Two years ago today (on Dec.24, 2014) I boarded a plane in Nashville with 5 suitcases and a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. (I’ve since learned the airline was not supposed to sell me a one-way ticket since I wasn’t a legal resident of CR yet. But anyway, I got here late and the taxi driver drove me in the dark up the winding mountain road (Ruta 3) from airport to Atenas and the inefficient Dutch owner/manager of the apartments Hacienda La Jacaranda was not ready for me, thinking I was not coming until January. His girlfriend had to clean an empty apartment for me before I could move in and the adventure began!

Today’s Boat Captain/Guide, Luis
Two years later I’m on my umpteenth birding trip, this time to Sarapiqui and what some have told me is one of the best birding spots in Costa Rica. Well . . . I’ve only been here a day and a half, but it has not yet proven to be one of my best! Most of the birds I’ve been able to photograph have been at the feeder outside the dining room and only a fraction of what I can see in 2 hours on the Tarcoles River or a short time at San Gerado de Dota or Rancho Naturalista.

I was hopeful about the birding river boat trip this afternoon, but some new friends told me they saw only 4 birds on yesterday’s boat trip, so expecting the worse, I went. Well I saw about 12-15 bird species including a yellow-throated toucan, so very good for me and better than today’s morning walk, though not like Rio Tarcoles. But my guide here, Evon, is trying to schedule me an early morning boat trip for Monday when I’m likely to see a lot more birds. Hope it works out! 

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I do morning and afternoon walks and maybe will see a lot more. The lodge on the river is nice and I’m enjoying my stay here; resting, birding and meeting some very interesting people, especially today a couple from Ireland who also lived in The Gambia once like me.

Didn’t use my cell phone camera much today, but above is a shot of by boat captain and guide Luis and below a couple of shots here at the lodge. 

Violet-headed Fairy Hummingbird
In the gardens of Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui
Maybe the only bird shot on my cell phone.
Shooting into the sun is not good on any camera!

Orchid Blooms
In the gardens of Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui near my room.

I heard that we will have the option of tamales for dinner tonight which is a big Christmas tradition in Costa Rica. I’ll tell you tomorrow on Christmas Day. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS or Feliz Navidad!

Enjoying Retirement in Costa Rica
My 2014 Selfie at Trogon Lodge, San Gerado de Dota