Tuesday, April 07, 2015

El Copal Rural Lodge

We were relieved to be on our way and looking forward to a little bit of paradise, at El Copal Rural Lodge.   We knew the facilities to be rustic and the language only Spanish.  On approach things got very complicated however.  The unseasonal rains had made the top of the track up to the lodge impassable without a 4x4 and we duly got stuck about 100 metres from the top.  At this point we really were cursing the rental company for switching us out of a 4x4.  We ended up communicating, hugely fortunately through a couple of other guests at the lodge, with the on site manager who walked down the hill to fetch a man and his drunk helper with a tractor.  Cue more towing, more stress and finally getting the car to the top.

During all of this Helen stepped out of the car onto an anthill and got a number of bites, most of which subsequently got infected!  So lots of fun again courtesy of Dollar Rental!

Anyway once at the lodge they served us an impromptu lunch, which really typified their hospitality.  It's a lovely spot.  We wish we'd stayed longer and that the rain had abated, we really fancied a walk on one of the trails.

The aforementioned guests included a PhD Ornithologist and a PhD Biologist so we got some excellent information and advice and really enjoyed both their company and the company of their guests as well as an impromptu wine and rum party after dinner to which we had nothing to contribute but were invited nonetheless.

When the rain abated the birding was splendid.  We stayed under cover and patrolled the balcony surrounding the lodge spotting a good number of birds including Black-and-Gold Tanager:

Cinnamon Becard:

Emerald Tanager:

Golden-hooded Tanager:

Paltry Tyrannulet:

Scarlet-thighed Dacnis:

Summer Tanager:

Tawny-capped Euphonia:

White-vented Euphonia:

Collared Trogon:

distant Keel-billed Toucans - it took me an age to cotton-on to the fact the frogs I could hear were in fact these Toucans:

a female Golden-browed Chlorophonia:

And in the morning on the wet grass, a MacGillivray's Warbler:

A large group of local birder/photographers drove up the hill in the morning, cruising up easily in their 4x4's, grrrrrr, to enjoy the birding.  A Rufous Motmot provided some initial focus:

Another Tawny-crowned Euphonia:

A female White-vented Euphonia:

We enjoyed our stay and left wishing we could have indulged a little more in this little bit of birding paradise.


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