From the Road – 4 Miles from the Nicaraguan Border

Blue-crowned Motmot on the grounds of the Cala Lodge in Monteverde.
Blue-crowned Motmot on the grounds of the Cala Lodge in Monteverde.

Writing from the road during which is  basically our one and only dedicated travel day – it’ll take us nearly 6 hours to make our way back to the central valley (although we’ll be birding along the way – already adding Nicaraguan Seed-Finch and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater to our trip list). Since leaving San Jose in central Costa Rica, we have journeyed to the Pacific coast and then traveled north for the past 5 days as we neared the Nicaraguan border.

The group walking back from another successful hike near the Celeste Mountain Lodge.
The group walking back from another successful hike near the Celeste Mountain Lodge.
Sunrise view at the Celeste Mountain Lodge.
Sunrise view at the Celeste Mountain Lodge.

Since I  last wrote on our way to Monteverde, we have seen some extraordinary birds, eaten some incredible cuisine, hiked numerous miles of pristine trails, and as a group shared many unforgettable memories. Birding has been front-and-center, as it should be, and we’ve logged quite a few hours in the field. Last Friday, March 20th, we tallied our 300th bird as a group!!!  Pretty impressive total as we compiled 302 bird species over the first six days.

A view of the grounds at the Celeste Mountain Lodge.
A view of the grounds at the Celeste Mountain Lodge.
Celeste Mountain Lodge open are lounge and dining. The views of the grounds, and more importantly the birds, was outstanding!
Celeste Mountain Lodge open are lounge and dining. The views of the grounds, and more importantly the birds, was outstanding!

I’ve been running on 6-7 hours of sleep each night, being up around 5am and out birding by 5:30. Thankfully the grounds of the ecolodges we’ve been staying at host excellent habitat for birding so we can start the day birding with coffee before heading out on our pre-breakfast hike. The prospect of new birds each day keeps the energy tanks full and makes getting out of bed rather enjoyable – as opposed to trudging out groggy-eyed for work most mornings.

Tom in front getting on his 600th Costa Rican bird - Stub-tailed Spadebill. Congrats Tom!!!
Tom in front getting on his 600th Costa Rican bird – Stub-tailed Spadebill. Congrats Tom!!!

My travel journal has not received the attention I had planned – only logged my third entry last night – as most nights I’ve been crawling into bed after a shower following dinner and almost immediately dropping off into a deep sleep. It’s a good tired though – the kind you can only find by spending the day outside in fresh air, enjoying the natural beauty, and truly being in the moment.
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5,600 feet up in Monteverde collecting life birds.
5,600 feet up in Monteverde collecting life birds.

Rest assured I have a ton of new material to write on so the blog should be active over the next few months. My original intention of doing a weekly post throughout April is just not going to cut it. Instead I see a series of 6-8 posts needed to do a proper trip recap (assuming I remember everything I want to share). I’ve already logged over 2,000 photos (and I’ve been deleting the poor ones along the way) and have some videos to share as well.

Roughing it in the northern Costa Rica forests. The cuisine at the Celeste Mountain Lodge, like the accommodations, was outstanding.
Roughing it in the northern Costa Rica forests. The cuisine at the Celeste Mountain Lodge, like the accommodations, was outstanding.
Fresh coffee anyone? Coffee beans from the field to the table.
Fresh coffee anyone? Coffee beans from the field to the table.

Tonight we’ll arrive back where everything stated, Buena Vista Hotel, and tomorrow we head to Poas Volcano National Park in search of highland species. Most of the group flies out Thursday morning, but Dar, Stuart, and I booked our guide Richard for Thursday and Friday so we’ll be heading over to La Selva Biological Reserve.

White-fronted Nunbird - near Celeste Mountain Lodge. Forgive the horrible phone photo - I've got much better photos coming!
White-fronted Nunbird – near Celeste Mountain Lodge. Forgive the horrible phone photo – I’ve got much better photos coming!

Well that’s it for now – going to throw on the inflatable neck pillow, close my eyes, and keep my ears open for the next sighting – catch some shuteye where I can so I can bird everywhere else. From the roads of Costa Rica – Bird It Up!

Click the link to jump to the next post in this series: Costa Rica Trip Report – The Prologue

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4 thoughts on “From the Road – 4 Miles from the Nicaraguan Border”

  1. Sounds like your trip is going well. Enjoy your last days in paradise. Get ready for the after trip letdown….it’s a bummer, especially the first day back to work. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

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