It rained the whole 2 hours + I was at La Selva Research Station, thus no good photos, but the ones I got tell a story like the wet ruffled feathers on the Tropical Kingbird and Clay-colored Thrush. The only creature that seemed to love the rain was that Blue Jeans Frog! 🙂
After returning to lodge for breakfast there was no rain, thus some better photos at the lodge, but no time tonight to post them, Later! Tonight is my frog hike. 🙂
Arrival day at a lodge is often the most exciting and this one was pretty good! Walter drove me here at Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui with a stop at Cinchona and though it looked doubtful at first I got one of the two rooms on the river which got me a toucan shot (across river) and the excitement of two different whitewater rafting groups going by my room this afternoon, even though it rained much of the afternoon. I have 5 tours or hikes scheduled so far for the week, so ready to go! 🙂
Whitewater Rafters by My Room
Tomorrow morning at 5:20 AM I leave for birding at La Selva Research Station and tomorrow evening “Frogging” here at Selva Verde – a good day expected! 🙂
Now that I am wrapping up the photos from my week in Monteverde last week, I’m better realizing how good a trip it was! It was one of my best birding trips in recent years with useable photos of 44 different species of birds, 16 were first-time sightings for me or what birders call “Lifers.” See the 44 birds in the gallery:
The featured photo at top is of a Wilson’s Warbler. And I am now working on the other parts of my trip gallery like other wildlife, the hotel, flowers, etc. which will go much faster than my huge collection of bird photos! 🙂 It’s at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde, Costa Ricawhich the birds gallery is just one part of.
I am thankful that when the Quakers came from the states and founded the little mountain farming town of Monteverde they also had the foresight to start preserving the virgin forest around the town and that other ecologists came and continued the effort with some of the largest forest reserves in the world! Nature is the main attraction of Monteverde!
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
Just a few sample shots of the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica which I’m sorry I did not pay more attention to in my photography this past week. Every tree is a beautiful work of art and some are old growth or a part of an ancient virgin forest. I was particularly surprised to see how close we were to Arenal Volcano and what a beautiful view we had from the continental divide in Santa Elena Reserve shown above in the feature photo. I plan to go back to Arenal in November! So many beautiful places of nature here!
Monteverde Forests & Vistas
An Unusual Tree that Got My Attention in Curi Cancha
Selvatura Tree Tops Hanging Bridge
Looking Down on Forest from a Hanging Bridge, Selvatura
My Guide Rodiber Finding Tree Information
Another Vista from Santa Elena
Arenal Volcano Seen from Santa Elena
Forest Trail in Selvatura
An Old Growth Ficus Tree in Monteverde Reserve
Cloud forest is quite different from lowland tropical rain forest. The name comes from the observation that the forests are nearly always shrouded in clouds. These forests are situated at high altitude along the continental divide down the spine of Costa Rica. As the warm moist air from over the Pacific or Caribbean is pushed up the sides of the mountains, it cools, and the moisture begins to condense forming clouds. ~Costa Rica Guide, https://costa-rica-guide.com/nature/refuges/monteverde-cloud-forest-reserve/
I just realized that I have started to repeat some photos, so this will be all of my reports on a wonderful week in Monteverde. My “Trip Gallery” will be coming to my online photo gallery soon at 2019 April 7-13 — Monteverde Lodge & Gardens – just need a few more days for that and then “The Book,” my first on Monteverde even though I was there one other time. Watch my Bookstore for the Monteverde photo book! This trip alone yielded photos of 44 species of birds!
And check out some of my other trips in theCosta Rica TripsPhoto Gallery! Almost every location is as beautiful and exciting as this one.
It was another great morning with the same super guide at a different Cloud Forest Reserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve of the Tropical Science Center is the first private area for the conservation of wildlife founded in Costa Rica in October of 1972.
We did a lot of walking with a lot of hills but it paid off with more birds today and two that birders all over the world come here hoping to get: The Resplendent Quetzal and the Three-wattled Bellbird. Below are my photos of some birds we saw and as always I see more than I get photos of. I’m not sure yet, but 3 or more lifers today! One bird is still unidentified.
Monteverde Reserve Birds
Bananaquit (stealing hummingbird sugar-water)
Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day.
My first of 6 different Cloud Forest Reserves this week (where trees, wildlife, water and air is protected) was this morning at Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve(right click on page for English translation). It is beautiful and less crowded than the one I will visit tomorrow. The above featured cell phone photo is from the highest point in the reserve looking East/Northeast at Arenal Volcano which I visited last year at Arenal Observatory and going again in November. The photo at bottom is looking the other direction at the mountains and clouds you are above in a Cloud Forest.
I had a wonderful guide through the hotel’s tour service, Costa Rica Expeditions, Rodiberi, and we saw 14 species of birds, several new to me. Here are my photos of 9 of those species, two of which are lifers for me:
Birds at Santa Elena Today
Cool birds huh? Most live only in the cloud forest.
Other wildlife will be a separate post for the whole week.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir
I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I did not get as many photos as in some places, but “other wildlife” was not my goal. There were lots of squirrels and iguanas which I mainly ignored. And of course the birds and butterflies were in separate posts! Click an image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
“A forest’s beauty lies with its inhabitants.”
― Anthony T. Hincks
The hotel secured an outside guide to take me to nearby Carara National Park birding at 7:30 AM which should have been at 5:30 but they do that to fit their 7 AM Breakfast. If I had it to do over I would have asked for a “box breakfast” and a 5:30 departure! We would have seen more birds. This is my third guided walk in the park and equal to or better than my second one on the number of birds. We saw more than 20 species easily though I only have here the halfway decent photos of 13 species.
About half of these photos were made on a fruiting tree in the rainforest called huevos de caballo or “horse’s balls” which look in these photos like a pair of little hamburgers or egg mcmuffins. 🙂 These two fruits were cracked open from the heat or dryness and lots of different birds were picking the little red seeds out of the center of the fruit. You will see the seeds in some photos.
Explanation of the two Trogon photo IDs: The one labeled Black-headed is based on the wings which are showing in that image. The one labeled Black-throated is based mainly on the type of stripes on the tail, which though not showing as well, could cause me to label the other one black-throated too. These are the only two trogons with yellow breasts that also have light blue eye-rings and are very similar. But the black-headed male is the only one with green on shoulder, thus that label. ID of birds is not always easy. These two IDs were made with the aide of my guide in the park.
The Ovenbird (featured photo)is one lifer on this hike and it is similar to the Northern Waterthrush from my first hotel birding hike which is another “lifer” or first time seen bird. Also on this trip I saw for the first time the Gray-chested Dove, another “lifer.”
Click an image to enlarge or start a manual slide show: