Costa Rica: A Relaxed & Easy Tour Jul 07—15, 2018

Posted by David Ascanio


David Ascanio

David Ascanio, a Venezuelan birder and naturalist, has spent 30+ years guiding birding tours throughout his native country, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, the Amazon River, ...

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Fantastic Costa Rica welcomed us with amazing views of a Lesson’s Motmot (Momotus lessoni) feeding on infructescences of a bromeliad at eye level. Pairs of Rufous-naped Wrens (Campylorhynchus rufinucha) were displaying, accompanied by their cacophonic voices and Boat-billed Flycatchers (Megarynchus pitangua) chasing away a raptor that was close to their nesting site. From San José we drove to Cerro de la Muerte where we enjoyed superb views of Fiery-throated Hummingbirds—a regional endemic (Panterpe insignis) and Talamanca Hummingbird—a recent split from Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes spectabilis). Also, we observed two species of silky-flycatchers, the enchanting Collared Redstart (Myioborus torquatus), and two species of thrushes.

Shining Honeycreeper

Shining Honeycreeper— Photo: David Ascanio


Given that the weather was still great, after lunch we took a detour to the antenna road where various Volcano Juncos (Junco vulcani) were added to our list along with the territorial and diminutive Timberline Wren (Thryorchilus browni). Towards midafternoon we took the road to our lodge, Savegre, and along the way we nailed our first Black Guan (Chamaepetes unicolor) for the tour. The birding continued in the gardens of the lodge with amazing views of Yellow-thighed Finch (Pselliophorus tibialis), Flame-colored Tanager—now a cardinal (Piranga bidentata), and Yellow-bellied Siskins (Spinus xanthogastrus). And, all of this just on the first day of our tour!

Our second day found us in the lush and evergreen mountains of Cerro de la Muerte, in Savegre. Here, we nailed one of the target species of the tour, the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), and what a way to do it: with views of (at least) one male and two other females! Later, we explored the trail, crossing a small patch of forest and adding new birds to the list: wrens, euphonias, resident warblers, wood-quails, and parakeets. In the afternoon we visited bird feeders and got superb views of two species of nightingale-thrushes, as well as the comical Large-footed Finch (Pezopetes capitalis).

Read David’s full report in his Field Report.