& Fauna Field Tours
March 5 - March 15, 2011
|March 5 : We will convene in San Jose Airport prior to
meeting our bus and driver to take us to the Hotel Villas
Estrellamar on the
Pacific coast, only 2 hours from the capital. Here we should have time to
bird the beautiful grounds and walk along the beach of the Pacific Ocean. D. Overnight : Hotel
Villas Estrellamar, Jaco Beach.
March 6 : After breakfast, we visit the nearby Carara Reserve to explore with a local guide some of the forest trails searching for antbirds, wrens, tanagers, woodcreepers, etc. This reserve is located in the transition zone between the wet and dry forests of the Pacific lowlands. Consequently a larger variety of species can be found. Some of the most sought-after birds are the gaudy and raucous Scarlet Macaws, the Red-lored Parrot, Northern Bentbill, Baird's Trogon, Blue-throated Goldentail and Royal Flycatcher. Animals too such as the Spiny-tailed Iguana, Coati Mundi, and White-faced and Capuchin monkeys, can be seen. B/L/D. Ov. Hotel Villas Estrellamar .
|March 7 : In the morning, we will walk another of
Carara's trails before taking a boat trip on the Rio Tarcoles to find
American Crocodiles, herons, egrets, shorebirds and mangrove species. This
is often a major highlight of the tour for many participants.
On our return, we will explore a roadside marsh for warblers, herons and crakes. Back at our hotel, an optional late-afternoon walk will be conducted. As darkness falls, we will search for owls and other night creatures. B/L/D. Ov. Hotel Villas Estrellamar.
|March 8 : Optional early morning bird walk around the hotel. After breakfast, we leave along the coast road and cross from west to east to the Caribbean lowland biological station of La Selva. A short stop enroute will be made at the huge Braulio Carillo National Park before reaching the beautiful location of La Selva, where we will hike through the grounds until dusk. Many animals and birds can be found here in this idyllic setting. B/L/D. Ov. La Selva Biological Station.|
|March 9 : After breakfast, we will
bird the entrance road to La Selva. Some difficult and interesting
species can be found here such as Little Tinamou, Gray-headed Kite,
Pale-vented Pigeon, Blue Ground-Dove, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-mandibled
Toucan, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Red-throated Ant Tanager
and Yellow-tailed Oriole. Then we will hike through the grounds searching
for birds and animals. La Selva is mainly primary rainforest, with
scattered patches of secondary growth. After lunch and a siesta, we will
walk a forest trail searching for antbirds, antwrens, puffbirds,
Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Snowy Cotinga, Rufous Mourner and many others.
B/L/D. Ov. La Selva.
|March 10 : Today we
will initially bird La Selva, eat breakfast, then take our bus to Braulio
Carillo National Park for some intensive forest trail birding here.
Enroute we will bird the roadside marsh of El Tigre, where we may find
Green Ibis, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat, Giant
Cowbird and Pink-billed Seed-Finch.
Braulio Carillo is a very large park on the Caribbean slope and hosts a huge number of species. We hope to encounter a few feeding flocks consisting of tanagers such as Emerald, Tawny-crested and Blue and Gold, trogons such as Lattice-tailed and Black-throated, woodcreepers like Olivaceous and Barred, and many other species. B/L/D. Ov. La Selva.
|March 11 : Optional pre-breakfast walk on the La Selva trails.
Here the numerous trees, bushes,
flowers, orchids, and ferns are well worth the visit alone. But there are
several interesting trails and rainforest walks which will produce many
birds and animals. We hope to encounter some mixed species flocks
including many tanagers. We hope to have a local La Selva guide
with us for today's hikes. Our birdlist should expand greatly today !
B/L/D. Ov. La Selva
|March 12 : After breakfast, we walk one of the forest trails on a moderate hike. We will examine species along the Sarapiqui River adjacent to our lodgings, where giant Green Iguanas can be seen. This is primary forest and hosts such birds as Great Tinamou, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, and Tiny Hawk. Along the river we hope to find Fasciated Tiger-Heron and Sunbittern, possibly Sungrebe as well. After lunch and a siesta, we take one more trail searching for birds, animals, gaudy forest frogs and butterflies. B/L/D. Ov. La Selva.|
|March 13: Following breakfast, we drive the Pan-American Highway into the Talamanca Mountains and the highest peak at Cerro de la Muerte (11,000').Here we search for high-elevation species such as Volcano Junco, Volcano Hummingbird, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Peg-billed and Slaty finches, Zeledonia, Slaty Flowerpiercer, the South American form of Hairy Woodpecker, Timberline Wren, Large-footed Finch, Flame-throated Warbler and Collared Redstart. From the paramo, we will drive downslope to the lovely setting of the Savegre Hotel and its extensive grounds. In the evening, we will search for Bare-shanked Screech Owl and Dusky Nightjar. B/L/D. Ov. Savegre Hotel.|
|March 14 : This morning we will explore the nearby area
with local guide Marino Chacon, who will help us find the gorgeous
Resplendent Quetzal, Long-tailed and Black & Yellow Silky-Flycatchers,
Black Guan, Yellow-thighed Finch, Flame-throated Hummingbird, Mountain and
Sooty Robins, Barred Parakeet, and Ochraceous Pewee. After lunch, we will
return to the lodge and bird the grounds and trails to find Collared
Trogon, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Black-billed Nightingale Thrush,
Black-capped Flycatcher, and Black-thighed Grosbeak. The hotel hummingbird
feeders should produce White-throated Mountain Gem, Green Violet Ear,
Magnificent and Scintillant hummingbirds. B/L/D.
Ov. Savegre Hotel.
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