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18 March - 1 April 2004

by Mike Mulligan

Informal birding trips can be so much fun. With no lodging reservations, we're free to go where the birds are---and at times to stay where we might not otherwise.  It was that kind of adventure. In addition to myself, we were Mary Nelson, a Calgary birding friend, Mark Citsay and Doug Stucki of Minnesota (both good companions who had visited the tropics with me before), and Kevin Easley, my old friend, excellent guide and now owner of Costa Rica Gateway. Kevin and I have spent many hours in the field together in CR and Kenya, and he indulges my desire to add species to my Costa Rica list. Limiting the party to five enabled us to fit (fairly) comfortably into a 4WD SUV and ensured quality trail birding. My intent was to find new birding spots as well as to visit a couple familiar locations.

Because of Kevin's knowledge and contacts throughout the country, we were quite successful. Local, rare, ultra-rare and specialty birds recorded included Highland Tinamou, Masked Duck, Pearl Kite, Bicolored Hawk, Barred Forest-Falcon, Great Curassow, Marbled Wood-Quail, Uniform Crake, Wattled Jacana, Chiriqui Quail-Dove, Brown-throated Parakeet, Spot-fronted Swift, White-tipped Sicklebill, White-crested Coquette, Keel-billed Motmot, Gray-throated Leaftosser, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Black-headed Antthrush, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Turquoise and Yellow-billed Cotingas, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Masked Yellowthroat, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Red-breasted Blackbird, Crested Oropendola, and---strangely enough---Warbling Vireo. Several of these are not even shown in the Stiles and Skutch field guide, and others are virtually never seen. I'm simply amazed that we did so well on rarities, as well as finding many expected birds. And we had fun! Please note: I'll ignore sightings of many common North American species in the following daily log.

March 18    

Kevin and I work through our proposed itinerary, noting potential adjustments based on current sightings reports. We discuss tour intensity, lodging possibilities, and participants' skills and physical condition. (I arrived yesterday, stayed at Kevin's comfortable home in Alajuela.) Following an airport run Mary, Mark and I find a few birds near Kevin's house: migrating Broad-winged and Swainson's Hawks, Red-billed Pigeon; White-winged, Inca and White-tipped Doves, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Blue-crowned Motmot resting at Kevin's water dish, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Blue-and-white Swallow, Rufous-naped Wren, Clay-colored Robin, Blue-gray Tanager, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Grayish Saltator. We do a bit of evening birding at Los Chorros Falls Road (White-collared and Vaux's Swifts), then pick up Doug at airport and drive to Hotel Cacts near downtown San Jose. We're in bed by 10pm after a seafood dinner at nearby Restaurante Machu Picchu.

March 19    

Promptly at 6am Kevin collects us and we drive east through the city, out toward Cartago and up the slopes of Volcan Irazu. It's raining, it's cold, and the expected breakfast place is closed. (Good-natured grumbling breaks out.) We check a forest patch birded recently by Kevin's brother Steve and note Band-tailed Pigeon, the small brown subspecies of Hairy Woodpecker, Ruddy Treerunner, Mountain Elaenia, Black-capped Flycatcher, Ochraceous Wren, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Robin, Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Yellow-winged Vireo, Black-cheeked Warbler, Slaty Flowerpiercer and Large-footed Finch. Dripping wet and desperate for coffee, we finally locate an open restaurante.

Kevin takes us back to the Inter-American and up, up into the highlands (no rain!), where we bird the famed Cerro de la Muerte Tower Road and La Georgina's Roadhouse. Added are Green Violet-ear; Magnificent, Fiery-throated and Volcano Hummingbirds, Mountain Robin, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Volcano Junco. We overnight downslope a bit at lovely Cabinas Vista del Valle. Birds here are Swallow-tailed Kite, Violet Sabrewing, Green-crowned Brilliant, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush; Flame-colored, Cherrie's and Golden-hooded Tanagers. Somewhere today we also add Gray Hawk, Crimson-fronted Parakeet, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (common), Mountain Robin and Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher (heard).

March 20

It's hard to leave the birding deck at Vista del Valle, where this morning we tally Silver-throated Tanager and Buff-throated Saltator. We head down to San Isidro and find Yellow-headed Caracara, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Orange-chinned Parakeet, White-crowned Parrot, Smooth-billed Ani, Red-crowned and Lineated Woodpeckers, a Barred Antshrike pair, Greenish and Lesser Elaenias, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Social and Gray-capped Flycatchers, several performing Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Masked Tityra, Scrub Greenlet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Bananaquit, Blue-black Grassquit, Variable Seedeater and Bronzed Cowbird.

We continue on down into the lowlands, noting Roadside Hawk, Crested Caracara, Brown-hooded Parrot, Band-rumped Swift, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Martin, and the very local Red-breasted Blackbird. On the Osa Peninsula are Magnificent Frigatebird, a White-necked Puffbird pair perched over our van, Mangrove and Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Palm Tanager and White-collared Seedeater.

The last mile to Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge is poorly marked, but Kevin persists. Approaching the lodge we find Gray-necked Wood-Rail and Northern Jacana. We arrive late afternoon and owner Liz Jones immediately walks us down a trail to a fruiting tree. Right on schedule a male White-crested Coquette flies in; a White-necked Jacobin hovers nearby for size comparison. A pair of Scarlet Macaws sails overhead as we admire the tiny coquette. We also see Stripe-throated Hermit, Blue-throated Goldentail, Long-billed Starthroat, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Dusky-capped and Piratic Flycatchers, White-winged Becard, Blue Dacnis, Shining and Red-legged Honeycreepers and Black-striped Sparrow. We meet two Swedish birders, Jesper and Kale, nice guys and excellent birders. Liz and her crew prepare a fine dinner, we do the checklist and fall into bed. It's a long, bird-filled day.

March 21

Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge is remotely located on the Golfo Dulce side of the Osa Peninsula, down a long and dusty road. Liz and her husband Abraham Gallo like it that way. It's truly a charming place, with but four rooms and solar-powered electricity. Liz keeps the premises spotless and the showers are wonderful. It's warm, humid---but what would you expect here, arguably the hottest part of the country? Very early today, before breakfast, Liz and Abraham take us on a quick hike through the village and up a riverbed for another special sight: a White-tipped Sicklebill. This big hummingbird perches about six meters from us and we enjoy a leisurely eye-level view. A White Hawk glides overhead as we make our way back down the riverbed, and we note Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Purple Gallinule, White-throated Crake, both Squirrel and Striped Cuckoos, Chestnut-backed Antbird, male and female Turquoise Cotingas, Yellow-green Vireo, Blue-black Grosbeak and a fine look at male Thick-billed Seed-Finch. Breakfast is especially tasty after this early "walk."

We spend the day on the trails near the lodge and record Least Grebe, Anhinga, Boat-billed Heron on nest with young, Double-toothed Kite, some see a Tiny Hawk, Pale-vented Pigeon, a fly-by male Blue Ground-Dove, Gray-chested Dove, Ruddy Quail-Dove (difficult look), Mark and Kevin find a probable Chuck-will's-widow by the shower, and a Long-tailed Hermit hangs out near the lodge. It's a four-trogon day: Baird's, Violaceous (heard), Black-throated and Slaty-tailed. Also Amazon and Green Kingfishers, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan in the scope, Mary spots a Golden-naped Woodpecker, Slaty Spinetail, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Long-tailed and Black-striped Woodcreepers, Great Antshrike found by Doug, Black-hooded Antshrike, Dot-winged Antwren, Black-faced Antthrush, Yellow and Paltry Tyrannulets; Ochre-bellied, Sulphur-rumped and Boat-billed Flycatchers, Northern Bentbill, Bright-rumped Attila, Rose-throated Becard, Black-crowned Tityra, a wing-snapping Orange-collared Manakin, female Red-capped Manakin; Black-bellied, Riverside, Plain and Whistling Wrens, Doug notes a Mourning Warbler, Buff-rumped Warbler, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (a true Osa Peninsula endemic), Orange-billed Sparrow and Scarlet-rumped Cacique.

March 22

Early we're on the trail behind the lodge, and finally find our elusive bird. Two adult Marbled Wood-Quail with four chicks move slowly past us, affording all superb views. It's a rewarding morning---we also spot Little Tinamou, Bronzy Hermit, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Violaceous Trogon (heard-only yesterday), Ringed Kingfisher, Fiery-billed Aracari in scope, Golden-naped Woodpecker seen by all, Short-billed Pigeon ("drab" says Doug), and we enjoy great looks at a Scaly-throated Leaftosser. Completely unexpected is a skittish Uniform Crake at a small pond behind the lodge, only the second one I've seen and per Liz new for the property. Also several White-shouldered Tanager females at a bathing pool. We're a happy crew at breakfast.

Quickly we pack up, say our good-byes and head out. Our search for Mangrove Hummingbird is unsuccessful. We pause at the Rincon bridge for sandwiches and Doug and Kevin hunt for cotingas. They find both Yellow-billed and Turquoise, and we admire the stunning Yellow-billed male in the scope. A low-flying King Vulture is spotted along the dusty road. This magnificent creature circles close overhead, affording best possible views of a flying King. From the highway we detour onto Esquinas Road and mark Snowy Egret, White Ibis, a close and laughing Laughing Falcon, Brown-throated Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, Yellow-bellied and Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters and Yellow-faced Grassquit. Remarkably, we scope a Great Egret attempting to swallow a Plain Wren. The egret finally chokes down its feathered lunch. Back on the highway Kevin shows us several Crested Oropendolas and their elaborate hanging nests---this bird is a very recent migrant from Panama. The comfortable Hotel El Impala in Rio Claro (AC, no hot water) puts us up for the night. Kevin leads us a couple hundred meters down the road to a delicious pizza dinner.

March 23    

We're back on Esquinas Road---which doesn't look like much but consistently produces great birds. Amazingly, a Pearl Kite pair poses (per Stiles and Skutch "not yet recorded in Costa Rica"), and Kevin nails a couple photos. Whirring Gray-breasted Crakes remain concealed. We add a singing Pale-breasted Spinetail (super view), Streak-headed Woodcreeper and more Brown-throated Parakeets, another species not shown in Stiles and Skutch. We drive on and up to San Vito and settle into our Hotel El Ceibo. Following lunch and a short break, our search for Lance-tailed Manakin near the tiny village of Rio Negro is unsuccessful. (I don't get lost very many places in CR but I sure am here, back on these primitive trails.) On our return to San Vito we stop at the San Joachin Marshes near the old airstrip. Here we run into Jesper and Kale and find three Masked Ducks, Common Moorhen, Wattled Jacana and a Masked Yellowthroat pair. Mark spots a Speckled Tanager from the hotel balcony and we add Bay-headed Tanager and Streaked Saltator.

March 24    

At 5:15 sharp a little guy wearing a big smile and a bathrobe over his skivvies serves us excellent coffee on our balcony. Kevin then leads us to a tomato farm near Canas Gordas where a Rosy Thrush-Tanager had been reported. Instead we find Bran-colored Flycatcher, White-lined Tanager and Yellow-breasted Cacique. At Las Cruces Field Station the River Trail is a real winner: Crested Guan seen by all high in a tree, more Marbled Wood-Quail(!), Mark locates a Ruddy Woodcreeper for us all, Plain Antvireo, Slaty-capped Flycatcher seen by some, fine view of a diminutive Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (which I'm still looking for in Alberta), Rufous Piha (loud!); side view, front view and throat stripes on a foraging White-throated Robin, Common Bush-Tanager, Gray-headed Tanager at the top of the trail, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, and it's Doug's turn to get us on a Speckled Tanager.

We snack on ice cream and macadamia nuts and head for some open scrub habitat near Agua Buena, and note Garden Emerald found by Mary, Lesser Goldfinch and a lovely Blue-crowned Motmot perched near an ever-bleating goat. A Pauraque flies in front of the van on our way "home." Also today: a fly-away Barred Forest-Falcon, Charming (Beryl-crowned) Hummingbird, super eye-level look at Olivaceous Piculet (tiniest New World woodpecker, I believe), male White-ruffed Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin, Lesser Greenlet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike (also seen at San Isidro but one of my favorites) and Rufous-capped Warbler---plus two more balcony birds, Rufous-breasted Wren and a Slate-throated Redstart found by Mark.

March 25

Early we're back to Rio Negro. Mark's knee is troubling him, but the rest of us follow Kevin up the trail. We hear, and finally see, a lovely male Lance-tailed Manakin. Clever Mary waits on the trail for the bird to come to her. Also seen are Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Plain Xenops, Yellowish Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Yellow-throated Vireo, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Gnatcatcher and Green Honeycreeper. Back to the hotel, breakfast, pack up, and we're off to Quepos. After we drop down to the coast road it's dusty, rough, and warm. (In my notes I wrote BAD ROAD.) But a break at a river mouth near Dominical gives us some shorebirds, Royal Terns and a Tri-colored Heron. Distant Brown Boobies fly offshore, plus White-tailed Kite and Short-tailed Hawk are spotted along the road.

Eventually we make it to Villa Tica, a quite nice beach resort near Quepos, site of recently-reported Spot-fronted Swifts. We inquire about prices, but mostly just hang out by the pool trying to look inconspicuous as the paying guests check us out (we don't quite fit in here). Lesser Swallow-tailed Swifts rocket overhead and we note our first Groove-billed Ani lurking at poolside. Tired, we give up on the Spot-fronteds and look for a place to stay. And just down the road we find Vista Serena Hostel and Café, possibly our most unusual lodging. The young man who rents the bungalow to us kicks out his buddies as we move in. We do enjoy a pleasant fish dinner at the "café" before retiring.

March 26

We're up about 5am and it's 28C/82F humid degrees in our cozy bungalow. Back at Villa Tica we search the skies and finally locate several Spot-fronteds and a Black Swift. Near the resort's parking lot we note a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl harassed by a tiny Yellow-crowned Euphonia. Our breakfast at Vista Serena is total confusion, as Conrad is recovering from his eighteenth birthday celebration and possibly a touch of illegal drugs. But we're treated to a fly-by of more swifts as we wait. A "Southern" House Wren feeding young entertains us, and three male Scarlet Tanagers---uncommon in Costa Rica---wing through as we savor our early-morning coffee. A perched Red-lored Parrot observes us.

We drive to nearby Quepos, finding a closer view of a Brown Booby plus a couple Wandering Tattlers on the beach rocks, and head north up the coast to Rio Tarcoles near Carara National Park. The beach at the river mouth yields Laughing Gulls and several Sandwich Terns. At Tarcol Lodge we enjoy refreshments on the deck while examining a dozen species of tidal-flats shorebirds. Close by we find Neotropic Cormorant, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Mangrove Black-Hawk, Hoffman's Woodpecker and a pair of Inca Doves. Then it's a longish drive on good roads to Bosque de Paz. We spot Brown Jays and a Red-billed Pigeon on the way. Bosque, on the Pacific slope at about 4500 feet altitude, is gently carved out of primary rainforest and has to be one of the most beautiful lodges in Costa Rica.

After settling into our rooms---mine is so delightful I really didn't want to leave it---we bird the trails near the lodge and stream. Although it's mid-afternoon we find several Black Guans at the feeder tray (super view of the bright blue facial skin), many Violet Sabrewings at feeders flashing their white tail feathers, Spotted Barbtail, Red-faced Spinetail, Olive-striped Flycatcher seen well, Tufted Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher in the scope, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, a bright Prothonotary Warbler at a hummingbird feeder, Three-striped Warbler, Yellow-thighed Finch and Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch. Gracious host-owner Federico Gonzalez-Pinto welcomes us to a fine dinner. A paca grazes in the yard in falling darkness. It's a life sighting for me of this large, nocturnal member of the agouti family. I'm thinking I could live here.

March 27

After early coffee we enjoy the dawn chorus. Then an excellent and hearty breakfast. Then more trail birding, never far from the lodge. A Bicolored Hawk pair perches for us, one consuming a small bird. More super eye-level looks at Black Guans (this species is usually high in a tree, and you look up at its belly). Also Purple-throated Mountain-gem, a Scintillant Hummingbird spotted from our dining table, a female Resplendent Quetzal, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Mountain Elaenia, Torrent Tyrannulet seen by Mark only near the stream, Dark Pewee Doug only (hmmm---I'm going to have to start asking for documentation), Barred Becard, a couple Azure-hooded Jays display their brilliant blue napes, American Dipper, Black-faced Solitaire (heard); Blue-winged, Golden-winged and Blackburnian Warblers, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Yellow-thighed Finch, White-naped Brush-Finch, Black-thighed Grosbeak, and we hear a single Melodious Blackbird.

After lunch we're away to La Fortuna, with a detour to Los Lagos. The recently-reported Southern Lapwing is absent. A small tourist town, La Fortuna is where you go to see the spectacular Volcan Arenal---unless it's too foggy, and it often is. Mary is startled by a baby wren in her bathroom at our so-so motel. I release the bird and it flutters onto Doug's back. We crash after a decent Mexican dinner across the street.

March 28

Musmani bakery opens early and supplies us with coffee and various breakfast pastries. A House Sparrow pecks at crumbs on the patio. We head west toward Lago Arenal and luck onto a close-up view of a trio of Long-tailed Tyrants along the way. On a secondary road that leads to Arenal National Park we do well: Gray-headed Chachalaca, Crested Guan, Broad-billed Motmot, a staked-out but ultra-rare Keel-billed Motmot (hey, a lifer and my 700th Costa Rica bird), Collared Aracari, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Fasciated Antshrike seen by all except me, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Tropical Pewee, Cinnamon Becard, Warbling Vireo (rare here), our only White-throated Magpie-Jay, everyone gets a Tropical Parula, Golden-crowned Warbler, Variable Seedeater (Caribbean race), Black-headed Saltator, and Mary and I spot three male Black-cowled Orioles while the boys chase something else.

We enter the national park and find more: a Great Curassow pair both seen and heard (ultra-low hoots), Dusky Antbird (heard), three Spotted Antbirds seen well, Bicolored Antbird (heard), White-collared Manakin heard wing-snapping, Black-throated and Bay Wrens, all get a fine view of the strange-looking Song Wren, and Kentucky Warbler. A Thicket Antpitta calls; Kevin, Doug and Mark crawl into the bush but are unsuccessful. We leave the park and drive around the top of the lake---in places a poor road. From the deck of our lunch stop we pick up Green-breasted Mango, Keel-billed Toucan, Montezuma Oropendola and Passerini's Tanager, the Caribbean counterpart of Cherrie's Tanager. Somewhere today we hear an Olive Tanager. Kevin drives over a "short-cut" to Santa Elena, the small town near Monteverde Reserve. It's a good bird day, but we're all tired and are happy to find our beds at the clean, cool and comfortable Quetzal Inn.

March 29

It's another bakery breakfast, then a quick trip to Finca Ecologica, a small private reserve on the Monteverde road. No tourists here yet, and the resident Chiriqui Quail-Dove walks about in front of us for ten minutes or so. It's the only place in the country I've seen this reclusive bird. We also find White-fronted Parrot, Golden-Olive Woodpecker, hear the incessant double-rap of a Pale-billed Woodpecker (and finally scope one), watch maybe 20 Long-tailed Manakins and several White-eared Ground-Sparrows. Returning to the Quetzal Inn to pack, we see an Emerald Toucanet perched above the building. Packing means separating what we need for a couple nights at the field station and storing the rest with the nice folks at the inn.

Then we drive to Santa Elena Reserve, park carefully (because of the van's broken window), load gear onto a waiting ATV. Someone---I'm not sure who---drives the ATV to the field station, also carrying our food. It takes us about three hours to hike down to the San Gerardo Field Station, including birding time. The field station, complete with decent beds, kitchen facilities and cold showers, is located in the Children's Eternal Rain Forest at about1200m/3900ft altitude. Kevin has arranged for a cook to be present, and Roberto serves us a tasty lunch when we arrive. On the way down we spot a modest antswarm; attending it are a half-dozen Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrushes and an Immaculate Antbird. A White-throated Spadebill is seen nearby and we spot several Three-wattled Bellbirds and hear others (BONG!). Later we check around the field station grounds, finding a close-perched Orange-bellied Trogon, Coppery-headed Emerald female, Prong-billed Barbet, a handsome Spotted Woodcreeper, Rufous-breasted Antthrush and Rufous-and-white Wren. The peculiar-looking Eye-ringed Flatbill is seen by all.

On our hike to the umbrellabird-display site we find Chestnut-headed Oropendolas at a nest colony, with a couple Giant Cowbirds nearby. Once at the site we listen intently, and finally hear the low moan of a Bare-necked Umbrellabird from the treetops. None appears however. We're losing our light in this dense primary forest and start our return hike. Without warning an umbrellabird flies low across our path and perches about 30 feet away. Wow. There it is. (I have to say I've been studying this strange cotinga in the field guide for almost 15 years, listening to rumors of occasional sightings. It's an exciting moment for me---I can't help it!) We laugh and chatter on the way back, no doubt missing a bird or two. Our final bird of the day is a Pauraque which Kevin catches in his light from the upper deck. We sleep well tonight.

March 30

We're back early at the umbrellabird site, hoping for a better view (of course). Humidity hangs heavy in this cloudforest, but the temp is ideal---about 20C/68F, great for birding, hiking and sleeping. The forest is silent but eventually we catch sight of a male umbrellabird. Kevin gets the scope on it and we're able to note the scarlet inflatable throat sac and the weird "hair-do" crest. This is a big, chunky bird. A female shows up and we nail her too. After lunch and a really nice nap we walk back up the entry trail and get quick but definitive looks at a Gray-throated Leaftosser at its nest cavity. Other new birds today include a low-flying Black Hawk-Eagle, Green Hermit in the scope (lovely), Red-headed Barbet, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner (heard), Doug spots a Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Russet Antshrike, Slaty Antwren, Black-headed Antthrush (rare), a wolf-whistling pair of Rufous Mourners, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Ochraceous Wren (heard) and Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush. We hear a Highland Tinamou once more, but never see it.

We're enjoying an incredible 24+ hours of rain-free weather here. Our vista of Volcan Arenal from the field station's upper deck is crystal clear. A year ago we endured two days incessant driving rain; we were continuously cold and dripping wet. Needless to say we saw no umbrellabird.

March 31

Early birding nets a Barred Hawk, Olivaceous and Black-banded Woodcreepers, a Silvery-fronted Tapaculo is heard, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet ( poor look) and Nightingale Wren. Roberto creates a final excellent breakfast. The ATV appears. We load our gear, Mary hitches a ride, and the "boys" walk the trail in two hours. We drive to Michael Fogden's gift shop at the Monteverde Reserve entrance, always an interesting stop. Feeders here provide wonderful views of Steely-vented and Stripe-tailed Hummingbirds, White-bellied Mountain-gem and Magenta-throated Woodstar. Even a Bananaquit feeds here. After reclaiming our stored gear we make the long drive back to Alajuela and enjoy our celebratory last meal at Restaurante Rostipollo.  Mary, Mark and Doug overnight at Hotel Mango.

April 1    

We fly home, savoring memories of a unique tropical experience.

Other life-forms noted: Central American pygmy squirrel, dung beetle, rock iguana, Central American spider monkey, mantled howler, white-faced capuchin, a really ugly millipede,  baselisk lizard, spectacled cayman, snake, green-and-black poison dart frog (a Golfo Dulce endemic), luminescent click beetle, long-tailed weasel, red-tailed squirrel, brown-throated three-toed sloth, Hoffman's two-toed sloth, agouti, Central American crocodile, coati, variegated squirrel. morpho butterfly, various butterflies and other insects

Birds seen daily: Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Clay-colored Robin, Great-tailed Grackle

Almost daily: Cattle Egret, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, "Southern" House Wren, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Bananaquit, Blue-gray Tanager, Bronzed Cowbird

Mike Mulligan    
Calgary  Alberta  Canada

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