It was goodbye to Johan our guide for the last couple of days and also goodbye to Savegre Lodge, everyone had really enjoyed this magical place..........
SEVEGRE GROUNDS – TRANSFER TO TALARI WITH STOPS AT THE ‘PARAMO’ AND BOSQUE SE TOLOMUCA
It was quite windy in the night and when we met up at 6am the wind continued and there was a fair amount of cloud. We walked into the woodland next to the hotel complex to search for Wood-Quail without success, the track led us to the Quetzal nest site and both adult birds were on display. Other species on show were the usual tanagers but we did see Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch a new bird for most of the group.
After breakfast we packed our bags, boarded the bus and set off out of the Sevegre Valley, we were sorry to leave such a wonderful place. We climbed up out of the valley and westward on the main highway the road climbed still further until we reached a height of just over 3000 meters, we were in the clouds as we turned off the road onto a track into the ‘Paramo’ a unique tree-less habitat that rarely sees direct sunlight and is constantly wet and very windy, yet still a number of species breed in his hostile environment. The Volcano Junco was our primary target and it took quite a while to find one and even then not all of us saw it, we did find Timberline Wren and a few Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager but that was all. We were glad to leave this cold and wet habitat, we had the heating on in the bus for the first and only time of the trip.
We started to descend the cloud cover melted away and the temperature rose as we pulled into the car park of a roadside restaurant, a hot chocolate went down a treat. The restaurant had a lot of bird feeders, we had great views of a number of ‘hummers’ including the Fiery-throated Hummingbird, we also watched Sooty Thrush and Large-footed Finch.
Next we stopped at a small reserve, called Bosque de Tolomuca, a small B&B was established in lovely gardens which also had woodland trails and lots of bird feeders. We listed a number of new ‘hummers’ including the Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, the Green-crowned Brilliant and the Magenta-throated Woodstar. It was a wonderful place, the sun came out and the temperature rose significantly as we ate our picnic lunch on the terrace. Our walk in the woods was very successful, we had some superb sightings of Emerald Toucanet, Elegant Euphonia – an exquisite male and a stunning male Red-headed Barbet, wow what a great walk. A supporting cast of Swallow-tailed Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Cherrie’s Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Western Wood-Pewee, Paltry Tyrannulet and many common species made up for a great couple of hour’s birding.
Moving on we continuously descended to a level of around 800 meters, we passed through San Isidro and onto the grounds of our lodge for the night at Talari. This superb little lodge sits in secondary woodland and protects just 20 acres but it is a birding hotspot that has been a regular venue for birding groups for many years. Several regional endemics are regularly recorded, in the past Wingspan Tours have had great results in the grounds.
As soon as we got off the bus we found two Fiery-billed Aracari’s, how cool was that? We then heard another target species calling, we tracked it down in a nearby bush and had great views of an Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, superb birding, two great sightings in just five minutes.
After checking in and settling into our rooms we decided to walk for the two hours of daylight. An open area by the pool overlooked a river and an area of dry forest in the gardens we had a productive hour standing there with a number of sightings: Red-crowned Woodpecker, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Buff-throated Saltator, Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Cherrie’s Tanager and lots more.
Our walk finished in the dining room of the lodge, this huge open-plan ‘platform’ had wonderful panoramic views over the gardens which fell away along the slope. A Riverside Wren was a super find as was a Yellow-crowned Euphonia. Scaled Pigeon was a brief sighting for some of us as we all searched for a White-crested Coquette and the elusive Turquoise Cotinga, all our efforts went unrewarded.
Dinner was served at 7am which went down well with a couple of cold beers, we were finished by 8pm so most of us went off to bed.