Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Monday, July 10, 2017

Costa Rica: The Pacific Northwest

We had decided early on that we would plan our entire schedule on our own and only use guides when needed.  Chris had been to Costa Rica in the past and he had a good idea of places to visit. We had discussed the idea of renting a car, but decided against it as the public transportation is fairly cheap and very reliable.  The public transportation is a very economical way to get around.  However, one thing to keep in mind, is the fact that the public transportation is NOT geared for tall people with long legs.  Many times, I was uncomfortable as there was not enough leg room on buses and in some taxis.  Even on a short train ride that we took later in the trip, did not provide adequate leg room for a tall person.  That is just one thing to keep in mind if you are a tall person and if you are planning a trip on your own.  I even airlines now require me to pay more to get a seat with adequate leg room!

My trip began in the Pacific Northwest of Costa Rica.  We had found airfares into the Liberia Airport were considerably less than San Jose, so we opted to fly into Liberia.  This is a city of just over 50,000 people so we knew that getting around would be a bit easier with less traffic.  It is an area of Costa Rica that gets overlooked for birding an we felt we could add some much needed data to our eBird reports for this area.  We arrived in the rainy season for this area and it was hot, humid, and rainy.  We had decided early on that we would plan our entire schedule on our own and only use guides when needed.  Chris had been to Costa Rica in the past and he had a good idea of places to visit so we planned a trip based on a few spots where we spend about 3 nights and make day trips as needed.  We spent the first 3 nights in a casita just outside of Liberia, which met our needs, but I could have used a little bit bigger and more comfortable bed.  The point is that I survived.  We spent a lot of time exploring the rural area where we saw many great birds and even made a side trip to the beach town of Tamarindo for a day.  I picked up about 19 new life birds during this portion of the trip.  New mammals, reptiles, and butterflies were nice to see as well.  My blog posts will most likely include a lot more than just birds. Some of my bird photos were already posted in the previous post that referred to joining the 700/800 clubs.

The photos below are a sampling of the birds and other critters that we observed in Guanacaste Province which includes towns of Liberia and Tamarindo.

Groove-billed Ani - Very common in many places.

Elf butterfly

Black spiny-tailed Iguana

White Peacock butterfly


 Millipede


 Melodious Blackbird


White-collared Seedeater

 White butterfly


White-angled Sulphur


 Fiddler Crab


 Gulf Frittilary


 Ecuadorian hermit Crab


 Mantled Howler Monkey



 Malachite


 Letis scops Moth
 Tailless Whip Scorpion - totally harmless to humans


 Blue-black Grassquit


 Bare-throated Tiger-Heron


 Turquoise-browed Motmot - my 700th and one of my favorite birds.


Torpical Buckeye

More posts to come in different locations and totally different flora and fauna.  





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