Caribbean-Foothills-1-smCaribbean-Foothills-2-sm Foothills - 400 - 1,000 meters


Getting away from the coast, 

we travel up the extended slopes of the mountains

on the Atlantic side of the country and sometimes

along the Pacific side as well.




Rancho Naturalista


One time, Pat was busy, so Lyn led 17 members on a 3-day trip to Rancho Naturalista,  about 20 Km SE of Turrialba. After a wonderful lunch, Susan, Lyn, and Tom led the group down forest paths to see Tawny-capped Euphonia, Striped-breasted Wren and, at the forest hummingbird feeders, White-necked JacobinsViolet-crowned WoodnymphViolet Sabrewing, and Violet-headed Hummingbird.  

Over snacks on the balcony back at the lodge, the group saw Green-breasted Mangos and Brown Violetear among the numerous Jacobins

Saturday morning, the group met their two local guides, Cali and Herman, who led them to see Red-throated Ant TanagersOrange-billed SparrowsWhite-throated Wrens, Tawny-chested FlycatcherRufous MournerWhite-collared Manikins, and many other species. They saw an interesting nest of the Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift and heard the Bicolored Hawk.

Saturday afternoon, in the rain, the group car-pooled to the Rio Mina to see two families of Sunbittern, as well as Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers, and a Fasciated Tiger-Heron.

Sunday morning, the group went to sugar cane fields, where they saw White-throated CrakeWhite-throated Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cacique, and others. Back at the ranch, they finally did see the elusive Snowcap.

The trip count was 114 seen and 20 heard for a total of 124 species


Day Trip to Virgen del Socorro

On this trip, Pat led 9 members on a day trip to Virgen del Socorro, near the La Paz Waterfall Gardens in northcentral Costa Rica, on the northeastern slope of Poas Volcano on the Caribbean side of the Continental Divide. They met around 6 AM at the waterfalls and saw a pair of American Dippers and a Torrent Tyrannulet right away.

After a short breakfast at the Cinchona Restaurant, they saw Tropical Parula, Slate-throated Redstart and Golden-winged Warbler after a bit of a slow start due to the sunny weather. They heard Chestnut-capped Brush-Finches near the bottom of the valley and saw a White Hawk searching the valley. Moving toward Virgen del Socorro, they heard and then saw a Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrushand later an acrobatic Rufous Mourner.

The total count was 89 seen and 18 heard, for a total of 107 species


Arenal and La Fortuna


Pat led 17 members on a 3-day trip to the Vista del Cerro Hotel in La Fortuna on the flanks of the Arenal Volcano on this trip. Shortly after their arrival, the group went to the Hard Rock Nature Park, known as “Geovani’s preserve” where Pat and local guide Geovani Bogarin helped them see many species, including Common Pauraque, Black-cowled Oriole, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird and Black-headed and Buff-throated Saltators.

At 4:30 the next morning, the group went to the adjoining restaurant for breakfast, met local guide Reynaldo Elizondo, and went about 21 kilometers west to Sky Trek Arenal for a slow walk on the paths there, where they saw Great Currasow, White Hawk, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Plain Xenops, Black-throated Wren, tanager species, and an antswarm with very close looks at Dusky, Spotted, Bicolored, and Ocellated Antbirds. After leaving Sky Trek, Pat heard a Bare-crowned Antbird call from the side of the road and some members got to see it.

On Sunday morning, Geovani helped the group find the only 24-hour soda in La Fortuna for a quick cup of coffee and the group went toward the La Fortuna Waterfall, where they observed Buff-rumped Warbler, six species of woodpeckers (Rufous-winged, Cinnamon, Smoky-brown, Hoffmann’s, Black-cheeked, and Pale-billed), Keel-billed and Black-mandibled Toucans, Collared Aracaris, several species of tanagers, including Golden-hooded, Palm, Passerini’s, and Hepatic, a Laughing Falcon, and Scarlet-thighed Dacnis. Back at Geovani’s preserve, White-throated Crakes and a Tropical Mockingbird were seen.

Then the group returned to the hotel for breakfast and the species countdown. A few went back later to Geovani's preserve and saw Uniform Crakes, Olive-throated Parakeet, Long-billed Gnatwren, and Barred Antshrike.


The total count was 144 seen and 18 heard, for a total of 162 species. 

Trip to El Rinconcito


This time, the club went to El Rinconcito Lodge on a 4-day trip in Northern Costa Rica, where they met a family of Great Curassows who lounged around on deck chairs and posed for pictures. Pat led 15 members, including author Robert Dean, up a steep horse trail on Thursday afternoon where they saw a Turquoise-browed MotmotYellow-crowned, Yellow-throated, and Scrub Euphonias, as well as, Ruby-throated and Steely-vented hummingbirds, and a Canivet’s Emerald. They topped off the 1st day with a tree full of Keel-billed Toucans.

The next day, they saw Crested GuanGrey-crowned Yellowthroat, a Brown-crested Flycatcher, a White-lored Gnatcatcher, and a female Painted Bunting in the rain. Robert Dean and Andrew Russell spotted a Lesser Ground-Cuckoo and a rare Chuck-will’s-widow.

On Saturday morning, the group saw a Black-and-White and a few Black-throated Green Warblers and a Long-Tailed Manakinbefore breakfast. Later, they set off on the lodge’s Ficus Trail, a stunningly beautiful forest trail along a boulder-strewn stream, with a very wobbly suspension-bridge crossing. This trail was a hit, with good looks at SunbitternRufous-capped Warblers, and even a Kinkajou. That afternoon, they saw Montezuma Oropendola and a Blue-Crowned Motmot.

Pat called in a Tody Motmot on Sunday morning to end on a high note.

In all, they saw 89 species and heard 8 more, for a trip total of 97 species. 


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