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Guests Comments and Trip Reports



Trip Report

Robert & Ann Wood

03rd - 17th, March, 2015
395 Species Seen


Poas Volcano Lodge, Cinchona - Vara Blanca
La Selva Biological Station, Caribbean Lowlands
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
San Gerardo de Dota, Cloud Forest

Guide: Carlos Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Stephen Thorpe - Donald Wilshere
Euan Aitken - Charles Anthony Walker
Vivian Hall - Donal B. Hall
Michelle Jane - Grant M. hudolin

18th February - 01st March, 2015
355 Species Seen


Poas Volcano Lodge, Cinchona - Vara Blanca
La Selva Biological Station, Caribbean Lowlands
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
Talari Mountain Lodge, Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary
San Gerardo de Dota, Cloud Forest


Guide: Carlos Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Phil & Joanna Kirk

20st January - 11th February, 2015
470 Species Seen


San Gerardo de Dota, Cloud Forest
Talari Mountain Lodge, Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, La Gamba
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Hotel de Campo, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
La Selva Biological Station, Caribbean Lowlands.
Poas Volcano Lodge, Cinchona, Vara Blanca.


Guide: Carlos Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Bob Shanman, James French, Mary Jane Sesto, Christina Robelotto
Roberta Shanman, Tracy Drake,Jorgen Hansen, Benten Hansen

21st January - 04th February, 2015
391 Species Seen


Poas Volcano Lodge
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio
Cerro Lodge & Tarcoles River
Providencia de Dota - Cloud Forest

Guide: Noel Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*




Trip Report

Gordon McLean & Maxine Myser

November 01st- 15th, 2014
409 Species Seen


Poas - La Paz Waterfall Gardens
La Selva Bilogocal Station
Caño Negro wildlife Refuge
Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio
Cerro Lodge & Tarcoles River
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
San Gerardo de Dota, Cloud Forest.

Guide: Noel Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Sue Gould &Rod Thron
Sivianni Núnez

August 05th - 19th, 2014
413 Species Seen


Poas Volcano Lodge, Vara Blanca, Cinchona
La Selva Biological Sation, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Hotel de Campo Caño Negro, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park & Tarcoles River
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest

Guide: Noel Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*










Trip Report

Timothy & Annette Huizenga. Mark & Brenda Thompson.
July 19th - 29th, 2014
289 Species Seen

Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
Talari Mountain Lodge, San Isidro de El General
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, La Gamba
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park & Tarcoles River

Guide: Carlos Ureña


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*







Trip Report

Colin Alum
Louise Muir
Helmut Retzer
Jerry and Jan Fedrizzi

April 05th - 14th, 2014
325 Species Seen

La Selva Biological Sation, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota
Villa Lapas, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River

Guide: Noel Ureña,


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Noel,
I've been meaning to send you this letter and let you know how much fun I had trekking through Costa Rica and falling in holes while seeing some incredible birds. You are an amazing guide. I could see that you really cared about not just the birds, but all the natural wonders of your country. Your enthusiasm was very infectious. I also know that sometimes you would have liked to have us be a little more attentive to your guidance. Kind of like "Why are these people looking at that bird over there that we've already seen when I have something really good in my scope we haven't seen yet?" Kind of hard to keep a bunch of old tired people focused sometimes, but you did an outstanding job.

I'm still editing and working on all my photos. I'm trying to put the correct name to all the bird photos but there are some I just am having a hard time identifying. If I can't' find out what they are, I may send some to you to identify. We'll see,Keep up the good work. Hope all is well with your family and Johnny as well. He did a terrific job of keeping us safe on the roads as well.

I am going to an Audubon meeting tonight and will let Nick know again how much I liked the trip.

Helmut Retter

___________________

Noel,
Jerry and I want to thank you once more for the delightful and successful birding tour last month. We thoroughly appreciated your capable and perseverant work in guiding us to many rare finds. Your sense of humor, your dexterity with the scope and willingness to allow each of us (mainly me) to observe any given bird, and your voluminous knowledge of the birding possibilities on our tour all were notable. Also, your abilities to vocalize and/or to call in a bird with a tape were really unbelievable. We are still shaking our heads.

With your command of English, your professional approach and birding prowess, your business is sure to continue to flourish.

Our Costa Rica trip was truly outstanding and special! We will long treasure our memories of our time there with you, Johnny, Louise, Colin and Helmut.

Anytime we can recommend your services, we will. And if you come to Colorado, we would love to host you.

All our best to you, your family and Johnny,

Jan and Jerry Fedrizzi
Eagle, Colorado, USA








Trip Report

Lois Lenore Olmstead
Donald Allen Olmstead
Polly McWhorter
Judith Roethlisberger

March 18th - 29th, 2014
313 Species Seen

Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
Arenal Observatory, Arenal Conservation Area
La Selva Biological Sation, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota

Guide: Noel Ureña,


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*








Trip Report

Jennifer Beirne
Lynne Hertzog
Gina Goldstein

March 03rd - 11th, 2014
317 Species Seen

Talari Mountain Lodge, San Isidro de El General
Las Cruces Biological Station, San Vito
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, La Gamba
Sueños del Bosque Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota

Guide: Noel Ureña,


Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Even spotted! the Unspotted Saw-whet Owl! two days in a row






Bill Griffiths and Paul Jaussi Trip Report

Bill Griffiths and Paul Jaussi

February 20th, March 01, 2014
310 Species Seen

Hotel Bougainvillea, Santo Domingo, Heredia
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park & Tarcoles River
Sueños del Bosque Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota

Guides: Johan Fernández
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





We want to again express our appreciation for providing us the trip of a lifetime. We loved everything about our time in Costa Rica. We did a lot of research on bird guides and tour companies and feel we absolutely made the best decision by selecting Tropical Feathers.

First, the planning was exceptional. You were able to accommodate our dates and provide an ideal itinerary for us on short notice. From the time we landed in San Jose, to the moment we were dropped off at the airport to return home, all needs were taken care of and all we had to do was have a great time and see beautiful birds.

Second, the hotels and lodges were perfect. We could just walk out of our rooms and immediately start birding. We loved the food at each lodge and really enjoyed the lunches and stops along the road traveling between locations.

Finally, we cannot say enough great things about our guide, Johan Fernandez. His skill in hearing, locating, and identifying bird species amazed us every day. We didn't hear a sound or see a flash of feathers that he couldn't identify. He seemed as excited as we did at each new species we found. We think back now and realize that Johan was able to find every species that we targeted (except the White-throated Crake that he called-in to a distance so close we could have stepped on it, but couldn't see it). The setting sun didn't signal the end of the day. If we had the energy (and we usually did), he was willing to look for any owl or nightjar. His enthusiasm for the birds and natural environment of his country was contagious. And, most importantly, we genuinely enjoyed his company. In those few, short days, we developed a friendship that we hope endures through the years.

Again, thank you for all you did to make our trip unforgettable. It truly exceeded all of our expectations.

Bill Griffiths and Paul Jaussi







Trip Report - Happy Warblers, New York

Leila Javitch & Maggie Bradley
Carol McMillan & Irene Bareis
Kathy Drake , Wolfgang Demisch, Ardith Bondi
Susan Schuur, Joe Giunta (Tour Leader)

January 29th - February 06th, 2014
281 Species Seen

Talari Mountain Lodge, San Isidro de El General
Las Cruces Biological Station, San Vito
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, La Gamba
Sueños del Bosque Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota
Red-fronted Parrolet
Guides: Noel Ureña, Warner Venegas
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*














Trip Report

Steve & Janell Klesius
Deanna & Randy Harwood
Bob Shanman, Peter Barth
Jim Fisher & Patrick Heilman

January 17th - 29th, 2014
337 Species Seen

Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Hotel de Campo Caño Negro, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Arenal Observatory Lodge
Yellow-breasted Crake. Randy Hardwood Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Guide: Noel Ureña,
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*















. Trip Report
Association of Ornithology of Denmark

Poul & Ulla CappelØn
Erick Bjerrehave , Jimmy Lasse Hoen,
Orla Hugger Jakobsen, Eigil Larsen,
Arne Vinten Nielsen, Carl Axel Henrichsen,
Jette Reeh, Gert Ivan Olsen, Jesper Sonne, Cristian

February 08th - 22nd, 2014
406 Species Seen

Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Trapp Family, Monteverde
Tirimbina Biological Reserve, La Selva Biological Station
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tacoles River
Bosque de Paz , Bajos del Toro

Guides: Noel Ureña, Carlos Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Ken & Margareth Uhle
Bill Hughes

January 27th - February 05th, 2014
290 Species Seen

Poas Volcano Lodge, Cinchona, Vara Blanca
La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tacoles River

Guide: Carlos Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Dear Carlos, My father, Ken and I all wanted to thank you again for being such a capable and enthusiastic guide.
We not only appreciated your knowledge and your uncanny ability to hear and spot birds, but your pleasant and patient personality as well.
My Dad added 21 new birds to his life list - many more than he had anticipated (and he was so impressed with you).
You were also very kind and helpful with my attempts to learn and speak Spanish.
You, Noel or any other members of the Tropical Feathers family are always welcome to visit and stay at our home in Connecticut (I mean that very sincerely!).

Sincerely,

Ken and Margaret Uhle - Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA
Bill Hughes - Tempe, Arizona, USA




Trip Report

Sirkka Kataja
Erkki Kataja
Pirkko Rantanen-Kervinen
Esko Kervinen
Juhani Luhtala

January 05th - 16th, 2014
366 Species Seen

Bougainvillea Hotel, Heredia
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park & Tarcoles River
Talari Mountain Lodge, San Isidro de El General
Savegre Mounatin Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, Cloud Forest
La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Poas Volcano Lodge, Cinchona, Vara Blanca

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






. Trip Report

Alfred Serfas
Roberth Moore

December 18th - 30th, 2013
360 Species Seen

Arenal Observatory
Hotel de Campo Caño Negro, Caño Negro Wetlands
Celeste Mountain Lodge, Tenorio Volcano Slopes
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tacoles River
Talari Mountain Lodge
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest

Guide: Carlos Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Lee Joel Huniu
Susan Brok Huniu
Joseph David Huniu

December 15th - 23th, 2013
307 Species Seen

La Paz Waterfall Gardens , Vara Blanca, Cinchona
Arenal Observatory Lodge
La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Sueños del Bosque Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
Cerro Lodge, Carara National Park & Tarcoles River

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Jeff and Kathleen Dunning

November 28th - December 09th, 2013
353 Species Seen

Poas Volcano Lodge
La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui Lowlands
Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tacoles River

Guide: Carlos Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






. Trip Report

Walter Jenkins
Carla Jenkins
Mary Osborn
Patricia Ruth Murphy

Setember 09th - 21th, 2013
303 Species Seen
Vara Blanca - Cinchona
La Selva Biological Station
Savegre Mountain Lodge
Talari Mountain Lodge
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*


My wife and I are experienced neotropical birders having significant field time in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Ecuador and Panama and have birded with a good number of professional guides. In mid-September we were guided by Noel Urena of Tropical Feathers, visiting five distinct habitats in Costa Rica. I can say unequivocally that he is the most accomplished birder with whom I've had the pleasure of being in the field and the most professional and best equipped guide of whom I'm aware. His ability to locate and immediately identify even the most difficult species in the bush is remarkable. Additionally, his optics, cameras, recording/playback, recording collection and other gear are top notch and up to date. His enthusiasm is contagious often getting more excited than I on nailing a species. While he is also very intelligent and well informed, his sense of humor was unparalleled. He was constantly successfully pranking us with considerable imagination.

In short, I can't wait to schedule our next trip with Noel.


Walter Jenkins




Trip Report

Mi Lun Mak & Mansum Chan
April 12th - 18th, 2013
257 Species Seen
Bougainvillea Hotel
Sueños del Bosque - San Gerardo de Dota
Casa Luna Lodge - Arenal Conservation Area


Guide: Johan Fernandez
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Michael & Sharon McRae
Steve & Denise Jump
Robert & Bart Wilson
Patricia Murphy

April 06th - 13th, 2013
305 Species Seen


Sueños del Bosque - San Gerardo de Dota
Las Cruces Biological Station
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge - Piedras Blancas
Villa Lapas - Carara National Park


Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*



Hi Noel,

We want to say thanks again for another fabulous experience. This was our fourth visit with you exploring different regions of Costa Rica, and we have enjoyed every minute of each adventure. You always help us plan an itinerary that allows us to survey a particular region while providing a wide range in microclimates, habitats, and species. This trip provided outstanding sightings of the Resplendent Quetzal at San Gerado de Dota, the incredible mating dance of the Stripe-throated Hermits at Las Cruces Biological Station, the nesting and mating activities of several other species throughout the trip, as well as our first sighting of a Northern Tamandua at Villa Lapas in Tarcoles. We also enjoyed visiting your family again and seeing how much your children have grown and your landscaping efforts have matured since we were there in 2009.
This was also our second trip with a larger group of friends riding in comfort with Luis on his bus. Both Luis and his bus are excellent additions to support your tours. The bus provides an excellent moving “blind” from which to view wildlife and plenty of room to spread out our gear.
And the sound system allowed us all to hear as you share scientific, climatic, cultural, and historic facts about each of the r egions as we drove through them.
As always we enjoyed sharing laughs, our photography interests, and just plain fun and good times with you.

Best Regards,
Michael & Sharon McRae




Trip Report

Roger and Kate Hammond
John and Lauren Stephens

March 18th - 29th, 2013
305 Species Seen


Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
Sueños del Bosque - San Gerardo de Dota
La Selva Biological Station
Hotel Bougainvillea


Guide: Leo Garrigues
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report

Sheldon & Lucia Severinghaus
March 08th - 25th, 2013
421 Species Seen
La Selva Biological Station
Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio
Arenal Observatory Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge - Piedras Blancas
Sueños del Bosque - San Gerardo de Dota


Guide: Jorge Soto
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Bill and Margareth Williams Trip Report

William & Margareth Williams
Feb 24th - March 06th, 2013
330 Species Seen
Vara Blanca - Cinchona
La Selva Biological Station
San Gerardo de Dota
Cerro Lodge - Carara National Park and Tarcoles River

Guide: Jorge Soto
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Greetings,
We, my husband Bill and I, have now been home for a little over two months from our wonderful birding trip with you. Although we have been quite busy we often recall what a great time we had with you. We wanted you to know what wonderful guides we had in Jorge and Carlos - what a team! They were so patient with my physical limitations, so skilled in their knowledge of birds and other animal and plant life, and most of all they were just plain fun. We learned a lot and laughed a lot! Please let them know we really appreciated them and wish them the very best in the future.

Bill and Margaret Williams





Quetzal Tours by Nick Komar Trip Report

Dave and Michelle Starret
Edward and Myriam Eder
Sharon Hackleman and Liz Pruessner
Fred Bouchard and Mary Ellen Rigano

March 08th - 17th, 2013
385 Species Seen
La Selva Biological Station
San Gerardo de Dota
Carara and Tarcoles River

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*


This was perhaps the most satisfying and pleasurable birding excursion I've ever been on....I can't say enough good things about Señor Ureña.
Fred Bouchard, Massachusetts

Thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip to Costa Rica. It exceeded all my expectations. The places we visited, the accommodations, food and transportation were excellent, and the numbers of species seen [385] was astounding. I cannot say enough about our guide Noel Ureña. He is amazing. He is enthusiastic, so very knowledgeable about the birds and where to find them and his talents to recall bird sounds is truly a gift. Thank you again for the memorable trip.
Sharon Hackleman, Texas/Honduras


Some feedback on our trip [Tropical Costa Rica]. Noel is super! He was so patient, and did a great job addressing the individual needs of all 8 of us. He made sure all of us saw every bird the group came across. He is funny and very friendly. He was very persistent in finding birds for us; we were really impressed how dedicated he was. His ear is truly amazing.....He has an uncanny ability in this regard and it was so important in finding birds in the dense jungles...We consider the trip very successful. We birded from 6 am to 7 pm and went owling about half the nights.....Overall we had a fantastic time and can't wait to do it again!
David & Michelle Starrett, Missouri


The trip [Tropical Costa Rica] was fantastic and Noel is the BEST. He is a wonderful guide and so much fun. I can't say enough good things about him.
Liz Pruessner, Colorado




Happy Warblers Trip Report

Al Tarasuk, Kathy Drake,
Isabel Conti, Debbie Martin,
Mary Jane Kaplan, Wolfgang Demisch, Joe Giunta

Feb 24th - March 03th, 2013
297 Species Seen
Cinchona on route to Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio.
Cerro Lodge, Carara and Tarcoles

Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Trip Report
Ron and Neyma McElhaney
Feb 15th - 25th, 2013
310 Species Seen
Las Cruces Biological Station, San Vito
Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota
Rancho Naturalista, Turrialba
Sarapiquis Neotropical Center, Sarapiqui

Guide: Carlos Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Dear Noel
We were very happy with all aspects of our tour. Carlos was extremely knowledge and personable attentive and patient. Carlos also has a great sense of humour which we greatly enjoyed. I would not hesitate to strongly recommend Carlos and Tropical Feathers to anyone who we came in touch with. We hope to see you both sometime again.

Best wishes and keep in touch.

Ron and Neyma






Trip Report
HF Holidays / Fundy Hiking
Feb 10th - 21th, 2013
Eventhough this was not a birding tour we had some birders in the group and had some great sightings of 274 bird species and wonderful looks at other wildlife.
274 Bird Species Seen

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Alta & Dick Cate
Trip Report
Dick & Alta Cate
January 23th - February 08th, 2013
367 Species Seen
Hotel Bougainvillea
Pachira Lodge - Tortuguero
Bosque de Paz
Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio
Cañon de la Vieja Lodge - Rincon de la Vieja
Hotel Fonda Vela - Monteverde
Cerro Lodge & Tarcoles River


Guide: Johan Fernández
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Noel and Beatriz,

We are back in Houston, Texas, after 16 days birding with Johan. This is our third birding trip to Costa Rica. The first two trips were arranged by another travel agency. There is no comparison. On this trip we saw 375 species including 88 lifers! Itinerary, accommodations, and other day to day details were seamless. Johan's birding skills and knowledge of local habitats and bird-finding sites are awesome. With persistence and patience he was able to locate virtually all of the birds we wanted to see. Countless "great birding moments" included spotting the Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant at La Selva, airport runway birding, and seeing two lifers in one binocular field. In addition to being a skilled birder, Johan is an excellent traveling companion. In our non-birding moments we shared interesting conversations and laughed a lot. In short, we give Tropical Feathers and Johan a 5 star rating.
Thanks for a memorable experience.

Alta and Dick Cate





Trip Report
Ann Wang - Carol Edwards
Janell Klesius - Stephen Klesius
Roberta Shanman - Robert Shanman
Gordon Odell - Carol Odell
Steven Turley - Rebeca Turley
Elizabeth Kennedy - Judy Matsuoka

January 28th - February 09th, 2013
419 Species Seen
Savegre Mountain Lodge
Las Cruces Biological Station
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge - Piedras Blancas
Cerro Lodge & Tarcoles River
Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio
Poas Volcano Lodge

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*









Trip Report
Kirsi Seppanen & Miika Suojarinne
January 15th - 23th, 2013
346 Species Seen
La Selva Biological Station (Sarapiqui)
Braulio Carrillo National Park
Savegre Mountain Lodge (San Gerardo de Dota)
Carara National Park and Tarcoles River

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*




We had really wonderful time in Costa Rica with you on the birding trip, and also the rest of our trip was excellent. As I told you earlier, the birding trip was more than we dared to dream of. You are very competent and one can tell you're ready to work hard (and even harder) in order to find the birds, but you also have fun doing your work. We appreciate a lot the way you work and especially that you at first wanted us to tell you what we wish from the birding trip (that's not very common: most guides just go on as they've planned and done before and are not very interested on others opinions).
Again, muchos gracias (in Finnish Paljon kiitoksia).

Kirsi & Potu (the Great)






Dear Noel,

Paul Murgatroyd and Noel Ureña, Birding Trip I want to thank you for the wonderfully enjoyable and productive birding trip we did together in December.
Your birding and guiding skills are uncanny—hearing, seeing and most important, getting me on the birds we discover so effectively. You are also very enjoyable company to bird with and Tropical Feathers and Carlos’ logistical support were flawless. I have birded with a number of the very best guides in Costa Rica and you are a serious candidate for top of that list.

I added 10 Costa Rica life birds seen, significantly more than I expected from the trip, raising my Costa Rica list to 709 birds seen. Of these, 5 were world life birds, raising that list to 3499. And all but 2 were well seen in your scope.
I wouldn’t be surprised if your photos of the Ocellated Crake are the first photos ever of that bird in Costa Rica!

Cerro de la Muerte, Buenos Aires, and the Skutch farm near San Isidro was a great itinerary choice for my primary targets, and for “crippling” views of a long-list of non-targetted birds (old friends) as well.

Best regards,
Paul Murgatroyd
7th January 2013







Trip Report
Elizabeth & Mark Feuer
June 04th - 15th, 2012
254 Species Seen
Bougainvillea Hotel (gardens)
Arenal Observatory
La Selva Biological Station (Sarapiqui)
Carara National Pak and Tarcoles River
Talari Moutain Lodge - Cusingos Bird Sanctuary
Savegre Mountain Lodge (San Gerardo de Dota)

Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*









Trip Report
Michael & Sharon Mcrae
Steve &Denise Jump, Carly Wainwright
Patricia Murphy
May 26th - June 02th, 2012
239 Species Seen
Arenal Observatory - Celeste Mountain Logde (Tenorio)
Guide: Noel Ureña
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*








Karin and Manfred Koester

Trip Report
Karin & Manfred Koester
March 21th - April 11th, 2012
406 Species Seen
Talari Mountain Lodge, Los Cusingos Bird Santuary,
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Las Cruces Biological Station
Guide: Johan Hernández
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*




Dear Beatriz and dear Noel
Sapphire-throated Humingbird we had a wonderful time in Costa Rica and we are very grateful that you arranged the trip in such a short time. Johan asked us to send the picture of the Sapphire humming bird as fast as possible. The drab monotony of every days working life has us back...we saw 407 bird species, 309 complete new species. As we are very short of time in our working life and not so good in english(!!!) we would suggest that you can give potential german clients our telphone number and we assure you that we would praise Johan and your company to the skies!!

Thanks again
Karin and Manfred from Germany





Betty - Maggie

Trip Report
Betty Moylan & Marjorie Malone
March 26th - 31th, 2012
235 Species Seen
Talari Mountain Lodge, Los Cusingos Bird Santuary,
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Las Cruces Biological Station
with great looks of Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, Turquoise Cotinga,
Common Potoo, Rusty-margined Flycatcher,
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, and White-throated Crake.
Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Ian & Claire Tizard

Trip Report
Ian & Claire Tizard
March 09th - 18th, 2012
227 Species Seen
San Gerardo de Dota, Carara National Park,
Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Guide: Daniel Martínez
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*



Dear Noel:
Now that my wife and I are back in Texas, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for a great birding trip. Daniel and Carlos were wonderful guides. You are fortunate to have them available. They worked very hard indeed to find us the greatest diversity of birds. Beatriz did a great job in arranging the itinerary. My wife and I plan to be back in Costa Rica next March and we will be contacting you about possible additional tours to new areas of the country then.
Best regards,
Sincerely,
Ian Tizard





Trip Report
Ken & Dennise Cargill, Leda & David Story
February 29th - March 10th, 2012
284 Species Seen
Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station)
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge)
Carara National Park (Cerro Lodge)
Guide: Leo Garrigues

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Joe-giunta&group-march 2012.jpg

Trip Report
Kathy Drake - Gina Goldstein - Sandy Hunter - Kathi Goldman
Debbie Martin - Andrew Baksh & Joe Giunta
March 06th - 13th, 2012
284 Species Seen
Sarapiqui (La Selva) - Talari Mountain Lodge - San Gerardo de Dota
Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Linda Franz & Group

Trip Report
Annette Mathes - Sue Strassner - Susan Miller -
Bill & Linda Franz
January 31th - February 10th, 2012
339 Species Seen
San José (Bougainvillea), Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station),
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)
Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Hi, Just a quick note, Noel, to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica. We loved all three birding locations you took us to and were impressed with your knowledge of birds -- and everything else! Your warm and humorous personality and your enthusiasm for birding convinced us we picked the best guide in Costa Rica. We never expected to see so many birds! A couple of highlights for me were the hike down through the cloud forest to Savegre Lodge and the mangrove boat trip at Tarcoles. But there was so much more -- the bridge at La Selva, the Great Potoo, the butterflies, Carara and Braulio Carillo national parks, the road by Cerro Lodge. If we ever travel to Costa Rica again, we'll be in touch. Linda Franz





Trip Report
Stuart Meredith - ken Hall - Eileen Pilling - Beth Blenkharn - Eddie & Barbara Seal
January 24th - February 06th, 2012
398 Species Seen
San José (Bougainvillea), Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station),
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge)
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge) Heliconias Lodge, Arenal Observatory

Guide: Leo Garrigues

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*







Trip Report
Brent, Howard and Carol Thomas Costa Rica Trip Jan 17th – Feb 4th, 2012


301 Species Seen
( Species seen during the trip *PDF File*)
Tortuguero (Laguna Lodge)
Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station)
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge)
Corcovado ( La Leona Lodge)

We had an amazing trip visiting Costa Rica in a variety of habitats for over two weeks! We want to thank Beatriz Urena from Tropical Feathers for arranging and booking our entire itinerary that went off without a hitch. Every tour, connection, meal and accommodation went as planned and exceeded all expectations. Our driver Johnny Brenes was prompt, courteous and allowed us to relax and enjoy the scenery. We also had the pleasure of meeting Noel Urena at various stops during our trip as we were following his tour group. Noel was always quite friendly to us and is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable birder. We had a variety of guides both local from the lodges and arranged by Tropical Feathers. All were good but we would really like to mention Johan Fernández as he was terrific. He really added to our enjoyment of the trip and our bird list! We would recommend Tropical Feathers to anybody interested in visiting Costa Rica for a birding vacation.

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Bob Shanman & Group

Trip Report
Barbara Ailor - Anke Raue - Karin Campbell - Teresa Ritter
Bill & Peggy Gusman - Dee Edridge - Pam Buch - Bob Shanman
Tommye Hyte - Greg & Kathleen Cook
January 19th - 30th, 2012
352 Species Seen
Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station) Arenal (Arenal Observatory),
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com

Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*


Hello, Noel!
It has been 6 weeks since we returned from our wonderful Costa Rica trip and I still cannot stop thinking about the great time we had. I can't think of single thing that I would want to do differently. (Except that I would have gone with you to see the Sungrebe's striped feet!) Everything went off without a hitch and we are left with so many pleasant memories of special places and special birds. (I have to laugh every time I think of the "Flying Pillow"!) Not only your superb expertise, but also your friendliness and sense of humor were very much appreciated. I had so much fun with you! You're the best! I cherish every one of the 333 spectacular birds that I saw! Bill got some excellent pictures from the trip and he writes short trip reports for his photographer friends he knows from Yellowstone. I f you would like to read his reports, here are the links:

http://forums.yellowstone.net/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12735
http://forums.yellowstone.net/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12753

Hopefully we will see you again in Costa Rica soon!
Our best to you and your family...

Peggy and Bill Gussman





Trip Report
Dallas & Geoff Bishop January 19th - 30th, 2012
405 Species Seen
San José (Bougainvillea),
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)
Sarapiqui (La Selva Biological Station),
Arenal (Arenal Observatory)

Guide: Leonardo Garrigues

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report
Jeanne Benioff - John Richardson - Harvey Wolfson - Greer Ellison -
Ann Marie and John Sulzbach
December 10th - 20th, 2011
266 Species Seen
Arenal (Observatory), Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Sarapiqui (La Selva)

Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*


Noel and his excellent driver Luis conducted what turned out to be one of our most rewarding birding/photography trips. This was despite really dreadful weather at the front end of our tour which ended up temporarily closing La Selva Reserve due to flooding. Noel, always on the phone making last second adjustments, rearranged our itinerary to fit the requirement. It was amazing, considering the weather issues, how many Central American (and migrant) birds and mammals we ID'd. Noel showcased his great breadth of knowledge of the natural world in wonderful Costa Rica and helped us all see and feel it - even among four of the group who had never birded before. Our intimate views of the Resplendent Quetzal topped the list of fabulous birds. We look forward to our next trip with Noel - wherever that may be.

John Richardson




Trip Report
Marion Andrew & Claudia Spener
October 11th - 17th, 2011
274 Species Seen
Sarapiqui (La Selva)
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)

Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Trip Report
Elizabeth Moylan & Margaret Malone
April 04th - 09th, 2011
246 Species Seen
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Carara National Park, Tarcoles River (Cerro Lodge)

Guide: Noel Ureña

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Yellow-billed Cotinga   
Trip Report
Pat & Rich Avery
March 1st - 14th, 2011
338 Species Seen
Guide: Noel Ureña

Pat and Richard had a good trip, they were looking to have an experience
in Costa Rica that allowed them to see birds and also enjoy the beautiful
Three-watlled Bellbird landscapes, small towns, nature and culture in general. We run into some
good birds as well, Yellow-billed Cotinga in two ocassions, Three-watlled
Bellbird, Lance-tailed Manakin were among the very interesting
birds seen in this trip.

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report
Anne Clotfelter - John Azzolini

February 27th - March 05th, 2011
256 Species Seen
Carara National Park (Cerro Lodge), Tarcoles River
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Guide: Leonardo Garrigues
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*





Trip Report
Lynn & Beth Eikemberry

05th - 12th, February 2011
264 Species Seen
Carara National Park (Cerro Lodge), Tarcoles River
San Gerardo de Dota (Savegre Mountain Lodge) www.savegrehotel.com
Guide: Johan Fernández
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report
Roberta Shanman - Bob Shanman - Julia Gonella - Diane Smith
Jessica Beebe - Christine Beebe

January 13th - 21st, 2011
344 Species Seen
Guides: Leonardo Garrigues & Noel Ureña



I'm sure we'll all be in touch with you in the near future, but I wanted to tell you that this trip was the best birding trip Bob & I have ever taken, and among the very best trips overall. You are a wonderful guide and a wonderful person, and you made the trip "Super Soul Satisfying!".

We definitely plan to return to Costa Rica for more birding adventures, and so we're looking forward to seeing you again.

Please say "Hi" to Johnny & Leo for us, and thank them again.
All the best wishes,
Roberta
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report
Joe Giunta - Al Tarasuk - Jennifer Beirne - Elyse Glenn
Eileen Kanfer - Barbara Blaisdell - Alison Rea

January 19th - 26th, 2010
244 Species Seen
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*






Trip Report - DUVAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
Shinning Honeycreeper April 9th - 17th, 2010


Carole Adams & Ruth Jensen
Jan Morgan & Martha Fethe
Diane Harris & Carly Wainwright

Guide: Noel Ureña


328 Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Like the earlier trip of Duval Audubon Society in January we had a great trip including three different major birding destinations. We were able to encounter 328 species of birds in this birding tour.
Thank you to all the participants of this trip!

Noel Ureña
Tropical Feathers







Trip Report - Tropical Feathers Tour
March 6th - 20th, 2010
Birgitta Hjalmarsson & Gert / Barbara & Gayle Garlock
Guide: Noel Ureña
331 Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

An excellent trip overall, we had wonderful weather all thoughout, the birds were fantastic. Amazing sightings of Bare-shanked Screech-Owl laying on the first reported nest. A collection of trogons Black-headed Trogon, Black-throated Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Collared Trogon, Orange-bellied Trogon, Violaceous Trogon, Bairds Trogon and the famous Resplendent Quetzal. Other good birds Herring Gull in Tortuguero, Rufescent Tiger-Heron in Tortuguero, Agami Heron in La Selva, Great Green Macaw nest next to La Selva, also a nest of Scarlet Macaws. An amazing Three-wattled Bellbird male at Arenal Observatory Lodge as well as Yellow-eared Toucanet. Also in Tortuguero we got to see a Mantled Howler Monkey swimming across a canal, my first time seeing something like this - a few seconds before this event we had fantastic looks of Sungrebe.

Noel Ureña
Tropical Feathers

Dear Noel, your colleages and family

Travelling from Sweden to Costa Rica was an experience for us more than you can imagine. Winter was turned into summer, a few wintering birds were exchanged for a numerous abundance of colourful birds. In our imagination we had in advance hoped to see the favourites Resplendant Quetzal, Scarlet Macaw, Great Green Macaw, and we saw them all. Our wishes were more than fulfilled. A great bonus was to see the uncommon Bare-shanked Screech Owl lying on its eggs, but why forget for instance the White Hawk and the little fascinating Timberline Wren? Thanks to Noel and his magic rod in the form of his tape recorder, containing all the voices of the birds, they were rushing out of the bushes to show up, even those who had fallen deeply asleep. All the arrangements from Tropical Feathers connected to our trip (6-20 March 2010) were in every detail so well organized and well adapted to the different regions and diversity of species. It has been a favour to have Noel as a guide and been able to share all his collected knowledge of birds in Costa Rica. Our thoughts often go back to Costa Rica and we are looking forward to being back soon again.

All best regards Gert and Birgitta Åkarp, Sweden
Species seen during the trip *PDF File*


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"We enjoyed our Costa Rica trip very much. Our driver, Johnny and our guide, Leo did an outstanding job. We saw 221 species of birds in 6 days. Leo certainly knows his birds! I would recommend him as a guide to any one who wants a birding trip. It was nice to meet Noel with his group at the Sevegre Lodge and join them for some birding, as well. We had a great time. All the lodging was quite nice. I would certainly give anyone I know who is looking for this kind of trip your website information. Many thanks for a great adventure"
Margaret Holmes

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Trip Report
January 31st to Feb 07th 2010
Sharon & Mike McRae and Pat Murphy

La Selva Biological Station, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River
A total of 273 bird species were seen in this trip. We saw 6 species of owls!
Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Pacific Screech-Owl, and Black-and-White Owl!

Species seen during the trip *PDF File*

Hi Noel,

We wanted to thank you for leading us on yet another amazing adventure in Costa Rica. The birding and wildlife were fantastic, as was seeing more regions of your country while you shared information about the area and your particular interests. We particularly enjoy sharing our mutual interest of wildlife photography with you ~ it seemed especially great on this trip! ~ Our pictures help us to capture and relive the experience by remembering exactly where we were when the picture was taken. They also help us better identify the birds on our next adventures. And, lastly, they make fun gifts to share with our family and friends. (I've attached a few quick highlights).

Rufous-tailed JacamarLa Selva and Carara were the perfect blend for this trip. We had ample time to explore both areas and to begin to absorb the sounds and activities of the local birds. The number of owls we saw was outstanding, as were the life birds such as the agami heron, green ibis, great tinamou, double-striped thick-knee, turquoise-browed motmot, snowy cotinga, rufous-winged tanager, and so many more. We also saw more wildlife on this trip, with the strawberry poison-dart-frog being a special treat.

The only thing that makes ending our time with okay is knowing that we have more adventures planned in the future. Please let us know whenever you have anything special planned and have additional spots open. If we can't make it, maybe one of our Trogonista buddies can.

Take care and best wishes to you and your growing family, and say hi to Carlos and give him a hug for us!


Sharon & Mike McRae and Pat Murphy

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Duval Audubon Society, January 13th - 21st, 2010

William & Dianne Papet
Suzy & Joellen Barnes
Catherine Donahue
Martin Cooper


Great trip, included three different locations with great biodiversity, we visit the cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota and stayed at Savegre Lodge, then we traveled to the northern end of the Central Pacific area and visit Carara National Park and the Tarcoles River staying at Villa Lapas Hotel. Our final destination was La Selva Biological Station where we stayed and explored the great bird and wildlife diversity. Other locations as we traveled included Cerro de La Muerte where we explored the Sub-alpine Rain Paramo and a visit to Quebrada Gonzalez in Braulio Carrillo National Park.

The following is the list of birds and wildlife observed during the trip. Thank you to all the participants of this trip!

Noel Ureña
Guide Tropical Feathers



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Noel --

What an excellent trip! I have thought about many moments of it as I've gone through my photos and notes, and I couldn't tell you how many wonderful minutes I collected, strung them together, and made 10 days of it. Wow. Three seconds of perfect viewing of a Fiery-Throated hummingbird, a quick thrill. Visiting the top of Cerro de la Muerte (which I'd read about in Skutch, and been curious about since). The hour on your secret road with the mixed flock, or the flycatcher and hummer at your house. The trip to Osa with Norman was entertaining, the whole drive, and then Bosque de Rio Tigre was truly special. I could go on and on. A Great Tinamou. Those Crakes, don't forget about those!! Wow, and that after that fun time in the mangroves, with the fantastic anole. The Whistling Wren. Those crazy little beetles in the stream. Army ants! ("That's money!" you were funny).

Well, I'm not going to recount the entire trip for you -- you were there for much of it. But you really do a superb job on the whole package, from all the transportation, the lodging, and the birds. I can't think of thing I'd recommend, except for less wind at Carera (let me know when you can command the winds, ok?). Hopefully we were quiet enough to lead about in the jungles and roadsides.

Spring is almost here in Portland, the sun is getting higher in the sky every day, and staying longer. I live here in Portland, and in my daily going about, many times I stop to think of the places in Costa Rica, the birds, and when I think about how I stepped into that world for a few days, and that it remains there beckoning, that's a good thought. I was on-line studying the terrain of Cerro de la Muerte, and thinking how it might be fun to hike down from that. Google Earth is good for that. I followed our route on the dirt road above the hotel on that windy afternoon, looked at the little town with the soccer field. Remembering is good, and I want to thank you for memories that will endure forever. I don't know when I'll get back to Costa Rica - it might be next year, or it might be several. But I want to come back, to find more, perhaps to share with my son or daughter.

Morgan



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Hi Noel,

Hope you had a great Christmas with your wife and daughter?

Arrived home yesterday after our absolutely superb three-week holiday in the wonderful Costa Rica. Thank you so much for your superb organisation of the trip - every transfer, every reservation was smoothly executed. Oldemar was brilliant throughout, always punctual, always helpful and always ensuring we were checked in without fuss - he is a great asset. The guides at each location were excellent, with special mention to Melvin who was also such great company, and to Daryl whose boat trip was such a wonderful, peaceful experience in Tortugeuro. Your own birding skills are awesome - I have complete admiration for your knowledge of birdsongs and calls, coupled to your ability to imitate almost any sound. I thoroughly enjoyed birding with you on the days we spent together.

Overall I recorded 401 species, plus another ten or so heard only. The variety and quality of locations visited was excellent throughout and all have created such long lasting memories it is impossible to single out any one as favourite. Our views of Resplendent Quetzal (16 birds in total at two sites) stand out. After we left you at Villa Lapas I picked up a few 'notable' species or sightings that might be worth mentioning: On 16th we walked into the fishing village on the coast at Carara because I wanted to study Elegant Tern and to see some Gulls. There were good numbers of Franklins and the expected Laughing Gull, but also a 1st winter American Herring Gull. Three Elegant Terns accompanied the much commoner Royals. Of most interest here were the views of up to 8 Scarlet Macaw which were feeding on the fruiting trees on the beach - very easy to see though not as scenic as that great spot up on the ridge! Arenal was awesome though quite cloudy and wet. Our highlights included a super immature Great Curassow and a Rufous Motmot on the Waterfall trail plus the Yellow-eared Toucanet that welcomed us to the lodge! Of possible interest was the sighting of a small flock of 5 Song Wren that were part of a huge flock that crossed the Waterfall Trail on our final afternoon? Our day out with Joni from Flow was excellent - he is a very knowledgeable guy and great company. It rained very hard for most of the day but his motivation kept us going throughout. Our visit to The Springs in the evening was amazing. We did eventually see the Volcano in full glory. At the Hanging Bridges we found a flowering tree below one of the bridges which held a variety of hummingbirds including a male Black-crested Coquette. Out of interest I also had another Coquette here that showed a rusty coloured throat, but nothing is shown in my book that matches? Is this an immature plumage of Black crested? Unfortunately because of the rain I did not have my camera. We also saw a Chestnut-headed Oropendola on the feeders and had excellent views of a very active Two-toed Sloth.

At Bosque de Paz ( a real privilege to visit this place with some wonderful afternoons alone on the forest trails) we were fortunate to have two very close encounters with Scaled Antpitta (one in the Orchid garden and another on one of the trails), roosting Dusky Nightjar and superb views of the Quetzal. I also saw a small bird with various mixed flocks which I have been completely unable to identify - I cannot find anything like it in the book but it did not appear to be rare as I saw it in four separate flocks? It was a tiny (perhaps 9cm) bird that fed actively at the ends of branches in the lower middle canopy (ie not on or near the ground). It often searched for insects under the leaves at the ends of branches. It had the bill of a small wren (eg Ochraceous) a dark eye and darkish legs. Its plumage was fairly non-descript - overall greenish/olive with just a slight yellow wash vertically through the centre its belly. It had no obvious wing bars and just a faint paler eye-ring. It had a large head and a round body with just a short tail. It was active and fast moving. Any thoughts?

At Tortuguero I saw a Short-tailed Nightjar hawking over the forest opposite the hotel and caught up with Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift on Daryl's boat trip. Kingfishers were quite difficult though I got flight views of Green and Rufous. The best bird was seen on the return boat trip - a Collared Plover on one of the sand bars near to the quay! Selva Verde was absolutely stunning - though the Sunbittern eluded us despite considerable effort. The weather on my visit to La Selva was awful, but Lenin persisted and we ended up with a super list of birds - I can only wonder at what we would have seen here had the weather been good! Highlights included excellent views of 2 Little Tinnamou an 1 Great Tinnamou, 2 Great Curassow, a roosting Great Potoo, 3 Pied Puffbird, Long-tailed Tyrant, a male Fasciated Antshrike, and eventually 2 flyover Great Green Macaw. However I suspect the best bird (which wasn't actually new for me) saved itself until late in the day - after birding the trails and forest we ended up along the entrance road into the station checking a small mixed flock before the taxi arrived. I found an Ash-throated Flycatcher which we watched for about ten minutes in good light and at reasonable range. Could have got digiscope photos except neither of us had our scopes due to the heavy rain! Its very pale appearance, with white throat, pale gray head with no contrasting cap, and subtle yellow wash to lower belly and undertail coverts, rusty tail feathers exposed in flight, rusty primary patch and distinct double whitish wing bars were all seen well. Structurally it showed a smaller, less heavy black bill and looked less powerful than Great-crested. According to the book this is quite a rare sighting!

Thank you again and Happy New Year!

Mike and Mandy



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Noel/Carlos.

I just want to say thank you for the outstanding pictures, excellent guiding services, sharing of your knowledge and experiences, your warm hospitality, a chance to meet your wonderful family, and last, but not least, providing Joyce and I with many, many wonderful memories. I don’t know when, but I know in my heart we will be back for a return engagement. In closing, I would like for you to know that I was in the grocery store yesterday and passed through the produce section where I saw many mangos in various stages of ripeness. I stopped, hesitated and then walked on by. I knew that, regardless of the origins of this wonderful fruit, it could not measure up to the sweetness and flavor of those Costa Rican mangos so delicately plucked from beneath a tree along one of the many rainforest pathways we traveled last week.

Hasta la vista good friends!

Charlie and Joyce Ault



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My husband Rod MacIvor and I birded with Noel in Costa Rica two years ago. We could not have asked for more from a guide.

He is a gentleman, smart, personable, and knows about his country. He knows flora, fauna, history, politics, whatever you want-which gives an added dimension to your tour. His knowledge of the birds of Costa Rica is exceptional, and his English is fluent and idiomatic. He can imitate practically any bird call and attract the birds. Most importantly, he is a very nice man whom you will enjoy spending time with.

The beauty of birding with Noel is that he accommodates all members of the party and what they want. Everyone is happy. At the beginning of our four days with him, my husband did not have much interest in birding. He went along to accommodate me, the birder. At the end of the four days, he had turned into something of a birder because of Noel's ability to recognize exactly what Rod needed to enjoy the trip.

If you want to bird from ten to noon, Noel would make that happen for you. If you want to go from 6:00 a.m. to dinner time, then go out owling, I'm sure he would be more than happy to do that. Just tell him what you want. Accommodations will be determined by where the best birding is, and we found them to be absolutely fine. He was well known to people where we went, and well respected.

I can't recommend him highly enough. At the end of your trip, you will feel that you have made a friend for life. We were delighted with him. I think he is one of Costa Rica 's treasures.

Sincerely,

Marilyn MacIvor

Rod McIvor's Blog

--- http://costaricamacivor.blogspot.com


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Hi Beatriz:

We cannot recommend your tour too highly. From the first pick up at the Airport to the last drop off at Buena Vista Hotel, Alajuela, there was not a single hitch! The driver was absolutely excellent. He even kept stopping for bird photos and diverted for the Black-and-white Owls on the way to Villa Lapas. (He was well tipped I promise!).

If someone had told me I would spend 5 nights at a study centre with no hot water, no bar and a 1km walk for food and drink twice every day - and pay for the privilege - I would have turned it down flat. Yet, after all the 4 stops we both agreed La Selva was the one we wanted to go back to!! The birding in the secondary growth forest was just tremendous there. (You took a real risk there didn;'t you? 5 nights at the worst accomodation and the worst food! Rice and beans, sheesh!)

Rancho Naturalista was luxury in comparison but the birds and weather were tough at this time of year. The guides were good though. Herman being the best by some distance. Loved the owners who are both crackers but real good fun! A trip out to CITA Botanical Gardens is a must.

Villa Lapas provided the most active primary forest for birds and just the top birding trip the 'Mangrove Birding Boat Tour' is a higly recommended extra for $70 each. We hit all the mangrove specialities and had the whole boat and guide to ourselves!

Finally, doing everything backwards really paid off as we chilled out at the Buena Vista Hotel. Lovely property and the birding at dawn in the gardens and on the 'coffee walk' was surprisingly good! The only Purple-crowned Fairy, Rufous-naped Wren and Plain-capped Starthroat of the whole trip. I was still seeing new birds when the driver arrived!

All in all, the best birding trip ever and I can't sing your praises highly enough. You can print any or all of my comments anytime and refer any doubters to me! Many thanks.

Regards, Chris







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