Days passed and my heart still couldn't bear the fact that I might have lost my shots for good. Not that there were any photo lifers there, or that Cynthia also took pictures of practically the same birds using her own camera. Still......
I took the CF card to Samy's Camera who quoted me $35 for the recovery process. That afternoon I got a call from them saying they were not able to recover even a single shot from the card. So we went to the store and picked up my damaged CF. Since Cynthia and I are planning to go to Costa Rica in a couple of weeks, I bought a 64GB Lexar CF card which was on sale. At home when I opened the package, voila! there was a code provided should I need to recover a damaged card! After downloading the recovery software we (with my son, Kurt's, help) tried to work it out. Yes, we managed to get some raw files but they were from an earlier session and not those from the Orange County foray.
It was after our trip to Costa Rica and with a lot of time in our hands that I tried to run the software again. This time it was a complete success! What were once lost, now are found!
Here are some of those recovered shots: