Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Costa Rica - Day 5 (Part 2) - March 20, 2013

After zip-lining we were starving, but also wanted to get the most out of being in high elevation tropical habitat. So we piled in the car and headed up out of the valley where Trogon is located and out onto the main highway. Our destination was not far away and soon we found ourselves at La Georgina Restaurant.

La Georgina!

This place is famous for the Fiery-throated Hummingbirds that come to their many feeders on a daily basis. Almost as soon as we walked into the place and sat down we were up again with our noses nearly pressed against the glass oooooo-ing and ahhhhhh-ing over the birds we came here to seek out. It was very difficult to capture the brilliance of these bird's feathers because they are so darn quick and the sun was just at the wrong angle for shooting photos through the window. I did manage to get one half-decent shot by going outside and standing under the feeders, but this was a difficult task as well since the restaurant is built into a hill and so going outside meant that I was no longer eye-level with the little buggers. This photo certainly does not do the Fiery-throated Hummingbirds justice. I guess you will just have to go there yourself if you want to see these birds in their full fiery glory. 

Fiery-throated Hummingbird
Green Violet-ear posing in the sunlight

After about 10 minutes of staring at these birds in awe, our stomachs reminded us that we had been running on "empty" for longer than necessary. So we got in line for the buffet-style serving and bought lunch. Being able to point at trays of food items that you wanted was a much easier way to order a meal then trying to struggle through ordering from a menu that was in Spanish. This was also beneficial to the picky eaters because they could see what they were getting before ordering it and everyone ended up with a delicious meal. 
My meal at La Georgina - chicken and a rice/veggie mixture
After stuffing ourselves it was getting to be late in the afternoon, but we still had a few hours of daylight left so we acquired a map of the trails around the restaurant and headed out to see what other species we could add to our life lists. The trail went down the side of the mountain, then looped around and came back up. Thus, the first half of our walk was nice and easy, and we were able to add Philadelphia Vireo and Yellow-billed Cacique to our trip list in addition to a quick glance at another Resplendent Quetzal that had been calling for quite some time. However, the second half of the loop certainly challenged us and we were all very glad we did not attempt this hike before we were acclimated to the elevation change. 


Vegetation along the trail at La Georgina

We finally made it back to the restaurant just before sunset and took a break under the hummingbird feeders. Due to the low angle of the sun at this time of day we were treated to some spectacular views of the hummingbird's flashes of color as they defended "their" feeder. 

Hummingbird fight!

Male Magnificent Hummingbird flashing his colors
The sun finally got too low for decent photos, and we didn't want to be driving in the dark, so we piled back in the car and headed to Trogon for our final night there. When we got back dinner wasn't being served for a little while so we occupied ourselves with playing Jenga in the lodge's recreation room until the pool table opened up and then we took it over until dinner time. 
We eventually headed back to our cabin exhausted, but happy with how the day had gone, and with much anticipation for the next segment of our adventure to begin in the morning. 

Stay tuned for Day 6!

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