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WEATHER: a much better day today, lots of sunshine, a light breeze to start and windy later. Very warm all day.

I stood outside our cabin in the dark at 5:30am and watched the sun come up, I listened to the forest waking up, it really does fill up your senses. The sight, the smell and the sound of a forest awakening is an amazing experience.

the silhouette of the Crested Guan, my first bird sighting of the day!

I heard drumming, trilling, piping, cooing and cawing, some sounds were melodic and others were not so. The very loud call of the Bright-rumped Atilla, the monotonous two-note call of the Clay-coloured Thrush and the rising notes of the Potoo, all contrasted to the deep resounding howls of the Howler Monkey, the screeching of the Parrots and the raucous calls of many other species that combined to make a cacophony of sounds that was music to my ears.

the Great Green Macaws were very distant

Our walk at 6am was local to the cabins, we entered an area of open meadows with very tall mature Mountain Almond Trees, a habitat that attracts the rare Great Green Macaw and the recently reintroduced Scarlet Macaw. We saw both of those species after some searching and also noted several Bat Falcons, a couple of Swift species, many parrots and lots of passerines. One surprise was a pair of Barred Antshrikes, they showed very well.

Scarlet Macaw

After breakfast we went for our second walk in the forest, the path we took led us all the way back to our cabins, some 2km away. We picked a number of new species during this walk. Two species of Motmot, Broad-billed and Rufous, also a couple of Wrens and our star find was a Crane Hawk.

Broad-billed Motmot

on the trail in La Selva

Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth went onto the mammal list and more birds joined the avian tally. It was 10:30 by the time we got back to the cabins, we quickly loaded up the bus with our luggage and drove back to the visitor’s centre to check-out and to take one last walk on the reserve.

Red Lored Parrots - taken by Richard Pettett

This last walk at La Selva was littered with new sightings, we added Cinnamon Becard, Eye-ringed Flatbill, White-throated Wood-Wren, Grey-chested Ground Dove, Lesser Greenlet, but we missed the Purple-throated Fruit-Crow, heard only!

The Bat Falcon is tiny, smaller than a Merlin

We left La Selva after lunch and set off for the two hour drive to Caño Negro, we drove without stopping until we reached Medio Queso Marshes very near to Caño Negro and the border of Nicaragua. What a fantastic birding spot this is, we listed many new species and enjoyed a great couple of hours in warm sunshine and a nice breeze.

one more beautiful forest butterfly - taken by Richard

New sightings came in thick and fast: Pied-billed Grebe, Snowy Egret, Purple Gallinule, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Pinnated Bittern, White-throated Crake, Roseate Spoonbill, Redwing Blackbird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Solitary Sandpiper and several more.

Ringed Kingfisher - Richard Pettett

In the scrub we found a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers and distance views were had of Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture and an amazing Black-collared Falcon.

Green Heron - Richard Pettett

Pinnated Bittern

Bare-throated Tiger Heron

We still had an hour’s drive to our hotel, part of which included a stretch of 20 km on unmade road with deep ruts, it took over an hour to negotiate that stretch!! Along the way we saw a Jabiru fly over the track ahead of us, and one of the group recorded a Barn Owl sighting.

Northern Jacana

a fly-catching hummer, the Green-breasted Mango - taken by Richard Pettett

We ate dinner at 7:30pm and we all took an early night, we were all shattered, and so ended another great day in this beautiful country.