A banner.full


WEATHER: all day cloudless sky, top temp 34C

Our pre-breakfast walk was taken in te gardens and forest trails of the hotel, a superb place with a river running through the gardens. We followed the river trail and found a few new species. Buff-rumped Warbler went down well with the group as did an Indigo Bunting. Both Scarlet Macaw and Mealy Parrots went over us as we progressed along the track.

Common Pauraque - taken last night by Chris Perry outside our cabin

The small but beautiful Riverside Wren was seen by most of us and a Crested Caracara settled on some rocks in the river.

Pale-billed Woodpecker above and Buff-rumped Warbler below - taken by Chris Perry during our morning walk

We had a terrific day on Carara Forest trails, it was bird-packed with some exciting finds and some frustrating almost-sightings. Despite there being a lot of people (birding groups) walking the same trail as ourselves we still amassed a steady flow of new species and some already seen.

Black-throated Trogon - by Chris Perry

We arrived just after 8am and set off on foot on the Laguna trail, a nice wide track where we can gather in close group when a sighting is made. We started with Lesser Greenlet, some of the group had already seen one, but now we all got to see this tiny flycatcher.

We continued with a pair of Dusky Antbirds, a White-whiskered Puffbird and a Scaly-breasted Hummingbird.  Goodies continued to arrive as ventured deeper into the forest, the Scarlet Macaw sowed really well in pairs and sometimes more when perched. Barred Antshrike is a particular favourite of mine, we saw a pair of those then a Slaty-tailed Trogon followed by a Rufous-tailed Jacamar. White-shouldered Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager and Red-crowned Ant-Tanagers were also seen.

female White-whiskered Puffbird - by Chris Perry

Ochre-breasted Flycatcher and Ruddy-tailed Flycatchers were also seen before we turned off onto a side track, a circular walk. This decision paid off because we bumped into an ‘Ant Swarm’ where dozens of birds were feeding on the insects flying up to stay clear of the ants.

A large group of Grey-headed Tanagers were joined by three different Woodcreepers: Northern Barred, Cocoa and Rufous-winged. A White-whiskered Puffbird also appeared as did a Red-hooded Manakin, what a beauty that one is. Bicoloured Antbird and Chestnut-backed Antshrike were joined by a Black-faced Ant-thrush, what a fantastic find, a lifer for everyone. A Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher and Turquoise-browed Motmot also joined the throng.

Grey-headed Tanager and a Bicoloured Antbird at the ant-swarm taken by Chris Perry

our star bird of the carara walk - Black-faced Antthrush taken by Chris Perry

We completed the circular walk adding a couple more species to the trip listed in the shape of American Redstart, we saw both the colourful male and the less so, female and a Golden-winged Warbler.

On our return walk the birds kept on coming we saw Orange-collared Manikin, Laughing Falcon, Black-headed Trogon, Plain Xenops, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Spot-crowned Euphonia and another sighting of Cocoa Woodcreeper. We saw both Lineated and Pale-billed Woodpeckers and we heard Bright-rumped Attila but did not see it.

Red-capped Manikin taken by Chris Perry

We returned top the hotel for a long lunch, during the heat of the day most of us had a nap. It was 2:30pm when we met up again for our second visit to the National Park. This time we walked a trail from the main visitor’s centre and it wasn’t long before we started listing new species.

Ruddy Quail-Dove was a little beauty we saw a couple of those with a Grey-chested Dove. After watching a Trogon and a Motmot we saw a couple of new birds also on the ground, Dusky Antbird and Dot-winged Antwren. We then saw the female Velvety Manikin (formerly Blue-crowned), White-winged Becard and we had smashing views of Royal Flycatcher.

Rufous Piha - by Chris Perry

The reserve usually closes at 4pm but we had arrange to leave at a side entrance a little later. The walk to the gate was quite long and we didn’t stop for many species. A Great Tinamou, Wood Thrush, White Ibis on the river and a Northern Waterthrush.

We got back to the hotel at 5:30pm and had a relaxing time before our 7:30pm buffet-style dinner.