I know the early bird gets the first worm, but I don't like worms and I'm far more of a cocktail hour birder, enjoying nature as it settles in for the night after which I can settle in for dinner.
Yet here we are, getting ready for our first Costa Rican bird walk despite any second thoughts about the comfortable pillows we left behind.
Such affections diminished within 10 minutes of the journey. Raúl, our capable guide, led us to a few sites where we might catch a glimpse of the aptly-named Resplendent Quetzal and along the way, introduced us to a bevy of new birds including the Elegant Trogon (both male and female).
Raúl's knowledge of the region's flora and fauna was incredible and no accident -- not only did he grow up on this land, but the mountain lodge was the vision of his forward-thinking grandfather who still lives on the property. Those few moments of not spotting birds or peppering him with plant questions included tales of his family and their connection to this unique landscape.
Thanks to our new friend, we were able to see -- and identify -- a vast number of forest birds:
Scintillant Hummingbird (plus saw its little nest!)
Common Bush Tanager
White-throated Mountain Gem
Ruddy Nightengale Thrush
Black-and-yellow Silky Flycatcher