From the Roads of Costa Rica

Flying first class has it perks. At the United lounge where comfort was found along side free breakfast, coffee, cappuccinos, and lattes.
Flying first class has it perks. At the United lounge where comfort was found along side free breakfast, coffee, cappuccinos, and lattes.

I apologize in advance if the formatting of this post is goofy – this is my first attempt at using the WordPress app and since I’m using my phone to write, don’t expect my usual goldenly rich insightful prose.

Writing from the road on our way to Monteverde in northern Costa Rica. Two full days of birding in and my one word description is: WOW! The beauty of this country is undescribable so I’ll wait until my return and let my pictures present what words fail to capture.

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Costa Rica from the plane – green, green, and more green!

Flight arrived on time and call me a snob, but as long as I can afford it I’ll never ride coach again (yes, first class was that good). Now onto some brief details of daily life through the first two full days; our morning walk starts at 5:30am with sunrise about fifteen minutes later. Depending on activity, we bird for around two hours and then have breakfast. If it’s not a travel day, we head out for around three hours, return for lunch and an hour break and then do a three hour afternoon walk. We return to the lodge around 6pm to clean up, have a beer or two, dinner, and go over our days checklist and preparations for the following day. Each day is a bit different, but this should give you an idea of what the tour is like. All-in-all, I’d say we bird around 8-9 hours a day.

Hotel Buena Vista – the view from my balcony.
Hotel Buena Vista – the view from my balcony.

This kind of birding may seem daunting to some, but for me the pace is fantastic and has netted me 100+ lifers through the first two days. After 55 lifers on day one, I wasn’t sure how we were going to top the birding the second day, but our guide Richard did just that.  I’m in complete awe at our guides ability to find birds. Yesterday leaving our afternoon walk in a dark forest Richard noticed a bump on a log 20 yards off in the understory. Low and behold a Ruddy Quail-Dove. Mind you we were walking at a normal pace in a very poorly lit forest and this bird looked like nothing more than a clump of leafs.

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Gulls, terns, pelicans, and shorebirds along the Pacific coast.

One momentous item worth note: CONGRATULATIONS to Stuart who picked up his 2,000 life bird yesterday!!! I’m glad I had the chance to be along side him at this milestone and hope to be there at 3k, 4k, and 5k!

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Celebrating Stuart’s 2,000 life species at Hotel Villa Lapas. Left-to-right: Tom, Richard, me, Stuart, Carol, Dar, Michael, Nancy.

I’m going to keep this post short as I’m typing it out on the phone during our commute and just wanted to provide a quick update. Suffice it to say I have a vast pool of photos to sort through when I get home – oh what a great problem to have!! Photos in this post are from my camera phone since I didn’t bring a laptop to download from my camera. I ensure you, from sunny, beautiful, and biodiverse Costa Rica, I am Birding It Up!

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Michael found this Leaf Praying Mantis after a Great Kiskadee dropped it.

Click the link to jump to the next post in this series: From the Road – 4 Miles from the Nicaraguan Border

 

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