A glorious day in the Sevegre Valley with Resplendent Quetzal topping the bill in a superb show of high-altitude species.......
FULL DAY AT SEVERGE HOTEL
WEATHER: SUNNY MOST OF THE DAY CLOUD LATER, CHILLY TO START
What a wonder place this is, birds and birders are everywhere, the grounds are lovely and as soon as walk out of the main complex you see even more birds. We met at 6am outside the hotel reception where a number of hummer feeders and a larger bird-table can be found. They were very busy and Johan our guide talked us through the identification of six species of hummingbirds that were regular visitors to the feeders, we saw all six!
The bird table was attracting Acorn Woodpeckers, Flame Coloured Tanagers, Bananaquit and a few common tanager species. The prolific flower beds were regularly visited by the Slaty Flowerpiercer as well as a few American warblers, namely; Wilson’s, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided.
From deep in the woods we heard the call of the Spotted Wood-Quail but saw no sign of one as we walked through the nearest patch of woodland. The first bird we saw was a Resplendent Quetzal, it was nice to see a female, she soon disappeared. Our took us through the woods to an open area of grass-lawn and on the edge of the wood Johan showed us the nesting-site of the Quetzal, a hold in a dead tree stump, but there was no sign of the birds.
We eventually dragged ourselves away from the Quetzal nest-hole and continued birding in the grounds of next door’s hotel where found several interesting species including a couple of additions to the list. A Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush posed nicely for us as did the Spangle-cheeked Tanager, we also saw a small flock of Band-tailed Pigeons sitting in the early morning sunlight. A Brown-capped Vireo was a nice species to find, we had good views of Dark Pewee, Summer Tanager, and more American warblers appeared, from a bridge over the river Sevegre we saw
a beautiful male Quetzal that sat nearby in full view, the cameras went crazy.
Our walk back to the hotel for breakfast was punctuated with pauses to watch more species the best of which was the Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, another stunning species to look at. We ate breakfast and after a short break we boarded a couple of all terrain people-carriers for the journey to the top of the nearest mountain. The journey took about twenty minutes and as we climbed another 500 meters.
It was magical at the top, we stood in primary forest, the sunlight was streaming through and bird song was everywhere. We quickly got our scopes onto a Ruddy Pigeon, then a pair of Acorn Woodpeckers followed by a Yellowish Flycatcher. We walked off the main track onto a woodland trail that snaked its way downward towards a stream. A Collared Flycatcher flitted close by then a Flame-throated Warbler appeared, a stunning male showed really well.
A number warblers showed before we hit a feeding flock of species, it was wonderful to a large number of species in a small area of the forest, the highlights were seeing: Barred Becard, Ruddy Treerunner, Buffy Tuftedcheek, (I’m not making these names up! They are real birds!) also Black-throated Green-Warble and more Tanagers.
We continued along the trail stopping to look at various species, Grey-brested Wren was a tough cookie, not many of got to see it, the same went for Black-cheeked Warbler and Chestnut-capped Bush Finch but Collared Trogon showed well as did Yellow-thighed Finch and Common Bush-Finch.
The forest trail eventually broke out onto the main track much lower down, we could see open sky again and having just had glimpses of Ornate Hawk-Eagle we now had good views of both the common vultures, Swallowtail Kite, Red-tailed Hawk and large numbers of Collared Swifts. Further down the track we stopped to watch a small flock of Yellow-bellied Siskins and as we did nine Sulphur-winged Parakeets dropped into an apple orchard and started scrumping! We spent some time watching them and also noted Tennessee Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush and a couple of Volcano Hummingbirds were bathing in the stream behind us.
Lunch was taken at 1pm and we reconvened at 2:30pm to repeat this morning’s walk through the local woods, we ventured further and added a couple of vireos to our list as well as having sightings of Torrent Tyrannulet, Quetzal, Lon-tailed Silky-Flycatcher and many more species.
female - YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN
Our last birding excursion was at 5pm as we boarded the bus to drive to the jead of the valley to look for owls and nightjars, it was a little disappointing, the owls didn’t show but we had great views of a perched Dusky Nightjar, this regional endemic species is the only nightjar to live above 1800 meters, the views were excellent but brief.
We got back to the hotel at 7pm and went dinner around 7:30pm, this was our last night in this wonderful place, tomorrow we are off to warmer climes and lower altitudes.