A banner.full


WEATHER; cold to start with, then sunshine all day.

Our day in the Valley, the land of the Resplendent Quezal, started at 6am in the garden near our cabins. It started off very quiet but as the light improved we started seeing many birds flitting about in the shrubs and trees. I don’t recall seeing too many new species but we had good views of most of what we saw.

The Spotted Wood-Quails put in an appearance as did Wilson’s Warbler, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Sooty-capped and Common Chlorospingus, Mountain Elaenia, Barred Parrots flew over in small groups and Band-tailed Pigeons did the same.

Spotted Wood-Quail - by Chris Perry

After breakfast we walked from the Lodge down the valley to a trail that led to a waterfall with the river visible below us for most of the way. We saw American Dipper and Louisianna Waterthrush on the rocks in the river and Yellowish Flycatcher in the bushes.

the lovely Yellowish Flycatcher - Chris Perry

The path we took led us up into the forest away from the river, we were hoping to see more forest birds. A Black-faced Solitaire gave us the run around, we never got to see even though it called constantly. We bumped into a feeding flock and spent a lot of time watching birds moving all around  us. A very showy Grey-breasted Wood-Wren delighted the group but better sightings were to come.

Northern Emerald Toucanet

The Flame-throated Warbler was our main target bird and luckily for us we found a couple of them during the walk, what a stunning bird. The resident Yellow-winged Vireo was another star and showed down to a couple of meters. Other birds in the flock included: Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, least three species of Tanagers, also Spot-crowned Woodcreeper and Ruddy Treerunner.

a resident Vireo - the Yellow-winged Vireo - Chris Perry

Our journey back produced more of the same with a couple of additions. The bus was waiting for us at the track entrance, we hopped on and was taken up the Valley to a small roadside restaurant with a balcony and some bird feeders.

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush - by Chris Perry

We had a great couple of hours there adding a few species to the list and enjoying very close views of some colourful hummers. Two Woodpeckers, Acorn and Hairy were visiting the feeders, with a good number of Flame-coloured Tanagers, a Mountain Thrush and lots of hummers.

Hairy Woodpecker above and Acorn Woodpecker below - both taken by Chris Perry

In the trees behind the feeders a Yellow-browed Chlorophonia was picked out by Sue, that was an excellent sighting  and new for the list. After our lunch time spell at the feeders we drove back to the lodge and took a siesta.

Scintillant Hummingbird - take by Chris in the gardens earlier today

The late afternoon walk was in search of ‘Quetzal’ several birds had been reported in the valley and one or two quite close to our lodge. We walked from the lodge along the main track up to Savegre Lodge next door. A pair of Torrent Tyrannulets entertained us for a while before we started searching in earnest for the Quetzal.

Slaty Flowpiercer - taken by Chris Perry

We drew a blank at three sites which all involved searching avocado trees in fruit, not the large avocados you get in the supermarkets, but very small ones growing high up in the canopy. We saw Northern Emerald Toucanet and all the usual tanagers and flycatchers, but not the star bird.

Louisiana Waterthrush - taken by Chris Perry

As we walked back down the road towards our lodge Jason called out and soon he had a male Resplendent Quetzal in his scope! Hooray! This is a number one ‘must see’ species when visiting Costa Rica. We watched the bird move several times as it fed on the avocado fruit.

two pictures of the Resplendent Quetzal taken by Chris Perry

Job done, we went back to the lodge to get ready for dinner. Before we had dinner we went for a night-walk down the lane, we were looking for the Dusky Nightjar and Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, we saw neither, never heard one either!