Monday, April 22, 2013

La Selva Biological Station - first evening

La Selva Biological Station is a research facility managed by a US University on behalf of a consortia of institutions all interested in the rainforest, eco-systems, etc.  The birding really is amazing, we never failed on any walk in daylight, to spot new species.  The catering is very good and accommodates most tastes.  The rooms however were very uncomfortable and there's a bit of a con too, whereby you have a walk included in your entry fee, what they tell you after you you've arrived is that it's a general walk (i.e. good for day visitors but not for people who have elected to stay there), and that if you want a guided bird walk it's extra.  We had to push to get such information and got the impression they couldn't really be bothered with the paying guests.

We may well visit again, even paying to stay, however we would actually stay off the property but then use the armbands to gain access during daylight, that way you can stay somewhere comfortable but not miss out on any birding.

As noted however the birding really is fantastic.  Birds we saw on our first afternoon included Black-cowled Oriole:

Chestnut-sided Warbler:

Olive-backed Euphonia:

Rufous-tailed Jacamar:

Tricky light, but this is a Rufous-winged Woodpecker:

We only spotted this bird when it started dropping bits of tree on my head!

Walking around the grounds you bump into lots of other birders all doing their thing, and you get to share sightings as we did with this Slaty-tailed Trogon:

A male Variable Seedeater:

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper:

Another Manakin Lek, this time White-collared Manakins:

The object of their displays:

As well as birds the reserve is crawling, literally, with other form of wildilfe, though we were delighted not to see a single snake on our whole trip.  A couple of flying beasties did decide to use my monopod for the procreation though:

More birds!  A Golden-hooded Tanager:

Great Currasow - what a crest!:

Green Honeycreeper:

male Passerini's Tanager:

Cinnamon Becard, nesting outside the office:

Black-faced Grosbeak:

We were very lucky that as we waited for the afternoon to turn into evening, it being quite a walk back to our accommodation, a large party of Toucans passed through, including Black-mandibled Toucan:

Keel-billed Toucan:

I have to go back to get a better picture of this species!

Collared Aracari:

These gather in big groups over the river and honk away to each other at dawn and towards dusk.  Fabulous looking birds.

There were also wild Peccaries:

Dinner was good, the night walk added fireflies which I've never seen before.  It was then time to try to sleep on single beds in a room over 30 degrees C and await the dawn.



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