Costa Rica Day 14, 19 February 2014 - Santa Elena Reserve and Village

A visit to the Santa Elena Reserve was something I'd been really looking forward to and it certainly didn't disappoint. It sits at a higher altitude than the Monteverde Cloudforest Preserve and gets many less visitors. For this reason I much preferred it here.
After an early breakfast at the Arco Iris Lodge we made our way straight to the reserve to find only about 4 cars on the carpark and thus some nice quiet trails - bliss!

Birds were everywhere right from the start and the first couple of hundred yards took ages to walk because there was so much to look at - Tufted Flycatchers, Black-faced Solitaires, 2 Streaked Xenops, Grey-throated Leaftosser, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, loads of Common Bush Tanagers, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Three-striped Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart and c4 Ruddy Treerunners. Barred Becard was also and great find.

We walked several of the trails finding a couple of nice feeding flocks containing Brown-billed Scythebill, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Spotted Barbtail, Ochraceous Wren, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Yellow-thighed Finch, Golden-winged Warbler, Collared Redstarts, 2 Red-faced Spinetails, Mountain Thrush, Tennessee Warbler and several more Three-striped Warblers. 2 Black Guans also made up having missed one on day 1 at Savegre!

Brown-billed Scythebill

Common Bush Tanager

Three-striped Warbler

Black Guan
I reluctantly left the reserve and once back down in the village we made a beeline to a coffee shop just outside the main village where we had a great cappucino and chocolate-orange brownie! Even better were the fruit feeders out of the back of the shop. In a very short space of time I'd had mind-blowing views of Hoffmann's Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, loads of Red-legged Honeycreepers and Yellow-throated Euphonias. Then a strange hummingbird flew in to feed actively on the flowers and I managed to get a few shots before it departed. Examining them later it was very obviously a Canivet's Emerald, totally unexpected and a lifer to boot!
Hoffmann's Woodpecker

Yellow-throated Euphonia

Red-legged Honeycreeper
Baltimore Oriole

Canivet's Emerald
Back at the Arco Iris Lodge and around the village there were good birds too with Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Steely-vented Hummingbird, 2 Brown Jays, c5 Baltimore Orioles, Blue-grey Tanagers, Paltry Tyrannulet, 2 Grey-breasted Wood-Wrens and 2 Emerald Toucanets. Common around the village were Clay-coloured Thushes, Boat-billed Flycatchers, Blue and Black Swallows, Southern Rough-winged Swallows and both vultures were constantly in the air.
Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Boat-billed Flycatcher

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