Day 10: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

A new day, a new guided tour. This time it is after a dinner without Gallo Pinto, a first for me since we have landed in Costa Rica. Why, I hear you ask, is it that I didn’t have Gallo Pinto for breakfast? Well, that is simply because this hotel does not offer Gallo Pinto as a breakfast option. We could see the cook preparing it, but it was not for the guests.
And as we were in a hurry to get to the guided tour, we didn’t pursue this matter further.

At 07:30 the tour starts in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a fully protected part of the land which consists of a few thousand hectares of tropical forest on both sides of the continental divide. On both side there are both tropical cloud forest and tropical rain forest, depending on the altitude. The difference is mainly in precipitation: cloud forests typically don’t get much rain, all water usually comes from damp, fog or clouds rolling through. This results in a very dense, overgrown forest where all trees are overgrown with moss and aerial plants on top of the moss. The trees grow less tall than in a rain forest because of the lower temperatures and less sunlight.

The first thing our guide did when we entered the reserve was to say that we would be on the lookout for one of the most endangered and coveted species of bird in Costa Rica: the Quetzal. Officially the Resplendent Quetzal, it is usually very hard to see and find.
Today, we were incredibly lucky to get good views in 4 separate sightings of 2 female birds, and 1 male bird. Including the long and very sought after tail feather. This male only had one, some birds have two. The guide didn’t have a good explanation for that, and therefore me neither. 😉

We swalked for about 4 hours in the forest, trying to find all kinds of other stuff, like stick insects, toads, frogs, lizards, trees, vines, and whatever was available T that moment in time.
Thus we found a lot, including the Orange-bellied Trogon, some species of Tanager and more birds I cannot remember the name of.

As a true sweet dessert, he also took us to a place called Colibri Café, a café located just outside of the reserve which is doing its name proud: the Colibri have taken their garden over completely, which is mainly to do with the bird feeders hanging there.
At least 10 species of hummingbirds could be seen at any given time over there, and we probably also have.
We also took way too many pictures of the hummingbirds, to get that one shot of the bird hovering in mid air. So far, we hope to have succeeded in that, but it is hard to judge without a monitor. We probably spent close to 3 hours lingering in the garden, taking pictures and waiting for that perfect moment. Now, that is dedication for you!

After all that, we decided it would be best for us to just go to the hotel and relax before dinner, and that was exactly what we did. Tomorrow, we’ll go on the final bird watching tour here in Monteverde, and after that we are off to Rincon de la Vieja!
Probably to view some more wildlife. 😀