It’s been a while since I’ve posted some bird photos 🙂
Got to see the Cuban national bird – a Trojan called the Tocororo – a few times during my trip. Another gorgeous bird whose colours are reflected in the colours of the Cuban flag.
One of the many fabulous things about the Finca Esperanza Verde is the opportunity to spot a wide variety of wildlife. For example, if you want to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with hummingbirds – this is a wonderful spot!
But hummingbirds (colibri) are not the only birds here – not by a long way!
As I described in my last post, I fulfilled a childhood dream and saw my first 2-toed and 3-toed sloths here at the Finca.
Monos Congos (Howler Monkeys) are very common and act as a natural alarm clock most mornings. Was lucky enough this time to see some with their babies.
The Finca also has an extensive garden (flowers and vegetables) and grows a large amount of the food that guests eat. This is the perfect spot to see a wide variety of butterflies.
The best way to see the wildlife is to go on a hike with Omar or Umberto – they are amazing at being able to spot everything. Or keep your own eyes open as you walk around. You’ll see the hummingbirds at very least 😉 They are pretty hard to miss!
Another of our adventures at La Esquina del Lago Jungle River Lodge was to head up the Río Frio to the border with Costa Rica spotting birds and other animals. We left very early in the morning (Jackson was again our guide) with a beautiful mist over the river.
The following are just a selection of the birds that we spotted, including: Anhinga (Pato Aguja), Ringed Kingfisher, Snowy Egret, Passerinis’s Tanager, Great Kiskadee amongst others.
Loved the Bare-Throated Tiger Heron with the truly impressive neck stretch.
And the Great Egret – which seems to be the most common bird in these parts.
We also saw 2 of the 3 species of mokey in Nicaragua – Howler Monkeys (top) and White-headed Capuchins (bottom).
And an iguana.
But it was more than just animals. We also passed several homes and people going about their daily business.
In total, we were out on the river for almost 3 hours, and although it would have been better without the noise of the motor – it did allow us to travel quite some distance! Beautiful morning 🙂
One of the things Caite and I did at La Esquina del Lago Jungle River Lodge was the Caiman (reptile similar to an alligator) night tour. We headed out in a boat with no running lights (nobody has running lights down here yet they all move around at night) with Jackson on the front with the headtorch spotting and one of Champa’s sons (aged about 8) driving.
This is what we were searching for, though this one was only a baby. Apparently they can grow up to 5 metres and one of the biggest ones they’ve spotted hangs out near the Lodge itself!
While Caite and I were enjoying the beautiful night sky, Jackson was shouting instructions to his novice driver over the sound of the motor and absolutely determined to catch a caiman for us. Which he eventually succeeded in doing!
Several times in fact, and getting larger and larger each time.
He took great delight in getting us to hold them (I don’t think he thought we’d do it) and I was surprised at how warm and soft their skin was.
They were quite funny actually – after putting up a very brief struggle (one or two wriggles, 3 for the largest one he caught) they reverted to “deer-in-headlights” mode until we released them back into the water.
Again taken from where we eat our meals at the school/EcoHotel.
Couldn’t resist – these birds (Blue-Crowned Motmots) are so beautiful!
Look who brought a friend to visit me this morning at La Mariposa Spanish School and EcoHotel. This branch is just outside my bedroom window.
After catching many glimpses over the past weeks, I finally had a wonderful view of a Guardabarranco, the national bird of Nicaragua, this morning. It was just outside my bedroom window at La Mariposa Spanish School and EcoHotel and I managed to get a fairly good picture of it (see below on the right).
Many visitors to Nicaragua confuse the Blue-crowned Motmot (image on left; taken from the eating area at La Mariposa) with the Turquoise-browed Motmot (the Guardabarranco) so I thought I’d show that there are actually quite a few differences.
The easiest to spot at a distance is the difference between the tail feathers – the Guardabarranco has a large gap between the tail feathers and the tip of the tail, the Blue-crowned Motmot does not. The colouring is also quite different (though harder to spot at a distance).
Really thrilled to have had a really great view of this wonderful bird 🙂
About 2 weeks ago, 4 orphaned grey foxes were dropped off at La Mariposa Escuela de Español after their mother had been shot. They were nursed back to health at the school with the aim of releasing them once they were strong enough.
A couple of days ago, we set them free in the Cañada Honda – a 140 acre private reserve that was established by La Mariposa with the help of Asociación Tierra to prevent deforestation and provide a safe haven for wildlife.
Fingers crossed that they found each other again after scurrying off in different directions, and that they grow to a ripe old age!
Another regular visitor to the garden around La Mariposa Escuela de Español is the Blue-crowned motmot. This guy looks a lot like the Turquoise-browed motmot (also called the Guardabarranco – the Nicaraguan national bird) but is distinct.
The head colouring is different but the easiest way to tell them apart is through the look of the tail. The tail feathers of the Blue-crowned motmot extend all the way down to the tip, the tail feathers of the Guardabarranco are short so there is a noticeable gap to the tip of the tail.
These photos were taken from where we have our meals at the school.