After visiting Selve Verde for just one night we took a bit of a longer drive, back down through San Jose and then to the east to the mountains and valley of San Gerardo de Dota. After climbing up the mountain in our tiny SUV, we turned off the main road onto a narrow road that wound its way into the valley with hairpin turns. This was a bit nerve wracking but finally we reached the bottom of the valley. We were staying at Trogon Lodge and after a bit of a delay whilst waiting for the receptionist, we got our rooms and signed up for the Quetzal walk at 6 the next morning.
Although you are in the valley, you are still at quite a high elevation – around 2200 meters. The air is crisp and clear and cold, and smells amazing because of the beautiful river running near the lodge. The birding was amazing and at this elevation, almost all the birds were lifers for me.
One exception was the Rufous-collared Sparrow which we had also seen at El Socorro but here it was even more confiding. He sang all the time and he liked to pose for us:
Lifers included the Black-capped Flycatcher,
the Sooty-capped Bush Tanager,
the Collared Redstart,
and more. To be continued . . .
All photos copyright Jonathan Moeller.