We got an early start in the morning and drove to the visitors center at La Tigra National Park. It was raining and we had an uphill hike to get to a place where William thought we might find the Green-breasted Mountain Gem hummingbird. This is a “near endemic” which is found only in Honduras and a small and rather inaccessible part of Nicaragua. I really wanted to photograph this bird.
It was a long steady climb up the mountain. The next time I decide to do this, I must remember to condition in advance a little better. There were places where we had to cross streams and definitely some steep, rocky places. I have an crazy fascination with mine shafts, so when William found an old one that was open, it was all I could do to leave it alone!
I have an unhealthy fascination with old mine shafts, so not having a flashlight probably saved my life this day.
One of the smoother parts of the trail.
After climbing for about an hour we were suddenly greeted by a barking dog that was obviously trying to protect his owners property. Was that a female Green-breasted Mountain Gem? We are not going to let a dog stop us from photographing it!
We were obviously on someone’s private property. How on earth they built a house up here I don’t know. They had to hike all the materials up the mountain the same way we came. But they did it! Mirian, the owner of the property, loves flowers and planted lots of them. By doing so she has attracted many Green-breasted Mountain Gems to the area.
William said that he had been up here before, but he had never seen all of these flowers in bloom and had not seen the bird up here. There were so many flowers and so many birds we spent hours photographing them. I took about 1,200 pictures of these birds and I think I probably have more excellent pictures of this particular species than anyone else in the world. William bought some flower bulbs from Mirian to plant in his own hummingbird garden. Mirian was very friendly and invited us to explore her whole property.
She said that she loved flowers and she hadn't even noticed the hummingbirds before. By the time we left, we were sure she would be watching them from now on.
We hiked back down the hill and had a picnic lunch served by Yamy and Ondina from Las Gloriales. We then checked out the visitors center. They have displays of the wildlife found in the park and an interesting mural of the Water Goddess that brings the water from the cloud forest down to sustain the life below.