Volcano Arenal and the tanagers

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We spent the morning birding in the Childrens Eternal Rainforest and had some great looks at the Emerald Toucanets again; but the highlight was a pair of male Long Tailed Manakins that were sitting on a branch together practicing their courtship songs(they do this). These are little wren sized birds that are dark blue with powder blue wings and a gaudy red spot on top of their heads. As if that isn't enough, they have slender double tail feathers that are 6-8 inches long. What a treat! After that we decided to go ahead over to see the Arenal
Volcano which involves a long and winding ;but beautiful drive around Lake Arenal. As we descended from the heavily forested mountain into the rolling foothills, the scenery changed into lush farmland spread across the hillsides with bands of trees dividing them. We birded as we went and before long, we had the volcano in sight. Dark and a bit foreboding, it rises out of the lush green forest with no other mountains in sight and a single cloud covers the top. We couldn't see any lava; but we wanted to wait until night and then try when it would be easier. As night fell, it was pretty much all clouds so we gave up; but I awoke at 2:00 am and saw nothing but stars so we dragged ourselves out and set off for the SW side of the mountain only to find that we still couldn't see the top or any red lava. The next day we learned that there hasn't been any volcanic activity in the past 3 months; but we had already booked another night so we went to the Arenal observatory lodge to go birding. What a fabulous afternoon we had! I will add in the bird list; but the colors of the birds that we saw were absolutely spectacular! I have never seen so many memorable birds in a single day.

Black Guan. Bare Throated Tiger Heron. Cattle Egrets
Green Heron. Great Egret. Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture. Laughing Falcon. Am. Kestrel
Spotted Sandpiper.y Common Ground Dove. White Winged Dove
Squirrel Cuckoo. Rufous Tailed HB. Blue Crowned Mot-Mot
Chestnut Mandibled Toucan N. Beardless Tyrannulet. Black Cheeked WP
Great Kiskadee. Tropical Kingbird. White Throated Magpie Jay
Brown Jay. Tree or Mangrove Swallow. Band Backed Wren
House wren. Clay Colored Robin. Lesser Greenlet
Cheries Tanager. Crimson Collared Tanager. Golden Hooded Tanager
Bay Headed Tanager. Rufous Winged Tanager(fem). Scarlet Thighed Dacnis
Blue Gray Tanager. Shining Honeycreeper. Variable Seedeater
Yellow Faced Grassquit. Rufous Collared Sparrow. Eastern Meadowlark
Bronzed Cowbird. Great Tailed Grackle. Montezuma Oropendola
Yellow Throated Euphonias
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Christina Lund on

Fun following your journey. We were in Costa Rica over the Christmas holiday. Lots of fun!

JJ on


RedPalmVillas on

Incredible Photos! clap clap for the photographer

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