Early Morning Tortuga Lodge Garden Walks
For the early birds, there's a walk through the garden of Tortuga Lodge. There are trees and small shrubs amongst which many birds fly looking for food. The walk is leisurely, doesn't cover much distance, and it's timed perfectly to conclude just as the breakfast hour begins – a perfect way to start the day!
My first guide was Luis, undoubtedly a bird enthusiast, as he has no trouble identifying every bird we saw. He didn't even need to see the birds and could identify just by the calls. The variations between males and females of the species didn't trip him up either.
On my walk we saw a hummingbird nest that was at eye-height making it possible to peer in to see the 2 white eggs that had yet to hatch. Just beyond the nest we came upon 1 male and 2 female trogons. The male was more vibrantly colored, but both were beautiful with red bellies. Very similar in appearance to the Baird's Trogon, but I've forgotten the actual name that Luis gave.
Not far from the Trogons we spotted a Collared Aracari – similar to what you'd expect a toucan to look like, but with a more slender beak and overall shape.
While there were other bird sightings, the only other one I can remember is the Common Tody-Flycatcher. These birds are actually everywhere which is why I can remember the name!
On my second morning at Tortuga Lodge I went for another morning walk. This time my guide was Norton, a native of Nicaragua that grew up with the same flora and fauna found in Costa Rica. I've found that multiple walks in the same place can yield new sightings so I generally don't shy away from repeating an activity that is good.
This time around we talked about the Golden Orb Spider and the strength of its web. We also saw the much smaller Crab Spider. Other critters include the Blue Morpho Butterfly and Julia Butterfly.
On the bird front we came across a Great Egret in the canal behind the lodge, a Bare-Throated Tiger Heron, Green Hermit Hummingbird, Great-Tailed Grackle, and the often seen Common Tody Flycatcher.