Monday, February 25, 2013


I got back early this morning from a trip Mike Mahler organized through Sarett and Costa Rica Gateways (with Steven Easley and Vernon) to Costa Rica.  It was incredible.  For those of you who've never been, Pura vida is an unofficial motto of Costa Rica that translates loosely to the Good Life.  It's a common greeting (often shortened to "Pura").

We were gone for 8 days with days 1 and 8 being wholly dedicated to traveling.

The tour started on the grounds of Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose.  Most of the birds there were relatively common, kiskadees, blue-gray tanagers, yellow and Wilson's warblers, things we would encounter frequently but there was no way anyone would not start out birding on the first day and so bird we did.

White-eared ground-sparrow was an exception, a bird that we would not be encountering again, Steve picked up on the call note and after a couple tries the bird teed up nicely on a branch in the open.
This was the first of several large sparrow-finch things that seemed to fill the niche of towhees.  It was certainly a fairly unique bird.

Gray Saltators, Hoffman's woodpecker (a red-bellied class thing), YB Sapsucker (apparently quite a good bird in CR), Melodious Blackbird, and many others were about as well.  We spent some time initially trying to see Rufous-capped Warblers which were calling and giving glimpses only, I took this pic after breakfast as people were finishing up.
I've glimpsed it once in Arizona and once in Belize, this was the first good look I'd had of one.

Finally a shot of Rufous-collared Sparrow.  I heard it singing and it took me a bit of time to track it down.  They turned out to be a very abundant bird the first couple days though you never forget your first.

I took some shots of the really impressively landscaped grounds, my 40D broke down (again) after a day or so this is the last time I'll have a lot of flower shots, but these are pretty worthwhile.  The 7D went strong.

Orchids came in various sizes, shapes, and colors.

There were others that I have even less of a sense of what they are.

After this we headed up into the highlands, as Steve said, to find some real birds!

We had a lo-ong layover in Miami on the way back, I've got photos edited for at least 6 more posts, so check back often!

1 comment:

John L said...

Nice photos of what looks like a really cool trip. It takes me back to our visit! I wanna go there now!