View Full Version : Costa Rica, August 2012

08-Sep-2012, 05:00 PM
In August, I spent 12 days in Costa Rica with a couple of friends from Arizona. It was fantastic to see this lovely country again and see the changes that have occurred since my student days in 1980. Eco-tourism has been highly successful and there were lodges and infrastructure all over the areas that we visited. We did not have much time so decided to visit areas that were not far apart to reduce the time lost to transfers. August was one of the wet months but the rain was never excessive and we always had a few hours of sun each day.

This will be a large post and will include shots of plants and other animals as well as butterflies. I will add to it for the next week or so. I will also add costings to the end of the report.

Our itinerary included the following stops:
1) Suena Azul, a lodge in Horquetas. We spent a single night while awaiting the tractor ride to Rara Avis the following morning.
2) Rara Avis, a remote lodge on the southern boundary of Braulio Carillo NP. This was a beautiful place located at about 700m elevation on the Caribbean flank of Volcan Barva. It was an extremely wet place. Branches and trunks of trees were totally covered with epiphytes.
3) La Selva Biological Station. We spent three nights at this lowland sites.
4) Observatory Lodge, Volcan Arenal. We spent three nights at this mid-level site.

I will begin this post with the photos from La Selva. In 1980, I spent a number of weeks here while studying birds from a canopy tower. Now, I could hardly recognize the reseach station. La Selva has a huge amount of new accommodation, labs, libraries and the like for the biologists who are studying various aspects of tropical ecology. In 1980, access to the reserve was via a boat trip up the Sarapiqui River from Puerto Viejo. Now, there is a road and bridge access. The old muddy trails that I used to follow were mostly paved within 2kms of the headquarters. Once I walked far back into the reserve, I reached the muddy trails that were more familiar to me. La Selva is really a top place to visit with so much to see.

The following shot illustrates the location of La Selva. The watershed above it is protected all the way to the top of Volcan Barva.

La Selva is mostly covered with lowland rainforest.

Many of the trails were paved like this. They were wide enough for bikes that could be hired at the headquarters.

I saw Banded Owl Butterflies (Caligo atreus) once or twice each day in the forest interior. These remind me a little of Koh-i-Noor in behaviour since they will flush, fly maybe 20m or so and then land on a tree trunk. I did see other Owls but this was the only species that I was able to photograph.

Satyrinae were numerous in the forest. Some of these were nicely marked. As always, there was a bewildering array of similarly marked species. After lots of study of the online guide, I think that I can recognize a few but others were just too confusing.

Jesia Satyr (Euptychia jesia)

08-Sep-2012, 05:02 PM
Blue-smudged Satyr (Chloreuptychia arnaca): the lower, inner wings were blue. These were very nice and colourful.

unknown satyrinae 1

unknown satyrinae 2

Emerald Aguna (Aguna claxon)

Saliana sp. There are a number of species of Saliana with a similar pattern to this in Central America.

Spotted Flat (Celaenorrhinus monartus)

Bifurcated Flat (Celaenorrhinus bifurcus)

08-Sep-2012, 05:05 PM
The following hairstreak species was abundant in the forest (Calycopis cerata, thanks Aaron!).

This hairstreak was much larger and darker in colouration than the one above. I only saw a few of these. (Panthiades bitias, thanks Aaron!)

I saw these gorgeous day-flying moths of family Uraniidae a few times.

Ted and Cindy found this stunning yellow colour phase of the Eye-lash Viper (Bothriechis schlegelii). This species was at the top of my snake "wish-list" so I was very happy to see it. It certainly was not cryptic on the buttressed root but would have been harder to see on Heliconia flowers where they sometimes wait for hummingbirds. It remained in the same position for 3 days.

08-Sep-2012, 05:07 PM
Slender Anole (Norops limifrons) were common lizards. Several species were possible.

I saw a number of frogs while on night walks.

Common Rain Frog (Craugastor fitzingeri)

Mimic Rain Frog (Craugastor mimus)

These small toads (Bufo haematiticus) were seen a few times along the trails after night rains.

This fulgorid was incredible. I believe that it was Phrictus quinquepartitus, one of Lanternflies.

Whip Scorpion (Amblypygi)

I liked these nicely coloured fungi.

08-Sep-2012, 05:08 PM
More rainforest plants:

Monkey pot seed pod (Lecythis ampla) are relatives of Brazil Nuts. These were huge seed pods ... definitely would not want one of these to land on one's head!

Monkey Comb (Apeiba membranacea). These seed pods always make me think of sea urchins.

Some of the rainforest trees had cauliforous flowers and fruit.

A pair of Rufous Motmots were digging a burrow for a nest right next to the trail. The size of the hole was huge which seemed quite odd. They must be vulnerable to predaceous mammals and large snakes.

Keel-billed Toucan: Always nice to see and hear the toucans. Chestnut-mandible and Collared Aracari were also frequent in the forest.

08-Sep-2012, 05:14 PM
Great Tinamou. These birds are normally very shy but some near the headquarters must be use to seeing people. Their songs are a gorgeous, rich flute-like whistle. The calls at night are one of my favourite sounds in the forest.

Some parts of the reserve support swamp forest. Years ago, I spent many nights along trails here looking for reptiles and amphibians.

One of the highlights to me in the swamp forest was seeing these clearwing Satyrinae. They are almost invisible when in flight in the dark understorey of the forest. This was particularly true of the first species below. The second species was slightly more obvious in flight but I usually could only see the red patches and nothing else.

Dulcedo polita. The butterly jumped with the preflash in photo 2 but this illustrates how clear the wings appear.

Rusted Clearwing Satyr (Cithaerias pireta)

A guide told us that Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops asper) were the most commonly encountered snake at La Selva. We only found this single individual while we were on a night walk in the swamp forest. It was waiting in an ambush position at the base of a fallen tree.

I found this Hyla rufitela by day on a small plant in the swamp forest.

08-Sep-2012, 05:17 PM
I liked this trail marker, "trail without a name", in the swamp forest.

We visited "Sendero Cantarrana", the trail of the frog songs, on two nights. The trail passed through an open flooded area and was alive with frogs and songs at night.

Red-Eyed Tree-Frog (Agalychnis callidryas). These are one of the most attractive species of frogs in Costa Rica.

Yellow Blunt-headed Vine Snake (Imantodes inornatus) were frog eaters and they were numerous around the swamp of Sendero Cantarana.

Brown Forest Turtle (Rhinoclemmys annulata) were observed along Sendero Cantarana as well as along another trail in the reserve.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Costa%20Rica/La%20Selva/RhinoclemmysannulataBrownForestTurtelphotobucket.j pg

08-Sep-2012, 05:21 PM
I spent a fair amount of time chasing butterflies. One of the best areas for butterfly photography was in the secondary plots in the southern portion of the reserve.

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)

Little Banner (Nica flavilla)

Heliconiinae were a beautiful subfamily of the Nymphalids. One of the prettiest was the Crimson-patched Longwing (Heliconius erato) that was feeding from a Heliconia flower.

Sara Longwing (Heliconius sara)

Cydno Longwing (Heliconius cydno)

08-Sep-2012, 05:27 PM
Tiger Longwing (Heliconius hecale)

Not certain, but I think this to be an Ithomiinae, Polymnia Tigerwing (Mechanitis polymnia). Ithomiinae and Heliconiinae are both distasteful butterflies to predators. Many of these illustrate Muellerian mimicry where the distasteful species converge to the same pattern. It is interesting to see but makes the species and even sub-families hard to recognize.

Metalmarks (Rhiodininae) were abundant in Costa Rica. I saw many species but was only able to photograph a few.

Possibly Emesis lucinda. The outer wings were orange and the butterfly looked quite different in flight.

Calephelis sp.

Victrix Metalmark (Metacharis victrix)

08-Sep-2012, 06:58 PM
Amazing collection of butterfly species, David! You must have had a great time over there! My favourites are the clearwing Satyrids. :cheers:

08-Sep-2012, 08:05 PM
David ,

A wow trip !

Thank you for sharing !


Peacock Royal
08-Sep-2012, 08:51 PM
Wow, wow, wow.
An excellent collection of fauna shots.
Thanks for sharing,

08-Sep-2012, 08:51 PM
Lycaenids are Calycopis cerata and Panthiades bitias, respectively.

Great summary of what seems to be a very fruitful trip:)

08-Sep-2012, 10:58 PM
:jumjoy: :gbounce: ;P :yahoo:

Thanks David, for sharing. :)

Definitely a "want to go" place. :cheers:

Blue Jay
09-Sep-2012, 12:09 AM
Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us, Uncle David.:cheers:

09-Sep-2012, 03:41 AM
Thanks very much, everyone, for the feedback. I have many more shots to post and I am sure that you will agree that Costa Rica is worthy of a BC trip someday.

Khew, I also especially like the clearwings and glasswings. They are so unusual and also so hard to follow on the floor of the rainforest.


Lycaenids are Calycopis cerata and Panthiades bitias, respectively.
That is impressive! Thanks very much for the identifications. Are you using De Vries' book or have other sources?


Great Mormon
09-Sep-2012, 04:36 AM
Thanks for sharing the photos and your adventure David! I love the shot of the Longwing feeding on the heliconia flower! And Dulcedo polita looks so amazing!! Thanks again for sharing such lovely photos.

09-Sep-2012, 06:10 AM
Thanks, Anthony!

These interesting hairstreaks were fairly common in the secondary growth (Arawacus togarna -- thanks, Aaron)

Another of the Flat Skippers:

These day-flying moths fooled me many times. In flight, they closely resembled Glasswings.

I tried baiting butterflies with over ripe bananas and mangos along the edge of the secondary growth. A few of the small satyrinae were attacted along with the single Moon Satyr (Pierella luna), the only individual of this species that I observed on the trip.

This moth of family Castniidae was really odd with the clubbed antannae. It was day-flying and resembled a large Nymphalid as it raced back and forth along the trail through the secondary growth.

Here is a highly cropped shot of another metalmark, a Nymphidium sp., that was perching on leaves several meters above the trail.

I found this big, aggressive spider one night (Cuppienius coccineus).

Stream Anole (Norops oxylophus)

09-Sep-2012, 06:18 AM
Restaurant. This was an excellent place for birding with many nearby fruiting trees. Flocks of tanagers, thrushes, manakins, grosbeaks, finches and flycatchers often moved through the area. Hummers including Rufous-tailed, Crowned Woodnymphs and Long-tailed Hermits visited flowers in the nearby garden.

One morning, army ants raided the area. The ground was covered with ants that investigated all the nooks and crannies beneath the chairs and tables. We watched small insects running for their lives. Scarlet-rumped Tanagers and others came into the area to catch the arthropods distrubed by the ants. After an hour, the ants completed their raid and disappeared back into the forest. Antbirds, antwrens, wrens, flycatchers and a Bright-rumped Attila joined the swarm once the front returned to thick cover.

My friends, Ted and Cindy. Ted and I went to high school together in the early '70s and we spent many weekends in the deserts of CA and AZ while searching for reptiles. Later, we travelled many times to Mexico. Ted has visited me several times in Australia and went with me on the the trip in March to peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Ted is now retired but was a US Fish and Wildlife Biologist who specialized in the management of endangered species in Arizona.

Violaceous Trogons were common by call and occasionally seen.

White-collared Manakin: We watched this adult male and a juvenile male doing the manakin wing-snap and rapid flight between saplings on a number of occasions. They often displayed right next to the restaurant.

Birds at restaurant
1. Golden-hooded Tanager (top)
2. Palm Tanager (left)
3. Social Flycatcher (right)
4. Blue-grey Tanager (left)
5. Black-faced Grosbeak (right)

We stayed in this house just across the river from the reserve.

Leptodactylus pentadactylus were frequent on the lawns at night.

09-Sep-2012, 06:21 AM
In the old days, access to La Selva was by boat from Puerto Viejo. Now, it is just a matter of walking across the bridge.

This metalmark (Euselasia cheles -- thanks, Aaron) was resting on a cable of the bridge. I disturbed it and it would fly out over the river but then return to the cable. The upper surface was mostly orange with black wing tips, a little like a Malay Yeoman.

Big Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) were a frequent sight in trees near the bridge.

Ted took this photo of a Prehensile-tailed Porcupine that was crossing the bridge one morning.

Ted's photo of a Ringed Kingfisher, a large kingfisher that is at least as big as a Stork-billed. The New World kingfishers are a rather sombre lot when compared with their dazzling Asian relatives.

... Rara Avis will be next

Painted Jezebel
09-Sep-2012, 09:13 AM
Beautiful photos, David. I am very envious. I can not wait to see more!

09-Sep-2012, 11:46 AM

That is impressive! Thanks very much for the identifications. Are you using De Vries' book or have other sources?


You're welcome. Lycaenids are always a pleasure to identify:)

I'm using d ' Abrera (1995); his figures are very clear although his classification is not updated.

09-Sep-2012, 12:10 PM
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I want Clearwing too!
Any puddling butterfly shots? I think it will be spectacular seeing hundred and thousand of them congregate together.

09-Sep-2012, 01:40 PM
Thanks, Les and Loke.

I did not see any puddling butterflies at all probably because it was so wet everywhere. I emailed Adrian Hoskins (learnaboutbutterflies website) who has visited Central America a number of years back. He found that puddling was the most frequent in the dry months. I think that he had the best results on the Pacific slope which is a little drier than the Caribbean side of the mountains.

You would probably be a little disappointed with the Lycaenid diversity in Costa Rica. I saw very few species, hardly anything when compared to the incredible variety that you have in Singapore and Malaysia.


09-Sep-2012, 05:57 PM
David, amazing location, wonderful nature and impeccable pictures.

09-Sep-2012, 06:52 PM
You would probably be a little disappointed with the Lycaenid diversity in Costa Rica. I saw very few species, hardly anything when compared to the incredible variety that you have in Singapore and Malaysia.

I kinda expected very few actually. D' Abrera describes lycaenids of the Neotropics as being very elusive and only at their maximum activity under scorching sun, even though lycaenids of the Neotropics far outnumber those in the entire Oriental region.

They just are very shy.:)

09-Sep-2012, 08:16 PM
Euselasia is E. cheles and Arawacus is A. togarna

Glorious Begum
09-Sep-2012, 08:50 PM
Wow ! What a wonderful trip there. Thanks you so much for sharing it. Now you make me want to go there now. Haiz ! :cheers:

11-Sep-2012, 12:38 PM
Thanks very much, guys.

I did not find Costa Rica to be as hot or as humid as what I experience when walking at Taman Negara. Maybe it was just the time of the year. Thanks again for the identifications.


11-Sep-2012, 12:43 PM
Here are a couple of additional shots by Ted. The first is a Caiman that was resting on the muddy bank of Rio Sarapiqui. The second was another shot of those huge Green Iguanas.


I will continue next with photos of Rara Avia, a magical place located at about 700m elevation on the same watershed as La Selva. It is situated on the boundary of Braulio Carillo NP, a huge preserve that is not open to the public. Rara Avis is located next to one of the few trail heads into this pristine national park.

This area was extremely wet with a high annual rainfall. Because of this, branches and tree trunks were totally covered with epiphytes. Trails were also difficult and I sometimes sank knee deep in mud. This wet forest was home to a number of localized birds and I hoped to add a few of these that I missed back in 1980. On this trip, I did see a single Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, many Emerald Tanagers and a few Ashy-headed Tanagers but birds like the Yellow-eared Toucanet, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Blue-and-Gold Tanager and Black-headed Antthrush continued to elude me.

The journey to Rara Avis commenced from this small office in the village of Horquetas.

A four-wheel drive tractor ride was necessary to reach the lodge. The road was not bad at first but was absolutely shocking for the last few kms. I did not realize that a tractor could tackle such conditions. We had to hang on continuously and there was little chance to birdwatch or to take photos. Our driver did stop once to point out a King Vulture that was circling high overhead. Ted later saw another at low level at the bridge next to the lodge.

The road crossed farms at lower levels but higher up there were more extensive patches of forest.

We spent five nights at Rara Avis. The first night was in a cabin that was situated a few hundred meters up a trail from the headquarters in a secluded patch of forest. It was a lovely place with the sound of the Sarapiqui River roaring in the background. We shared the cabin with big native rats that chewed on the walls during the night. More concerning to me was awakening with a Blood-sucking Conenose (big reduviid) on an adjacent window screen. These can be vectors of Chagas Disease so I am never pleased to sleep with them.

11-Sep-2012, 12:44 PM
The trail to the cabin was wet and slippery. Even though I was careful, I fell nearly everytime that I made the walk between the cafeteria and the cabin. This was not good for Ted who was recovering from an ankle injury so we relocated to "the hotel" on our second night. The balcony on the second floor had a great view of the surrounding forest and we often sat there and birdwatched during wet weather. We observed flocks of tanagers including Bay-headed, Silver-throated, Emerald, Golden-masked and Black-and-Yellow at close range. We also watched a small troop of White-faced Monkeys one day as they foraged in the nearby forest.

Here is a shot of the cafeteria. It was a great place for seeing animals. We watched many mixed flocks of tanagers as they passed through nearby fruiting trees. At night, we heard Kinkajou, Least Pygmy Owls, Pauraque and saw large forest rats. A Baird's Tapir walked into the clearing near the lodge a few times during the week before our arrival. We were not so lucky and only observed tapir tracks in the mud.

This Coati Mundi was often sighted near the cafeteria. It was not exactly tame but it was used to seeing people so would only run a short distance before continuing with its search for food.

Rara Avis was a beautiful place. One of the nicest views of the area was of the waterfalls from the Mirador lookout. This area was about a half-hour walk from the cafeteria.

River and habitat:

For me, the highlight was walking into Braulio Carillo NP. It was just so lush and beautiful. Here are a few shots of the area.

Branches and tree trunks were totally covered:

11-Sep-2012, 12:45 PM
wet forest

Bromeliads were numerous:

... as were the lovely Heliconia including a species with yellow flowers:

11-Sep-2012, 12:46 PM
... another heliconia

These Satyrs (Pierella helvetia) were one of the most common butterflies in the forest interior. They tended to fly just a few cms above the surface of the ground and were hard to follow. They had lovely rose patches on their hindwings but usually would snap their wings closed after a beat or two following landing.

Rusted Clearwing Satyrs (Cithaerias pireta) were fairly common in the forest understorey.

This satyrinae had irridescent blue upperwings. I think that it is Magneuptychia libye.

These member of satyrinae was sometimes seen on the grassy lawns at the headquarters

11-Sep-2012, 12:48 PM
... a forest satyrinae:

Here is one of the beautiful Glasswing Ithomiinae. I only saw them a few times and generally, they stayed to high for photos. As with the clearwings, they were very hard to follow in the darkness of the forest interior.

This Cydno Longwing (Heliconius cydno) was found asleep at night on a branch that was overhanging a small stream.

These metalmarks were by the far the most common butterfly in the forest interior. I often flushed them from beneath leaves as I walked along the trails. They would zip back and forth for a minute or two before realighting beneath another leaf. I occasionally saw a species with mostly blue upper wings and another that was mostly white but I never was able to obtain a photo. Here are shots of males and a female.

The first two males are Eurybia unxia or E. lycisca (thanks, Aaron).

... female Mesosemia asa (thanks, Aaron)

11-Sep-2012, 12:49 PM
Here is a female Mesosemia carissima (thanks, Aaron). It would land on the tops of leaves in a manner reminiscent of a Harlequin at Taman Negara. It would dance about for a moment and then zip off to another leaf. Sometimes, it would creep backwards until it was haning over the edge of a leaf. It seemed as if it was displaying but I did not see others of this species in the area.

Beautiful but I cannot find a name. I believe that it is an ithomiinae but am not certain. It unfortunately only allowed this quick snap before it flew up into the canopy.

Most likely a Dircenna sp. (thanks, Aaron)

Unusual pierid, Dismorphia sp. (thanks, Aaron)

Skippers with swallow-tails were abundant along the ride up the mountain. I did see a few at Rara Avis but I think that they were more common in the open country. This one landed next to the trail in the half light of an overcast dawn.

These Radiant Skippers (Callimormus radiola) were tiny.

These day-flying moths were very colourful. I often mistook them for Glasswings in flight but then they would land with open wings beneath leaves.

11-Sep-2012, 12:50 PM
Aaron, here is a nice lycaenid with blue upperwings. Ted photographed it near the cafeteria. I saw them a few times but could not obtain a decent photo.

female Panthiades bitias (thanks, Aaron)

Banded Owl Butterflies (Caligo atreus) were seen a few times. These were the same species as I flushed at La Selva.

I very nearly stepped on a Fer-de-Lance here about noon one day. There had been a torrential shower for an hour or so earlier in the morning. Finally, there was a break and the sun re-emerged. I was about an hour's walk into the park and was heading back quickly towards the headquarters. I put my boot down right next to a Fer-de-Lance that was crossing the trail. These are normally nocturnal snakes but this one was perhaps disturbed by the rain. The snake fortunately crawled rapidly into cover without biting me.

Fer-de-Lance were certainly hard to see. After nearly stepping on this one, it headed into a sheltered area and the coiled while still keeping an eye on me:

11-Sep-2012, 12:51 PM
I saw Cope's or Blunt-headed Vine Snakes (Oxybelis brevirostris) on a couple of occasions.

I saw this big Bird-eating Snake (Pseutes poecilonotus) one afternoon along the "El Plastico" trail.

Water Anoles (Norops oxylophis) were common along creeks and even at the cafeteria. One of these displayed at me while I took its photo.

11-Sep-2012, 12:52 PM
Rainbow Ameiva (Ameiva festiva) were common near our accommodation

Rara Avis produced a couple of species of frogs that I really wanted to see on this trip. The top of my frog wish-list was for a Crowned Tree-Frog (Anotheca spinosa). I was lucky and found one of these rare frogs on my first night. It was about the first frog encountered and wow, what an amazing creature it was! It hardly moved at all while I took photos.

Glass Frogs (Centrolenella ilex) were also high on the wish list. We hired a guide who showed us several of these gorgeous creatures. Their bodies are translucent, hence the name.

11-Sep-2012, 12:53 PM
Dwarf Glass Frog (Teratohyla spinosa)

Strawberry Dart Frogs (Oophaga pumilio or Dendrobates pumilio) were seen a few times. Their body size was noticeably larger than those at La Selva. These little guys were quite wary and usually jump away and then hide beneath leaves when disturbed.

... more later

11-Sep-2012, 05:05 PM
I definitely must organize a trip in Costa Rica.




Leopard Lacewing
11-Sep-2012, 06:53 PM
Wow!!! Amazing pics, David! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Painted Jezebel
12-Sep-2012, 08:56 AM
Gorgeous photos, David. I can not say which I like the most.

I believe the Strawberry Dart Frog has been given the nickname of 'BlueJeans' , which I think you can see is quite appropriate.

12-Sep-2012, 06:09 PM
Not sure about the first one. Clearwings are very challenging as there are numerous similar spp. and also dead specimens look very different from live ones due to fading/scale loss:/
Venation is the only way to go:)

1st two riodinids in post #34 are either Eurybia unxia or lycisca.
Mesosemia have different ocelli configurations and more angular hindwings(mostly).

Ithomiid in post #35 is probably a Dircenna sp.

Unknown "Nymphalid" is actually a pierid, Dismorphia sp.

Lycaenid is a female Panthiades bitias. The earlier, darker one was a male.

13-Sep-2012, 06:21 PM
Thanks, Les and Bobby. Yes, I've heard the name "Blue Jeans" for the little dart frog before and it is appropriate. Something that seemed surprising was that these toxic little guys were very wary. They would rapidly jump away and then dive beneath a leaf when disturbed. This behaviour made it difficult to take good photos.

Thanks again, Aaron, for your help with the names. I was most amazed at the strange little black and white pierid (Dismorphia sp). I don't think that I would have recognized it as a pierid rather than a nymph. You are very knowledgeable about these butterflies. Have you been on a trip to the neotropics?

We spent a single night at Suena Azul while awaiting the transfer to Rara Avis the following morning. The grounds were nice and we saw a number of birds, butterflies and a few herps on our single afternoon noon and the following morning. The lodge was near the Rio Sarapiqui and there were patches of tall forest (secondary?) in places.

There were several ponds on the grounds of the lodge. These were the home to numerous caimans that we saw at night.

The adult male Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus) was basking in the early morning sun near our room. It seemed quite tame and allowed us to approach for photos.

We also saw what I assume is a female Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons). She was shy and we could only take shots at a distance.

These large frogs were common on the lawns at night. I think that they were Rana vaillanti.

Butterflies were numerous especially near a stand of lantana. One of the common species at these flowers was the White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae):

13-Sep-2012, 06:23 PM
Banded Peacocks (Anartia fatima) were the most numerous butterfly.

I watched a single Banner Metalmark (Thisbe lycorias) as it rested beneath palm fronds and then fed at the lantana flowers.

This checkerspot (Chlosyne janais) was particularly colourful.

This rodent was sheltering beneath the canopy over the walkway near our unit.

Giant Squirrel:

These bats were seen a few times.

14-Sep-2012, 10:54 AM
Wow. Beautiful pictures. That's a lot of species you shot in one trip. Thanks for sharing. :cheers:

Chequered Lancer
14-Sep-2012, 06:00 PM
Amazing trip!Every shot is breath-taking:gbounce: Many of the the butterflies you shot are new to me!:what: Congrats on nailing the eyelash pit-viper!:cheers:

Banded Yeoman
14-Sep-2012, 06:21 PM

It must have been a most exhilarating trip!!:cheers:

So many lovely species, and with those amazing habitat shots you have taken me straight to the Costa Rican Jungle!! :grin2:

14-Sep-2012, 09:36 PM
Thanks again, Aaron, for your help with the names. I was most amazed at the strange little black and white pierid (Dismorphia sp). I don't think that I would have recognized it as a pierid rather than a nymph. You are very knowledgeable about these butterflies. Have you been on a trip to the neotropics?

I have never been there unfortunately.

However i'm especially keen on going to the Trans-Andean countries(Colombia, Ecuador, Peru etc.) because they have many unique species there but my parents say that it's dangerous coz of the guerilla activity/drugs, even though i think it's totally worth the risk.:bsmile:

I'm also curious how long it took you to plan a trip to such countries, especially when good guides are hard to come by.

15-Sep-2012, 09:55 AM
However i'm especially keen on going to the Trans-Andean countries(Colombia, Ecuador, Peru etc.) because they have many unique species there but my parents say that it's dangerous coz of the guerilla activity/drugs, even though i think it's totally worth the risk.:bsmile:

Actually, Colombia is beginning to open up and there is much better political stability and good governance. On the business front, there are quite a number of networks open already, and just this week, three of my staff are over at Bogota to give talks and discuss potential projects over there.

A lot of the negatives are often created by our media. Like in the early 2000's when I had to go to Yangon a few times to handle the Singapore Embassy, a lot of people kept asking me whether it was safe or not, as Myanmar was portrayed as a war-torn country with guerillas crawling out from every nook and corner. Having visited and seen Yangon several times for myself back then, I realised that bad press often makes a country sound worse than it really is!

Anyway, when you go out and work after you finish your studies, you will find that Singapore is getting too small and competitive to "make a living", and you will most probably have to travel quite a bit, depending on which field you are in. :)

15-Sep-2012, 04:39 PM
Actually, Colombia is beginning to open up and there is much better political stability and good governance. On the business front, there are quite a number of networks open already, and just this week, three of my staff are over at Bogota to give talks and discuss potential projects over there.
I agree, it's my parents who don't believe thatXD

16-Sep-2012, 08:14 PM
Thanks very much, everyone, for the comments. Sorry for the delay in completing this post ... too much work at the moment! I will post details about costs and travel in Costa Rica at the end of this post. Costa Rica is an easy place to visit and is well worth it if you have the opportunity. It was not expensive from Los Angeles and the 12 day trip including flights from LAX cost only a little more than $1000 USD.

Khew, you are correct that things are better now in South America than they were 10 years back or so. It was not long ago when Colombia was very dangerous but the government seems to have made good progress against the rebels. Bird tours are now again visiting after many years of a no-go status. Peru also has greatly improved. I knew a couple of British birders in 1990 who visited and were captured and killed by the Shining Path rebels. Once the Shining Path leader was finally captured, the group seemed to loose momentum and the country has become much safer.

Here is another shot of an Eye-lash Viper from Rara Avis. Cindy found this one afternoon and took the shot with a little point-and-shoot camera. Eye-lash Vipers have a number of colour phases and these vary greatly. It is hard to believe that this is the same species as the bright yellow snake at La Selva.


After La Selva, we moved to the Observatory Lodge of Arenal. This was about a 3 hour ride. Arenal is in the lower mountains and supports patches of primary and secondary forest mixed with agricultural lands. We stayed at the Observatory Lodge and I highly recommend it to anyone travelling to this part of Costa Rica. The grounds of the lodge were enormous and it reminded me a little of walking at Fraser's Hill with paved walkways and manicured gardens. Many of the plants were flowering and butterflies were abundant.

Here are a couple of shots of the Volcano. It is active although it has become quiet since 2010. At the moment, it is just venting steam and other gases from the summit.

There were areas with primary forest within a km or two from the lodge. Here are shots of such areas. This was again a wet forest although not as wet as that of Rara Avis and Braulio Carillo NP.

16-Sep-2012, 08:16 PM
Here is a shot of a waterfall in primary forest. This area was about a half-hour walk from our accommodation.

Colourful flower near the falls.

I saw this butterfly near the falls. Eresia ithomioides alsina (thanks, Aaron)

I saw this nicely coloured butterfly a couple of times. This group is difficult but I think that it is an ithomiid, possibly a Mimic Tigerwing (Melinaea lilis). These species are so hard to identify.

Another one of the hard-to-identify species. Its pattern resembles that of Tithorea tarricina

16-Sep-2012, 08:17 PM
I saw Cydno Longwings (Heliconius cydno) a few times in the forest. They don't usually land low enough for photos.


I was pleased on this trip to see several Great Currasow. This female with two young were along the trail to the falls in primary forest. I watched her plucking and eating leaves. Back in 1980, this was a hard bird to see. They are big birds, about the size of a turkey and were often shot for food. I only saw a few at that time in the remote Corcovado NP.

Spotted Antbird. I saw these fairly often at Volcan Arenal. They usually fed at army ant swarms. A number of the new world birds have learned to feed with the army ants. They stay near the front of the swarm and drop down to catch invertebrates that are trying to escape from the ants. Here at Arenal, I saw birds like Carmiol's Tanagers, Plain Xenops, Sulphur-rumped Flycatchers, Slaty Antwrens, Spotted Woodcreepers and others at the swarms.

Here is a shot of Ted and Cindy at the cabin where we stayed. We had a nice view of the surrounding garden and primary rainforest further down the slope. This place was said to be good for the gorgeous Lovely Cotinga but we were not lucky enough to see one. We did hear the incredible, metallic song of Three-wattled Bellbirds. Tanagers, euphonias and hummingbirds were abundant in the gardens. The second shot below is of a male Passerini or Scarlet-rumped Tanager.

16-Sep-2012, 08:19 PM
Here is a shot of the primary forest below our cabin:

There were nice gardens near our cabin and near the headquarters. The flowering plants attracted many butterflies.

Flashing Flat (Celaenorrhinus aegiochus). Isn't this skipper fantastic? It was one of my favourites and so brightly coloured when in good light. These were big skippers.

Here is another skipper without the white markings of the Flashing Flat. The body shape and size were the same but I assume that it must be a different species. I was not able to find anything like it on the butterfly website for North and Central America.

16-Sep-2012, 08:23 PM
Guava Skippers (Phocides polybius) were seen early every morning near our cabin. After that, they vanished.

Nigrescens Skipper (Phocides metrodorus) were stunning. These were huge and colourful skippers.

Here is a shot of one of the swallow-tailed skippers (Chioides sp). Skippers with swallowtails seemed to be the norm at Volcan Arenal.

16-Sep-2012, 08:25 PM
Long-tailed Skippers (Urbanus proteus) were nicely marked.

I think that this must be another species since the wing spots are different from those of the Long-tailed Skipper above.

Polythrix sp.

Spineless Silverdrop (Epargyreus aspina). This was another large species of skipper. I only saw it twice.

... more tomorrow night

17-Sep-2012, 06:24 AM
Swallowtails in the genus Parides were abundant. They were so hard to photograph since they rarely stayed at a flower for more than a second or two. The following species was the most abundant. I believe that it is a True Cattleheart (Parides eurimedes)

Iphidamas Cattleheart (Parides iphidamas) were fairly common.

Green-celled Cattleheart (Parides childrenae) were very common. I attempted many photos but this was the best that I could come up with. They just don't stop moving and seem to bounce from flower to flower.

This Parides was tiny. I only saw a few of these from time to time.

Doris Longwing (Heliconius doris) was a new species to me. I think that the Parides must be mimicing the colour pattern of this heliconiinae. I initially that that this was another Parides when I spotted it but thought it strange that the behaviour was so different. This one flew slowly and remainded for much longer at a flower than did the frenetic Parides Swallowtails.

17-Sep-2012, 06:24 AM
Banded Peacock (Anartia fatima) was seen a few times.

Wide-banded Satyr (Pareuptychia metaleuca)?

I think that this was a Blue-gray Satyr (Magneuptychia libye):

This Gold-stained Satyr (Cissia pseudoconfusa) was beautiful. I only encountered this single individual.


17-Sep-2012, 09:30 AM
Looks and sounds like you had a fantastic vacation! William

18-Sep-2012, 01:30 AM
The first "ithomiid" in post #53 is actually a nymphalid, Eresia ithomioides alsina.
They are confusingly alike.

18-Sep-2012, 07:44 AM
Thanks, William and Aaron. I will make the change to the name, Aaron.

William, Costa Rica is a beautiful place as you know. I wish that the photographers here on the BC forum would make the trip. I would love to see the images that they would produce!

Here was another skipper that fed from the Verbenna flowers:

Here is what I think to be a male Green-celled Cattleheart (Parides childrenae):

Ninia maculata. We saw this small species of snake on several occasions.

We found this Cope's Vine Snake asleep on the upper surface of a palm frond while we were on a night walk.

18-Sep-2012, 07:45 AM
Geophis hoffmanni exhibited the most incredible anti-predator behaviour. When I disturbed it, it would literally cartwheel off the trail into cover. Somehow, it could rapidly throw itself end over end.

Ameiva festiva

One of the small rainfrogs?

Rana warszewitschii were nicely marked frogs.

Smoky Jungle Frogs (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) were seen on the banks of a tiny pond.

Bufo melanochloris: a nicely marked toad found at night in the primary forest.

18-Sep-2012, 07:48 AM
Four-eyed Possum. This little guy became confused with the bright light so it just sat down.

Cindy took this shot of an Armadillo as she was walking back to the cabin from the headquarters one morning.

Montezuma Oropendola: these giant blackbirds were a frequent sight and sound.

We did not see many interesting insects at night. One good group encountered the katydids that are cryptically patterned.

Sprouting fenceposts were a common sight in rural Costa Rica.

Here is a final shot of the lovely Volcan Arenal.

18-Sep-2012, 05:12 PM
Hummingbirds are diverse in Costa Rica. One of the most colourful and quite common was the Crowned Woodnymph. Here is a shot of male. In the second photo below, it was sunning itself after a heavy shower.

... another family with many confusingly similar species is that of the woodcreepers. These are passerines but they act a little like woodpeckers and hitch up trees to probe within epiphytes such as the bromeliads. They often are hard to identify since they are on the move but remain in the dark forest interior. The following shot was of a Spotted Woodcreeper.


Before wrapping up, I thought that some of you might be interested in shots of another part of Costa Rica. These photos are scans of shots from one of my prior trips to Costa Rica Dec 1980 and Jan 1981. I spent 6 weeks at Palo Verde biological research station in Guanacaste Province. This area is in the monsoonal northwest of Costa Rica. The area is vaguely like that of Kakadu NP in the Northern Territory of Australia with limestone escarpments and seasonal swamps. I was there to study Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that gather in enormous numbers before the swamps become dry. It was a wonderful experience and I saw so many butterflies, birds, reptiles and mammals. Unfortunately, I did not photograph butterflies at the time but can remember a number of beauties.

This building was my home for visit. It once was an old ranch but had been converted to the headquarters of the reserve.

Dry, deciduous forest. These trees would loose most of their leaves and then flower at the end of the dry season.

The resevere protected a seasonally flooded area that bordered the Rio Tempisque. These wetlands were the home of thousands of waterfowl. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were the most numerous species but other ducks were also present including Fulvous Whistling Ducks, White-headed Whistling Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Muscovy and Masked Ducks.

18-Sep-2012, 05:43 PM

Bare-necked Tiger Heron were fairly common in the marsh.

Black Ctenosaurs lived right around the headquarters. They were fairly tame and would walk into my room in the afternoons, see me and then turn and walk away. They are members of the iguana family.

I saw snakes from time to time. The Central American Coral Snake on the left had fallen into a depression and drowned. These snakes are beautiful but elapids with toxic venom. The snake on the right was one of the Parrotsnakes (Leptophis sp.) that loved to eat frogs. I often heard the screams of frogs that had been captured by snakes and were in the process of being eaten alive.

Scarlet Macaws were common and nesting not far from the headquarters.

Other birds includes species like the Olivaceous Woodcreeper (left) and Bar-breasted Wren (right), a species with a beautiful and loud song.

Long-tailed Manakins were common and gorgeous birds. They usually displayed in groups of three. Two young males would work with an adult male and go into a strange spiralling dance. They would slide down a branch then flutter over the other two and slide down again. It was an amazing sight to watch. This bird was a sub-adult. The adult males were velvety black.

Lastly, here is a shot of me in 1980 but more importantly, a shot of Rodrigo Carazo, the president of Costa Rica at the time. The president visited the reserve while I was there and I had the privilege of meeting and talking with him. I was able to take him bird watching one morning. President Carazo was very interested in nature and he, along with others, realized that eco-tourism was a means of protecting the remaining forests of the country. He and others after him successfully turned Costa Rica into a model country for ecotourism.

... that is all. I will add logistics, costing and a bird report later.

18-Sep-2012, 09:01 PM
Manakins are spectacular birds and the males do interesting displays as well.

The Plane
18-Sep-2012, 11:16 PM
David, thanks for sharing. This is a wonderful thread and an eye-opener for me. I really enjoyed all the photos :thumbsup: . I'm normally not a fan of skippers but the skippers over there are really nice...Love that gorgeous Flashing Flat ! I must plan and hope to visit this place one day ;P .

19-Sep-2012, 11:14 PM
Last in post #34 is a female Mesosemia asa
1st in post #35 is a female Mesosemia carissima

20-Sep-2012, 05:10 PM
Thanks, Aaron and Chng.

I will update the identities of those butterflies, Aaron. Thanks for tracking down the names.

I hope that you visit the place. You will certainly have a great time and see so much.

Here is a summary of the costs for the 12-night trip. These costs were divided among the 3 of us so weren't too bad. Costa Rica would be expensive, though, if you were not in a small group. Now is a good time to go since they set their prices in USD. The AUD is strong at the moment and I imagine the same would be true of the Singapore dollar and Malay Ringgit. USD are accepted everywhere so there is no need to convert to Costa Rican Colones.

TACA flights: $500 LAX<-> San Jose

20 Aug: Suena Azul (1 night stay awaiting transfer to Rara Avis). Suena Azul was a lodge in the little town of Horquetas. Great place for butterflies with big gardens. Pricey place but the grounds were great for butterflies.
$156/night + food ($20/dinner)

21-25 Aug: Rara Avis: remote lodge that is at the end of a horrible 3-4 hour tractor ride up into the mountains. Unfortunately, it may close in the next few months since they have lost their primary customer. The location is too remote for most ecotourists. It will be sad if it shuts down since it is such a great place and many range restricted animals can be found here.

$825 for "hotel" style accommodation and included all meals and transfers

26-28 Aug: La Selva Biological Station. I spent nearly 6 weeks here in 1980 so it was great to see the place again. It was hardly recognizable with so much construction. Now, a village has been constructed for the the biologists and is the premier site for biological studies in the Central American tropics. It has an excellent trail system that resembles paved "sidewalks" for the first 2km or so out from the headquarters. After that, the trails were muddy and more difficult. Las Selva is located in the lowlands of the same watershed as Rara Avis. They have succeeded in protecting the entire watershed from the top of the high Volcan Barva to the lowlands. This is important for the long-term conservation of many birds in particular that move in rainforest from the upper montane areas to the lowlands depending upon weather and food. Species like Bare-necked Umbrellabirds and Three-wattled Bellbirds are examples of these altitudinal migrants.

$660 for a small house (2 bedrooms), kitchen and included all meals.

$20 taxi ride from Rara Avis headquarters (Horquetas) to La Selva

29Aug-1 Sep: Arenal Observatory Lodge, Volcan Arenal. Top place that is much like Fraser's Hill with extensive gardens and lots of butterflies.
$285 for a room with 3 bunks, communal facilities. Included a superb buffet breakfast but lunch/dinner were extra ($20 each).

Transfers from airport -> Suena Azul, La Selva -> Volcan Arenal, Volcan Arenal-> airport: We used "Anywhere Costa Rica". They were efficient and always arrived on time.

$440 for the 3 transfers that each were 2-3 hour drives. "Anywhere Costa Rica" can do all bookings but we only used them for the transport portion of the trip. We made all other bookings directly with the lodges.

I was told by the various people at the resorts that April is probably the best time for butterflies on the Caribbean slope since it is the hottest, driest month. April is also peak season with regards to tourists so places would be much busier than what I experienced. The wet season was not as difficult as I had anticipated and there were always a few hours of sun each day before the torrential rains arrived. I enjoyed the dramatic thunderstorms and sometimes was caught out in these. I just put on my raincoat and sheltered under trees until the storm passed. These usually did not last more than an hour or two. After the rain, there was a surge of activity (birds, butterflies ... and a Fer-de-Lance!) when the sun re-emerged.


20-Sep-2012, 06:43 PM
I imagine that there are a few birders on the BC forum. Here is a list of what I encountered on this trip. My Costa Rica list is now in the mid-500s. I am not certain why, but it generally was quiet with not nearly as much avian activity as I remember from long ago. I really expected about twice this number of species but activity may have been suppressed due to the wet weather. My prior visits were during the dry season whereas this trip was in the middle of the wet. Those birds with an asterisk were lifers.

Little Tinamou – Suena Azul
Great Tinamou – Rara Avis, La Selva
Striated Heron – Suena Azul
Great Egret -- Suena Azul, tranis
Neotropical Cormorant
Short-billed Pigeon – Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva
Red-billed Pigeon -- Volcan Arenal
Grey-chested Dove -- Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Ruddy Ground Dove -- road to Rara Avis, La Selva
*Purplish-backed Quail-Dove – Rara Avis
*Violaceous Quail-Dove -- Volcan Arenal
Great Currasow -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Crested Guan -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Bat Falcon – Rara Avis, pair
Laughing Falcon – Suena Azul, calling and in treetops
Roadside Hawk – Rara Avis
White Hawk -- Rara Avis
Swallow-tailed Kite -- La Selva
Hook-billed Kite -- dark phase, Volcan Arenal
King Vulture – one near Rara Avis, La Selva
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Squirrel Cuckoo -- Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva
Grove-billed Ani -- Suena Azul, La Selva
Spotted Sandpiper -- Suena Azul, Rara Avis
Amazon Kingfisher -- Suena Azul
Ringed Kingfisher -- La Selva
Green Kingfisher -- Suena Azul
Mealy Parrot -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Red-lored Parrot -- Volcan Arenal
White-crowned Parrot -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
*Great Green Macaw -- La Selva
Crimson-fronted Parakeet -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Orange-chinned Parakeet -- Volcan Arenal
Spectacled Owl -- Rara Avis
Pauraque -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Least Pygmy Owl -- Rara Avis
Long-tailed Hermit –Suena Azul, La Selva
Little Hermit -- Rara Avis, VolcanArenal
Green Hermit -- Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
Banded Barbthroat – Suena Azul
Violet-headed Hummingbird -- Volcan Arenal
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird -- Suena Azul, La Selva
Blue-throated Goldentail -- Volcan Arenal
Purple-crowned Fairy -- Volcan Arenal
White-collared Swift -- Rara Avis
Grey-rumped Swift -- La Selva
Violaceous Trogon –Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Black-throated Trogon – Suena Azul
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan – Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Keel-billed Toucan – heard Suena Azul, seen when leaving Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Black-cheeked Woodpecker – Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Chestnut Woodpecker -- La Selva
Pale-billed Woodpecker -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Red-headed Barbet -- Rara Avis
Mangrove Swallow -- Suena Azul
Rough-winged Swallow -- Suena Azul
*Thicket Antpitta – Rara Avis, upward trill, Volcan Arenal
Chestnut-backed Antbird -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Spotted Antbird -- Volcan Arenal
Black-faced Ant-Thrush -- Rara Avis,usually 3 notes. one emphatic high followed by two or three lower at same pitch
Russet Antshrike – Rara Avis
Slaty Antwren -- Volcan Arenal
Plain Xenops – Suena Azul, Volcan Arenal
Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner – Rara Avis
*Tawny-throated Leaf-Tosser -- Volcan Arenal
Streaked Foliage-Gleaner -- Volcan Arenal
Streak-headed Woodcreeper – Suena Azul, Volcan Arenal
Spotted Woodcreeper -- Volcan Arenal
Cocoa Woodcreeper -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Barred Woodcreeper -- La Selva
Rufous Piha -- Rara Avis
Three-wattled Bellbird -- Volcan Arenal
Masked Tityra -- La Selva
Purple-throated Fruit-Crow -- La Selva
Cinnamon Becard – Suena Azul
Rufous Mourner -- Volcan Arenal
Tropical Pewee -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Dusky-capped Flycatcher -- La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Bright-rumped Atila -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Tufted Flycatcher – Rara Avis
Yellow-olive Flycatcher – Suena Azul
Yellow-margined Flycatcher -- Volcan Arenal
Paltry Tyrannulet -- La Selva
Common Tody Tyrant -- La Selva
Kiskadee – Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Social Flycatcher – Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Tropical Kingbird – Suena Azul, Volcan Arenal
Yellow-bellied Elaenia -- Volcan Arenal
Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant – Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher -- Volcan Arenal
White-ruffed Manakin -- Rara Avis
White-collared Manakin -- La Selva
Clay-coloured Robin -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
White-vented Robin – Rara Avis
Bay Wren – Rara Avis
Stripe-breasted Wren -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Nightingale Wren – Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
Banded-back Wren -- La Selva
Southern House Wren -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
White-breasted Wood-Wren -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Brown Jay -- Volcan Arenal
Long-billed Gnatwren -- Rara Avis, La Selva
Tawny-faced Gnatwren -- Rara Avis
Grey-headed Greenlet – Rara Avis
Emerald Shrike-Vireo -- La Selva
Bananaquit – Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
Louisiana Waterthrush -- Rara Avis
American Redstart -- Rara Avis
Black-and-White Warbler – Rara Avis
Magnolia Warbler – Rara Avis
Buff-rumped Warbler -- Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Common Bush-Tanager -- Rara Avis
Ashy-headed Bush-Tanager -- Rara Avis
Black-and-Yellow Tanager – Rara Avis
Bay Tanager – Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
*Emerald Tanager – Rara Avis
Speckled Tanager – Rara Avis
Golden-hooded Tanager -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Silver-throated Tanager -- Rara Avis
Blue-grey Tanager – Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Palm Tanager -- seen when leaving Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Stripe-backed Tanager -- Volcan Arenal
Crimson-collared Tanager -- Volcan Arenal
Red-throated Ant-tanager – Suena Azul, Rara Avis
Passerini Tanager -- Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Carmiol’s Tanager – Rara Avis, Volcan Arenal
Tawny-crested Tanager -- Rara Avis
White-lined Tanager -- La Selva
Olive-backed Euphonia – Suena Azul, Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Yellow-crowned Euphonia -- Volcan Arenal
Tawny-capped Euphonia – Rara Avis
Green Honeycreeper – Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Shining Honeycreeper – Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Red-thighed Dacnis – Suena Azul
Great-tailed Grackle -- La Selva
Black-cowled Oriole – Suena Azul, Volcan Arenal
*Yellow-tailed Oriole – Suena Azul
Yellow-billed Cacique – Suena Azul
Scarlet-rumped Cacique -- La Selva
Montezuma Oropendola – Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Blue-black Grassquit
Thick-billed Seed Finch -- La Selva
Variable Seed-Eater -- Volcan Arenal
Yellow-faced Grassquit -- Volcan Arenal
Black-striped Sparrow -- Volcan Arenal
Orange-billed Sparrow – Suena Azul, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Rufous-collared Sparrow -- San Jose, Volcan Arenal
Buff-throated Saltator – Suena Azul, seen when leaving Rara Avis, La Selva, Volcan Arenal
Black-faced Grosbeak -- Rara Avis

The Plane
20-Sep-2012, 10:37 PM
Thanks David for listing down all the links and providing the info on types of expenses to expect in such a trip. This will surely help in the planning and budgeting. Need to study more into details and maybe can work out a shorter version trip or something for next year if anyone here in BC are interested ;P