Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hotel Bougainvillea

At the end of our first day in Costa Rica, we are enjoying and evening in our room at the Hotel Bougainvillea after a relaxing day enjoying the hotel’s gardens and their excellent restaurant.

Entrance to the garderns
Another of the several sculptures
 We arrived at the hotel 30 minutes from the airport after a 60 minute drive. We saw one accident, a police regulated corner that slowed traffic considerably and a broken down truck that blocked two lanes of traffic. It was after dark so we just took a look at the gardens and headed down for dinner of sea bass, shrimp and chicken.

This morning we ate a nice buffet at the window overlooking a bird feeder graced by our first two birds: a clay-colored thrush and a blue-gray tanager. Both of these birds we had seen in Ecuador. After breakfast we spent a couple of hours wandering through the gardens. Five acres of land in the midst of a city have been turned into a peaceful place for wandering and relaxing. Spaced throughout are the tennis courts, swimming pool, exercise rooms and various meeting areas. The space is large enough and the plants positioned to hide the buildings from those of us just enjoying the area.

Rufous-naped Wren
A Baltimore Oriole enjoying the warmer weather just as we are.
We did not see as many birds as expected, perhaps because of the strong breezes blowing through the area. One spot was particularly birdy and even there we only managed to see ten different birds. I was able to identify most of them with the help of the bird book and bird app, but a couple are still eluding identification. Most of them were birds we had seen in Ecuador or are here after their fall migration from the US. The best bird was a Hoffman’s Woodpecker, a beautiful bird with a red head and golden neck. Then on the way back into the hotel we heard another bird which turned out to be a Rufous-naped Wren.

We saw as many butterflies as birds
Leopard frog - hopefully we will see many more prettier frogs before we return home.
This has been a good start to our trip here in Costa Rica. Tomorrow we head to the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero National Park. We will end out trip to Anhinga Lodge on a some sort of boat. Tortuguero is one of the places that host sea turtles. We won’t see them this trip however as the turtle season ended in October. Nevertheless, we expect a couple of days with lots of wildlife viewing.

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