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BEST OF COSTA RICA

Saturday 24th February - Friday 9th March 2018

Chris Kehoe

Resplendent Quetzal in the rain (Chris Kehoe)

Resplendent Quetzal in the rain (Chris Kehoe)

Our recent Best of Costa Rica tour saw us explore a wide variety of habitats in this extraordinarily bird rich country. The amazing Resplendent Quetzal is a major target on the tour and we enjoyed fantastic views of a nesting pair on our first afternoon in the mountains south of San Jose. Further highlights in the uplands included a host of hummingbirds, such as the localised Fiery-throated, Admirable, Volcano and Scintillant Hummingbirds, Magenta-throated Woodstars and Violet Sabrewings, plus Collared and Slate-throated Whitestarts, Black-cheeked and Flame- throated Warblers, Volcano Juncos and Azure-hooded Jays though perhaps most popular of all were the stunning Long-tailed Silky-flycatchers around a cosy lodge where a covey of Spotted Wood-Quails showed astonishingly well. In the nearby south Pacific lowlands we found an entirely new set of species including numerous Scarlet Macaws, Fiery-billed Aracaris, Long-tailed, Blue-capped and Orange-collared Manakins, Streak-chested Antpitta and many, many more. Moving north into the more arid areas of the Pacific slope gave us the coveted Lesser Ground Cuckoo, the mighty Jabiru, Spectacled and Pacific Screech Owls and Turquoise-browed Motmots to name just a few. The tour concluded on the incredibly species rich Caribbean slope where we visited the foothills at Arenal and the steamy lowlands at La Selva to enjoy the likes of Great Curassows, Great and Slaty-breasted Tinamous, Spotted Antbirds, lekking White-collared Manakins, Sunbittern, Purple-throated Fruit Crow, Snowy Cotingas, Collared Aracaris, Keel-billed Toucans and the amazing Great Green Macaw, though perhaps the pick of the bunch was the gorgeous Snowcap, seen at a stop as we returned towards San Jose at the end of the tour. Mammals included Mantled Howler and Spider Monkeys, an obliging Northern Tamandua, Collared Peccaries and plenty of White-nosed Coatis.

Streak-chested Antpitta (Chris Kehoe)

Streak-chested Antpitta (Chris Kehoe)