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Costa Rica Trip Report

I did another fantastic trip to costa rica in November 2016 and here are some of the images and some behind the scene images. Hope you enjoy them. I would strongly suggest doing your homework before you plan a trip to the rainforests especially if you are coming here for the first time. Start a few months in advance, get a guide book and make a list of target birds that you want to get.

My personal favorite of costa rica bird books

It took me almost 2 years to research and know more about costa rica and during this process I spent a lot of time knowing the people, their culture, the wildlife the topography and many more things. I always work with the local hard working guides who live in the habitat they bird in and that makes them the real experts.

I usually fly into San Jose International airport and pick up our vehicle at the airport. I have been fortunate to work with some very experienced biologists in the past who know the country very well and have been great friends with me.

The first of 4 stops was 3 hours away from the airport and in the lowland forests where we spent 3 nights and during this time we shot tons of tanagers, toucans, parrots and oropendulas and the tough to photograph King Vulture.

King Vulture

Keel Billed Toucan

I then moved to the central pacific in search of more elusive wildlife and as per our plan (and a huge pile of luck) I found the rarest of rare sightings in costa rica – a margay cat. During my time at this resort we birded in a couple of local feeders and enjoyed some great local food and coffee and made some friends for life.

Margay Cat

Orange Chinned Parrot

Like most of my trips i try to keep things different from most other birding trips found online. In a country like costa rica it is very easy to comfortably sit on a resort deck and shoot birds in a feeder (which is a great way to make some amazing images) but at the same time costa rica offers plenty of species that do not visit feeders and need some walking in the snake infested forests to find them.

For example the image below of a thicket antpitta was only possible after a walk of 30 minutes inside the forest. We knew about a tentative location in advance and even then it took us an hour of waiting before this guy appeared for a few seconds never to be seen again.

Thicket Antpitta

For the rest of the trip I made 2 more stops, one at the central pacific and the other at the talamanca range. My list of birds was very specific and i made it sure not to deviate from that under any condition.

During the planning phase i connected with a few very talented naturalists in Costa Rica who helped me find some interesting birds of prey and owls. These birds are usually tough to find and needs a lot of local knowledge, patience and right timing of the year. From my list we managed to tick the beautiful bat falcon, roadside hawk, broad winged hawk, white tailed kite, spectacled owl, black hawk, harris' hawk, barred forest falcon and a few more.

Spectacled Owl

Bat Falcon in background (With my super guide - Alvaro)

Bat Falcon

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Pacific Screech Owl

Roadside Hawk

Our last stop was the obvious, a bird watcher and photographers mecca - The Resplendent Quetzal. We spent just one day due to a change of plans but as luck would have it I managed to shoot some amazing close range images of this beautiful bird.

Resplendent Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal (in habitat)

Followed by this I spent a long session shooting humming birds in flight at the Talamanca forest. If you wish to know more about setting up a multi flash setup to shoot hummers pls click here.

Green Violetear

Fiery Throated Hummingbird

Overall I spent 10 days in this bird paradise, recorded over 100 different species and made some great friends for life. During this trip I also realized that my job here was not done and there is still a lot to achieve. I have planned 2 more trips in 2017, 1 where i am taking a small group of close friends and bird watchers and 1 where i am guiding for a wildlife tour company's trip from India.

Continue to visit this website regularly to know more about birding in South America and the rain forests. I have trips planned to Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico and Guyana coming soon. If you are interested to more about this trip, get contacts or want help in planning in general do not hesitate to reach me as i would love to help anyone who is planing a trip to any of these countries.

Pura Vida!

Lunch with my wife - by the ocean!


Updates about my photography trips,  gallery showings, photo tips, and much more - Stay Tuned

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