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WEATHER: cloudy all day with some rain showers, warm and humid.

I just love visiting La Selva Biological Station, it is a huge area of Rain Forest on the Caribbean Slopes and access to some of the main tracks can be obtained by staying in their basic, but very clean and tidy accommodation cabins.

The whole place is just brimming with birds even right next to the main buildings in the centre of the complex. We met up at 6am and drove to the main centre where we set up our scopes and scanned the trees around the open areas.  One particular tree held about 12 species including four migrant Warblers: we saw Black-and-White, Tennessee, Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided Warblers all quite close to one another. The tree was also full of Baltimore Orioles, Red-breasted Grosbeak, Masked Tityra, Palm & Blue-gray Tanagers. A Black-cheeked Woodpecker dropped in as well as Yellow-throated Toucans. Near the car park we added a SNOWY COTINGA (female) to the list, this was a major biggie for us!

Great Green Macaw

In the lower bushes around the lawns we saw White-collared Manikin, Olive-backed Euphonia, Crimson-rumped Tanagers, Common Tody Flycatcher and a couple of new hummers: Scaly-breasted and Blue-chested Hummingbirds. The highlight was of a group of seven GREAT GREEN MACAWS! They flew in and fed on figs in a tree about 50 meters from us, how amazing was that?

Short-billed Pigeons

We ate breakfast at 7:30 and met up with our ‘La Selva Guide’ at 8am. He was just wonderful, a brilliant birder and he found us lots of new birds.  We spent almost an hour near the canteen and hardly moved 20 meters! He kept on pointing out goodies such as Plain Tanager, Dusky-faced Tanager, South Rough-wing Swallow, Grey rumped and White-collared Swifts, Golden-hooded Tanager and plenty of others.

Olive-backed Euphonia taken by Chris Perry

We walked down towards the bridge that spans the Rio Puerto Viejo and before crossing we found a few more birds. Two Great Tinamous nonchalantly walked past us and headed for the gardens, that was amazing you never usually get to see this species out of the cover of the forest!

Mantled Howler Monkeys crossing the bridge

We searched for Rufous-tailed Jacamar, laughing Falcon and Bright-rumped Attila, all three were calling but they never showed. After crossing the bridge, from where we found Green Kingfisher and located the Laughing Falcon, we searched the campus of the field study centre, once again it was brimming with birds.

Laughing Falcon

Cinnamon Becard, Shining Honeycreeper, Mistletoe Tyrannulet, Northern Barred Woodcreeper and several other species were seen in this area.

Our forest walk last two hours we saw many great species and enjoyed views of many butterflies, Poison-dart Frogs, an Eyelash Pit-Viper, Spider and Howler Monkeys. More great birds appeared as we strolled along the well-made tracks of the rain forest. We were shown a pair of Middle-American Screech Owls, we also saw Chestnut-backed Antwren and Black-crowned Antshrike.

Three-toed Sloth with a baby

After about an hour we turned around and repeated the walk, it was almost 12 noon when we eventually got back to the Canteen for lunch. We parted ways with our great guide and sat down to eat.

At 1:15 we set off for a forty minute drive to a small town called la Union, where a wildlife artist called Copé has set up a viewing hide in his garden and attracts an unbelievable number of visitors, both human and avian.

one of the first birds seen at Cope's House - American Pygmy Kingfisher 

Before we settled down to view the feeding station we donned wellington boots and set off in the bus for a woodland nearby. We walked through very wet and sticky mud to view a couple of owl species, Crested and Spectacled. We also were shown a Great Potto, some Honduran Tent Bats and Common Tent-Making Bats.

Crested Owl - by Chris Perry

Back at Cope’s House we spent an hour watching his feeders and enjoying lots of new species, seen at very close quarters. A few new hummers were added to the list as well Chestnut-headed Oropendula, Honeycreepers, Doves, a Russet-naped Wood-Rail, Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Euphonia and so on and so on.

the stunning Red-legged Honeycreeper - another of Chris's shots

Spectacled owls - by Chris Perry

Russet-naped Wood-rail - by Chris Perry

It was 5pm when we packed up, the light was fading fast, we had avoided getting wet all day and wanted to keep it that way. So we mounted the bus and got back in time for a quick wash and changed before taking dinner at 6:30pm.