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Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

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Off the beaten path tour Costa Rica Jan 18th –Feb 1 2022

Led by Paul and Amanda Laurent Epic Nature Tours

Five of us headed to Costa Rica from the Carolinas amidst the international outbreak of the Covid Omicron. Despite hesitations and much unsolicited advice, we all made it to San Jose Airport in fine shape. There were lots of strict rules upon entering. Amanda and Paul had well prepared us for the issues presented to us, and we entered without problems. . They were quite thorough in the preparations, and was appreciated. Travel now is quite different. Immunizations, Costa Rican insurance, hand washings, and masks are not questioned there, and compliance is mandatory. We then went on a nice two hour trip introducing us to Costa Rica backroads, its beauty, going up into the mountains. Our first two nights were at the Bosque de Paz sanctuary. (Forest of Peace) That was an apt name and the lodge and trails were immediately calming. We saw many kinds of hummingbirds as well as some beautiful birds. Interestingly one of the highlights was seeing our first Coati and Agouti, feeding amongst the Black Guans, Toucans, Tanagers, and Trogons. We traveled to the Bosque del Toro sanctuary and its fabled waterfall. Not an easy climb, but a great hike and a beauty. The third day we drove over the backroads to the Hotel de Campo in Cano Negro, in the famous Wildlife refuge. This was highlighted by several river tours looking for birds. We saw a tree boa, Sun Grebe, and the elusive Agami Heron. Monkeys abounded and were everywhere on the trip. We saw Capuchin, Howler, and Spider monkeys and the highlight for one of us, the majestic but ugly Jabiru. Caimans were everywhere, and easily separated from the crocodiles, seen in large numbers later. There was a great observation deck, overlooking the massive wetlands of the park and where we saw the Jabiru. One of my highlights was the orchid and botanical garden at the hotel. My favorite was the ripe star fruit, a delight as a drink or for breakfast. Again a ride on 1940s roads to Selva Color lodge, beautifully set in the hills. Highlight there was the nesting and obviously affectionate McCaw's. Iguanas were everywhere on the trip, noisy, and sometimes dropping out of trees, escaping hungry monkeys. Our next excursion was to the Parque Nacional Carara which was a ramble in the wet Jungle. We enjoyed a Tarcoles river tour which is a great and comfortable way to bird, and to see crocodiles, which were prominent in the area. Lots of Frigate birds fishing, and many shore birds we see in the Carolinas. Again a fun trip to Danta Corcovado lodge to stay a few days. This place was like the movies. Rustic lodges, neat trails, Blue Morpho butterflies, monkeys screaming in the early morning, supplemented by great food. We explored the area, with the highlight being a day trip by tractor along the river to a mountainous hike to another beautiful waterfall. There was again several trips to a canopy tower where we saw multiple kinds of parrots, caracaras, and hawks. A side trip to Playa Blanca and a motorboat trip along the Punta Esquinas coast along the bay found us friendly dolphin watching, and seeing a beautiful coast, while watching birds. Nearing the end of our trip we spent at La Paloma Lodge, a somewhat palatial setting overlooking the Pacific. Again the food was special, with a lot of fish, well served. It was a short walk over a suspension bridge to Drake Bay, an isolated concave of California beach like peoples. Birds were everywhere, and scenic boats and peoples were to be seen. Next we spent the day exploring the Great Corcovado National Park, a jungle to remember. There was a line to get in with police checking each person. We then walked 3-4 miles through pristine rain forest. We saw a Tapir, a threatened species, who was quite friendly for the camera. We also watched a Three Toed sloth slowly moving through the tree, and lots of Coatis eating the local land crabs, right in front of us. We ate lunch at Sirena Ranger station, with other hot and tired travelers. It's a place to stay overnight if one chooses. Tired, we went back to our hotel for nice fish again. We had gone snorkeling as well so we did see some of the fish we were eating. We saw several Moray eels there too. On the way back Humpback whales were spotted and several boats went to the scene to spectacular tail views of several jumping whales returning from Alaska. We had ridden boats to get to our lodge because there are really no roads there. We returned the same way once to explore a marvelous mangrove swamp which was surreal, and theres nothing like it I had ever seen.. We returned to our van at the town of Sierpe and traveled on to the Cerro Lodge to stay for our last night, high in the dry Jungle. We had traversed the three basic ecosystems of the country. We dined with friendly McCaws, who I think were the prettiest birds on the trip. Lots of photo ops with many birds here, with them being feeder trained, and not shy. A walk to our last observation tower, towards sundown was a delight. We saw another round of the most beautiful birds anywhere. Dinner there could have been better, but I had started to feel a bit chunky about that time. The trip back to SJO airport in San Jose was an experience reminiscent of Rome, Paris or Cairo. This one was the best of the Costa Rican roads here, but one held their breath so much ones faith was questioned. Amanda drove like she'd done it before, and did amazingly well. We had a really great van, with lots of good windows, which was good for birding, and the topography. I learned later, as I had extended by time there by three days that I did not do so well with the traffic. We got through the Covid testing line easily and, again the Laurents were knowledgeable and quite supportive at every step. In fact, I don't remember a trip with more individual attention being given to me. I am somewhat brain dead at learning so many new birds, and Paul was as patient a guide as I have ever had. He was always willing to repeat the name of birds as many times as needed, without resistance. He was always willing to take side trips, or night trips, any time. We were naturalists, looking for any animal, insect, butterfly, bird, ort critter anywhere on our path. His patience and teaching methods reminded me of David Sibley, who is the best. A fine trip, and I want to go again. Birds seen Amanda's pictures Bird book used

Respectfully submitted Jeffrey J.Kline