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Post Info TOPIC: Costa Rica

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Posts: 146
Costa Rica

I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica on a holiday with my wife from 06.12.17 - 2120.12.17. While it wasn't a bird watching holiday I took the opportunity to get out each morning for around three hours and went on a number of tours to the cloud forest, Nicaragua and the Pallo Verde national park. I took the Helm guide to Costa Rica with me which was invaluable and very accurate. I did see a few birds out of the areas in the books distribution maps, but generally the maps were a great help to narrow down the birds as I have no previous experience in central American bird watching. We stayed in the Riu Guanacaste hotel in the Guanacaste province, about 40 miles from the province capital Liberia. I saw a total of 146 species with 84 of these being around or near the hotel. I will include a location above or next to birds. A number of the birds seen near the hotel were seen elsewhere but it may be helpful for anyone wanting to visit to know what can be seen near the hotel alone as it was a superb site all by itself. Winter was an excellent time around the hotel especially as the bird numbers were swelled by the winter visitors. Roosting Tanagers, orioles, Grosbeaks, Hirundines, parakeets, Kingbirds and Flycatchers all used the trees in the hotel gardens each evening in huge numbers. So the hour before dark was spent watching a veritable buffet of exotic birds and all seated and drinking gin and tonic. One suggestion is too much gin in the tonic reduces the effectiveness of the binoculars as they suddenly double the number of birds and reduce the focusing ability.

The numbers of species seen on the tours were a little down as they were limited in the time that could be spent bird watching as the itinerary was for general sightseeing. I would recommend spending a few days staying in the cloud forest in the lodges if you can afford it, which we could unfortunately not. Also to note that the tours are expensive so it may make sense to splash out and spend more on stays away from the hotel. We went with Tui who charge too much for tours, so we found a company called 'Alex on the Beach' who have reps on the beach who can tailor your tour needs. they were reliable and friendly and had a good trip advisor rating. It is also possible to use other reps on the beach who are lone traders and some are very good but its best to be a little cautious. One I can highly recommend was a guy called Erick who arranged a guided walking tour of the Pallo Verde National Park with an expert local bird guide. You will find him also on the beach and he knows his birds also and speaks good English. One tip is to try to get as many birders as you can for these sort of tours as it reduces the price hugely.

What a great place and all in all a spectacular birding experience.

Riu Guanacaste

Great Tailed Grackle
White Winged Dove
Great Kiscadee
Tropical Kingbird
Brown pelican
Spotted Sandpiper
Inca Dove
Royal Tern
Hoffman's Woodpecker
Red Lored Parrot
White Fronted Parrot
White Throated Magpie Jay
Magnificent Frigatebird
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Social Flycatcher
Streak Backed oriole
Blue Grey Tanager
Baltimore Oriole
Palm Tanager
American yellow Warbler
Tennessee warbler
Melodious Black bird
Rufous backed (Naped) Wren
King Vulture
Wood Stork
Feral pigeon
Cattle Egret
Northern Rough Winged Swallow
Common Paraque
Orange Chinned Parakeet
Cinnamon Hummingbird
Stripe Headed Sparrow
Scrub Euphonia
Laughing Gull
Orchard oriole
Neotropic Cormorant
Orange fronted Parakeet
Roadside hawk
Red Crowned Woodpecker
Groove billed Ani
black Headed Trogon
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Pacific Screech owl
Yellow Olive Flycatcher
Brown Booby
Yellow headed Caracara
western Kingbird
Rose throated Becard
Squirrel Cuckoo
Rose breasted Grosbeak
Great egret
Barn Swallow
Southern Rough winged Swallow
Crested Caracara
Clay Coloured Thrush
Scissor Tailed flycatcher
White Lored Gnatcatcher
Dusky Capped Flycatcher
Yellow Throated Verio
Mangrove Hummingbird
Common Ground Dove
Grey breasted Martin
House Sparrow
Prothontary Warbler
Steely Vented Hummingbird
Boat Billed Flycatcher
Brown Crested Flycatcher
Banded Wren
Western Tanager
Nutting's Flycatcher
Wandering Tattler
Common Black Hawk
Summer Tanager
Yellow Bellied Flycatcher
Double Striped Thick knee
Pale Billed Woodpecker
Yellow Throated Euphonia
Hook Billed Kite
Mourning Warbler
Elegant Trogon
Turquoise Billed Motmot

Bronzed cowbird (Canas)


Keel Billed Toucan
Grey headed Chachalaca
Paltry Tyrranulet
Tawny Capped Euphonia
Spectacled Owl
Hepatic Tanager
Purple Throated Mountain Gem
Coppery headed Emerald
Green Crowned Brilliant
Magenta Throated Woodstar

Tenorio River

Ringed Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Little Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Bare Throated Tiger Heron
Boat Billed Heron
Black Crowned Night heron
Mangrove Swallow
Grey Hawk


Black Mandibled Toucan
Strog Billed woodcreeper
Tufted Flycatcher
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Bay Wren
Passerini's Tanager
Red Legged Honeycreeper

Lake Nicaragua

Montezuma's orpendola
Northern Jacana
Nicaraguan Grackle

Great Cowbird (Tillaran)


Streak headed woodcreeper
Rufous Tailed Hummingbird
Blue Seedeater
Broad billed Motmot
Black Hooded Antshrike
Wood Thrush
Black Phoebe
Greyish Saltador
Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher

Pallo Verde national park

Great blue heron
Great Curassow
Black Bellied whistling duck
Blue winged teal
Caspian tern
Green Heron
Tricoloured Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
Southern Lapwing
Black Necked Stilt
Common Gallinule
Purple Gallinule
Northern Harrier
Swainson's Hawk
Green Breasted Mango
Red Billed Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Mangrove Cuckoo
Streaked Flycatcher
Northern waterthrush
White Collared seedeater

L Hindley
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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.