I worked a lot harder this year trying to learn some of the songs for this trip, concentrating on the wrens and some of the highland birds that I was more familiar with (there's also fewer birds in the highlands making it considerably less daunting).
On the first afternoon some snippets of wren song caught our ears, sure enough, a pair of Rufous-naped wrens were working a viny wall (wrens in CR seem to love to hang out in dense vine tangles). They popped up after a bit.
This species turned out to be quite common in the Pacific lowlands as well, being conspicuous and social at first light.
Here's a view of the rufous nape...
There were a lot of birds in the gardens; Squirrel Cuckoo is always a fun bird given their enormous size, about 50% longer than ours.
Speaking of enormous size, here's a Variegated Squirrel; I think our local tree rats might be jealous.
It wasn't until dusk that we happened upon a little blind end in the labyrinthine gardens that had some seed spread on some raised concrete. There was a White-eared Ground-sparrow, the 2nd I've ever seen.