A banner.full


WEATHER; rain and off all day with some heavy showers, very humid.

The rain fell with such force last night that it woke us up a couple of times and all morning we had showers, some them very heavy. Despite the weather we had a great day, logging many species and seeing some great species.

We started at 6am when our guide Jason joined us outside our cabins the dawn chorus was magical including the very loud Howler Monkeys. Birds came thick and fast, Woodpeckers,Toucans, Aracaris, Parrots, Parakeets, Tanagers, Flycatchers, Warblers, Hummers and Thrushes. We could hear a Bright-rumped Atilla singing loudly but we never saw it. Nice colourful sightings included Black-cowled Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Crimson-rumped Tanagers and a host of other species. At 7am our driver brought the bus round and drove us to the main centre for breakfast after which our local Guide, Joel, led on  a birding walk from 8am until midday.

this is not a photographic tour? On your bike they said!

Black-cowled Oriole

We had to shelter from the rain a few times but not for very long and only a couple of the showers were long enough to get us very wet. Around the visitor’s centre main block we logged several flycatchers which included: Kisskadee, Boat-billed, Grey-headed, Sociable and Piratic Flycatchers. Toucans and Aracaris were also present and we added Pale-billed Woodpecker to our ‘pecker list.

Fasciated Antsrike - Richard Pettett

Joel walked us along the entrance road to a spot where he had seen Snowy Cotingas several times in recent days, he found us a female in a short time but it was semi-obscured and quite distant. We then added Long-tailed Tyrant, Grey-headed Kite, Semi-plumbeous Hawk, Southern Rough-wing Swallow, Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Streak-headed Woodcreeper and we heard Black-throated Wren.

Semiplumbeous Hawk

Purple-crowned Woodnymph, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird were new for us. We then walked down to the suspension bridge over the river and onto the main reserve to take some trails into the rain-forest.  As we walked down towards the bridge we found a Fasciated Antshrike, a real good sighting for the location.

Blue Jeans or Strawberry Dart Frog - Richard Pettett

From the bridge we saw a Northern Waterthrush, Buff-rumped Warbler, Green Kingfisher, a family party of Collared Peccary and some Black River-Turtles. In the central compound we saw a White-collared Manakin, a Squirrel Cuckoo, Orange-chinned Parakeet and Yellow-crowned Euphonia. On the trails Joel found many species and along with Jason we were in very good company. Black-throated Trogon, Black-hooded Antshrike and a very well found Great Curassow.

A Squirrel Cuckoo - Richard Pettett

Joel knew of a couple of roosting Owls and he took us to see them, the first was a beautiful Crested Owl which sat not too far from the main track. The second owl, a Middle-American Screech-Owl, was a little deeper into the forest and sat directly above the path so it was very difficult to take any kind of picture. We then saw a Grey-headed Kite and a pair of Bright-rumped Atilla sat out in the open displaying to one another.

Crested Owl

After dinner we spent a little time around the main compound and found a few more species, but our best sighting was that of a male Snowy Cotinga, this bird was distant but it showed very well.

a pair of Bright-rumped Atilla

The afternoon was spent in the area of La Union especially Copé’s House. Copé is a wildlife artist and all round naturalist who has converted his garden feeding station into a business enterprise and attracts birding groups on a daily basis. We sat in his very sophisticated hide and watched his feeders, a steady stream of birds came down to feed on rice whilst the ‘hummer’ feeders we hectic with several species of hummingbirds. On the way to Copé’s we stopped to look at a roadside pool where we found Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Southern Lapwing and a small Spectacled Caimen.

The group at Cope's Hide in La Union

During our time at Copé’s place we added a few new species, White-necked Jacobin, Long-billed Hermit, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Russet-naped Wood-Rail and Red-legged Honeycreeper. An excursion on the bus to a local wood produced sightings of Spectacled Owl and White Tent-Bats. We endured a heavy downpour whilst we were in the woods!

They have changed the name of this bird a few times in the last few years - Russet-naped Wood-Rail _ Richard Pettett

Lastly we were taken a little further away to search for a Great Potoo, which obliged by being present exactly where it should have been. Other species seen on this excursion were: Broad-winged Hawk, Green Ibis and Three-toed Sloth.

furnished in our 'weelies' suppield by Cope we set off into the muddy woods

White Tent Bats - Tony Moore

We set off back to La Selva at 5pm arriving in time to prepare for dinner at 7pm. Common Pauraque was the final bird sighting of the day, we saw 100 species today, I would say it was a great day’s birding.