Friday, 6 April 2018

Costa Rica (15-31st March 2018) part 2. La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

As stated in the first post the plan was to get to the Waterfall Gardens early, have a late lunch at the Galeria de Colibries y Restaurante Chinona then move onto Selva Verde Lodge before it got dark. The late start and the great time we had at the Waterfall gardens meant there was no time for the Galeria.
The Waterfall Gardens are a refuge for wide variety of animals recovered from illegal collections (cats, monkeys, sloths, snakes, frogs) but also has a good number of bird feeders (fruit and hummingbirds), excellent birding habitat, waterfalls (obviously!) and a hotel (expensive). The hummingbird feeders in particular are noted for the number and variety of species that visit.
Due to our delays we arrived near midday under a blazing sun and spent the first 15 minutes just inside the entrance where a number of tanager species were visiting a fruit feeding station though the harsh light made photography very difficult.

Black vulture in the car park - waiting for tourists to expire from the heat!

Silver throated tanager
Speckled tanager

Blue-grey tanager

Indigo Bunting
Keel-billed toucan

We then visited the aviay, the cats, monkeys, sloths, frogs, butterflies and snakes - it all took quite a bit of time!

Grey hawk

Emerald toucanet
Red-eyed tree frog

When we finally reached the hummingbird feeders there was little bird activity so we had a drink in the café where we were visited by common chlorospihngus and rufous collared sparrow.

Common Chlorspingus

Rufous collared sparrow

After a stroll through the gardens down to the waterfalls we went back to the hummingbird feeders where numbers had improved though photographic conditions were difficult - heavy shade or bright sunshine and a lot of people watching or trying to take pictures. I only managed shots of 5 species (I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to identify hummers with confidence  without a photograph and sometimes even the photograph leaves some room for doubt).

Purple-throated mountain gem
Copper-headed emerald
Violet Sabrewing
Green Thorntail

Eventually we returned to the car for the drive to Selva Verde. It was too late to consider the Galleria.

Despite the late start and the zoo like nature of the waterfall gardens it was very enjoyable though if I ever get the chance to visit again I will get there as early as possible.

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