First off. For those of you following our travel plans. We left Monteverde by public bus. There were two times that this bus left Monteverde. There was a direct bus to San Jose at 7:30 and 2:30 PM. We noticed that the bus was FULL. So buy your tickets early. When you travel, you always go during the light of day as it's much safer. Plus you get more birding time for that day.
Several hours later, we arrived in San Jose at our hotel. It was very nice and near many of San Jose's museums and restaurants. At this point, Micheal wasn't having anymore birding for the day. It's hard to switch off the birding button when there are so many lifers to be discovered. For non-birders, they want to kill the birders for their non-stop chatter of birds.
|Crimson-fronted Parakeets were common everywhere in and around San Jose|
|Always seen in pairs feeding or just....cuddling|
|Blue-gray Tanagers were common almost everywhere we went|
LOL!!! The next day we were on our way to Cartago to meet up with friend and birder, Serge Arias. This train was CRAZY! It was open, as in NO doors, and very rocky. At times, I thought the train would fall apart. Our taxi driver was shocked that we even took that train. "That's not safe! Cars hit that train all the time" LOL! Again, we traveled by day and were surrounded by nice people. So that's always a good thing. And it took us to the very beautiful city of Cartago for a little more than the US $1.50! You can't beat that price!
Ahhh, look at Gordon's face. This is classic. And Micheal! They're enjoying the torture:) Serge Arias met up with us and we had a blast. I'll focus more on Serge and his guides in the next two posts. Right now, we're going to explore a really cool location just outside of Cartago to expand on this idea of urban birding.
|University of Costa Rica-Cartago division|
After our day with Serge, we returned to San Jose via a local bus. During my research, I was shocked to discover Yellow-naped Parrots at a local park. Now had I known what I know now, we wouldn't have gone because we added this bird later in Liberia. But this story is worth telling.....
I think we walked 20 some miles on this day. The Yellow-naped Parrot is endangered in several areas of Central America due to poaching. The bird can mimic sounds and is very popular with people. So we headed to this park, La Sabana. I'm ALWAYS careful with my camera. I put it in a backpack away from the public eye and I ONLY take it out once we are at our location and in a "safe" area.
|Parque Metropolitano La Sabana is not for the faint of heart. It may be an ebird hotspot but it's not a safe one|
|Yellow-naped Parrot seen at a restaurant stop heading towards Monteverde. This was a captive bird.|
When we returned back to our hotel, we were greeted by these little kittens. I wanted to be a hoarder so badly and take them all home with me. So, for this Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, I would, based on our experience, not recommend for birding unless it's on the weekend when there are lots of families grilling out. People do bird there and it is a hotspot on Ebird but unless you're with a group of people, I would not recommend visiting alone.
For San Jose, Parque Nacional, click here. Safety factor. Safe during the day. Be careful at night. Go with others.
For the University of Cartago, click here. SAFE! But keep your eyes open for Caiman.
For the Parque Metropolitano La Sabana, click here. I do not recommend this park unless you visit on the weekend and with a larger group of people.
For the University of Costa Rica, click here. Safe! Try to go when the garden is open because there are some great birds hiding in that area. There is also a river that runs through the campus. Very nice place to bird.