This web page contains a photographic record of a trip to Costa Rica in November 2011. The images are roughly in chronolgical order of our journey from the Capital, San Jose, to the wetlands of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast then via the rain and cloud forests surrounding Sarapiqui and Monteverde to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast. A total of one hundred and forty new bird species were recorded during this 15 night adventure.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

We were informed that the two best methods of getting close to species of both animals and birds for photographs was to explore as close as possible the various canopies of the rain and cloud forests.

Method one suggested, was the use of canopy high walkways.

Not to be recommended if you suffer from Vertigo or have problems with balance. We found the best method of transversing these often swaying and oscillating suspension bridges was to crawl along them on all fours. This of course made it difficult to focus the camera!

The second recommended method of getting close to the canopy was--

-- Zip Wiring
The main problem with this method was the effect on the canopy's fauna of my dear wife screaming constantly whilst we travelled at high speed across the top of the forest. Thus defeating the aim of getting close to any wildlife. Additionally holding the camera steady proved difficult!

After further experimentation we concluded that a gentle walk around the grounds of our many hotels produced the best results. 

We hope you enjoy our efforts.

Acadian Flycatcher

 Acadian Flycatcher, San Jose.

Inca Dove

Inca Dove,La Sabana Park, San Jose

Great White Egret

 Great White Egret, La Sabana Park,  San Jose.

Great-tailed Grackle




The ubiquitous Great-tailed Grackle.
Where there are humans there are Grackles!

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird, San Jose

'Canal' at Tortuguero

 One of Tortuguero's famous 'Canals'

Green Spiny Lizard

Green Spiny Lizard, Tortuguero Area


 Basilik, Tortuguero 'Canals'.
Also called the Jesus Christ lizard because of it's water walking capability

Lineated Woodpecker

 Male Lineated Woodpecker, Tortuguero

Collared Aracari

Collared Aracari, Tortuguero.
The Caribbean  equivalent of the Pacific Coast Fiery-billed Aracari

Butterfly ?

Had to include one Butterfly---Tiger Longwing ?

Amazon Kingfisher

Male Amazon Kingfisher, Tortuguero


Anhinga, Tortuguero.
Similar in appearance and habits to Cormorants and both families occur in similar habitats

Boat-billed Heron

 Roosting Boat-billed Heron. Tortuguero

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan.
The largest of the four Costa Rican Toucans
The 'Guinness' Toucan


American Crocodile in a Tortuguero 'Canal'

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Male Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Tortuguero area

Strawberry Poison-dart Frog

Stawberry Poison-dart Frog

Montezuma oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola
Its name alone warranted a photograph.
Very common in the Caribbean lowlands.


Sunbittern., found in the waterways near Tortuguero.
The only member of the Eurypygidae family.

Slaty-tailed Trogon


Female Slaty-tailed Trogon, Tortuguero near the Caribbean Coast

Crested Guan

Crested Guan
Surprisingly arboreal for its size

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Green Iguana

Green Iguana

Clay-coloured Robin

Clay-coloured Robin
Strangely this nondescript species is the National Bird of Costa Rica, especially in view of the many  charismatic and colourful species that exist, such as the Trogons, Motmots, Parrots  and Toucans.
Apparently from March to June, it tirelessly whistles melodic phrases and it is this which is responsible for its status as the National Bird!!!!!---very odd

Green Violet Ear

Green Violet Ear 

Blue-tailed Humming Bird

Blue-tailed Humming Bird

White-nosed Coati

White-nosed Coati

Green Honeycreeper

Female Green Honeycreeper

Rufous-collared Sparrow

Rufous-collared Sparrow
The common sparrow throughout middle to upper elevations, from about 600 m to above timberline.


An Olingo attacking the Humming Bird feeders

Orange-jointed Tarantula

Orange-jointed Tarantula
Seen during a night walk in a Rain Forest near to La Fortuna.
Also  a Tennessee Warbler, a Wood Thrush and an Oven Bird  were seen sleeping and identified by flashlight by our guide from a position directly UNDERNEATH the roosting birds at a 10ft distance.  Another element of Field-Craft missing from my limited repertoire!

Pacific Ocean view

View of the Pacific ocean at nightfall from our Hotel high in the rain forest.