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95 species while birding at Esquipulas in a morning. 

Esquipulas is located approximately 26km to the East of Manuel Antonio and unquestionably offers the best birding experience in the nearby vicinity of the park. The park itself is too poor for birds and it can be quite noisy and crowded, so any one birding Manuel Antonio would have far better time here than at the park itself!
On March 2nd 2017 for the second time I had the opportunity to lead a trip to miss Christine Kozlosky whom I birded at Carara with just days ago and got an impressive 150 in a full day!

As usual, we left Manuel Antonio at 4:45am and got to Esquipulas at 5:25am right with the sunrise, our first birds were some common pauraques as we drove the hilly gravel-country road up to Esquipulas.
The soonest we got out of the car it was wonderful! Birds calling everywhere (hence the beauty of leaving the bed early!), time to put hands on our bins.

A small fig tree located right where I usually start to walk was full of fruit and so with birds, soon we got chestnut headed oropendola (although not expected for the region on Garrigues 2014 there is a fairly established colony since 5+ years now, maybe the southern Pacific population expanding north). We quickly got the regular tanagers such as golden hooded, bay headed, palm, blue gray, green honecreeper, red leggued hc, blue dacnis and then masked tityra.

After seeing several birds we decided to walk into the bush for some meters as I heard a slaty spinetail which we did see, but also got yellow tyrannulet and then a piratic flycatcher and several views of the golden naped woodpecker (an endemic we share with Panama) Later we got northern barred woodcreeper collecting bark (with which they line their nest)  and then tawny-winged woodcreeper! (doing the same?) At this time I kept scanning the forest canopy in hopes for turquoise cotinga! No luck for the moment but did get some swallow-tailed kites, a specie that Chris was very interested on seeing!

Masked tityra, Bay headed tanager and got even a slaty tailed trogon! the last trogon we were missing to complete the trogon list for the region.


left Northern-barred Woodcreeper and right tawny-winged woodcreeper

Back on the road, we continued walking seeing some of the regulars, tanagers, white crowned parrots, swifts, flycatchers and more, then we spotted a white hawk that flew to a perch at a good distance but close enough to see it well on the scope.  This area of Esquipulas where I start the birding trip is a nice ravine with excellent opportunities for raptors, birds such as white hawk, barred hawk, king vulture, black hawk-eagle, short tailed hawk, broad winged hawk, swallow tailed kite, all which we saw, literally on the same thermal throughout  the morning!

As we continued we got good views of crested guans, then, golden winged warbler, tennessee, yellow and chestnut sided warblers, blue black grossbeak, yellow billed cacique, riverside wren, and many more, but missed the laughing falcon which kept laughing at us as we could not find it where it was perched! but oh well, Chris remedied that with a close look of a male turquoise cotinga! and later we got both male and female Baird’s trogon! both endemics we share with Panama.

Turquoise cotinga


Bairds trogon

Fiery billed Aracary, a common endemic found on the central and south Pacific slope of CR and western Panama.

Although Esquipulas consist basically of a gravel road that allows access to secondary forest, views of primary forest and it’s canopy, gardens, some creeks, ravines, scrub, grasslands, there are also some very short paths that allows access to forest interior, good for some manakins, rufous piha, white throated shrike-tanager and more.

After some great views we continued on the walk, soon we got more swallow tailed kites, broad winged hawk and short tailed hawks! the raptors where finally coming out!  It was 10:30am, we still needed blue crowned manakin and white ruffed manakin which we  looked hard for, funny how a common, or somewhat easy specie can just disappear once you look them hardly (yes the blue crowned eluded us at Carara even!) so I guess that is a reason for miss Christine to come back! On our walk back to the car we got excellent views of short tailed hawk again, then 2 king vultures flying relatively low, right after that a Barred hawk flew just about 3 meters above our heads, chased by some kiskadees and tropical kindbirds, what a treat to see such beautiful hawk! not just flying so close but to perch for us to allow good views and even a picture (digiscoped with a cell phone, like all pictures on this post).

Once we thought we were done, siting at the car and just before I close my door I heard a distant Black hawk-eagle, out we went rapidly and searched the sky for it, after 3 to 4 minutes it came up form the mountain, to join the soaring black, turkey and king vultures.


Digiscoping a bird on flight, using a scope and a cellphone with NO adapters is an Art, here a king vulture.

Barred hawk

After a while I took Chris to the La Gallega river, a location I know for collared plover as she mentioned she enjoys peeps as well, literally we got out of the car and there it was! not one but 2 adults and at least 3 chicks. La Gallega river is reliable for this specie, also good for red-breasted meadowlark (and eastern), tropical mockingbird and on occasion double striped thick-knees. This river is accessible via Naranjito.


A bad shot, distant and the hot atmosphere does not help, but here a collared plover.

watching collared plovers

Not done yet! We where having such great time we agreed there was room for another good bird before heading back to her Villa, this time a Mangove hummingbird! this bird, endemic to Costa Rica only. For this we drove to the town of Damas, an area where mosts tour companies start the locally famous Damas Mangrove tour. This is the best site I know locally for this hummer, the soonest we got to the mangrove there was a male perched at eye level, later, as we walked into the mangrove I played ferruginous pygmy-owl twice to see what could George bring out for us (a joke Roy and I use to say referring to the pygmy-owl recording) this was productive as we got prothonotary warbler, some chestnut sided and yellow (northern) warbler and then another bird that eluded us at Tarcoles the other day! a male resident Yellow warbler (mangrove raze).

Mangrove canal at low tide, this site where we were standing is flooded during high tide.

Time to call it a day! we ended the morning with a total of 95 species, a new friend and many great memories!

Miss Christine Kozlosky.



Birding Manuel Antonio; Esquipulas.

Several times before I had stated that Esquipulas is the best spot for bird-watching in Manuel Antonio. Although the park itself has however some good birds if birded early in the morning, taking the right trails can yield some quality birds. Currently a perch of black and white owls on the waterfall trail, some perches for lesser nighthawks and the current best; common potoo! nesting on the sloth trail! may make your visit to this park enjoyable!

Common potoo, courtesy of Manuel Cabalceta. Manuel Antonio birds

Common potoo, courtesy of Manuel Cabalceta.

Black and white owl, by Michael Araya

On the other hand other good birds easily seen here at MA NP are black bellied wren, riverside wren, long billed gnatwren, fiery billed aracary. Currently slaty-tailed trogon and black-throated trogon had been actively calling from the waterfall trail  and many others.

Long billed gnatwren. Foto taken in Puriscal, for illustration purposes.

   The elevated boardwalk on the sloth trail is quite good for black bellied wren, also for long billed gnatwren and blue crowned manakin.


But, I am not going to lie at you! the park itself is busy and could produce a small list if compared with other great parks such as Carara, great for general wildlife though, such as sloths, monkeys, frogs, snakes etc, a great option for the birder visiting this area with family or non-birding friends, if that is your case then Esquipulas is the place to go for birds, away from the crowds!

Thanks to it’s location on the foothills of the mountains near Manuel Antonio/Quepos region, this is the best site for birding, often including species not expected for the locality such as rufous-breasted wren, montezuma and chestnut headed oropendolas. A good morning here should produce any where between 60 species to 100 species, depending on the weather conditions as well as fruiting/flowering trees and of course! how good your eyes are to spot and ID those tropical beauties!

The road at Esquipulas

Chestnut headed oropendola



the very common roadside hawk.

Esquipulas is home to common species and various endemics but also to some highlights for many visiting Costa Rica such as white crested-coquette, turquoise cotinga, and great for raptors such as king vulture, white hawks, barred hawk and others.

This beautiful male turquoise cotinga was seen on my last birding tour to Esquipulas with Jennifer Timmer, not 1 but a pair!

This beautiful male turquoise cotinga was seen on my last birding tour to Esquipulas with Jennifer Timmer, not 1 but a pair!


Follow this link to eBird for the list of the birds reported for Esquipulas or contact me for a checklist I have made which contains all the sightings reported here since the last 9 years

I hope to post about other small spots where you can get some good birds if you are bird-watching in Quepos, stay tuned!


Birding the upper mountains of Esquipulas; El Diamante

   Esquipulas is located at the foothills of the Central Pacific mountains just about 35 minutes east of Quepos, at about 400 meters on elevation; the best bird-watching site in the Manuel Antonio area.

Both Roy and I bird here very often as we lead birding tours here and know the place well enough (I personally live about 10 minutes away from Esquipulas), today Roy O, and I accompanied by friends and colleagues took the day to bird the upper mountains of Esquipulas where we don’t frequent and what a morning!

 The first bird of the morning: a bat falcon.

Bat falcon, way back, picture taken with scope and cellphone

We got several of the common species and perhaps the best birds of the morning were barred forest-falcon, speckled tanager, Zeledon’s antbird (former immaculated antbird) and red crowned ant-tanager as is a bird we do not see often at the lower part of Esquipulas.

The road is currently in great conditions as ICE is working on the environmental impact studies as they plan to make a dam in the Naranjo river in the future but that’s another story.

The site currently can be visited basically even on a sedan, and a trip from Manuel Antonio should take 50 minutes to 1hr, we found this a great option to those birding Manuel Antonio who would like to see middle elevation species such as tanagers, hummingbirds and foliage gleaners etc and do not want to drive to other middle elevation sites such as Bosque del Tolomuco in San Isidro or Los Cuzingos.

A male gartered trogon

today’s favorite picture; Ruddy tailed flycatcher, a commonly requested bird here at Esquipulas.


Breakfast time!


And because it’s not always just birds! here a coca fruit, where chocolate comes from!

Esquipulas–El diamante, San José, CR
05-oct-2015 6:00 – 11:00
Protocolo: Con Desplazamiento
5.0 kilómetro(s)
Comentarios:    Danny Vasquez, Manuel Cabalceta y Roy Orozco
83 especies (+5 otros taxones)Black Vulture  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Barred Hawk  1
Broad-winged Hawk  1    soaring with vultures and 1 barred hawk
Short-billed Pigeon  3
Inca Dove  X
White-tipped Dove  X
Squirrel Cuckoo  2
White-collared Swift  X
large swift sp.  X
swift sp.  X
White-tipped Sicklebill  1
Band-tailed Barbthroat  1
Green Hermit  1
Stripe-throated Hermit  1
Crowned Woodnymph  1
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird  X
Gartered Trogon  1
Black-throated Trogon  1
Blue-crowned Motmot  1
Yellow-throated Toucan  X
Golden-naped Woodpecker  X
Bat falcon 1
Barred Forest-Falcon  1    at least one individual heard
Orange-chinned Parakeet  X
Black-hooded Antshrike  X
Dot-winged Antwren  X
Dusky Antbird  X
Chestnut-backed Antbird  X
Zeledon’s Antbird  1    call heard. Bird was with a mixed flock with red crowned ant-tanager, tawny crowned greenlet, some antbirds, etc. Elevation about 900ish meters asl.
Black-faced Antthrush  X
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper  1
Cocoa Woodcreeper  X
Streak-headed Woodcreeper  X
Plain Xenops  4
Paltry Tyrannulet  X
Northern Bentbill  X
Eye-ringed Flatbill  X
Yellow-olive Flycatcher  X
Western Wood-Pewee  X
Eastern Wood-Pewee  X
Western/Eastern Wood-Pewee  X
Willow Flycatcher  1    bird responded to recording.
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill’s Flycatcher)  X
Dusky-capped Flycatcher  X
Great Kiskadee  X
Boat-billed Flycatcher  X
Tropical Kingbird  X
Rufous Piha  1
White-ruffed Manakin  6
Red-capped Manakin  2
Rose-throated Becard  1
Red-eyed Vireo  X
Tawny-crowned Greenlet  2
Lesser Greenlet  X
Scaly-breasted Wren  3
Black-bellied Wren  X
Rufous-breasted Wren  1
Tropical Gnatcatcher  X
Clay-colored Thrush  X
Golden-winged Warbler  1
Black-and-white Warbler  X
Tennessee Warbler  X
Blackburnian Warbler  X
Yellow Warbler  X
Chestnut-sided Warbler  X
Buff-rumped Warbler  1
Canada Warbler  X
warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.)  X
White-shouldered Tanager  X
White-throated Shrike-Tanager  3
Cherrie’s Tanager  X
Blue-gray Tanager  X
Golden-hooded Tanager  X
Speckled Tanager  4
Bay-headed Tanager  8
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis  3
Blue Dacnis  2
Green Honeycreeper  X
Variable Seedeater  X
Bananaquit  X
Buff-throated Saltator  X
Orange-billed Sparrow  X
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager  3
Blue-black Grosbeak  2
Baltimore Oriole  X
Yellow-crowned Euphonia  X
Spot-crowned Euphonia  X


Birding the coast at Dominical and Dominicalito.

Given the activity at the sea in the last few months here in CR (Waved albatross as the newest rarity seen just about 6 days ago near Uvita–PN Marino Ballena) I have been really keen at keeping an eye at the coast, and while desperately waiting for a pelagic trip to become true this week my wife and I went to explore the rocky coast of Dominical and Dominicalito.

First we checked the river mouth of Rio Barú at Dominical, not much success here, other than collared plover we didnt get anything too interesting, just spotted sand piper, willet and whimbrel.

Rio Barú.

After that I drove to a sector north of Playa Dominicalito called Rocas de Amancio (Northern end of Dominicalito beach) and soon saw Spotted SP, a rudy turnstone and then a group of surfbirds! first of this year! as I was getting better/closer pictures of the surfbirds a brown noddy flew past by me, I must had been sitting on the rocks and I scared it away, best views I had ever had of this sp.

This area is known by locals as The Rocas de Amancio (after the former owner of the property near here).

Brown noddy



Surfbird dominicalito share

Then we headed to the southern end of Dominicalito, excatly at La Parcela restaurant area, we didnt get much here, but I do suggest any birder to visit this rocky beach if you find yourself in this area, this is a great time to get some of the unusual coastal birds heading south from NA.

Entrance, picture taken as if driving from south to North.


A screen shot for the map to the site from google. The birds were at rocks where the arrow is.




A great week birding in Manuel Antonio area and Carara national park.

During this ending week I had the opportunity of meeting 2 wonderful birders from Alabama, USA. Jennie Stowers and Gretchen Boy. What a great week we had!

On the 23rd of September I meet them in Manuel Antonio for a nature history tour we had scheduled, they came with friends who were not birders but were surely interested in general nature and some birds, therefore our tour wasn’t fully focused on the birds.

The park it self it is not know for the birds but even then we tried to get some for the day, particularly those I knew would be a little hard to get in other spots.

What a surprise!, we ended seen about 29 different birds from which I can highlight a black and white owl and ferruginous pygmy-owl, charming hummingbird and Purple crowned fairy as their highlight of the day, while for me a worm-eating warbler was the highlight of the day as it was a lifer for me! thanks to Jennie and Gretchen!

Black and white owl

Female purple crowned fairy, at its nest.

And of course! a three toed sloth


On Wednesday 24th we were scheduled for Esquipulas, which is one of the best localities for Bird watching in Manuel Antonio, also including an extension to El rey Marshes. Upon our meeting time it was so rainy and I thought doing Esquipulas in those conditions wouldn’t be so good so we decided to do El rey marshes first, nonetheless it was rainy during the entire morning with intermittent rain, but these ladies proved to be very keen at birding and we jumped out of the car with umbrellas and jackets on and had a great time, we got an impressive 70 species list, yellow bellied seed-eater which is  a south pacific bird was a highlight for me (I have seen it very few times this far north off their usual range), other  nice birds where dickcissels which were all over and they were they first ones I get during this 2014 southern migration, common pauraquesshiny Cowbird where nice sightings too.

Common pauraque, CR’s most common whip-poor-will relative.

Pale breasted spinetail, good eye Jeanie!

After Lunch (where we saw Band tailed barbthorat) we then went to Esquipulas, we had the chance to bird a few hours before the rain came again, we got gray-lined hawk, bay headed tanager, blue ground dove, fiery billed aracary and black mandibled toucan as the highlights there.

Black mandibled toucan, formerly know as chestnut mandibled toucan, very common at Esquipulas, particularly after the rain.



Then, on September 26th we went to Carara national park, the bird-watching in Carara is always great, the lagoon trail was closed due to the flooded conditions of the rainy season so we did the universal trail, Quebrada bonita and Las Araceas, and what a great day we all had!

The highlight here was some really beautiful long tailed manakins, my favorite bird of CR and every body’s favorite bird of the day!

Scarlet macaws are common between Carara and Jaco areas

Turquoise browed motmot

Female rose-throated becard


the best of today at Carara, long tailed manakin. Indeed my favorite CR bird


Golden crowned spadebill, a minuscule flycatcher whose voice is bigger than he is


Blue crowned manakin, notice its ring

Crested guan

Buff throated foliage-gleaner

bare throated tiger-heron


We all had a great day birding an entire day, the weather was great, temperature was just nice and the companion was excellent, nice to bird with such knowledgeable birders.

Acadian Flycatcher  1
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill’s Flycatcher)  X
Amazon Kingfisher  1
American Redstart  X
Anhinga  3
Baird’s Trogon  1
Band-tailed Barbthroat  1
Bank Swallow  X
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron  X
Barn Swallow  X
Barred Antshrike  X
Bay-headed Tanager  X
Black Vulture  20
Black-and-white Owl  1
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  X
Black-crowned Tityra  2
Black-hooded Antshrike  X
Black-mandibled Toucan  1
Black-necked Stilt  1
Black-striped Sparrow  X
Black-throated Trogon  1
Blue Ground-Dove  2
Blue-black Grassquit  X
Blue-crowned Manakin  1
Blue-gray Tanager  2
Blue-throated Goldentail  1    seen by Gretchen during a quick stop on first resting place, Jennie missed it.
Boat-billed Flycatcher  1
Bronzed Cowbird  X
Brown Booby  2
Brown Pelican  X
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner  1
Cattle Egret  X
Charming Hummingbird  1
Cherrie’s Tanager  6
Chestnut-backed Antbird  2
Clay-colored Thrush  1    at the end of the day
Cocoa Woodcreeper  X
Common Black Hawk  1
Common Pauraque  2
Common Tody-Flycatcher  3
Costa Rican Swift  6
Crane Hawk  1
Crested Caracara  X
Crested Guan  1
Crimson-fronted Parakeet  X
Crowned Woodnymph  2
Dickcissel  X
Dot-winged Antwren  X
Dusky Antbird  X
Eastern Kingbird  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  X
Empidonax sp.  X
Eye-ringed Flatbill  1
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl  1
Fiery-billed Aracari  6
Gartered Trogon  2
Golden-crowned Spadebill  1    while looking for red capped manakin
Golden-hooded Tanager  X    difficult to see, high up on the trees.
Golden-naped Woodpecker  1    spotted by Jennie, near blue crowned manakin
Gray Hawk  X
Gray/Gray-lined Hawk  X
Gray-breasted Martin  X
Gray-capped Flycatcher  1    Spotted by Gretchen near the roof we sheltered during the rain
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat  1    By lineated woodpecker
Gray-headed Tanager  X
Gray-lined Hawk  1
Gray-necked Wood-Rail  3
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  X
Great Kiskadee  2
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Green Heron  X
Green Honeycreeper  1
Green Kingfisher  1
Groove-billed Ani  X
Hoffmann’s Woodpecker  X
House Wren  X
Inca Dove  X
Laughing Falcon  1    HEARD ONLY
Lesser Greenlet  2
Lineated Woodpecker  1
Little Blue Heron  X
Long-billed Gnatwren  1
Long-tailed Manakin  2
Magnificent Frigatebird  X
Mangrove Swallow  X
Melodious Blackbird  4
Muscovy Duck  1
Neotropic Cormorant  X
Northern Jacana  X
Northern Waterthrush  5
Orange-billed Sparrow  3
Orange-chinned Parakeet  3
Orchard Oriole  4
Pale-breasted Spinetail  1
Pale-vented Pigeon  X
Palm Tanager  4
Paltry Tyrannulet  2
Plain Wren  2
Plain Xenops  2
Purple Gallinule  X
Purple-crowned Fairy  1
Red-crowned Woodpecker  2
Red-legged Honeycreeper  1
Red-lored Parrot  X
Ringed Kingfisher  1
Riverside Wren  1
Roadside Hawk  2
Roseate Spoonbill  X
Rose-throated Becard  X
Royal Tern  X
Ruddy Ground-Dove  X
Rufous-capped Warbler  X
Rufous-naped Wren  X
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird  1
Rufous-tailed Jacamar  2
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird  1
Scarlet Macaw  X
Shiny Cowbird  2
Slaty-tailed Trogon  1
Smooth-billed Ani  2
Snowy Egret  X
Social Flycatcher  1
Spot-crowned Euphonia  X
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Squirrel Cuckoo  5
Steely-vented Hummingbird  1    at parking
Streaked Flycatcher  2
Streak-headed Woodcreeper  X
Stripe-throated Hermit  1
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher  1
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper  1
Thick-billed Seed-Finch  2
Tropical Gnatcatcher  2
Tropical Kingbird  X
Tropical Pewee  1
Turkey Vulture  6
Turquoise-browed Motmot  1
Variable Seedeater  X
Violet-headed Hummingbird  1
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper  1    spotted by Jen, near the car at the beginning of Esquipulas, with mixed flock
Western Wood-Pewee  X
Western/Eastern Wood-Pewee  X
Whimbrel  3
White Ibis  3
White-collared Seedeater  X
White-collared Swift  X
White-crowned Parrot  X    on flight, regular views with counter-light issues, but ID is sure.
White-necked Puffbird  1
White-shouldered Tanager  1
White-tipped Dove  1
White-winged Dove  X
Wood Stork  X
Worm-eating Warbler  1
Yellow Warbler  1
Yellow-bellied Seedeater  4
Yellow-crowned Euphonia
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  X
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet  1
Yellow-faced Grassquit  4
Yellow-headed Caracara  X

161 total

Birding Manuel Antonio area and Carara, 2 full days with Mike and Suzzane Britton. Part 1

A full day in Manuel Antonio area on March 6th, in this occasion I had the opportunity to bird with Suzanne and Mike Britton for Ottowa Canada.

While they were here about 15 years ago, back then they were not really birders and this second trip to Costa Rica was really their first birding trip to our tropics. Suzanne is an avid birder and has noticeably taken her time to study our birds which made the days very interesting as she had a nice wish list of birds she wanted to see, but of course, all species were welcome!

Here is the wishlist, those on bold letters were the species we saw:

1-Masked duck 2-Great curassow 3-Anhinga 4-Boat billed heron 5-King vulture 6-Swallow tailed kite 7-White tailed kite 8-Black and white hawk-eagle 9-Ornate hawk-eagle 10-Bat falcon 11-Laughing falcon 12-Gray necked wood-rail 13-Rufous necked wood rail 14-Purple gallinule 15-Northern Jacana 16-Scarlet  macaw 17-Squirrel cuckoo 18-common potoo 19-violet sabrewing 20-Green breasted mango 21-Violet crowned woodnymph 22-White crested coquette 23- Violaceus trogon (gartered) 24-Baird’d trogon 25-Slaty tailed trogon 26-Blue crowned mot mot 27- Turquoised browed motmot 28-Green kingfisher 29-American pygmy kingfisher 30-Black mandibled touca 31-Fiery billed aracary 32-Barred antshrike 33-Royal flycatcher 34-Scissor tailed flycatcher 35-Long tailed manakin 36-White throated magpie-jay 37-speckled tanager 38-Golden hooded tanager 39-Shining honeycreeper 40-Red legged Honeycreeper 41-Orange billed sparrow 42-Montezuma Oropendola 43-Any euphonia spp

Male Masked tytira, Suzanne’s favorite songster.

Bay headed tanager and Fem Green honeycreeper

Our day began when we met in Hotel Pueblo real, 10 minutes outside of Quepos, and then we headed to Esquipulas our plan was to bird all day in the areas of Esquipulas, La gallega river and El rey.

Our morning was very productive and saw about 72 bird species, this counts a couple seen along the way in the town of Naranjito as I usually keep track of what could be seen on the road we do not usually see in Esquipulas such as Rufous napped wren, scarlet macaw and others. here we birded until 1:00pm then we went for La gallega river.

Esquipulas, CR-SJ
Mar 6, 2014 6:20 AM – 12:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
Comments: Birding tour with Mike and Suzzane Britton. Ottowa Ca.
72 species (+1 other taxa)

Crested Guan X
Cattle Egret X
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
King Vulture X
Double-toothed Kite X
Roadside Hawk X
Gray/Gray-lined Hawk X
Short-tailed Hawk X
Pale-vented Pigeon X
Short-billed Pigeon X
Inca Dove X
Ruddy Ground-Dove X
White-tipped Dove X
Groove-billed Ani X
Stripe-throated Hermit X
Purple-crowned Fairy X
Violet-headed Hummingbird X
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird X
Violet Sabrewing X
Charming Hummingbird X
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird X
Baird’s Trogon X
Blue-crowned Motmot X
Fiery-billed Aracari X
Golden-naped Woodpecker X
Red-crowned Woodpecker X
Lineated Woodpecker X
Crested Caracara X
Yellow-headed Caracara X
Scarlet Macaw X
White-crowned Parrot X
Chestnut-backed Antbird X
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper X
Streak-headed Woodcreeper X
Yellow-bellied Elaenia X
Common Tody-Flycatcher X
Eye-ringed Flatbill X
Acadian Flycatcher X
Great Kiskadee X
Boat-billed Flycatcher X
Social Flycatcher X
Streaked Flycatcher X
Piratic Flycatcher X
Tropical Kingbird X
Masked Tityra X
Rose-throated Becard X
Brown Jay X
Southern Rough-winged Swallow X
Gray-breasted Martin X
House Wren X
Rufous-naped Wren X
Riverside Wren X
Clay-colored Thrush X
Tennessee Warbler X
Yellow Warbler X
Chestnut-sided Warbler X
Cherrie’s Tanager X
Blue-gray Tanager X
Palm Tanager X
Golden-hooded Tanager X
Bay-headed Tanager X
Red-legged Honeycreeper X
Green Honeycreeper X
Thick-billed Seed-Finch X
Bananaquit X
Orange-billed Sparrow X
Summer Tanager X
Melodious Blackbird X
Great-tailed Grackle X
Bronzed Cowbird X
Thick-billed Euphonia X
Spot-crowned Euphonia X

Baird’s trogon, its been seen regularly at Esquipulas lately

Male green honeycreeper, notice the cicada as well!

Male and female black crowned tytira

common tody-flycatcher

La Gallega is a river located just 5.5 kilometers from Esquipulas, in the way back to Quepos, I often visit this place in search for specific species such as the tropical mockingbird, collared plover, red breasted blackbird and southern lapwing, we went here in our way back for lunch and got:

Gray/Gray-lined Hawk X
Amazon Kingfisher X
Crested Caracara X
Yellow-headed Caracara X
Mangrove Swallow X
Tropical Mockingbird X
Red-breasted Blackbird

Tropical mockingbird


AFter La a quick stop here we then headed for Lunch, we stopped at a restaurant on route 34 south, and while just as we finished lunch I heard a plain wren call from behind the building so of course we had to see it!

Once in El rey we birded from 3:30 to 5:45pm  where we saw:

Finca Maritima (Playa El Rey) rice fields, CR-P
Mar 6, 2014 3:30 PM – 5:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
52 species

Great Egret X
Cattle Egret X
Green Heron X
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Common Black-Hawk X
Zone-tailed Hawk X
Purple Gallinule X
Double-striped Thick-knee X
Northern Jacana X
Ruddy Ground-Dove X
Groove-billed Ani X
Green-breasted Mango X
Ruby-throated Hummingbird X
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird X
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird X
Blue-throated Goldentail X
Ringed Kingfisher X
Amazon Kingfisher X
Green Kingfisher X
American Pygmy Kingfisher X
Crested Caracara X
Yellow-headed Caracara X
Peregrine Falcon X
Common Tody-Flycatcher X
Great Kiskadee X
Boat-billed Flycatcher X
Streaked Flycatcher X
Tropical Kingbird X
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher X
Yellow-throated Vireo X
Gray-breasted Martin X
House Wren X
Plain Wren X
Clay-colored Thrush X
Prothonotary Warbler X
Tennessee Warbler X
American Redstart X
Yellow Warbler X
Chestnut-sided Warbler X
Cherrie’s Tanager X
Blue-gray Tanager X
Palm Tanager X
Blue-black Grassquit X
White-collared Seedeater X
Indigo Bunting X
Dickcissel X
Red-breasted Blackbird X
Great-tailed Grackle X
Bronzed Cowbird X
Orchard Oriole X
Baltimore Oriole X

American pygmy kingfisher

A barn swallow meeting! The sky was full of them by sunset.

spectacled caiman

A variegated squirrel

And what a way to end our already-great day of birding!.

Par 2: Full day at Carara.


A great birding week part 3

Scarlet macaw at Carara national park.


On Tuesday, John and Marcia Anderson and I went to El rey, they had gone there already on Saturday afternoon but I offered to take them to see if we were able to find something else for their list, glad we did. We got green breasted mango which is common here now and I was estranged they didnt see it on their first trip to El rey. Other new species for their CR list were indigo bunting, bright rumped attila, dickcissels which was the second time Marcia had seen them in her life, shining cowbird which you really have to know what you are looking for as there are some very few shinings hanging with hundreds of similar looking bronzed cowbirds.

There we saw 48 different species in about 2hr15min, not bad, El rey is always productive.

Common black hawk, formerly called mangrove BH


On Wednesday 15th I picked up Mr John Strand at 5:30am, a Swedish birder, a keen and avid birder who I have the pleasure to bird with during a full day in the surroundings of Manuel Antonio.

We went to Esquipulas first, were we had a great morning with 65 species total, this place is great for manakins and often produces some various raptors, king vulture and black haw-eagle are often seen, nonetheless while we had good luck with the birds we saw very few raptors, only a Swallow-tailed Kite and a Short-tailed Hawk, aside from the 2 vulture species of course.

Long billed hermit formerly known as long tailed hermit


Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Short-tailed Hawk
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Pale-vented Pigeon
Short-billed Pigeon
Inca Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove
Blue Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Groove-billed Ani
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Long-billed Hermit
Stripe-throated Hermit
Violet-headed Hummingbird
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
Charming Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Blue-crowned Motmot
Black-mandibled Toucan
Golden-naped Woodpecker
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
Crested Caracara
Yellow-headed Caracara
Crimson-fronted Parakeet
white-crowned Parrot
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Bright-rumped Attila
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Gray-capped Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
White-ruffed Manakin
Black-crowned Tityra
Masked Tityra
Riverside Wren
Clay-colored Thrush
Tennessee Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Buff-rumped Warbler
Cherrie’s Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Blue-black Grassquit
Variable Seedeater
Yellow-faced Grassquit
buff-throated Saltator
Orange-billed Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Great-tailed Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Yellow-crowned Euphonia
Spot-crowned Euphonia

A male white ruffed manakin

A male white ruffed manakin


After 11:30ish we went to La Gallega river which is half way between Quepos and Esquipulas, this place offers very specific birds; Red breasted blackbird, tropical mockingbird, southern lapwing and collared plover, as well as some swallows and other common birds related to river habitats, we saw all we were looking except the collared plover.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
White Ibis
Southern Lapwing
Spotted Sandpiper
Inca Dove
Green-breasted Mango
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Tropical Kingbird
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Mangrove Swallow
Tropical Mockingbird
Red-breasted Blackbird

After lunch we went to El rey and saw about 55 species from 1:45pm to about 4:00pm, including a new-to me tricolored Munia, a bird in the Estrildidae family which has been seen in this site as well as other localities close to Quepos but it has been eluding me for so long until now. We saw 5 individuals.

MR and MS Cherri’s tanager

a Non-bird fellow,a variegated squirrel.

55 species total

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Common Black-Hawk
Roadside Hawk
White-throated Crake
Purple Gallinule
Northern Jacana
Inca Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Blue Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Smooth-billed Ani
Groove-billed Ani
Green-breasted Mango
Green Kingfisher
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Crested Caracara
Yellow-headed Caracara
Crimson-fronted Parakeet
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Gray-breasted Martin
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
House Wren
Clay-colored Thrush
Northern Waterthrush
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Cherrie’s Tanager
Blue-black Grassquit
Variable Seedeater
White-collared Seedeater
Black-striped Sparrow
Indigo Bunting
Shiny Cowbird
Bronzed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Yellow-crowned Euphonia
Tricolored Munia


At the end of the day, John and I must had seen little more than 100 bird species total, a a lifer for me!

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