Welcome to Birdquest
Tuesday 29th March - Wednesday 20th April 2016
Daniel Lopez Velasco
This year´s Ultimate Costa Rica tour was, yet again, a very successful tour to this wonderful country. We focused purely in the many specialities that the country has to offer, and we managed to see a high percentage of them, despite being a very dry year, with bird activity being generally pretty poor throughout the country. Birdquest has been operating birding tours in Costa Rica for 29 years now, and we have adapted our itinerary to offer the very best that this superb destination has to offer. With its three endemic bird areas, regional endemism is a strong influence in the Costa Rican avifauna, and many of these charismatic species were among the tour highlights. Black Guan, Purplish-backed, Buff-fronted and Olive-backed Quail-Doves, 42 species of hummingbirds including the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird, the stunning Black-crested Coquette and the delightful Snowcap, Dusky Nightjar, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Baird´s and Lattice-tailed Trogons, incredible views of several Resplendent Quetzals, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Yellow-naped Amazon, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Ochraceous and Dark Pewees, brilliant views of male Turquoise, Snowy, Yellow-billed and Lovely Cotingas, a pair of Tody Motmots, singing Three-wattled Bellbirds, 7 species of manakins including Long-tailed Manakin, prolonged views of Wrenthrush (Zeledonia), Streak-crowned Antvireo, Blue-and-gold Tanager, White-throated Shrike-Tanager, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Yellow-winged Vireo, Tawny-chested and Golden-bellied Flycatchers, Zeledon´s (White-fronted) Tyrannulet, Chiriqui Yellowthroat, Costa Rican Brush Finch, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, the scarce Cabanis´s Ground Sparrow (now a CR endemic after the splitting of Prevost´s Ground Sparrow), Flame-throated Warbler, Sooty-faced Finch, Nicaraguan Seed Finch and Nicaraguan Grackle were but a few of these. We always make a special effort with nightbirds, and this time we saw no less than 11 species of owls, including Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Bare-shanked and Vermiculated Screech Owls and Black-and-white, Crested and Striped Owls. Among the 20 species of wren recorded some of the favourite performers were Timberline, Northern Nightingale and Song Wrens. Additional highlights included Slaty-breasted Tinamou, excellent views of Marbled and Spotted Wood Quails, plenty of Great Curassows, Spot-bellied Bobwhite, Jabiru, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White and Zone-tailed Hawks, Tiny Hawk, Barred Forest Falcon, the rare Yellow-breasted Crake, Uniform Crake, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Mangrove Cuckoo, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, a pair of stunning Great Green Macaws, Spot-fronted Swift, Brown-billed Scythebill, Keel-billed Motmot, Rufous-winged and Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers, Zeledon´s, Ocellated, Bare-crowned and Dull-mantled Antbirds, Black-faced Anthrush, Scaled, Ochre-breasted, Thicket and Streak-chested Antpittas, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Pale-vented Thrush, Grey-throated Leaftosser, tiny Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant, Black-and-yellow Phainoptila, exquisite Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Panamanian Flycatcher, Green Shrike-Vireo, all five nightingale-thrushes and Rufous-browed Tyrannulet.