I arrived in Costa Rica at lunchtime on Saturday and was out of the airport in only 10 minutes. Soon after getting into the taxi that had been sent to pick me up, I saw my first bird: a Great-tailed Grackle. I didn’t notice any other birds during the taxi ride, mainly because I was so terrified by the driving around us that I had my eyes closed much of the time.
It was still only early afternoon when we reached our destination, a bed-and-breakfast in Los Yoses, an affluent eastern suburb of San Jose.So, after checking in, I spent an hour or so birding the streets of Los Yoses.
I did similar walks at dawn on the following mornings, too.
The first birds I noticed were Great Kiskadees. Lots of them! Every street block seemed to have at least one, and most of them were not at all shy about calling out their name.
However, even the Kiskadees’ calls were drowned out every few minutes when small flocks of Crimson-fronted Parakeets passed overhead. The noise of the Parakeets was one that I was to become very familiar with during my short time in Costa Rica.
The Dove family was well represented. The main road had Rock Doves/Pigeons while the smaller streets had White-winged Doves ...
and Inca Doves.
Then I spotted my first “new” birds: Red-billed Pigeons.
I was half-expecting to see hordes of House Sparrows and European Starlings but instead the most common street bird was the delightful Rufous-collared Sparrow.
Although many of the area’s gardens were full of flowers, I was disappointed not to see a single hummingbird. As compensation, I came across a Yellow Warbler exploring a tree.
Most of Monday was spent assessing a teacher-training course in Los Yoses, the main reason for my trip. Luckily, I was able to do some time of my work sitting in the school’s beautifully-kept garden, where I added a House Wren and several Baltimore Orioles to my trip list. The garden had some very interesting-looking caterpillars also.
Tomorrow: Birding the University Campus.