Our lift arrived at 10.00 and 2 and a half hours later were were dropping down off the Pan American Highway into the beatutiful valley of San Gerardo de Dota and the Rio Savegre. It was all I could do the drag my eyes away from the hummingbird feeders outside the reception at the Savegre Mountain Lodge to check-in! Within a few minutes I'd identified Green Violet-ear, Magnificent Hummingbird, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain-Gem and Purple-throated Mountain-Gem!
White-throated Mountain-Gem (female)
White-throated Mountain-Gem (male)
After a quick buffet lunch in the lodge restaurant we decided on a walk upstream along the Rio Savegre on the waterfall trail. On the way out it was difficuly to get going with showy Slaty Flowerpiercers, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush and Flame-coloured Tanagers which were to become daily birds. A Sharp-shinned Hawk whizzed through the grounds and a superb Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher sat high in a tree - wow! The walk itself was beautiful and adorned with good birds for the Costa Rica first timer - Collared Redstarts, 2 Tufted Flycatchers, Black-faced Solitaire, c6 Yellow-thighed Finches, 2 Black Phoebe, 2 Ruddy Treerunners and plenty of Sooty-capped Bush Tanagers. Even wintering yank warbler Wilson's Warbler was a tick! The river itself held American Dipper and Torrent Tyrannulet.
Sooty-capped Bush Tanager
On the walk back we bumped into a couple of British birders who, it became apparant during the conversation were the friends of some friends from back home - Pat and Gill Finch. What a small world. The best was yet to come in bird terms because as we walked past the trout farm something called behind us. I legged it back to be greeted by a male Resplendent Quetzal flying across the path and landing in a tree!! Back at the lodge White-throated Mountain-gem showed beautifully along the entrance road.
My appetite was well and truly whetted for walking some of the local trails tomorrow...