Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cloud Forest - Costa Rica Part 1

San Jose at night

A year ago, our son Troy and his wife Carmen asked us if we would like to take an adventure to Costa Rica.  Our quick response was an emphatic "YES, when do we leave?"  We had one request; that they plan the entire trip - flights, lodging, bird guides, rental car, etc.  They planned an extraordinary 9 day trip to an extraordinary country through
Blue-Gray Tanager

The next three blogs will give you a taste of what we experienced.  Leaving chilly Madison with a layover in Dallas, we arrived in San Jose that evening.  Our first night was at the Hotel Alta de las Palomas, high on the hillside overlooking the city.  We birded the grounds before breakfast finding a quick 27 species of birds - most of them lifers...
Red-billed Pigeon

When the 4-wheel drive rental car arrived, we started our trek around the city up into the cloud forest.  Through the narrow, curving mountain roads to over 7,500 feet then down a gravel trail to the beautiful Trogon Lodge at San Gerarad de Dota.

Paradise in the valley's tropical forest, flowering bushes, waterfalls, hummingbirds zooming from flower to flower, bird song all around.  We stayed in a beautiful rustic cabin overlooking the trout ponds ( for meals at the restaurant).
Carmen and Troy at the Trogon Lodge

The rugged steep trails surrounded the lodge area.  A bit much for me, so I rested at the zip line bench as Ty, Troy and Carmen hiked to the waterfalls.  As I sat quietly - a beautiful streak of emerald green flew by me.  It was the female Resplendent Quetzal landing about 50 yards away just above a broken off tree.

All of a sudden the male came out of a nest cavity - flew off and the female went in.  This was our main target bird for the country and where was the family?   When they returned we waited a long time but she didn't come out and he didn't return.  We went back to the lodge but would return two times for the Quetzal show.
Resplendent Quetzal male in nest cavity

Ida looking up all the new birds

Red-tailed Squirrel

Sooty-capped Chloraspingus

Mountain Thrust

Ty climbing for the perfect photo

Green Spiny Lizard

Sooty Thrush
Our rustic cabin at the Trogon Lodge

Yellow-thighed Finch

Green Violetear Hummingbird

Magnificent Hummingbird on gigantic Hen & Chicks

Purple Throated Mountain Gem female
Overwhelmed with memories of this awesome adventure.
Ty & Ida Baumann


  1. Such an amazing trip! Had a blast.

  2. What a wonderful experience! So happy for you.