Bird Trip Reports | San Vito Bird Club

Bird Trip Reports | San Vito Bird Club

Bird Trip Reports | San Vito Bird Club

Summer Days on the Pacific Ocean at Drake Bay

by Gail Hull

Expedition members less photographer. (Photo: Dave Woolley)

Eight members of the San Vito Bird Club took a three-night trip to Las Caletas Lodge, just south of Drake Bay on Costa Rica's famous Osa Peninsula from February 24-27. Fred and Jean Schroeder, Michael and Alison Olivieri, organizer Julie Girard and her husband, Dave Woolley, and my husband, Harry, and I enjoyed the marvelous get-away with unexpected good fortune. Part of the felicitous luck was owed to Jim Zook, ornithologist and bird guide extraordinaire, joining San Vito Bird Club members for the fourth consecutive year of the club's annual outings.

After an early morning departure from San Vito, we stopped at a junction near the town of Rincon, where a new bridge offers a wide vantage point over the Rincon River. In just minutes a pair of Scarlet Macaws flew and squawked overhead, and soon thereafter we were delighted by a coveted sighting of several Yellow-billed Cotingas doing some aerial gymnastics over the towering trees on both the lowland side and the forested hill next to the river .

Fording one of the creeks. (Photo: Dave Woolley)

The gravel road from Rincon to the village of Agujitas on Drake Bay is in very good condition, but it can only be driven in the dry season due to various creeks that must be forded. The trip took less than an hour.

Las Caletas Lodge lookout. (Photo: Harry Hull)

On Day Two most of us opted for the main event of the Corcovado National Park (CNP), a wildlife refuge large enough to sustain populations of jaguars and tapirs, as well as the more common mammals. After a dawn breakfast, eight of us took a fast boat an hour further south to a beach near the La Sirena entrance to the Park, pausing in route near some off-shore rocks where we saw Brown Boobies and Brown Pelicans. >

Linda's Spicy Rainbow Buddha Bowl
Bird Trip Reports | San Vito Bird Club

Trekking along the beach near Sirena. (Photo: Harry Hull) Then, upon arriving at the rocky beach at La Sirena, we saw a Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstones, Least Sandpiper, and at least one Spotted Sandpiper among other shorebirds .

Red Brocket Deer. (Photo: Julie Girard)

Scarlet Macaws necking. (Photo: Julie Girard)

On the way back to Las Caletas after our picnic lunch, we enjoyed the company of dolphins swimming along the bow and either side of the boat. >

Our house is located in the center of the village. Imagine lounge chairs, hammocks, views of distant cruise ships, rainbows, cumulous clouds and a constant variety of bird species flying into and out of trees on all sides. The Scarlet Macaw pair preened and then fell somersaults in either a mating act or a playful tumble. The Hummingbirds, such as the Charming Hummingbird, kept us entertained in the verbena bushes covered with flowers just a few feet away. Overhead in the Cecropia trees, a pair of Golden-naped Woodpeckers were busy hunting ants.

Relaxing at the Lodge. (Photo: Harry Hull)

Northern Tamandua (anteater) near the Lodge. (Photo: Julie Girard)

Julie Girard was one of the guests who encountered Northern Tamandua (anteater), another exciting and uncommon sight, just over 25 meters from the Lodge. Julie did a super job organizing the trip, so she deserved this extra reward!

This was a perfect trip for both experienced birders and some of the rest of us who are not exactly gifted practitioners of the art.

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