Our journey took us south to San Vito, close to the Panamanian border and more than 5,000 feet lower than Quetzal Lodge. We stayed in the cabanas at Cascata del Bosco, five kilometres from the town and situated practically at the entrance to Las Cruces Biological Station, ‘a quintessential example of a (primary) forest fragment.’ This very well appointed hotel/restaurant complex has good facilities and extensive grounds, with very similar species to the Biological Station – only free! George and his excellent team of helpers made for a very pleasant stay. This is a highly recommended stop-over if you are visiting this area of Costa Rica.
First stop on the way down was the road-side cafe with feeders at San Isidro de El General . Several new species were added, including this Tropical Mockingbird, a recent but increasingly well distributed colonist
and two colourful tanager species – Bay-headed
In the grounds of Cascata del Bosco we saw plenty of interesting species including yet another tanager – this time the appropriately named Speckled
Collared Trogon – although in some lights it looked more like Orange-bellied!
Two new parrots were added to the list during this leg of our journey. These Orange-chinned Parakeet were first seen sitting on a street sign above the ATM in San Isidro
and this Brown-throated Parakeet, another recent colonist from Panama, was in our hotel grounds
Black and White Warbler is a common and widespread North American species which winters in Costa Rica. Nevertheless, still a very striking bird
In the gardens of the Las Cruces Biological Station we had several new hummers – this one I think is Snowy-bellied, but happy to be corrected!
and this one, Blue-throated Goldentail
Also on the feeders outside the Restaurant building, this Thick-billed Euphonia
At a site, close to the border, we came across the third and final Oropendola on the Costa Rica list – Crested Oropendola. First recorded in the country less than twenty years ago, but now expanding
On a nearby pond – not the most attractive of wildfowl but a tick nonetheless – Muscovy
To end this section a Variable Seedeater, of the Pacific race
and Great Kiskadee attacking a Yellow-headed Caracara!
Next stop Sierpe, the departure point for the boat which will take us an hour and a half around the coast, towards Isla del Cano and the remote Marenco Lodge.