Costa Rica…my third visit and they say the third time’s the charm. Maybe so, but if you want sun, don’t go to 3 different rain forests. Of course, that’s where all the neat birds hang out so it’s a push. My first 2 trips were sunny and few birds, this time it rained a lot but I got good images of at least 35 species in my 10 day trip. And, with 2 superb workshop leaders, I got a wealth of knowledge of my equipment and how to best use it.
Catarata del Toro Falls
Tucked back in to jungle, the lodges were adequate…but not luxurious…and NO AIR CONDITIONING (fans do poorly in high humidity!) Mornings began sunny but rains usually began late morning and into the afternoon. Humidity was awesome and temperatures ranged into the 80’s.
Laguna Lagarto Lodge
Laguna Lagarto Lagoon
But it sure did rain! Fortunately, the birds were accustomed to it.
Bananas and mangos enticed the fruit feeders to the feeding sites.
The tanagers weren’t as numerous as in Panama
But there were recent migrants from North America to add to the colors
All 3 species of honeycreepers were active at the fruit trays
Green honeycreeper (male)
Green honeycreeper (female)
And the kiskadees learned to enjoy over-ripe bananas
The ground birds occasionallky came out of the forest
Flash set-ups for hummingbirds drew in several species
Stopping at a ranch we found a lot of action. The rancher had been rehabilitating injured macaws which drew the wild ones in to his properties.
But my favorite bird of the trip (and the one I most wanted to photograph) was the king vulture. An area was baited with cow heads from a local butcher shop which drew in many black vultures to the area where a permanent photo blind had been set up. In time, a few over-cautious king vultures began to appear. I think I shot over 1,000 images of them.
Besides birds, there were a number of frogs, lizards and snakes
Red-eyed tree frog
Poison dart frog
Green tree viper
But not many mammals
Pallid long-tongued bat
All in all, it was a great experience. Next destination…BRAZIL!