March 07, 2012


We only stayed two nights at La Selva and it felt like we barely scratched the surface there. So much to see! Would love to come back and spend more time there. Our next destination was Arenal Observatory Lodge which is located on a small ridge next to the very impressive Volcano ArenalThe view from our room was pretty amazingThe volcano has apparently been "sleeping" for a year or two so we didn't see any lava or irruptions. Still though, an incredible back drop! The habitat here was kind of middle elevation with a much denser understory compared to La SelvaBut there were also some more open areasOne of the famous Arenal hanging bridgesBirding was great but it was a little tough to get around without a car. So we spent a lot of time just walking around the beautiful gardens watching tanagers, hummingbirds and other cool stuff. This was "our" fig tree...Tons of birds would come and go from this tree over the course of a day. But they were hard to see. Can you find the EMERALD TANAGER?The Coati: a freaky cross between a raccoon and a monkeyMaybe a little cat or pig or something else in there too. We saw quite a few of these on our trip. They were a little overly friendly sometimes. Pretty weird...Weather didn't totally cooperate unfortunately and we had quite a bit of wind and rain to deal with. Our best birds here were probably WHITE-THROATED SHRIKE-TANAGER and GREAT BLACK-HAWK but alas, brief looks and no photos. Garden birds were more cooperative like this RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPERBLACK-COWLED ORIOLEBANANAQUITMONTEZUMA OROPENDOLAWe saw lots of wonderful hummingbirds. VIOLET-HEADED and RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS were by far the most common. GREEN THORNTAIL and BLACK-CRESTED COQUETTE were very tiny and very cool. PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY was stunning but super hard to photograph. Sarah got a decent look at a GREEN HERMIT right outside our room but I missed it. Then we had this RED-FOOTED (or is it Bronze-tailed?) PLUMELETEERWHITE-NECKED JACOBIN
A look back at the Volcano from our boat ride across Lake Arenal