Costa Rica Trip Report – The Prologue

My co-workers missed me, especially Bruce who is my CMF!
Although I didn’t want to return home, much less work, my co-workers welcomed me back with style. Of course, I know they all missed me…..especially Bruce who is my CMF! Go ahead, ask what CMF means.

This is the first in a series of posts documenting my Costa Rica birding trip from March14-28, 2015. To read either of my previous posts while on the road in Costa Rica, click one of the following links:  From the Roads of Costa Rica & From the Road – 4 Miles from the Nicaraguan Border

An often heard reply when someone is asked how their vacation was is, “Great, but it’s good to be home.” Me, not so much! I can tell you with all honesty and a resounding “NO” that it was NOT good to be home and I could have easily remained in Costa Rica for another 2, 4, or 8 weeks. In fact, I was not so secretly wishing for the Turrialba Volcano to erupt again, shutting down the airport, and extending my stay. If my point has been to subtle and hasn’t hit home with you, let me just say: I WISH I WAS STILL IN COSTA RICA!

But alas, I’m back and have been easing into my return from paradise to reality. After getting home from the airport Sunday morning, my day was busy with unpacking, spending some time with the cat, going through the mail, and all the other little odds and ends that one faces upon return from a trip. It wasn’t until Sunday evening when I started to wind down that I noticed two unmistakable absences. First, in the quest for seeing new birds over the past two weeks, I had basically been on the move from the moment I awoke until my head hit the pillow. Now I actually have time to sit and relax, take a breath, and/or close my eyes without wondering what I’m missing. The second noticeable absence was the 10 other missing birders who I had basically spent every waking minute with over the past two weeks. Oh and by the way, did I mention I really wish I was back in Costa Rica???

While life was awkwardly returning to normal Sunday night, I decided to fight the “return from vacation blues.” During our last day in Costa Rica, Stuart and I sat around the hotel bar enjoying a few Imperials (Costa Rican beer) and discussing birding trips. Stuart, the experienced world traveler that he is, mentioned a brilliant strategy for planning vacations; never go on vacation without having your next vacation booked – that way you return with another adventure on the horizon! Genius! Such a seemingly simple idea, but one I had never considered before. So as the dark shroud of being back home slowly encased me Sunday night, I was back online looking up new birding adventures for 2016 & 2017. Although nothing is set in stone, destinations currently on the radar include Cambodia, Ecuador, Cuba, a return trip to Costa Rica, and possibly some State-side birding in North & South Dakota.

My last day - after a few Imperials and lunch with Stuart, I retired to the grounds of the Hotel Buena Vista for a siesta with a view.
My last day – after a few Imperials and lunch with Stuart, I retired to the grounds of the Hotel Buena Vista for an outdoor siesta with a view.

Now, onto the trip report – I’ve been busy this week organizing and editing photos. I have a few thousand photos to sort through, but have made a nice dent into the first few days of the trip. My plan is to do a weekly trip report in chronological order over the next 7 weeks; Part I should be posted early next week. I’m also considering doing two gallery posts which will be heavy on photos, light on text, and will include many of the photos that don’t make one of the trip reports. Finally, I’m going to try and work in a few posts over the upcoming weeks on local birding as migration is picking up here in Wisconsin and new birds are showing up each week.

Before I signoff, let me give you a couple photo teasers of what’s to come in the Costa Rica Trip Report series:

We were notified on day 1 that at the end of the trip we would need to provide a “Top 5.” The top 5 could be birds, moments, or events – there were no hard and fast rules, only that we would need to share our top 5 experiences. I’ll discuss my top 5 in the final trip report, but SPOILER ALERT: the owl below is associated with one of my top 5!

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Green-crowned Brilliant
Green-crowned Brilliant
Broad-billed Motmot - La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Broad-billed Motmot – La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica

Bird It Up!

Click the link to jump to the next post in this series: Costa Rica Trip Report (Part I) – The Adventure Begins


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