Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Monday, July 24, 2017

Costa Rica: Arenal to Monteverde

Our third 3-night destination was Monteverde, which is reality not far from Arenal Lodge Observatory as the crow flies.  However, traveling there would have taken about 8 hours on a bus.  But we found that there is a method that can shorten that distance to about 3 hours or so.  At Arenal Lodge, we signed up for the Jeep-Boat-Jeep trip.  This was really a fun option as it took us from Arenal Lodge to a spot on the shore of Lake Arenal where we boarded a boat that took us across the lake to another makeshift landing spot on the other side of the lake and then another transport over land on some back roads that eventually led us to the small community of Monteverde which is situated in the mountain cloud forests of Costa Rica.

Monteverde is well known for its Resplendent Quetzal, a bird that has been on my wish list, since forever!  So this stop was a must for me and was the focal point for our visit to Monteverde.  Located in mountain cloud forest meant that clouds rolled in and out creating foggy conditions throughout the day.  Our first morning was a trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a known location for the quetzal.  We took the trail that was recommended and we found many other birds of interest but not the quetzal.  Once we returned to the beginning, Chris visited with one of the security guards there and he generously took some time to take us back in the forest and sure enough, he helped us find the Resplendent Quetzal.  My photos are of a juvenile and not an adult and with poor lighting, I had to concede that calendar photos were not going to happen, but just seeing the bird was a big thrill!

Resplendent Quetzal

Here are a few other species that we found in the Monteverde area.

Common-Tody Flycatcher

 White-eared Ground-Sparrow

White-eared Ground-Sparrow

Gray-breasted Wood-Wren

 Yellowish Flycatcher

Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush

 Common Chlorospingus

 Costa Rican Warbler

Orange-bellied Trogon

Silver-throated Tanager - Juvenile

However, I did add one more life bird to my list on this Jeep-Boat-Jeep trip, the Swallow-tailed Kite.  Hope to eventually add this species to my United States and ABA list, but for now I will take it!

Swallow-tailed Kite

Was going to include the hummingbirds from Monteverde, but think I will have to do an exclusive post on just the hummingbirds.  That will be completed much faster than this last post. I got a bit side tracked with other commitments, so hope to do better in the future to get this trip completely posted.

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