This is the last post for our Costa Rica photography trip (finally!). In this post I will have a section for Day 8, which includes some photographs, Day 9, which is the day we traveled home, and an Epilogue.
Day 8, Feb 21
We started at 6 AM taking pictures in the area around Selva Verde Lodge. We ate breakfast at 8 AM, and then hit some more spots, before checking out at around 10:30. From there we went back to the Estácion Biológica de la Selva, but on a different road. It was hot and muggy. We saw two more species of Motmots, which was pretty cool.
Next we went to the Aerial Tram (link is here), not for the Tram, but for the birding. They have a bunch of hummingbird feeders, and we expected to see a few new species of hummingbirds. Unfortunately, there were no birds (and I mean NONE) at the feeders. That was disappointing. We did see some nice things there though.
We ate a late lunch at a roadside diner. There was a cold wind blowing there. After lunch we headed back to the San José Barceló Palacio hotel, and arrived at about 5:00 PM. We said adios to our guide, Sergio, who had to head back to the coast in rush hour traffic.
Day 9, Feb 22
We ate breakfast at 5:30 AM and took the 6 AM shuttle to the airport. It was a pretty long travel day home. Our flight left at 9:00 AM for Houston, which arrived at 12:50. We had a relatively long layover in Houston, before our flight home. It left at 3:35, and had a stopover (no plane change) in New Orleans, which was going the wrong direction! We arrived in Phoenix at 7:35 PM.
It was a great trip! There were a lot of unknowns going in, but everything worked out very well. We wanted a photography trip, and that’s what we got! It was nice that everybody was on the same page. Father Charlie is awesome. He is a great traveling companion. He was happy to be out photographing as long as there was daylight; it’s hard to find a traveling companion like that 🙂. Mary Ann and I felt very fortunate to have a priest on the trip. On many of the nights we ended our day with the three of us praying together Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Thanks for inviting us Father Charlie!
Mary Ann is not a photographer, but she enjoys getting out, hiking, and seeing nature. She had infinite patience with us nerdy guys as we monkeyed with our cameras and talked about lighting, ISO, aperture, focal length, etc. She also provided an invaluable aid by writing down many of the species we encountered along the way. I’m happy she decided to come with us – I love you Mary Ann!
Sergio was an incredible guide. We told him at the start what we wanted, and he provided it. His birding expertise was amazing. He is also a wealth of knowledge about everything Costa Rica, including wildlife, flora, history, locations, etc. Sergio also did the driving for us, which is no small feat in Costa Rica, where the driving culture is different than Arizona. Thanks Sergio!
Would you like to know some numbers? In my 7 Costa Rica posts I published photos of 151 different species of birds. There were 141 new species for me, and 10 that I’ve seen before. There were 5 species that I got photographs good enough to ID, but not good enough to put on the web (though I put some on the web that weren’t so good). I don’t know how many species we saw that we didn’t photograph – we didn’t keep track of that. For birders who go to Costa Rica, 151 species in 7 days may not seem like many. However, we were more photographers than birders, so we spent a lot of time trying to get good pictures of a single bird, rather than trying to increase our ‘count’.
For those of you who waded through all the pictures, thanks! I hope you liked them.
Here are the pictures from Day 8: