Fasciated Tiger Heron
Stopping for coffee and cake in Nuevo Arenal it rained pretty much all the way as we eventually hit the dirt roads for the final 15 miles to Santa Elena village where we'd booked 4 nights at the Arco Iris Lodge. The initial impression of the village wasn't great, very busy and noisy with constant roadworks and high winds and cold drizzle! After checking in and having some lunch in a restuarant in the village we decided on a walk around the nearby Bajo del Tigre Childrens Eternal Rainforest reserve and leave the 2 big reserves for the following days. This nice reserve has a mixture of dry and wet forest but in the first hour or so the high winds made the birding extremely difficult. Eventually the birds started to appear and first up was a White-throated Thrush quickly followed up with an incredible male Long-tailed Manakin, then Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush, 2 Lesser Greenlets and an Ovenbird running around on the path. 2 Violet Sabrewings, Wood Thrush and Spotted Woodcreeper followed before I got onto 4 Black-breasted Wood-Quails. We finished up with a lovely and very distinctive White-eared Ground Sparrow on the final loop before heading back to the small visitor centre.