Bird Walk Sunday (with Butterflies!): Sept. 25th

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for a bird and butterfly walk on Sunday, Sept. 25th at 8:00am.

Meet at Finca Cantaros gate.

Binoculars available as needed. We do have a few Butterfly field guides as well; but we hope to have an actual ‘butterfly person’ or two with us.

Hope you can join us.

“Clown daggerwing”, Marpesia marcella. Photo by Julie Girard.

Big Sit Sunday: Aug. 21:

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for a low impact (but high diversity) Big Sit birding event on Sunday, Aug. 21st, starting at 7:00am and ending when we reach 50 or so bird species.

This Big Sit is easy to get to:

  1. Park on the Magic Road, near the highway.
  2. The Nacientes Encantada trail, a Cantaros property, is about 50 meters down the Magic Road on the left side.
  3. Walk down the Nacientes Encantada trail about 25 meters to a nice open flat spot on the right.
  4. Sit down in your comfortable folding chair. I will have extra chairs if you don’t have one. Also, binoculars available.
  5. Enjoy the nature and the good fellowship.

This is a BYO-coffee event.

Low Impact birding photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur

Sunday Bird Walk: Finca Cantaros

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for our bird walk on SUNDAY, JULY 31.

Meet at the gate of the beautiful FINCA CANTAROS at 7:30am. We will explore the trails, view the lake and who knows…find a northern migrant bird? It is very early for migrants to appear down here in the southern zone but there are always a few bold and intrepid birds who leave the north early as they just can’t wait to get back; and who could blame them.

Binoculars available as needed. Hope to see you there.

Swainson’s Thrush: author unknown.

Sunday Morning Bird Walk: Wilson Garden–April 3

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for a Bird Walk.

When: Sunday, April 3 at 7:00am-9am.

Where: Meet outside the Wilson Garden Recepcion office. Binoculars available as needed.

We normally have a couple of breakfast options for sale after the walk; not sure that’s going to happen this week. It could happen…stay tuned. If not, coffee and tea will be available following the walk.

April is prime migratory bird season down here. Swainson’s Thrushes, Piratic Flycatchers, Scarlet Tanagers, a variety of warblers and vireos could be out.

There is no charge for this bird walk if you are a San Vito Bird Club member. If you’re not, Sunday might be a good time to join.

Hope to see you there.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a migrant from North America. Photo by Gail Hull.

Bird Walk at Finca Cantaros: Sunday, March 13th

Please join the San Vito Bird Club on our next birding walk.

When: Sunday, March 13th at 7am-9am.

Where: Meet at the front gate of Finca Cantaros. We will be escorted through this beautiful and unique property. Part of the walk will include a search for the ‘pato magico/magic duck’ on the lake!

Anything else?: Binoculars and field guides will be available. Please leave your pets at home.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Magic Duck

Please Join the San Vito Bird Club for a Half-and-Half

On Sunday, Feb. 13th please join the San Vito Bird Club for a Half-and-Half Bird Outing.

(Half-and-Half means this outing is half bird WALK and half bird SIT.)

Meet up near the entrance to the Magic Road (you may contact me…Greg Homer…if you don’t know the location of the Magic Road. 7:00am to 8:30am

  1. We will walk a few hundred meters down the Magic Road, birding along the way. Expect to see a variety of seedeaters, tanagers and flycatchers. This is the first HALF.
  2. We will then reverse course and along the way have a relaxing SIT in a lovely flat spot just inside Nacientes Encantadas (a protected property of Asociación Ambiental Finca Cántaros). Five or so folding chairs will be provided, Bring a light folding chair if you have one. This is the second HALF.
  3. Bring some water (snack?) and proper footwear. The Magic Road can be a bit goofy; rocks and gravel.

Hope to see you there. We’ll have fun and we’ll see some nice birds.

Bird Walk at Pino Colina, Sunday, January 9 at 7:00 am

Please join us for the first walk of 2022 at Hacienda Pino Colina, next door to the Wilson Botanical Garden/Las Cruces.

Judy Richardson has kindly invited us to visit her beautiful homestead where we have seen nesting Rufous Jacamars, White- crested Coquettes, White-winged Tanagers and more, so much more!

Rufous-tailed Jacamar, photo by Yeimiri Badilla

Drive through the open gate to the right (just north) of the main Pino Colina gate at 7 am. Follow the road down the hill and park near the bodega. Judy will meet us there; as always, we will have binoculars and guides to share.

Here is a photo of our last walk of 2021 at Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden.

From left to right: Petra Heck, Judy Richardson, Peter Hulsinck, Tomas Wilkinson, Steffano from New Zealand, Tom and Portia’s granddaughter Ada, Portia Wilkinson and Julie Girard Woolley — photo by Alison Olivieri

Hope to see you there for fabulous birds and gorgeous gardens — it will be a real treat!

Bird Walk at Wilson Gardens: Saturday, Oct. 2

Please join Alison Olivieri, Greg Homer and the San Vito Bird Club for an escorted Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Gardens (Las Cruces) on Saturday, Oct. 2nd beginning at 7:00am.

Good quality loaner binoculars and field guides are available.

All attendees must first check-in at the main gate for a quick temperature check. As a participant in this San Vito Bird Club walk, admission is free. More to come on this later. Meet up in front of Recepcion, as usual.

Following the Bird Walk, about 9:00am, Wilson Garden offers coffee, tea and cold water at no charge; however a tip to the kitchen staff is greatly appreciated. For this walk, Wilson is also offering two breakfast options*. Delicious and typical.

Option #1.       Complete tico Breakfast: Gallo pinto, egg (scrambled or omelet), fried plantain and local fresh cheese with hot drink (Coffee, tea or aguadulce) and season fruit for USD $8.00/C5,000.

Option #2.       Small breakfast: Egg sandwich (local cheese, bacon or ham, and egg) on  whole wheat bread with hot drink (Coffee, tea or aguadulce) and season fruit for USD $5.00/C3,000.

All activities, including the post-walk dining and socializing, are out of doors. But masking up is fine.

Hope to see you there. Again…Saturday, Oct. 2nd from 7:00-9:00am.

Let me know if you can join us and if the breakfast (delicious and typical) will be part of your morning. Fill out the short form attached below:

Or send me, Greg Homer, an email.

*Breakfast is considered one of the three most important meals of the day.

photo courtesy of San Vito Bird Club

Bird Walk Sunday April 18

Please join us for a Bird Walk at the Las Cruces Wilson Botanical Garden this Sunday, April 18. We will meet at the Entrance Gate at 730 a.m. and observe the following Covid-19 protocols:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash your hands at the sink
  3. The guard will take your temperature
  4. Record your name, national ID, phone number and temperature
  5. Pay the Entrance Fee: $3 residents/nationals, $10 visitors

Maybe we’ll see these top-heavy flycatchers building a nest outside the Reception Building. And we’ll do three stops at the Heliconia, Maranta and Pollinator Gardens.

Please click here to sign up — we look forward to seeing you there!

Where We Bird–The Magic Road

What makes The Magic Road a magic road? Unlike Dorothy’s magic road (made of some curious yellow brick-like material), our Magic Road will not entice you to an Emerald City with a Wizard. But our Magic Road COULD tickle your fancy with an Emerald Toucanet with a lizard (sorry). Located just 20 meters north of El Tangaral (see blue dot above), the Magic Road has become an increasingly popular birding destination. A birding hot spot, if you will.

With a nice mix of disturbed secondary forest, open pasture, low scrubby plants and a variety of seed-bearing annual grasses, birders are likely to encounter many species that are rarely seen in dense forest or closed canopy rainforest. For example; all three of our Spinetail species are regularly seen on the Magic Road.

Sooty Spinetail- photo courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco
Pale-breasted Spinetail-photo courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco
Red-faced Spinetail-photo courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco

The Magic Road is also home to some of our specialty birds…those species that birders often come down here just to see. The first one is the Scaled Pigeon; very large and spectacularly marked.

Scaled Pigeon-photo courtesy of Jo Davidson

The next is truly a ‘birder’s bird’; the Bran-colored Flycatcher (who knew bran was a color?)

Bran-colored Flycatcher-photo courtesy of Yeimiri Badilla

Here is the dynamic Swallow-tailed Kite; also known as the Tijereta (scissor bird).

Swallow-tailed Kite-photo courtesy of Jo Davidson

The term Magic Road really began to stick when birders started seeing some very rare species (often migrants) on their walks. Here are two of our recent rarities; the Sora, a migrant rail species and the Mississippi Kite; a very rare passage migrant raptor.

Sora-photo courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco
Mississippi Kite-courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco

We’ll leave you with our San Vito Bird Club banner bird; the Turquoise Cotinga…also seen on the Magic Road (this one is a youngster).

photo courtesy of Troy Edson-Smith

Enjoy the solitude, enjoy the panoramic scenery of the Magic Road. You never know…’X’ may mark the spot where you see something really special!