Saturday, April 27, 2013

From La Selva to Rancho Naturalista

We started our second morning at La Selva by packing ready to leave after breakfast.  It was overcast and very poor quality light so we gave up any plans for a walk and drove instead to the front entrance and in for breakfast.

A bird we saw a lot of in Costa Rica was the Chestnut-sided Warbler, and La Selva was no exception:

Around the comedor we added a couple of parrots, including the Mealy Parrot:

and a Red-lored Parrot:

Our next destination was Rancho Naturalista, about 90 minutes drive away so with the grey skies at La Selva we decided to head on straight after breakfast, which we did.  After an uneventful trip we arrived.  The track to the property is definitely 4x4 territory as indeed is most of the driving in Costa Rica.

We surprised them with our arrival and our room was still occupied by a couple out on a bird walk, so we settled down on the balcony to watch the comings and goings from the various fruit and humming bird feeders,

The staff were kind enough to make us tea and coffee and to bring us some cake.  At lunchtime we went downstairs with the bell and enjoyed a good veggie lunch and then headed back up to the balcony.

We enjoyed a restful day and the relaxation that Rancho offers.  The birding was pretty good too, Blue-gray Tanager:

Crimson-collared Tanager:

Montezuma Oropendola:

After lunch one of the Rancho's guides (they are unpaid by the property - their income is a set fee by the property for any guided activity plus tips), took us on a short walk to see one of Helen's target species for the trip, a Common Potoo:

They are amazingly cryptic birds, we were lucky it had its eyes open.  This one apparently is sat on a nest:

The hummingbirds at Rancho are fantastic.  They zoom around, squabble, sit for a bit, zoom around again, etc.  It's so relaxing and just makes you smile, sitting there with all this activity happening all around you.

We saw lots of 'hummers' including Green-breasted Mango, female:

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird:

Violet Sabrewing:

Violet-crowned Wood-nymph:

You can see how their plumage varies based on the light and indeed the angle at which you see them.

Down in the pools they are completely irridescent (you head down to watch them bathe towards sunset, it's a very reliable spot for the Snowcap in particular).

A female, Violet-crowned Wood-nymph:

White-necked Jacobin:

and female:

Some of the butterflies (and indeed moths) in Costa Rica are huge, this is some form of Owl Butterfly species:

We spotted a new flycatcher on our ambles too, a Yellow-margined Flycatcher:

Sunset at Rancho:

Dinner was very good and the wine on sale very pleasant and sensibly priced too.  We settled in for a good night's sleep.  We'd booked a guided walk for the following morning and the usual early start.



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