Our second full day of birding the highlands from the Savegre Lodge left me with the impression of this area being my favorite of the trip.
The river around Savegre Lodge.
I love this photo of the Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumb). I don't remember taking it and for me, even though we saw it many times, this bird was difficult to view clearly through my bins, much less get a clear photo with a berry in it's bill. Wait - stop the presses! Just received a comment from Matt (below), telling me the bird above is a Mountain Robin (Turdus plebejus). I does look a robin, doesn't it? I didn't even have Mountain Robin listed as one of my seen birds. Reveals the perils of photographing a bird before actually seeing it!
Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus). A terrible photo to be sure, but the triangular white spot behind the eye is visible.
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii), above and below, was found by Sandy and it flew into a spot where I could get these beautiful photos. Note the bi-colored bill differentiating it from the Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush.
Not a very good photo, but Yellow-winged Vireo (Vireo carmioli) was a bird seen commonly in the highlands, especially around the lodge.
This crazy photo is of a soaring Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), just to remind me we saw it. A distant flyover photo cannot reveal this, but it's a pretty dramatic-appearing bird.
Spangle-cheeked Tanager (Tangara dowii). Now there's a name.
Our fearless leader. Vernon Campos has an incredible work ethic. His goal, plain and simple, was to get us on the birds and teach us some Spanish along the way. Vamos!
As yet another unidentified butterfly. A note on photographing the butterflies we saw. Difficult. The above butterfly and a few others were exceptions, but mostly they did not land. I had intended to photograph as many as I could, but from day one I saw that this was going to be difficult and abandoned my plan. I thought that the propensity of the butterflies to flit rather than land might be a life-saving adaptation that keeps them from becoming bird food.
I love flycatchers - maybe my favorite genre of birds - and Costa Rica does not disappoint. We saw over half of their 80 species of flycatchers. I was thrilled with this photo of a Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens).
On the morning of our third day, this was our ride up to the top of Los Roblas trail, elevation 10,500 meters, to bird the trail on the walk back down.
Unidentified beautiful flower.
Look closely to pick the Flame-throated Warbler (Oreothlypis gutturals) out of the other colorful junk in this photo.
Our first evening meal at Savegre Hotel dining room buffet. 100% of the time, our food was very good. Reminded me, yet again, that Americans eat plastic and cardboard.
Another Tufted Flycatcher.
As already written about flycatchers, I love this photo. Black-capped Flycatcher (Empidonax triceps).
Black Vulture - kind of cute.
Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea) - a bird I really wanted to see and we saw only this one.
Charming, cute and clownish, the Collared Redstart (Myioborus torquatus) was ubiquitous in the highlands, and as is apparent from above, difficult for me to photograph.
Collared Trogan (Trogan collaris), the first of our six trogan species.
The Ochraceous Pewee, already mentioned from day one, and the Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium costaricanum) are two of the most desired specialty species seen in the highlands.
Another view of Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl. What a great bird!
Dusky Nightjar (Antrostomus saturatus), another highland specialty, provided us with a thrilling chase on our owling night in the highlands.
We also had long, satisfying looks at a Bare-shanked Screech-Owl (Megascops clarkii) and at a stunning Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata). My camera cannot handle any little bit of distance for night photos. The nightjar photo above was successful because the bird was perched beneath a street light, we were relatively close and Vernon had his powerful night light focused on the bird.
To be continued ...