COSTA RICA BIRDING TRIP REPORT
2017 Costa Rica Scouting Trip
Our 2017 scouting trip to Costa Rica had two primary goals. The first was to get updates on current birding locales and check out new locales. The second was to try for as many target species that I haven't seen previously in any country. As a result of this trip, we've modified our suggested itineraries to take advantage of new information and locales. Most notable are stakeouts for Lesser Ground-Cuckoo and several species of owls near Orotina, Crested Owl, Great Potoo, and Thicket Antpitta near Guapiles, Yellow-breasted Crake and Striped Owl near Los Chiles, and White-throated Crake and Uniform Crake near Fortuna . Also interesting are the forested areas around Celeste Mountain Lodge and Heliconias Lodge north of Arenal National Park.
As to target species, we picked up 65 of the 107 species on my list (see targets listed on this report). Some of the antbirds were missed because they're best seen earlier in the year and are really tough in the absence of recent rains because of the greatly reduced activity of army ants. Others missed can't really be targeted and are a matter of luck. Yet others missed were really difficult species such as some tinamous, crakes, quail-doves, owls, leaftossers, and cotingas. Nevertheless, the trip was a big success. We did see many challenging species, including Yellow-breasted Crake, Uniform Crake, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Striped Owl, Thicket Antpitta, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Three-wattled Bellbird, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Nightingale Wren, Wrenthrush, and White-throated Shrike-Tanager. We gave Rosy Thrush-Tanager a serious try and heard it quite close but could never get our eyes on it. It should be noted that our species count was lower than might be expected on a typical tour of this duration or shorter because we pretty much ignored many fairly easy species so we could concentrate on my target list.