I am in Costa Rica and the birds are just amazing. As I write, we have just finished day two at the lodge, which requires a 30 minute boat ride to get to after a 2 hour drive from Savegre and an hour flight to Golfito. I did not get sea sick, as I was all hopped up on Dramamine and that motor boat ride was petty smooth, as boat rides go. Of course, I didn’t escape being sick, as many of us caught a dose of land sickness the first night we arrived. It must have been the fish. Should have ordered the chicken.
However, that did not dampen our birding hopes. It just delayed things here and there on the second day as both Sue and I had to dig “cat holes” to bury our “output,” so to speak. But let’s get back to the beginning. We arrived in Golfito around noon, at what I would be generously calling an airport. It was more of a landing strip with red taxi cabs parked at one end. We were greeted by Molly, who does both yoga and massage, and whisked to the small outboard motor boat and a 30 minute ride to the lodge. We saw our first bird before we even left the dock, a Royal Tern. My first Lifer was a Mangrove Swallow. Sue had already seen one in Belize.
And that was only the beginning. After getting settled and going for a brief walk on our own on one of the hiking rails, where we saw my second Life bird, a White-shouldered Tanager. I would be getting a lot more Lifers than Sue here, as her birding travels had taken her to places in Central American I have never birded in. The “friendly” competition was on. Sue had no desire to have me pass her on our personal Life Lists on this trip.
When we got back to the lodge we were greeted by Gustavo, who would be our birding guide for the next few days. He’s only been birding in this area for six months, but he really knew his birds and always showed us in his field guide the bird we were seeing or hearing. We got right to work and by the time we had to break for dinner we had added another large handful of birds, including a Red-capped Manakin, Short-billed Pigeon, and a hard bird to find back home, a Kentucky Warbler.