Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Costa Rica 2012

Rio Tárcoles with the Carara National Park to the right © John N Murphy

I have just returned from a fantastic two week holiday in Costa Rica, Central America.  My itinerary was as follows.

5th-8th February, Villa Lapas, Carara National Park.
8th - 10th February, La Sevegre Hotel Montana, San Gerardo de Dota.
10th-12th February, Horquestas, near La Selva Biological Research Station, Brauilio Carrillo NP.
12th-15th February, Monteverde, Hotel Belmar, near Arenal/Monteverde NP.
15th -18th February, Lake Arenal and Hotel Royal Corin near Aernal Volcano and Observatory.

On the 5th February we arrived at San Jose Airport via Newark, New Jersey and drove the hired car for 2 hours, directly to the west coast and Carara National Park.  Here we spent three nights at Villa Lapas on the edge of the park. 

The Carara National Park covers an area of 11,600 acres and is one of Costa Rica's most famous birding destinations. It is the Northern most site on the South Pacific Slope sitting on the southern bank of the Río Tárcoles River.  Some of the bird highlights were; Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Great Kiskadee, Fiery-billed Aracari, Scarlet Macaw, Cherrie's Tanager, White-whiskered Puffbill, Black-faced Antthrush, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Dusky Antbird, Striped-throated Hermit, Shinning Honeycreeper, Great-tailed Grackle, Squirrel Cuckoo, Inca Dove, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Crested Caracara, Turkey Vulture, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Common Tody Flycatcher, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Black-throated & Slaty-tailed Trogons, Rufous-naped Wren, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Ringed Kingfisher, Magnificent Frigatebird, Northern Jacana, Black-necked Stilt, Boat-billed Heron, Groove-billed Ani, Blue-gray Tanager to mention a few.  There was also lots of visiting birds over-wintering from the US that included,  Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush, many Spotted Sandpipers and a vast array of North American warblers, waders and other migrants.

Below is a selection of images taken in this region and the first in a batch of many more to come over the next week or so.  I hope you enjoy some of Costa Rica's delights.


 Bare-throated Tiger Heron © John N Murphy
Fiery-billed Aracari © John N Murphy
Orange-chinned Parakeet © John N Murphy
Yellow Warbler © John N Murphy
Spotted Sandpiper © John N Murphy
 Rufous-naped Wren © John N Murphy
Black-throated Trogon © John N Murphy
 Blue-crowned Motmot near the Tárcoles River © John N Murphy
 Groove-billed Ani's © John N Murphy
Boat-billed Flycatcher on the Tarcoles River © John N Murphy
White-whiskered Puffbill in the Carara NP © John N Murphy
Louisiana Water Thrush near Villa Lapas © John N Murphy
Scarlet Macaw in flight © John N Murphy
Crested Caracara near Táracoles © John N Murphy
Cattle Egret near Tárcoles © John N Murphy

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