ESQUINAS RAINFOREST LODGE
|# Excl Vagrants:||360|
|# Near Endemics:||23|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is surrounded by good forest and gardens filled with birds. Many species are readily seen around the cabins, includinge Gray-chested Dove, Black-faced Antthrush, Riverside Wren, and Black-striped Sparrow. A nice variety of hummingbirds visit the Heliconia flowers in the gardens, include 4 species of hermits, Purple-crowned Fairy, Garden Emerald, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Crowned Woodnymph, Charming Hummingbird, and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.
The lodge provides the easiest access to Piedras Blancas National Park, which was formerly part of Corcovado National Park. There are no public trails into the park, so the only access is along trails from private property such as Esquinas. The park features some 340 documented species and perhaps as many as 400 species of birds. However, it lies on mountainous terrain and the existing trails are quite steep and fairly rough. The easiest trails are probably from Esquinas Lodge, but even these are only for those in good shape. Bird sightings can be few and far between, but birds such as the near endemic Black-striped Woodcreeper and Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager make the park worth a visit. Aside from the birding, just walking through the relatively unspoiled rainforest of Piedras Blancas is a memorable experience.
Some good birding is available along the La Gamba Access road between La Gamba and Rio Clara including a number of recent invaders from Panama. Possibilities include Brown-throated Parakeet, Southern Lapwing, Veraguan Mango, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Slate-colored Seedeater, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Red-breasted Blackbird, Crested Oropendola.
LOCATION OF SITE
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge and adjoining Piedras Blancas National Park are located near Golfito in southern Costa Rica. Road access is along the Pan American highway through the Talamanca Mountains, a fairly round-about route, or through San Ignacio, Dominical, and Palmar Norte. The road between Quepos and Dominical was until recently extremely slow and difficult even with 4-wheel-drive vehicle. However, in 2010 paving of the road was completed, opening up the south to easier access. It now takes about 4½-5 hours to reach Golfito from San Jose. The lodge is then 3 miles up a level dirt road through La Gamba from Golfito.