Today was our only full day in Arenal, so we made it count! We were awakened by a common pauraque singing in the “nautical twilight” hours, which would bookend our day. We got to the observatory lodge at 6 AM and made our way on the “orange trails” to the garden. There, we saw our lifer scaly-breasted hummingbird, green thorntail and black-crested coquette. Among the plants were several black-striped sparrows. Also in the treetops were red-lored parrots and a white-crowned parrot. We went to celebrate our early morning success with breakfast at the lodge. From the window, I spotted my lifer green hermit! We went out to the deck and also saw our lifer stripe-throated hermit.
Then, we crossed the spider bridge to get back to the other trails. We walked Saino through La Hormiga, and then circled back to the connector. Along Los Monos trail, we found a scale-crested pygmy tyrant. We took a break after hiking the river trail to get lunch in town. On the way out, I got my most casual lifer of the trip: a drive-by groove-billed ani! We also drove the evacuation road for a short bit, and lucked out finding a pair of gartered trogons building a nest.
In the evening, we started on the farm road and were rewarded by spotting a rufous motmot. We walked down to the Danta waterfall before calling it a night!