[Tweeters] Seeking Costa Rica info

Brett Wolfe m_lincolnii at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 14 17:02:31 PDT 2008

Hello Josh,
I just got back from Costa Rica yesterday evening, a trip on which I was able to see 173 species of birds, including 118 lifers. Most everyone else has answered the two books to get, and I would get them both: the Stiles & Skutch book, and the Garrigues book. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but are the best two I could find.
As for places to go, definitely go to Monteverde Preserve, and get a guide. The price is like $15 per person, in addition to the park fee, but well worth it. I went one day by self and got 12 lifers. I went with a guide the next day, saw most of the same birds, plus 21 additional lifers! The first day I saw a hummingbird and a guide with a group asked what I had seen. I told him I was having trouble getting the species and described it as well as I could (I am good at getting and describing the "gizz" of a bird), and he said, "the bird you seek is on Plate 24, #7, the female of the species", and there it was: Purple-throated Mountain-gem! Needless to say, these guys know their birds and what is there.
I also enjoyed birding at Manuel Antonio National Park, but the best place for birding was Playa Palo Seco, along the whole beach, especially at the bocas (river mouths) at each end. There is also a shrimp farm in the area that has tons of birds - did all of my birding here on foot or bicycle (rented from one of the desk workers at the hotel I was staying at for c2.000 colones, the equivalent of about $3.60 for ~3 hours. Not bad). In the 5 days I spent between Playa Palo Seco and the Monteverde area, I got roughly 120 of the total species I saw, including probably 70 of the lifers - some of the birds were seen in many different areas, like Blue-gray Tanagers, Rufous-naped Wren, and Groove-billed Ani's.
Anyway, you will be there at the start of the dry season and will have many of the same as well as a different suite of birds than I had to see, due to the migration south of neotropical migrants. Good luck and have fun!
Brett A. Wolfe
Seattle, Wa
m_lincolnii at yahoo.com

--- On Sat, 9/13/08, Josh Hayes <josh at blarg.net> wrote:

From: Josh Hayes <josh at blarg.net>
Subject: [Tweeters] Seeking Costa Rica info
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Date: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 11:29 AM

Hi tweets,

We're considering trying to do a trip to Costa Rica in December, or late
November. We'd be travelling with two kids (11 and 8), and while we're
interested in birding, this isn't intended primarily to be a birding trip.
Our anticipated stay is in the 10-12 day range, but that could grow by a day
or two.

So we're looking for one or two good lodging locations which provide easy
(preferably on foot) access to moderately interesting habitat, which would
be suitable for a family of tenderfeet. Tenderfoots? Unseasoned travelers,
at any rate.

Any info gratefully received. Perhaps it would be best to email me directly
and I can summarize for the list, or if you prefer, just send your
suggestions to the list as a whole. Thanks for your help!

There is great chaos under heaven, and the situation is excellent. - Mao-Tse

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