Quetzal search

San Gerardo de Dota Travel Blog

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At 05:30 we are woken up by the alarm. To spot quetzals you need to be an early bird. First we have some coffee at the restaurant and at 06:30 we can leave. Our guide (Isaac) and only the two of us go quetzal spotting. It rains less hard as before.  The guide wants to spot the birds, take pictures and then immediately return because the weather is that bad. So we’re on the road. He takes a tripod with telescope and we only take our binoculars and cameras. He explains we must be on the lookout for the little avocado tree, because in that tree the quetzals are most often. We just walk on the road and he stops once, but doesn’t see anything. Yesterday was no lucky day either for him. Then he sees three people on a steep hill and a large tree; in that tree there are four females. We can see them very well through the telescope he is carrying. We climb up the hill and enjoy this beautiful bird. It’s difficult to take pictures, but we try until suddenly a female flies out of the tree and lands in an old tree only 25 meters from us and for this we even don’t need a telescope to see this magnificent female quetzal. Then the apotheosis comes: suddenly from the big little avocado tree a male quetzal flies away. He flies up and down about ten meters from us; you can clearly see the red and green: this is spectacular. We look at the bird in the flight for a few seconds until he disappears into the rainforest. YES, four females and one male. This is great! Thanks to the Mawamba Group (Tortuguero and San Gerardo de Dota) we’ve seen little turtles and quetzals. We stay a bit on watch, but we can’t spot any bird anymore, so we descend and return to the road. A bit further we stop again to try another time, but without luck. Here we do see a long tailed silky flycatcher: a couple. They’re sitting in a tree right next to the road and they don’t seem to be scared. This is our guide his favorite bird. We return to the lodge and go for breakfast. After breakfast we stay on the terrace and watch hummingbirds. At certain moments about twenty of them are flying back and forth. We rest a bit on our room and enjoy the perfect view from our suite. Right in front of the window a bush grows with lilac flowers and two or three hummingbirds frequently visit them. We like it a lot here. Again a pity that it rains, but thanks to the spotting of this morning we don’t care. The stove in our suite is very nice to have to dry our clothes and our shoes. We rest some more and before lunch we go down the road another time, don’t see anything special and walk back to the restaurant of the lodge. Lunch is a salad, meat with rice and broccoli and cauliflower. Eef has a pudding as dessert. Then we go back to our room and we want to star another hike by ourselves. We are still thinking about whether we need to use mosquito repellent or not, as suddenly Timo sees a flash of blue, red and green rush by on the premises of the lodge. A male, there a male! He runs to a little avocado tree and sees a beautiful species of the male quetzal. Eef can’t locate him for a moment, but then she spots him between the branches and the leaves of the tree. Timo takes pictures and the quetzal is gone. Gone to another tree nearby, and he has positioned himself even better for the pictures. Timo doesn’t stop taking pictures; three Costa Ricans come out of the room and stop cleaning for a moment. We love this very much and then he flies away another time, but again takes a short break on a branch and then we spot him for the last time in flight over the lodge and he disappears. We are so surprised by the whole thing that we need to use the Internet quickly and let everybody at home know what we’ve seen. We buy two Bavaria ��" there is no more Imperial ��" and leave. We were busy with the quetzal for over 20 minutes. So we will be relaxing in our jacuzzi with a beer? At 18:00 we get ready for the aperitif and dinner: two Imperial and one Quetzal-cocktail, of course. Dinner is corn-cream soup, burnt chicken with mashed potatoes and then only drink water and papaya juice. We already pay our bill, so we can leave early this morning and we write our cards and the diary. At about nine we go to sleep, we need to get up early tomorrow for a long ride to Golfito.

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San Gerardo de Dota
photo by: Jody-Scott