Wednesday, 9 May 2012

La Selva OTS, Costa Rica, April 2012

La Selva OTS is set on the lower foothills of the central volcanic area.  The reserve contains good areas of primary and secondary forest and is a centre for tropical studies and also offers accommodation for researchers and slightly better rooms for tourists.  Because we were on a honeymoon (not a birding holiday!) we stayed at the nearby Hotel Sueno Azul which was very weird indeed.  It was a huge complex comprising; yoga centre, conference centre, rodeo, restaurant, bar, museum, two lakes, forest in endless hectares of grounds.  It was a bit like Michael Jackson’s Never Neverland and we were the only ones staying!  During the initial recce of the grounds (as you do) I spotted a Steely-vented Hummingbird inside the window of the yoga centre so went to get the key to retrieve it.  One good deed I thought deserves a shed load of new birds!

There were some good birds around the grounds however; Golden-hooded Tanagers, Green Heron, Spotted Sandpipers, good movement of Eastern Kingbirds, Ringed Kingfisher, Collared Aracari, both Toucans, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Mealy Parrot, Ruddy Ground Dove, Black-faced Grosbeak, Laughing Falcon, Melodious Blackbird, Orange-crowned Parrot, Buff-rumped Warblers and at dusk my first Common Pauraque/Poorwill were calling and hawking around the hotel buildings.  To be fair the grounds especially the long drive to the hotel were good birding.

We had an early pick-up to get to La Selva for a guided walk around the forest and infamous approach road.  The birding was very good: Red-legged and Shinning Honeycreepers, Olive-backed Euphonia, 9 RE Vireos in one berrying bush!, a Semiplumbious Hawk was mobbed by a miniscule Tropical Gnatcatcher, Grey-chested and Short-billed Pigeons, Black-throated and Violaceous Trogons, Broad-billed and finally Rufous Motmot which was stunning, Black-cheeked Woodcreeper, Rufous-winged and Lineated Woodpeckers, Fasciated Antshrike, Slaty-headed Tody-flycatcher, Cinamon Becard, Yellow-throated Vireo, White Collared Manakin, Black-throated Wren,  7 Snowy Cotinga, Piratic Flycatcher and 20 Black Vulture moving south were notable but not all.  A Great Curassow sat partially obscured in a tree giving out its call in a deep base.  A Collared Peccary (wild pig) and three-toed Sloth were also seen on the approach drive.

Back at the deserted hotel and along the adjacent river two Osprey hunted overhead, a Bare-throated Tiger Heron was on rocks in the river. I gave it some time then suddenly what looked like a giant hawk moth jumped across the rocks on the next bend in the river.  Distant but undoubtedly a Sun Bittern! Wow.  Northern Jacanas, Spotted Sands and Green Herons were on the edge of the lake below the hotel.

 Golden-hooded Tanager above
Buff-rumped Warbler below

 Black-faced Grosbeak and Howler

 one of double figure REVireo
Snowy Cotinga-good bird (1 of 7)!

In the ringing ride-looking for Curassow
Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant-just 8cm long

Dendrobates pumilio or the Blue-Jean Poison Dart-Frog
Below: Shinning Honeycreeper

Above: Violaceaous Trogon
Below: Rufous-tailed Jacamar male
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks again Rob. Cotingas are all ace looking birds.