The first stop on our two week tour of Costa Rica was three nights at the excellently located bed & breakfast, run by the very friendly and knowledgable Alex, of Posada Andrea Cristina, located on the outskirts of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, central to the protected area of La Selva and close to the Nicaragua border. This is a great place to become acquainted with many of the common birds of Costa Rica as well as catching up with some of the specialities of the area, including Great Green Macaw, which can be seen flying over the property.
Alex’s garden is a great place to start your Costa Rican birding experience, with several interesting species coming to his feeders. This one is the electric blue male Green Honeycreeper
Seen on feeders at a roadside cafe in a nearby valley, this subtly marked female Red-headed Barbet
Also seen in the area, one of a huge variety of colourful tanagers – this one is Crimson-collared
Just across the road from our bed & breakfast was a farm track leading to the river – home to many different species including Laughing Falcon
this Black-thighed Grosbeak
our first woodpecker species of the trip, Rufous-winged
this exquisitely marked Keel-billed Toucan and superficially similar Collared Aracari
This is a good area for hummingbirds including Green-breasted Mango – this is the more easily identifiable female
and the relatively straight-forward Violet Sabrewing
Found whilst birding close to the Nicaraguan border – a troop of Mantled Howler Monkey
An unexpected bonus, whilst staking out the Great Green Macaws, was this King Vulture – a target species for much later in our trip
Our next stop was in Orosi, on the Caribbean side of the central highlands – strategically located close to the excellent Tapanti National Park.