Sunday, August 4, 2013

Costa Rica - Day 5 (Part 1) - March 20, 2013

Our second full day at Trogon Lodge was jam packed with activities and adventures! I woke up just after dawn and since breakfast wasn't to be served for at least an hour, I wandered around the grounds looking for photo opportunities. One of my goals was to get a decent photo of a Rufous-collared Sparrow. Although they were EVERYWHERE I couldn't seem to get a good sharp photo of them because they were so active.
Rufous-collared Sparrow

Calla Lily growing like a "weed" in the grass

After a delicious breakfast served buffet style with a chef making custom omelets on-the-spot, we headed out onto the trails and road to see if we could pick up a few more species. Birding on the road was a little challenging with the occasional crazy driver barreling down the mountain and the neighborhood dogs following us around, but we managed to have a good time and see some new things!

A neighborhood dog

Mountain Elaenia

White-throated Mountain-gem
 One of the most exciting birds we found on the grounds of Trogon Lodge (other than the Quetzals) was the Spotted Wood-Quail! We were walking along the trail when one of us heard something rustling in the woods. We stopped and waited, and looked, and waited..... Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, two of these quail made their way down the hill, pecking and scratching through the leaves the whole way, and crossed the path in front of us!

One of the best birds (other than the Quetzal) that we found at Trogon Lodge: Spotted Wood-Quail

The water was so clear! 
Close-up of water

Unidentified butterfly seen on the trail. In certain lighting conditions it flashed a brilliant blue color on the topside of the wings!

Male and female Green Spiny Lizard
Male Green Spiny Lizard showing off his bright blue throat!

View up the stream along the Trogon Lodge trail. 
At some point near the end of our hike, we walked out into the middle of the stream and plopped down on some boulders to take a rest. The atmosphere was so inviting and relaxing that we ended up staying there for way too long and ended up being late for our zip-lining appointment! Luckily, the guy who runs everything for the lodge was fine with us being late and even said: "that's okay! You are learning quickly! You are on Tico time!". Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos and with the slower, more relaxed lifestyle, it seems that being late for things is the norm.
     The two guys who took us zip-lining spoke a bit of English, but not very well, so the owner of the lodge made sure we understood all the important information and instructions before we headed out on the trail to begin our adventure. The walk to the first platform wasn't easy since we had already hiked the trail once that day and it was quite steep and/or rough in spots, not to mention the elevation change we were still getting used to. Our guides do this trip a lot so they were used to the extra exertion and kept a steady, slightly brisk pace the whole way. They did slow down a bit when I tripped on a root and was inches away from going face first into the ground, but stopping to rest apparently was not an option. However, once we started actually zipping between the trees many meters above the ground, the exhaustion from the hike was quickly forgotten.
After our zip-lining adventure (yes, I would definitely do it again!), we piled in the car to go on a quest for Fiery-throated Hummingbirds and some lunch! Stay tuned for part 2 of day 5!

When we got to the car we discovered a little visitor! 

Black-capped Flycatcher

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