8 Apr 2014

Pacific coast, Costa Rica

Tearing ourselves away from Monteverde and the cool mountain air, we headed south towards Costa Rica's Pacific Coast.

To Cerro Lodge, to be precise, handily placed for boat trips to view waterbirds, and Carara National Park.

Mouth of Tarcoles River

But before heading out there always seemed to be one or two fine birds to be seen around the hotel cabins and the restaurant… 

Turquoise-browed Motmot
The National Bird of Nicaragua, no less !

Also present in modest numbers, but due to their size, very noticeable: -

Scarlet Macaw

And yet another confiding new world trogon… 

Violaceous Trogon

Carara National Park has a "River Trail" described in Where to watch birds in Costa Rica as "arguably the single most productive birding trail in all of Costa Rica.."

We went to the National Park on two mornings and weren't disappointed.  We did the River Trail with a guide and another trail near HQs by ourselves, and still saw plenty of birds.

 White-whiskered Puffbird

 Black-throated Trogon

White-throated Capuchin

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper

Down the gravel road from the hotel, the former forest had given way to cattle country.

We paused while a Crested Caracara did its' kerb drill:

Crested Caracara

An early morning boat trip was aimed at filling a few gaps in the "trip list".

Yellow/Mangrove Warbler - two names, take your pick

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

Anhinga (female)
From Plate 26 of "Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers" (Helm,1992), our third bird out of four: -

American Pygmy Kingfisher
And that's about it for two weeks in Costa Rica.

Plenty of colourful birds, nice people, and cold beer.  Just about my ideal birding destination.


  1. Wow, love the Turquoise-browed Motmot. Great name and great bird.................

    1. Thanks, Stu ! All the motmots were striking, and this was one of the best..

  2. Stunning birds (and pics), especially love the Tiger Heron. The hummers really wowed me in your previous posts too. So many birds still to see..........

    1. Jeremy, and only one lifetime to do it in !

  3. Superb photos. Thank you for posting them.

    1. Thanks, John !
      Hope these brought back some pleasant Costa Rica memories for you.