Jacob, Steve and I arrived in San Jose, CR early on a warm Monday morning with plans to pick up our rental car and head to Walmart. But our car was not there. We could take a different one but we were pretty sure we needed 4x4. We had coffee and waited a couple hours while they hoped one would get turned in. Eventually Caroline, our fourth on the trip, showed up at the same time that we decided to settle for a non-4x4. No time for Walmart birds, we headed up and out of San Jose!
Our first real stop was Soda y Mirador Cinchona which features the above waterfall view and boat loads of well-stocked bird feeders. Also, food! My first taste of a vegetarian casado of which I had many variations on our trip. Generally rice and beans, eggs and plantains and whatever else gets thrown in there. Not bad, not amazing, but good food for getting full.
The feeders, on the other hand, were amazing so now I will blast you with ridiculous feeder birds.
Good stuff, right? And I haven't even gotten to the hummingbirds yet!
So, yeah, that was our lunch birding. Full checklist here. Good food, good birds, good views, good doggo.
From Cinchona we headed north towards our final destination of Hotel Gavilán in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Of course, there are birds and things along the way, like this pack of coatis begging for scraps:
Beyond the coatis a Bat Falcon was perched.
We pulled over again for a reason I can't recall, but maybe it was because someone saw this Double-toothed Kite? Or just birds in general?
At this roadside stop we also had Montezuma Oropendolas (and their nests), Crimson-fronted Parakeets, Red-lored Parrots, several kinds of swifts, and a Common Tody-Flycatcher.
We eventually made it to the hotel where even more birds were waiting along with a couple of very nice Canadians.
A walk around the property produced more new birds. And new friends.
Once it got dark we headed into the woods behind our rooms to look for frogs and things. We had success with blue jeans poison dart frogs which make a little high pitched sound like your smoke alarm battery is dying.
Jacob pointed out a classic red-eyed tree frog on a palm leaf but it was too far for a good cell phone photo. Don't worry, we went back the next night with our real cameras.
That was it for our first day in Costa Rica! Only eleven more days to share... Good times!!!
P.S. If you need to fly to Costa Rica in February, maybe try not to fly there the day the Envision festival starts or you will be subjected to influencers and yoga-fantatics and ukuleles and lots of dudes trying to impress each other with their handstands.