It's been fifteen years since my first trip to Costa Rica (and first experience in the neotropics) on a trip with my Dad sponsored
by the Virginia Ornithological Society, and time for a return visit. So in July, 2009, I signed up for what
turned out to be an superb trip with Borderland Tours. Twelve of us, with excellent guiding
by Carlos (Charlie) Gómez and Chris Sharpe, not to mention our driver extraordinaire (and keen-eyed bird spotter), Niño, spent
two weeks exploring a variety of locations. Overall, we saw or heard 389 bird species and a variety of other creatures, including
a cacomixtle (ring-tailed cat), several coatimundis, three kinds of monkeys, peccaries, and sloths, as well as
several snakes, frogs,lizards, caimans, and alligators.
Our trip began and ended in the outskirts of San Jose at Hotel Bougainvillea. Arriving a day early,
several of us got our first birds in the hotel gardens and then had a delighful visit to the nearby InBioparque.
Once everybody arrived, we headed off on our trip, staying two nights in each of Savegre Mountain Lodge,
Hotel La Quinta,
Villa Lapas, and Fonda Vela.
Here are some of my pictures from the trip. This time I finally upgraded to a for-real DSLR, the new Nikon D90. Most of
the pictures were taken with a 70-300mm lens, with a few using the standard 18-105 mm lens. Some are a little fuzzy, dark, and/or out of focus, but so it goes.
And, as always, there were lots of things that were only captured in our heads and never made it to film, such as the
incredible Great Curassow, the evening four Green Macaws flew by in one direction while several toucans were
headed the opposite direction, and many of the fabulous birds hiding deep in the foliage.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger view of any of the pictures in a new window.