Saturday, June 14, 2008

Guatemala: Friday

The itinerary for the third and last day of the Nikon EDG launch took us to Los Tarrales Reserve, a wonderful facility with a checklist of almost 280 bird species. The property encompasses three habitats: subtropical humid forest, cloud forest and pine-oak mountain forest.

After we consumed a yummy breakfast, Mike Freiberg put me in the group for the upper trail, and 12 of us piled into vehicles for another bumpy drive up the volcano's slope. Along the way, we glimpsed a perched Gray Hawk and views like this.

(As always, click on an image to see a larger version.)

On the way up, we stopped to form smaller groups. Two cars continued up the road to a small village, where the children came out to see us and where we saw a Common Tody-Flycatcher.

Our excellent guide, Josue, led us up the trail on our quest to see Azure-rumped Tanagers. I didn't see a lot of birds but thoroughly relished the long looks at White-winged Tanager and Blue-crowned Chlorophia -- egads, what colors!

Perhaps this will get me drummed out of the club, but the lack of species didn't bother me in the least. I enjoyed the experience for what it was rather than wishing for more. How could I complain when given these views and memories?

We returned to the village, and the children joined our short walk to a deserted building with nice views. After I snapped a photo of the kids and showed it to them, they turned into circus performers and exclaimed "Una foto! Una foto!" An amusing end to the outing.

After an E ticket ride back to the main lodge, we feasted on another delicious meal amid colorful decorations in the warehouse. Feeling the beginning of a food coma, I opted to remain at the lodge rather than venture out for more birding.

A group of us coalesced in a room with comfy chairs, and we enjoyed good conversation while the sky grew darker. Then the rain began... and it really came down. We congratulated ourselves for remaining under a roof.

At one point, we learned that our bus wouldn't start, so we joked about staying overnight at Los Tarrales -- a possibility that didn't bother me in the least. It's a fantastic property, operated by really nice hosts... and I wouldn't mind taking a gander at the Long-tailed Manakins -- in drier weather.

After everyone in the group returned to the main house and dried off, we consumed another tasty meal, complete with gifts and live music by Colibri. What a delightful finish to a wonderful introduction to birding in Guatemala.



Blogger Denise said...

What an amazing adventure! Sounds fun even to a non-birder like me!

June 14, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What gorgeous scenery! your photos came out quite lovely Amy!

June 17, 2008 6:01 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Leigh. The credit goes to the digital point & shoot camera.

June 18, 2008 9:10 AM  

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