Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Costa Rica March 15-31st. Part 5 Miriam's Quetzals

The drive from Selva Verde to Savegra Lodge is quite long (~5 hrs) and requires traversing San Jose to get on to Highway 2 and heading south west. This road slowly climbs until it enters the Quetzal national Park (at ~8000 ft).  There are a number of hotels along this road but we needed to turn off onto a road/track that drops steeply down eventually to Savegra Lodge. A few miles into this decent one will find Miriam's Quetzals, a café/restaurant with a famed feeder station (it is marked on Google Maps if you want to find it).
After the disappointment of Dave and Dave's we stopped there for coffee to check the place out late(ish) afternoon (3.30-4.00) rather than drive back up from Savegra another day to see whether it was any good.
Anticipating the worse we actually went into the café without the camera gear but immediately we saw the feeders we rushed back to the car to get our kit. There were birds everywhere and I'd probably fired off over a hundred shots before Miriam came out to take our orders.

On the path leading to the terrace were large footed finch and rufous necked sparrow, on the flowers beside the terrace were hummingbirds and slatey backed flower piercer. On the fruit feeding station blue grey and flame backed tanager (male and female in various stages of moult) plus acorn woodpecker and around the hummingbird feeder there was magnificent and volcano hummingbird, green violet ear and white throated mountain gem though only the female of the latter.

Slatety flower piercer(female)

Large footed finch

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Acorn Wooodpecker
Volcano hummingbird

Flame coloured tanager

Flame coloured tanager (female)

Sooty Thrush

Magnificent hummingbird

White throated mountain gem

Other visitors to the feeding station area were sooty thrush, yellow thighed finch, long-tailed silky flycatcher and Wilson's warbler.

yellow-thighed finch

Long-tailed silky flycatcher

We only had half an hour there but it was so good we went back the next day for lunch. It was somewhat quieter for our lunch visit (around 1pm) and this second visit didn't add many new species though red headed barbet came in and 2 swallow-tailed kites circled overhead for a few minutes. What it did do is allow us to get more quality shots of the birds listed above.

Swallow-tailed kite

Miriam's was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the holiday.

I'd read that Miriam has charged for people to be there but I suspect it was because they outstayed their welcome and didn't buy much from the café. After our coffee stop I donated $10 to the feeder fund and Miriam was extremely grateful; on our second visit we had lunch and a drink or two so I thought our patronage was suffice.

If you are in the area stopping at this place is a must!

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