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A bird and some butterflies

Costa Rica day ten

View Costa Rica 2022 on ToonSarah's travel map.

Panorama, Selvatura Park

I woke early so sat up to watch the sky lightening, with pretty pink clouds scudding across in the strong winds.

Hanging bridges

After breakfast we were picked up by the bus that serves Selvatura Park, one of several private concerns in the Monteverde area that offer various experiences to explore the cloud forest. We had pre-booked a hanging bridges walk and also a visit to their dome. What I didn't know was how much else there is to do there. I knew about the zipline canopy tour but had discounted that as it's not advised if you're prone to back trouble. So we weren't carrying a lot of spare cash and couldn't opt for any additional experiences such as the hummingbirds garden or sloth encounter. Nor could we book a guide for the hanging bridges tour but on the whole we were happy to do that alone. Maybe we missed some wildlife, despite looking carefully, but Marcela's tour yesterday had equipped us with a fair bit of information about this special ecosystem and we enjoyed identifying some of the details she had pointed out. And with better weather today (dry, mostly cloudy but no moisture) we could take our time over the photos. Here's a selection:

On one of the hanging bridges

View from one of the bridges

Looking down from a hanging bridge

Young ferns and leaves

Daisy-like flower

Dramatic red


New leaves

However the benefits of having a guide weren't totally lost on us. Towards the end of the trail we came across a group of three being shown something by their guide. They kindly allowed us to stop and get his guidance in spotting what was causing the excitement - a Resplendent Quetzal! I'm sure we would have missed this had we not run into this group, so it was a real bonus to have done so and to tick off the iconic Costa Rican bird sighting. This is a male - his beautiful long tail is the key to that. He was very hard to photograph between the trees but I managed one half-decent shot.

Resplendent Quetzal


We were back at the centre in time to join the 10.15 butterfly tour. Along with about half a dozen other visitors we were escorted to the dome a short distance away. The guide explained how the temperature was controlled to suit the butterflies, a bit warmer than that outside. All the species are native to Costa Rica and include the Blue Morphus and Monarch. Inside he showed us Blue Morph eggs and a caterpillar, and the cocoons of several species. He explained that some feed on nectar and some on minerals such as potassium, salt and sugar. There were plates of mashed up banana for the latter and a good range of flowering plants for the nectar feeders. Then we went up to a platform at one end from where we could watch and attempt to photograph the butterflies. I had some success but not with the Blue Morphus which just wouldn't cooperate and stay still for a second!

Owl butterfly, underside and above



There was also a scarlet macaw near the platform, and it was much easier to get photos of him!

Scarlet Macaw

At one point a butterfly landed on my finger. I know it was only interested in the salt in my sweat, but it was nevertheless a special moment!

Butterfly on my finger

We had to hurry to catch the next bus back to the hotel. They only run every two hours and with limited cash in our pockets we didn't want to have to hang around that long. After dropping off unneeded waterproofs and some other stuff we walked back down the hill into town.

A quiet afternoon

We had lunch at the same coffee shop we'd been to two days previously and then split up. Chris wanted to take photos on the far side of town while I was keen to find a gift shop and look for a possible souvenir of the trip. I had no luck in finding anything that appealed but did find a few more good murals.




Murals at the shopping centre

On the edge of town near our hotel

But I soon returned to the hotel to try my hand at some bird photography. I managed to capture another hummingbird but nothing else.

The climb to our bungalow at Senda Monteverde


Late afternoon we went down to the bar for happy hour and on the way back to the room spotted the resident agouti which was cool. Dinner was less good than the previous nights as my fish had clearly been cooked prior to my ordering it and left to dry out a bit. But the wine was good as was the cheesecake so we finished the meal on a high.

Posted by ToonSarah 15:15 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged trees birds hotel insects costa_rica forest street_art butterflies

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Another lovely day. I always see amazing butterflies when I go walking here but they never stay still long enough for me to photograph them. You are much better at getting them to pose. Costa Rica looks like a wonderful place to visit.

by irenevt

Thanks for sharing another amazing day with us. As always, some fantastic photographs but that scarlet macaw looks such a character.

by Yvonne Dumsday

Thank you Irene and Yvonne. I only wish I could get butterflies to pose Irene - then I would have some decent photos of the Blue Morphus 😂 I do recommend Costa Rica if you ever get the chance to visit, the landscapes and natural diversity are amazing!

And Yvonne, I think you're right about the macaw, he knew how to pose and I think somewhere in his bird brain was enjoying the attention!!

by ToonSarah

So lucky you got to see the Quetzal. We even brought binoculars to our Selvatura Park walk hoping it would increase our chances. Saw lots of other birds but Quetzals stayed out of sight. Nice to see Sant Elena is still colourful.

by Teoni

We were very lucky :) When we did a bird-watching walk near Arenal we saw none, and we would have missed this one for sure had the other tourists and their guide not stopped at that point on the path :)

by ToonSarah

Good timing to bumping in to the group with the guide :)

Sounds like ypu were having a wonderful day! :)

by hennaonthetrek

It was very fortunate timing Henna - I think otherwise we would have left Costa Rica without seeing its most famous bird!

by ToonSarah

OK, you got me, I had to look up what an agouti was. No David Attenborough I!

by planxty

Haha, glad to have piqued your interest enough to do a bit of research Fergy :)

by ToonSarah

WOW, such a nice selection of pictures!

by Ils1976

Thanks Ils - it was a great place for wildlife photography!

by ToonSarah

looking at your pictures ... I couldn't agree more!!!
I wish I could take such beautiful ones, great shots!!!

by Ils1976

With a reasonable camera and patience to learn the basics I'm sure that you could :)

by ToonSarah

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