For biophiles in Costa Rica, you can’t help but be treated to avian and other highlights on a daily basis. Just spend some quality time in tropical forest, pay close attention to your surroundings, and “stuff” will appear. That said, I still have some personal birding highlights from 2014 that merit a mention. They are, in no particular order:

  • Birding around La Gamba: White-crested Coquette, Golden-naped Woodpeckers at feeders, and lifer Veraguan Mango are always a wonderful way to start the year. The birds just kept appearing at the Troppenstation and near La Gamba, I would love to go back.

    This Golden-naped Woodpecker was at the Troppenstation.

  • Updating birding apps for Panama and Costa Rica: I was pleased with this because both apps now in the iTunes store have a respectable 700 plus species, and more search functions, including searching by name. Hopefully, the Android versions will have the same updates soon.

    Striped Owl - one of the new species on each app. Image provided by Josh Beck.

  • Birding with the guys from 10,000 Birds: It rained the entire time but it was still fun to hang out with and see birds with Corey and Mike.
  • Hudsonian Godwit: Documenting the second record for Costa Rica turned it into the best bird of the year. Not to mention, this was also a memorable, 20 plus shorebird day that included Rufous-necked Wood-Rail and good times with Josh Beck, Kathi Borgmann, and Susan Blank.
  • Maroon-chested Ground-Dove: This super elusive dove treated us to a show on Irazu thanks to gen from Ernesto Carman.
  • Some other new country birds for the year: Honestly, I’m not sure if I got any lifers other than Veraguan Mango but I did pick up several new birds for my Costa Rica list including Redhead, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Baird’s Sandpiper, Red Knot, American Avocet, Long-billed Curlew (finally…), Veery, and Yellow-breasted Chat (another finally…).
  • Great food and service at some nice lodges: Guiding brought me to several nice locales with excellent service and cuisine including Rancho Naturalista, Finca Luna Nueva, and Luna Lodge.

    Visits to the Nature Pavilion for pictures like this were another highlight.

  • More than 650 species: I identified by sight or sound, more than 650 species in Costa Rica. Very pleased with that and might still pick up one or two more before January 1st!

    I saw several Green Thorntails.

  • Birding with friends old and new: Corny sounding but true. Memorable, good life days sharing birding with Susan, Robert, Johan, Ineke, the Birding Club of Costa Rica, and many other people.

Looking forward to birds in 2015 and the Biggest Day ever.  Say hello if you see me in the field!