Thursday, February 01, 2007

Costa Rica: Day 2

After breakfast, we boarded a small, but comfortable, van and headed to our next destination: The Arenal Observatory Lodge. The lodge, located about 2.5 hours from where we were, is situated right next to the Arenal Volcano. On our way to the lodge, we had to make one stop. We had received a tip that a field near the town of La Fortuna was hosting two rarities: Tropical Mockingbird and Southern Lapwing. These two birds are not even in the CR field guide! It took us a few minutes to find the Lapwing, but the Mockingbird was nowhere to be found. Another group of birders located a second Lapwing, but still no Mocker. As a consolation prize, our views of the Arenal Volcano from this spot were astounding!



We packed up the van and continued our journey to the lodge... and what a lodge it was! Nice rooms, balcony views of the volcano, good eats, lots of trails, and an amazing deck with a view of some fruit feeders. We dropped our bags off and headed to the feeders. Watermelon, banana, and canteloupe attracted Montezuma Oropendulas, Yellow-bellied Euphonias, Olive-backed Euphonias, and a host of different Tanagers. I also saw a life mammal, a Coati, searching for scraps under the feeders.


Feeders at Arenal (Blue-gray Tanager, Olive-backed Euphonia Female, Passerini's Tanager, Bananaquit)



A Coati


Lunch was decent. They make some surprisingly great french fries in CR. By the end of lunch, our views of the volcano were becoming clouded over and we wouldn't see the peak again for the remainder of our stay.


No more Arenal...


After lunch we hit the trails around the lodge. This lodge was historically used as a monitoring station for the volcano, so there are many buildings around. Our first find was a fruiting tree that attracted lots of tanagers: Bay-headed, Rufous-winged, Palm, Golden-hooded, Emerald, and Blue-gray at least. It was hopping. After getting our fill of tanagers, we continued towards our destination: The Waterfall Trail. On the way we encountered White-necked Jacobin and Violet-headed Hummingbird (lifer).


Violet-headed Hummingbird


The Waterfall Trail was our first exposure to rainforest birding. Birding in the rainforest is tough. The foliage is incredibly dense and many birds are only seen passing by quickly in back-lit feeding flocks high near the canopy. It's not for the faint of heart. On the trail we were greeted with our first view of one of the Antbirds - a single Ocellated Antbird - a great sighting. We also saw Slaty-tailed Trogon and heard several other birds. A steep decent to the waterfall lead to a view of our prized find - a Green-fronted Lancebill that loved to sit on a rock in the middle of a river. He would fly up, swirl around a bit, and then come back to the same rock over and over again. Funny little guy!



It was getting late so we headed back towards the hotel. We watched the sunset over Arenal Lake. We then enjoyed a pretty decent candlelight dinner. The sounds of the night were a calling Pauraque and many katydids. Until tomorrow!



P.S. I know I said I would have one post for each place we stayed, but I've been writing too much about each day. It'll be one post per day spent in CR.

17 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

Okay...JEALOUS!

What a beautiful place.

Cool coati...they remind me of our raccoons. Related?

P. Ollig said...

mmmmmm...rotten bananas.

*drools*

What a great trip! I'm looking forward to tomorrow's installment.

Patrick Belardo said...

Susan,
The coati is indeed related to our raccoons. Interesting fact... they roost in groups in trees. When a predator is sighted, they all drop simultaneously out of the tree!

Paul,
Rotten bananas = cool birds! (and some butterflies too!) I'm surprised I haven't seen more of these types of feeding stations in the US. I wonder what we could attract... (probably bears)

Anonymous said...

Good post.
I was searching the internet for cheap internet phone service (Voip) and found a company called Via Talk. They are cheaper and just as good as Vonage.

They are now offering 1 year phone service Free when you purchase 1 year – for a limited time. Check it out at Via Talk

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.
If you’re interested in free weight loss tips please visit this site.

John Tiniakos said...

Hey you have a very good blog.

If by any chance you need weight loss help check out by blog: Weight Loss Tips

Anonymous said...

Car Auctions Nice blog. Check out my blog for the #1 source for car auctions.

Anonymous said...

FREE Business Advertising Tips The Most Powerful Internet Classified Advertising Methods On The Web! "TOP" Rated Money Making Website! A Must See!!!

Anonymous said...

How many calories do we need in a day? To learn more, please visit Weight Loss

Anonymous said...

The information of this site is really important since it counts on specific details for interested in real estate. The illustration that offers on the life in Costa Rica and its people seems to me very advisable the image of the country and contributes great benefits for the tourism, business that offers many economic advantages for the country. The increase of real estate in Costa Rica during the last years is the test that Costa Rica in one of the destinies more looked for by the foreigners eager to invest in this point of exuberant beauty of flora and fauna. I also count on information referring to the subject.

More information at:


Great preconstruction condos in costa rica
Condo sales in costa rica, Retirement property. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com/

DENNIS07 said...

Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: costa rica condominiums, condos for sale, costa rica homes. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/

costa rica said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...:Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: condo costa estate real rica, condo costa rica, condos for sale in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/

DENNIS07 said...

Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: costa rica condominiums, condos for sale, costa rica homes. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/

Anonymous said...

A lot of people ask me how I like living in Costa Rica. My answer is, it was the best decision that I made in my life. I came to Costa Rica 7 years ago on a vacation and quickly fell in love with the beauty of the country and the hospitality of the people here. I couldn't wait to come back. I started coming here about 4 times per year and always had a great time and didn't want to leave. Two years ago, I decided to leave Arizona and come live in Paradise. I can not tell you how happy I am that I made that decision. Today, I wake up next to the ocean and run on the beach every morning. I eat the most delicious fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood. My stress levels are much lower than when I was living in the States and the potential here for investing, truly is unlimited. The best part of living here is showing our clients this country. I really don't feel like I have a job for the first time in my life. The joy I receive when I see the look on people's faces when they get into the warm water of the Pacific ocean is truly priceless. For those of you that have come and discovered paradise, you know what I am talking about. For those of you that are on the way, I can't wait to get you here. And to those who are thinking about Costa Rica, please do yourself a favor and come down. You will have the time of your life.


We invite you to take a tour on our website, and if should more information is required:




Great columbus heights
Pacific Coast Realty, Costa Rica Property for sale. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com/

Anonymous said...

A lot of people ask me how I like living in Costa Rica. My answer is, it was the best decision that I made in my life. I came to Costa Rica 7 years ago on a vacation and quickly fell in love with the beauty of the country and the hospitality of the people here. I couldn't wait to come back. I started coming here about 4 times per year and always had a great time and didn't want to leave. Two years ago, I decided to leave Arizona and come live in Paradise. I can not tell you how happy I am that I made that decision. Today, I wake up next to the ocean and run on the beach every morning. I eat the most delicious fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood. My stress levels are much lower than when I was living in the States and the potential here for investing, truly is unlimited. The best part of living here is showing our clients this country. I really don't feel like I have a job for the first time in my life. The joy I receive when I see the look on people's faces when they get into the warm water of the Pacific ocean is truly priceless. For those of you that have come and discovered paradise, you know what I am talking about. For those of you that are on the way, I can't wait to get you here. And to those who are thinking about Costa Rica, please do yourself a favor and come down. You will have the time of your life.


We invite you to take a tour on our website, and if should more information is required:



Great Costa Rica Pacific Coast investment opportunity, guanacaste beach condos, jaco beach condos, Real Estate properties in Jaco beach Costa Rica, jaco beach real estate, beach condos rentals costa rica, condo for sale in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com

Omar Cruz said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...:Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: costa rica retirement property, costa rica retirement information, costa rica hoteles. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costarica4retirement.com

web design services said...

The blog was absolutely fantastic! Brilliant post, Lot of information and inspiration, keep up the good work. This article helps me to increase my knowledge in the subject. Thank you very much..
web design company, web design services