All our bags were packed, we're ready to go. We will leave the hotel for the airport at around 8 am but we wanted to do some more birding before that. We even requested for a packed breakfast since we wouldn't be availing of their regular morning buffet.
At 6 am we did a quick foray into the Suenos del Bosque trail. Finally I saw the Spangle-cheeked Tanager but our photos were still not up to par. We also had better views of the aptly named Yellow-thighed Finch.
An hour later, we were by the stream hoping once again to see the American Dipper. Guess what? We dipped again! However, as a consolation, I got photos of two more lifers - both totally unexpected. The Brown-capped Vireo,
and the Spot-crowned Woodcreeper.
Then it was time to go. We asked Alexander, our driver (and son-in-law of the hotel owner), that if we saw a Sooty Thrush, could he stop so we could take pictures of the bird. When Alexander picked us up from the airport 5 days ago, we saw quite a number of this species along the zigzag road going to the hotel. We dared not ask him to stop so we can take pictures for two reasons: 1) It was already getting late and understandably, our driver wanted us to be at the hotel before it got dark, and 2) we assumed (incorrectly, we later discovered) that the Sooty Thrush would be as common at the hotel grounds as it was along the road.
Thankfully, Alexander agreed. Apparently we were not the only ones who made similar requests to him. It was Cynthia who first spotted the bird. We stopped but the thrush flew off. My wife saw some movement on the hillside next to her and took a photo. Good thing she did as we were to discover much later that it would be another lifer for us, the Black-billed Nightingale Thrush.
We moved on. As expected, Sooty Thrushes were common along the road and after several stops we finally were able to get pictures of a very angry bird.
That was the closing chapter of our wonderful trip to the Savegre River in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. It was an exhilarating experience to see so many beautiful birds in such natural surroundings. We had barely settled back in our home when I noticed Cynthia googling for other birding places in that beautiful Central American country. I smiled.
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