April 19: Rich Hoyer on his and Luke Seitz's recently completed tour, Costa Rica
No one could be blamed for choosing Resplendent Quetzal as their favorite bird on the Costa Rica in Spring tour. We had wonderful views of this magnificent species on three different days, one all to ourselves on a quiet trail near the famous town of Monteverde.
But in reality it was very difficult to choose favorites when we saw so many species, so many of them colorful gems, and so many of them well. Red-headed Barbet is never a guarantee, so seeing a pair with a group of Speckled Tanagers at a feeder on our third day was a treat.
Another bird of the highlands, often the favorite of the day was Collared Redstart, and some were incredibly confiding.
In the cool highlands of Cerro de la Muerte we marveled at the blue and opal iridescence on a Spangle-cheeked Tanager that seemed to be fighting its reflection in the windows of the hotel restaurant.
In the warm lowlands of the Osa Peninsula we had huge bird lists each day, with Scarlet Macaw and Yellow-billed Cotingas among the top favorites. A Lesson's Motmot was often right around the lodge.
The only bats we identified to species were those on their day roosts, offering wonderful photographic opportunities, such as a Greater Sac-winged Bat in the eves of the lodge.
A female Black-throated Trogon on the trails at Bosque del Rio Tigre could not have been more confiding.
We completed the tour on the Caribbean slope where we had our first rain. But this allowed us to look for a very special frog. Finally, after some searching to find the pond, close inspection revealed two stunning Red-eyed Treefrogs.
Night rains can bring out some nice moths to our hotel lights, but this huge Rothschildia lebeau was just over-the-top gorgeous.
The rain came to an end, and at our lunch stop near Arenal Volcano, a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth stretched out to dry out.
The rain had also bottled up phenomenal kettle of hundreds of Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks that drifted right over us on our next-to-last afternoon.
A pair of White-whiskered Puffbirds entertained us for some time on the same afternoon walk.
Our final morning gave us a last chance for some early morning birding, though relaxing and enjoying the birds visible from the lodge restaurant was not at all a bad idea.
Posted: April 19, 2017