to assert our feathery gold – 10,000 Birds

Continued from over the misty mountains chilly.

Off to lunch within the Savegre River Valley we go, identified for Flame-coloured Tanager, Lengthy-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Wren Thrush, Volcano Junco, Volcano and Fiery-throated Hummingbirds. Located in misty, cool montane oak forest, the touristy hamlet of San Gerardo de Dota is the preferred birding space in Talamanca: it hosts the most important inhabitants of the Resplendent Quetzal on the earth. They migrate altitudinally, shifting up and down the mountain, following the fruiting timber of untamed avocado. Because the slopes are this steep there are at all times some fruiting avocado timber, protecting the Quetzals within the space year-round and making San Gerardo de Dota the very best place nation-wide to seek out them.

Volcano Hummingbird male, Talamanca race 

There’s a little bit of historical past connected to the standing of the preferred birding space in Talamanca. “Within the Sixties, Efraín Chacón constructed a dust path [from San Gerardo de Dota] to the Pan-American Freeway, and introduced his household to construct a home, to farm and fish for trout. They grew to become accustomed to feeding the visiting fishermen, and in 1971 they constructed a small cabin for company. In 1978 two researchers from Harvard College had been impressed by these quetzal-filled cloud forests, revealed pictures in the US, and the Chacóns started to host rising numbers of American birders. In 1980 they registered what was to grow to be Savegre Resort Pure Reserve and Spa. When nature journey corporations started trying to find locations within the Nineteen Eighties, they contacted the Chacóns, who supplied lodging. Efraín tailored in a short time to the conservationist convictions expressed by overseas company, recognizing that ecologically sound tourism may very well be useful on a number of fronts. ‘If we all know tips on how to preserve the forests, and work with the least impression potential,’ he later remarked, ‘Savegre would preserve each its pure assets and its guests.’” (Barely edited for size, from Creating Ecotourism in Costa Rica 1970–2000 by Geoffrey Jones and Andrew Spadafora)

Northern Emerald-Toucanet

After about 30 km / 20 mi, and reaching 3000 m / 10,000 ft a.s.l., we went down the nice tarmac that when was a dust path constructed by Efraín Chacón in 1961, to enter San Gerardo de Dota, the place Serge stopped in entrance of a Quetzal adorned restaurant, with Miriam’s Typical Meals written in Spanish above the chicken portray. Miriam’s is a plain, easy place providing scrumptious native delicacies cooked in a wooden oven, mixed with an superior birding station! As it’s the solely vacation spot in Costa Rica talked about within the guide Fifty Locations to Go Birding Earlier than You Die, it comes as no shock that the restaurant has its personal eBird hotspot with greater than 170 recorded species!

Flame-throated Warbler

And so, earlier than lunch, we ordered tea and sat on a balcony overlooking the feeders. What a profusion: quite a few Rufous-collared Sparrows, Giant-footed Finches, Flame-coloured Tanagers, adopted by a number of Northern Emerald-Toucanets and Acorn Woodpeckers (cowl picture), farther adopted by single Bushy Woodpecker, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Thrush, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, Flame-throated Warbler, and so forth., greater than two dozen species earlier than the rain pressured us inside. Oh sure, additionally 5 hummingbirds: Lesser Violetear, Talamanca, Fiery-throated and Volcano Hummingbirds, plus White-throated Mountain-gem. There have been no Quetzals this time, they harvested the closest fruiting tree two weeks in the past. Time to eat.

Again at Casa dowii, that night we tried playback on the resident Naked-shanked Screech-Owl, however received no response. Someday later, it was already darkish and I used to be in a rest room when Serge knocked on the door: Look out, opossum on the feeder! Like many of the lodge, this toilet has a glass wall, this one overlooking the feeders and my lifer mammal, my first opossum ever. Checking the sector information, I got here with a Widespread Opossum. And that was it, I suppose, tomorrow I’m flying again to Europe.

A dozen relaxed days of sluggish birding at Rancho Naturalista (900 m / 3,000 ft  a.s.l. Caribbean Center Elevations biom) and Casa Dowii (2100 m / 7,000 ft  a.s.l. Highlands biom) received me 189 chicken species noticed, 65 lifers amongst them, along with 10 mammal species / 6 lifers. Among the finest birds of the Caribbean slope at Rancho Naturalista embrace Nice Inexperienced Macaw, Sunbittern and three tiny hummingbirds, Snowcap, White-crested and Black-crested Coquettes; along with Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Prong-billed Barbet and Flame-throated Warbler within the cloudforests of Casa Tangara dowii. Extra importantly, I crossed my first massive threshold: a thousand chicken species, in addition to gained 3 new chicken households – Limpkin, Prong-billed Barbet (Toucan-Barbets) and Vireos, totalling at 127 chicken households, over 50% of all chicken households on the earth.

And for that I’ve to thank the Costa Rican Tourism Board (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo) for inviting me to the magical kingdom of Costa Rica, Lisa Erb – legendary proprietor and supervisor of the Rancho Naturalista Lodge, and the birding tourism visionary Serge Arias (who’s nowadays promoting his first tour to Galapagos outer islands), Rafael Soto Quirós and Rocio Guido Ortega (Costa Rican Tourism Board), and Neo Michel (previously of Futuropa).


Learn the earlier Casa Dowii stage in over the Misty Mountains chilly.

Images by Serge Arias

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