Tarcoles.
21) Jabiru, 1 Palo Verde.
22) White Ibis, 5 Palo Verde, 20+ Tarcoles and 5+ Golfito.
23) Glossy Ibis, 2 Palo Verde.
24) Roseate Spoonbill, 2 Tarcoles, 1 Carara.
25) Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, 2,000+ Palo Verde, 2 Tarcoles.
26) Muscovy Duck, 1 La Selva, 2+ Palo Verde.
27) Blue-winged Teal, 25+ Palo Verde, 10 San Joaquin.
28) Masked Duck, 1 drake San Joaquin.
29) Turkey Vulture, common.
30) Black Vulture, common.
31) King Vulture, 1 Selva Verde, 2 Golfito.
32) Osprey, a few seen, especially at Palo Verde and Tarcoles.
33) Hook-billed Kite, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
34) American Swallow-tailed Kite, a few seen especially in the Virgen del Socorro, Monteverde and Golfito areas.
35) White-tailed Kite, 1 Tarcoles, 2 Ujarras, 1 San José.
36) Double-toothed Kite, 1 Carara.
37) Plumbeous Kite, 3 Tarcoles.
38) Crane Hawk, 1 near Alajuela on the Pan-American Highway.
39) Black-chested Hawk, 1 Palo Verde.
40) Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 Selva Verde, 1 Tapanti.
41) Solitary Eagle, pair Virgen del Socorro.
42) Black-collared Hawk, 1 Palo Verde.
43) Mangrove Black-Hawk, 5+ Tarcoles.
44) Grey Hawk, 1 La Selva, 1 Tarcoles and 1 Golfito.
45) Roadside Hawk, 2+ Lomas Barbudal, 1 Palo Verde and 1 Tarcoles.
46) Broad-winged Hawk, widespread, 50+ migrating over Cerro de la Muerte.
47) Short-tailed Hawk, 2 Catarata San Fernando, Chincona.
48) Swainson's Hawk, 1 Cerro de la Muerte, 1 Tapanti.
49) Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Santa Elena-Tilaran, 2 Cerro de la Muerte.
50) Black Hawk-Eagle, 1 Santa Elena.
51) Crested Caracara, common, especially in Golfito and Tarcoles areas.
52) Yellow-headed Caracara, a few on the Pacific coast south of Tarcoles.
53) Laughing Falcon, 1 near La Virgen, 1 Palo Verde and 1 Golfito.
54) Peregrine, 1 Palo Verde.
55) Black Guan, 1 Volcan Poas, 2 Monteverde, 1 Santa Elena and 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
56) Spot-bellied Bobwhite, 3 entrance road to Palo Verde.
57) Limpkin, 6+ Palo Verde.
58) Moorhen, 8 San Joaquin.
59) American Purple Gallinule, 2 Palo Verde, 6 San Joaquin.
60) Sunbittern, 2 Selva Verde.
61) Northern Jacana, common, seen in most marshy areas/areas of water.
62) Black-necked Stilt, 5 Palo Verde, 15+ Tarcoles.
63) Double-striped Thick-Knee, 3 Palo Verde entrance track.
64) Grey Plover, 5+ Tarcoles.
65) Semipalmated Plover, 4 Palo Verde, 30+ Tarcoles.
66) Wilson's Plover, 2 Tarcoles.
67) Hudsonian Whimbrel, 15+ Tarcoles, 1 Dominical.
68) Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 Tarcoles.
69) Solitary Sandpiper, 3 on pond at Chilamate.
70) Willet, a few on the Pacific coast, particularly around Tarcoles.
71) Spotted Sandpiper, common, a few seen at most locations near water.
72) Ruddy Turnstone, 7 Tarcoles, 2 Golfito.
73) Western Sandpiper, 1 Tarcoles.
74) Least Sandpiper, 5 Chilamate, 3 Palo Verde, 50+ Tarcoles area.
75) Laughing Gull, common on the Pacific coast.
76) Royal Tern, common on the Pacific coast, c.80 Tarcoles area.
77) Sandwich Tern, 15+ Tarcoles.
78) Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, a few seen in urban areas.
79) Band-tailed Pigeon, 5+ Volcan Poas, 10 Monteverde, 25+ Cerro de la Muerte, 40+ Tapanti.
80) Pale-vented Pigeon, 4 Golfito.
81) Red-billed Pigeon, common, small numbers in Selva Verde, Virgen del Socorro and Monteverde areas.
82) Short-billed Pigeon, 2 Selva Verde, 2 Carara, 1 Golfito.
83) Mourning Dove, 1 La Selva.
84) White-winged Dove, c.10 Tilaran, a few in Liberia and Bagaces towns.
85) Common Ground-Dove, small numbers at Selva Verde, Monteverde and Palo Verde.
86) Ruddy Ground-Dove, a fair few seen, e.g. on road between Chilamate and La Virgen, Tapanti, Carara and south Pacific coast road.
87) Inca Dove, a few on road up to Monteverde, many Lomas Barbudal/ Palo Verde areas.
88) Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, 2 road up to Monteverde.
89) Blue Ground-Dove, 2 Tarcoles, 3 Golfito.
90) White-tipped Dove, 1 La Selva, 2 Palo Verde, 2 Monteverde.
91) Grey-fronted Dove, 2 Palo Verde.
92) Grey-chested Dove, 3 Carara, 1 Golfito.
93) Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, 2 Braulio Carrillo.
94) Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, 1 Monteverde.
95) Ruddy Quail-Dove, 1 Golfito.
96) Scarlet Macaw, 25+ Tarcoles/Villa Lapas.
97) Crimson-fronted Parakeet, a few in the Selva Verde/La Selva area.
98) Olive-throated Parakeet, 5 La Selva.
99) Orange-fronted Parakeet, 12+ road up to Monteverde.
100) Orange-chinned Parakeet, a few seen in Selva Verde/La Selva and Carara areas.
101) White-crowned Parrot, c.20 La Selva/Selva Verde and c.15 San Joaquin.
102) Blue-headed Parrot, 1 San Joaquin.
103) White-fronted Parrot, c.10 Monteverde/Santa Elena area.
104) Red-lored Parrot, 4 Selva Verde, 2 Carara.
105) Yellow-naped Parrot, 2 Palo Verde.
106) Mealy Parrot, 10+ Selva Verde/La Selva area, 2 Carara.
107) Squirrel Cuckoo, 1 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, 1 Palo Verde.
108) Groove-billed Ani, common.
109) Smooth-billed Ani, 3+ Golfito.
110) Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, 2 Orotina, 1 Tarcoles.
111) Black-and-white Owl, 2 Orotina.
112) Great Potoo, 1 Selva Verde.
113) Lesser Nighthawk, 8+ Tarcoles.
114) Common Pauraque, 6 Golfito.
115) Black Swift, 25+ Selva Verde.
116) White-collared Swift, common at Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), Tapanti and Monteverde.
117) Vaux's Swift, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
118) Band-rumped Swift, c.15 Golfito.
119) Grey-rumped Swift, 2+ La Selva.
120) Bronzy Hermit, 1 Golfito.
121) Long-tailed Hermit, widespread, small numbers at many sites.
122) Green Hermit, 3 Monteverde.
123) Little Hermit, 1+ Braulio Carrillo.
124) Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, 3 Tarcoles.
125) Violet Sabrewing, 2+ Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), 6+ Monteverde.
126) White-necked Jacobin, 2 La Selva/Selva Verde.
127) Brown Violetear, 1 Catarata San Fernando (Chincona).
128) Green Violetear, 2+ Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), 2 Monteverde.
129) Violet-headed Hummingbird, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
130) Green Thorntail, 2 Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), 1 Tapanti.
131) Crowned Woodnymph, 2 Catarata San Fernando (Chincona).
132) Fiery-throated Hummingbird, 2 Cerro de la Muerte.
133) Blue-throated Goldentail, 1 Villa Lapas.
134) Mangrove Hummingbird, 1 Tarcoles.
135) Steely-vented Hummingbird, 3 Palo Verde.
136) Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, common.
137) Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, 2+ Monteverde, 1 Tapanti.
138) Black-bellied Hummingbird, 1 Volcan Poas.
139) Coppery-headed Emerald, 4+ Catarata San Fernando (Chincona).
140) Snowcap, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
141) Red-footed Plumeleteer, 1 Selva Verde.
142) White-bellied Mountain-Gem, 3+ Tapanti.
143) Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, 10+ Monteverde.
144) Grey-tailed Mountain-Gem, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
145) Green-crowned Brilliant, 10+ Monteverde, 3 Volcan Poas and 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
146) Magnificent Hummingbird, 4 Cerro de la Muerte.
147) Purple-crowned Fairy, 1 La Selva, 1 Carara and 1 San Vito.
148) Plain-capped Starthroat, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
149) Magenta-throated Woodstar, 4 Monteverde.
150) Scintillant Hummingbird, 1 Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
151) Volcano Hummingbird, 8+ Cerro de la Muerte.
152) Resplendent Quetzal, 3 Monteverde, 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
153) Lattice-tailed Trogon, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
154) Slaty-tailed Trogon, 1 Carara, 2 Golfito.
155) Black-headed Trogon, 3 Lomas Barbudal, 4 Palo Verde and 2 Carara.
156) Elegant Trogon, 1 Tapanti.
157) Orange-bellied Trogon, 2 Monteverde.
158) Violaceous Trogon, 1+ Carara.
159) Ringed Kingfisher, seen in 1's and 2's at Selva Verde, Villa Lapas, Tarcoles and Golfito.
160) Belted Kingfisher, 1 Selva Verde.
161) Amazon Kingfisher, 2 Selva Verde, 2+ Tarcoles.
162) Green Kingfisher, 1 Selva Verde, 5+ Tarcoles, 2 Golfito.
163) American Pygmy Kingfisher, 1 Tarcoles.
164) Turquoise-browed Motmot, 2 road to Monteverde, 5+ Palo Verde.
165) Rufous Motmot, 1 Selva Verde.
166) Blue-crowned Motmot, 1 Monteverde, 2 Villa Lapas, 1 San Vito, 3+ Wilson Botanical Gardens.
167) Rufous-tailed Jacamar, 1 La Selva, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
168) Red-headed Barbet, 1 Villa Lapas, 1 Golfito.
169) Emerald Toucanet, 1 Catarata San Fernando (Chincona), 4+ Monteverde, 2 Santa Elena.
170) Collared Aracari, 7+ Selva Verde/La Selva.
171) Fiery-billed Aracari, 1 Jaco-Dominical, 3 Golfito.
172) Keel-billed Toucan, c.8 La Selva/Selva Verde.
173) Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Widespread Selva Verde south to Golfito (where large numbers present).
174) Olivaceous Piculet, 1 San Joaquin.
175) Black-cheeked Woodpecker, 2+ La Selva/Selva Verde.
176) Hoffmann's Woodpecker, common.
177) Red-crowned Woodpecker, 1 Selva Verde.
178) Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
179) Smoky-brown Woodpecker, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
180) Rufous-winged Woodpecker, 1 Golfito.
181) Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker, 1 La Selva.
182) Pale-billed Woodpecker, 1 Tarcoles, 2 Carara, 2+ Golfito.
183) Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
184) Olivaceous Woodcreeper, 2 Braulio Carrillo, 2 Monteverde.
185) Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, 1 Selva Verde, 2 Carara, 1 Tapanti.
186) Barred Woodcreeper, 2 Carara.
187) Cocoa Woodcreeper, 1 La Selva.
188) Spotted Woodcreeper, 2 Monteverde.
189) Streak-headed Woodcreeper, 1 Selva Verde, 2+ Carara.
190) Brown-billed Scythebill, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
191) Slaty Spinetail, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
192) Red-faced Spinetail, 2+ Monteverde.
193) Spotted Barbtail, 1 Selva Verde, 2 Monteverde, 1 Tapanti.
194) Ruddy Treerunner, 1 Virgen del Socorro, 2 Monteverde.
195) Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, 1 Tarcoles.
196) Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
197) Plain Xenops, 2+ Carara, 1 Golfito.
198) Fasciated Antshrike, 1+ La Selva.
199) Barred Antshrike, 4 Tarcoles.
200) Black-hooded Antshrike, 3+ Carara.
201) Russet Antshrike, 2 Braulio Carrillo.
202) Dot-winged Antwren, 2 Carara.
203) Dusky Antbird, 2 Villa Lapas, 4 Carara.
204) Cinnamon Becard, 3+ Selva Verde/La Selva.
205) White-winged Becard, 1 Golfito.
206) Rose-throated Becard, 4 Tarcoles, 2 Carara, 2 Wilson Botanical Gardens, 2 Golfito.
207) Masked Tityra, Widespread, small numbers seen in several locations.
208) Black-crowned Tityra, 2 Villa Lapas.
209) Rufous Piha, 1+ Braulio Carrillo.
210) Three-wattled Bellbird, 1 male Santa Elena.
211) Long-tailed Manakin, 2 males Villa Lapas.
212) White-ruffed Manakin, 1 male Virgen del Socorro, 1 male Wilson Botanical Gardens.
213) Orange-collared Manakin, 3+ Carara.
214) White-collared Manakin, 2+ La Selva/Selva Verde.
215) Thrushlike Manakin, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
216) Black Phoebe, 2 Ujarras, c.5 Tapanti.
217) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, common in Palo Verde/Liberia area with smaller numbers elsewhere on Pacific coast.
218) Tropical Kingbird, common.
219) Piratic Flycatcher, 2 Selva Verde, 2 Carara, 1 Golfito, 2 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
220) White-ringed Flycatcher, 1 La Selva, 1 Selva Verde.
221) Boat-billed Flycatcher, 1+ Selva Verde, 2 Virgen del Socorro.
222) Bright-rumped Attila, 1 La Selva.
223) Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, 2 Selva Verde, 2 Virgen del Socorro.
224) Streaked Flycatcher, 1 La Selva, 2+ Tarcoles.
225) Golden-bellied Flycatcher, 1 Tapanti.
226) Grey-capped Flycatcher, 4 La Selva/Selva Verde.
227) Social Flycatcher, common.
228) Great Kiskadee, common.
229) Rufous Mourner, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
230) Panama Flycatcher, 4+ Tarcoles, 1 Golfito.
231) Brown-crested Flycatcher, common in Lomas Barbudal/Palo Verde areas.
232) Great Crested Flycatcher, 2+ Palo Verde.
233) Dusky-capped Flycatcher, 1 La Selva, 2 Carara.
234) Eastern Wood-Pewee, 3 Golfito.
235) Tropical Pewee, 2 La Selva, 2 Monteverde, 1 Carara.
236) Dark Pewee, 1 Tapanti.
237) Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, 1 Tarcoles.
238) Yellowish Flycatcher, 4+ Volcan Poas, 1 Monteverde.
239) Black-capped Flycatcher, 2 Volcan Poas, 5 Cerro de la Muerte.
240) Tufted Flycatcher, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
241) Black-tailed Flycatcher, 1 Golfito.
242) Bran-coloured Flycatcher, 2+ San Joaquin.
243) Royal Flycatcher 1 Villa Lapas, 1 Carara.
244) Yellow-olive Flycatcher 1 Selva Verde, 2 Carara.
245) Eye-ringed Flatbill 1 Monteverde, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
246) Common Tody-Flycatcher, common with small numbers in several locations.
247) Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, 2 Carara.
248) Northern Bentbill, 1 Carara.
249) Slate-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, 4 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
250) Yellow Tyrannulet, 2 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.
251) Torrent Tyrannulet, 4+ Tapanti.
252) Yellow-bellied Elaenia, 1+ San Vito, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens, 2 Golfito.
253) Lesser Elaenia, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
254) Mountain Elaenia, 2+ Monteverde, 5 Cerro de la Muerte.
255) Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, 2+ Tarcoles.
256) Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, 1 Carara, 1 Golfito.
257) Mistletoe Tyrannulet, 2 Monteverde, 2+ San Vito, 2 Golfito, 3 Tapanti.
258) Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, 1 Carara, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
259) Purple Martin, 1+ Palo Verde.
260) Grey-breasted Martin, widespread in small numbers.
261) Cliff Swallow, 5+ Santa Elena-Tilaran road.
262) Barn Swallow, common.
263) Southern Rough-winged Swallow, a few positively identified at La Selva, Monteverde and Tarcoles etc. (many R-w Swallow sp. seen).
264) Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 5+ Tapanti.
265) Blue-and-white Swallow, common.
266) Bank Swallow, 1 Tarcoles.
267) Mangrove Swallow, 25+ Tarcoles, 5 Golfito.
268) White-throated Magpie-Jay, 5+ road to Monteverde, 2 Palo Verde, 2 Carara, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
269) Brown Jay, widespread, a few seen at several localities.
270) Azure-hooded Jay, 2+ Monteverde, 2 Tapanti.
271) American Dipper, 1 Tapanti.
272) Banded backed Wren, 2 La Selva.
273) Rufous-naped Wren, 2 Monteverde, common at Palo Verde and Tarcoles.
274) Plain (Canebrake) Wren, 1 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.
275) Rufous-and-white Wren, 1 Monteverde.
276) Stripe-breasted Wren, 2+ Braulio Carrillo.
277) Riverside Wren, 3 Carara.
278) Banded Wren, 1 Lomas Barbudal.
279) Southern House Wren, widespread, small numbers in several locations.
280) Ochraceous Wren, 1 Monteverde, 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
281) Timberline Wren, 1 Cerro de la Muerte.
282) White-breasted Wood-Wren, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
283) Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, c.10 Monteverde, 4 Santa Elena, 2 Tapanti.
284) White-throated Robin (Thrush), 1 Braulio Carrillo, 1 Monteverde, 2+ Wilson Botanical Gardens, 2 San Vito, 3+ Tapanti.
285) Clay-coloured Robin, common.
286) Mountain Robin, a few seen at Volcan Poas, Cerro de la Muerte, Monteverde and Santa Elena.
287) Sooty Robin, 5+ Volcan Poas, 10+ Cerro de la Muerte.
288) Black-faced Solitaire, 6 Monteverde, 3 Santa Elena.
289) Wood Thrush, 2 Selva Verde.
290) Swainson's Thrush, 3 Wilson Botanical Gardens, 2 Golfito.
291) Veery, 1 Santa Elena.
292) Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, 2+ Santa Elena, 1 Ujarras.
293) Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
294) Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, 5 Volcan Poas, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
295) White-lored Gnatcatcher, 3 Palo Verde/Lomas Barbudal, 1 Carara.
296) Tropical Gnatcatcher, a few seen in locations such as La Selva/Selva Verde, Monteverde and Tapanti.
297) Long-billed Gnatwren, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
298) Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, 6+ Cerro de la Muerte.
299) Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatcher, 5 Volcan Poas, 2 Cerro de la Muerte.
300) Rufous-browed Peppershrike, 1 Tarcoles.
301) Yellow-winged Vireo, 1 Volcan Poas, 2 Cerro de la Muerte.
302) Yellow-throated Vireo, c.12 seen at scattered locations, mostly singles.
303) Yellow-green Vireo, 2+ Lomas Barbudal, 1 Golfito.
304) Blue-headed Vireo, 1 Monteverde.
305) Philadelphia Vireo, relatively common, a few seen at most localities.
306) Lesser Greenlet, 2+ Selva Verde, 4 Carara.
307) Tawny-crowned Greenlet, 1 Carara.
308) Bananaquit, fairly common, a few seen at La Selva/Selva Verde, Monteverde, Santa Elena, Carara, Golfito and Tapanti.
309) Black-and-white Warbler, 1 Virgen del Socorro, 2 Carara, 1 Tapanti.
310) Prothonotary Warbler, 1+ Tarcoles.
311) Golden-winged Warbler, a few seen with birds at Selva Verde/La Selva, Virgen del Socorro, Carara, Golfito and Tapanti.
312) Tennessee Warbler, relatively common in most areas, especially Golfito.
313) Flame-throated Warbler, 4 Cerro de la Muerte.
314) Tropical Parula, 3 Virgen del Socorro, 2 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
315) Mangrove Warbler, 1+ Palo Verde, 10+ Tarcoles.
316) Yellow Warbler, widespread with a couple of birds at most locations.
317) Black-throated Green Warbler, 1 Selva Verde, 1 Virgen del Socorro, 2 Monteverde and 2 Cerro de la Muerte.
318) Blackburnian Warbler, 1 Virgen del Socorro, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1 Tapanti.
319) Chestnut-sided Warbler, common.
320) Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Monteverde.
321) Northern Waterthrush, a few in the Tarcoles/Golfito areas.
322) Louisiana Waterthrush, 1 Villa Lapas.
323) Kentucky Warbler, 1 Carara.
324) Mourning Warbler, 3 Golfito.
325) Olive-crowned Yellowthroat, 1 La Selva.
326) Grey-crowned Yellowthroat, 2 Monteverde, 1 Tarcoles.
327) Chiriqui (Masked) Yellowthroat, 2 San Joaquin.
328) Wilson's Warbler, 2 Virgen del Socorro, 1 Monteverde, 1 Santa Elena, 5+ Cerro de la Muerte.
329) American Redstart, 1 Tarcoles, 1 Wilson Botanical Gardens.
330) Slate-throated Redstart, seen in small numbers at Monteverde, Santa Elena, Virgen del Socorro, Cerro de la Muerte and Tapanti.
331) Collared Redstart, 2 Virgen del Socorro, 3+ Monteverde, 2+ Santa Elena, 4 Cerro de la Muerte.
332) Three-striped Warbler, 8 Monteverde, 5 Santa Elena.
333) Black-cheeked Warbler, 5 Cerro de la Muerte.
334) Rufous-capped Warbler, 2 San Joaquin.
335) Buff-rumped Warbler, 2+ Selva Verde.
336) Chestnut-headed Oropendola, 3 Selva Verde, 10 Tapanti.
337) Montezuma Oropenola, common in Selva Verde/La Selva area.
338) Bronzed Cowbird, common.
339) Scarlet-rumped Cacique, 2 Golfito.
340) Yellow-billed Cacique, 1 Selva Verde.
341) Melodious Blackbird, 1 Ujarras.
342) Great-tailed Grackle, common.
343) Orchard Oriole, 1 La Selva.
344) Black-cowled Oriole, 1 Selva Verde, 2 La Selva.
345) Baltimore Oriole, widespread with birds at most localities and larger numbers at Tarcoles and Golfito.
346) Streak-backed Oriole, 3+ Palo Verde.
347) Red-winged Blackbird, common in Palo Verde area.
348) Eastern Meadowlark, 2+ Monteverde, 1 Tilaran, 2 Palo Verde.
349) Blue-hooded Euphonia, 3 Tapanti.
350) Tawny-capped Euphonia, 5 Braulio Carrillo.
351) White-vented Euphonia, 1+ Golfito.
352) Scrub Euphonia, 2 Lomas Barbudal, 1 Palo Verde.
353) Yellow-crowned Euphonia, 4+ La Selva/Selva Verde.
354) Thick-billed Euphonia, 1+ Wilson Botanical Gardens.
355) Yellow-throated Euphonia, 3+ Monteverde.
356) Olive-backed Euphonia, 4 Selva Verde/La Selva.
357) Spotted-crowned Euphonia, 1 Golfito.
358) Emerald Tanager, 3 Braulio Carrillo.
359) Silver-throated Tanager, 2 Virgen del Socorro, 6+ San Vito, 5 Golfito and 10 Tapanti.
360) Golden-hooded Tanager, a few seen at Selva Verde, Virgen del Socorro, San Vito, Golfito and Tapanti.
361) Bay-headed Tanager, 4 Virgen del Socorro, 6 Tapanti.
362) Spangled-cheeked Tanager, 2 Virgen del Socorro.
363) Green Honeycreeper, 2 Selva Verde, 4 Golfito.
364) Red-legged Honeycreeper, 2 Carara, 3 San Vito.
365) Shining Honeycreeper, 2 La Selva.
366) Blue Dacnis, 2+ La Selva/Selva Verde, 1 Virgen del Socorro.
367) Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, 2 Monteverde, 1 San Vito, 2+ Golfito, 2 Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1 Tapanti.
368) Blue-and-gold Tanager, 1 Tapanti.
369) Blue-grey Tanager, common.
370) Palm Tanger, widespread in small numbers.
371) Passerini's Tanager, 10+ La Selva/Selva Verde, 5 Tapanti.
372) Cheri's Tanager, common on Pacific side of country especially in Carara, Tarcoles, San Vito and Golfito.
373) Crimson-collared Tanager, 2 La Selva, 1 Tapanti.
374) Summer Tanager, 5+ Selva Verde/La Selva, 2 Villa Lapas, 1 Carara.
375) Flame-coloured Tanager, 3 Cerro de la Muerte.
376) Olive Tanager, 4 Braulio Carrillo.
377) Red-throated Ant-Tanager, 1 Selva Verde.
378) White-throated Shrike-Tanager, 2 Braulio Carrillo.
379) White-lined Tanager, 2 La Selva.
380) Tawny-crested Tanager, 4 Braulio Carillo.
381) White-shouldered Tanager, 3 Golfito.
382) Grey-headed Tanager, 2+ Carara.
383) Common Bush-Tanager, common in middle-high elevation areas such as Virgen del Socorro, Santa Elena, Monteverde and Tapanti.
384) Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager, 1 Braulio Carrillo.
385) Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, 10 Volcan Poas, 5 Santa Elena, 5+ Cerro de la Muerte.
386) Black-headed Saltator, 1 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.
387) Buff-throated Saltator, small numbers in several locations such as Selva Verde/La Selva, Carara, Braulio Carrillo, San Vito and Tapanti.
388) Greyish Saltator, 2 La Selva/Selva Verde.
389) Streaked Saltator, 1 San Joaquin, 1+ Wilson Botanical Gardens.
390) Black-faced Grosbeak, 5+ La Selva/Selva Verde.
391) Blue Grosbeak, 1 Monteverde.
392) Blue-black Grosbeak, 4 Selva Verde, 2+ Carara.
393) Indigo Bunting, 1 San Vito.
394) Painted Bunting, 1 Tarcoles.
395) Yellow-faced Grassquit, small numbers on La Virgen-Chilamate road, Monteverde and Golfito areas.
396) White-collared Seedeater, 2+ Monteverde road, 2 Golfito, 2 San Vito.
397) Variable Seedeater, common with Caribbean race at Selva Verde/La Selva, Braulio Carrillo and Tapanti areas with Pacific race elsewhere.
398) Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, 3 San Joaquin.
399) Yellow-bellied Seedeater, 4 San Joaquin.
400) Thick-billed Seed-Finch, 2+ La Selva.
401) Blue-black Grassquit, 2 Selva Verde, 5 Palo Verde, 2 Jaco-Dominical.
402) Peg-billed Finch, 2 Volcan Poas.
403) Slaty Flowerpiercer, 4+ Cerro de la Muerte.
404) Large-footed Finch, 2 Volcan Poas.
405) Yellow-throated Brush-Finch, 2 Monteverde, 1 Tapanti.
406) Orange-billed Sparrow, 2 Selva Verde, 1 Villa Lapas, 1 Golfito.
407) Black-striped Sparrow, 4+ La Selva, 2 Carara, 3 Golfito.
408) White-eared Ground-Sparrow, 1+ Monteverde.
409) Stripe-headed Sparrow, 4 Monteverde road, 3+ Palo Verde.
410) Volcano Junco, c.10 Cerro de la Muerte.
411) Rufous-collared Sparrow, common.
412) House Sparrow, 2+ Chilamate, 1 San Vito, 3 Cartago.