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Bird watching and more. 2019

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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 21:26   #1
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Bird watching and more. 2019

Have just returned from a good trip to Costa Rica. The 11 night bird watching part of the trip was arranged by Alfredo Scott of Wild bird tours whom my husband met at the Bird fair.
We flew in early so that we could spend 3 nights in San Jose in the Hotel Le Presidente by ourselves. We thoroughly enjoyed this, spending the first day exploring the many parks and the second going to some of the excellent museums.
At the end of the trip we went to the Pacific coast to relax for 3 nights at the Punta Leona hotel. This was also a good place to bird but enjoyed lots of swimming too.

These were the lodges we stayed in:

Jan 22 arrival Hotel aeropuerto
23 Hotel aeropuerto
24 - 25 Cerro Lodge
26- 27 Ensenada Lodge
28 – 29 Arenal Lodge
30 La Quinta Lodge
Jan 31 - Feb 1 Savegre Lodge
2 to Punta Leona

The airport hotel was surprisingly good. It had good gardens and plenty of birds. The trip covered many of the main birding areas, lowlands, highlands, wetlands and reserves. The accommodation was very good with some quite spectacular scenery. Most of the group were in their 60s and 70s and happy with the steady pace of the trips. I do not think the pace would have pleased the ultra keen birder, especially the long and rather heavy lunches. However, we did have some early starts and long walks and most importantly saw some amazing birds.
Our guide, Carlos, a very nice chap, was very good at organising us and at identifying most birds though a bit weak with waders. Luckily one of the party of 9 was a very experienced birder and was very helpful at the wetlands.
The transport, which was a 21 seater bus was also excellent.
We recorded about 260 birds, and we only record birds that we have had a good look at so very pleased with that.
I would definitely recommend this trip.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2019, 11:53   #2
Rob Williams
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Glad you had a good trip. I've got CR pencilled in for a couple of years' time. Am looking at various companies at the moment.

What was the weather like?

2019: 346 (latest Chiffchaff)
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2019, 12:07   #3
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The weather was very good. It was very windy in San Jose but I think there was only a short burst of rain all the time we were there.
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 02:43   #4
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Hi Jeanie,
Sounds like a really great trip.
If I remember correctly we've stayed in Hotel Le Presedente and liked it. I'll also agree about the parks and museums, I actually like kicking around San Jose for a day or two. Some nice restaurants and cafes are starting to pop up and a lot of the older neighbourhoods are gentrifying with a lot of restoration starting to happen.
May I ask what were some of your more memorable birds and did you manage to do any night walks?
Another question if thats ok, What was your guide Carlos last name?
Ok, maybe one more question, would you go back and what would you do differently if you did?
The Neotropic bird Project website
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2019, 12:42   #5
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Rob, we went in March '17 and had one day of rain ( around Arenal) and a couple of very heavy showers during the 2 weeks. Otherwise was pleasantly hot, though La Ensenada was very very hot so mid-day siesta required there.
We went through an American firm, Partnership for International Birding ( PIB) who we met at the Bird fair, organised everything with an excellent guide called Fito Downs at a pace to suit ourselves. Saw around 350 species at a relaxed easy going pace. Definitely go, lovely country and excellent birds
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 21:07   #6
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Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Glad you had a good trip. I've got CR pencilled in for a couple of years' time. Am looking at various companies at the moment.

What was the weather like?

we went last November for two weeks with Alan and Ruth @biggesttwitch and also Serge Arias @costa rica birding with Abelardo Benavides - couldn't recommend them highly enough - superb organisation, nice pace, great birds (would have cracked 400 if we hadn't had a couple of days of torrential rain in Selva Verde/La Selva)
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