Monday, May 9, 2016

Spring Migration is ON! :-)

I made it to the park today, taking advantage of the break from rain.  And I'm so glad I did!  It was one of those birds-everywhere days that are such treasures.  My first official greeter was this black-throated blue who waited through a lot of out-of-focus pictures to give me a little over-the-shoulder flirting.
black-throated blue warbler
 Several warblers declined to be photographed, and then this cuckoo popped up for no particular reason.  And then disappeared and reappeared several time.  Thanks Buddy!
yellow-billed cuckoo
 The adults are not my favorites, but goslings are irresistibly adorable.
Canada goose
 Orioles!  They were fast and gorgeous!
Baltimore oriole
 There were 2 pairs of orioles flirting it up.  It looks like a great place for a nest to me, but of course I'm not an oriole.
Baltimore oriole
 Tanager in the sun!
scarlet tanager
 I saw an ovenbird who left frustratingly quickly, and this waterthrush was waiting for me as I searched for the ovenbird.
 Mystery thrush.  Probably either hermit (I did see one of those for-pretty-sure) or a grey-cheeked (others reported these).  I'm still not great at figuring out thrushes.

Tomorrow maybe I'll make it to turtle pond where apparently it was awesome also!  :-)

Monday, April 25, 2016

A day with a pretty good walk and lots of balcony time

I love this balcony.  Like, I mean, I **love** it.  Did I show you the balcony yet?  I mean, not the actual balcony, but the view?  It's incredible!

Oh, yeah, and there are sometimes birds here, too.

rufous-tailed hummingbird

blue-grey tanager

roadside hawk

Eventually we managed to go for a walk, down the nature trail.  It was not super-birdy, but we did find the one I was hoping for!  Oh, and we also saw a mystery hummingbird that I *think* was a purple-crowned fairy.  :-)

golden-naped woodpecker


black-hooded antshrike

chestnut-backed antbird

This is the luckiest trail ever - 4-leaf clover everywhere!  :-)

More balcony time.  Another sloth.  This place is amazing.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Back in Costa Rica!

We woke up in beautiful Costa Rica!  Well, because we flew here last night.  But we landed after dark, so our first really good look at the country was in the morning sun.  Out the airport hotel window at a blue-grey tanager by the pool area!  What a great beginning!

We had a good breakfast and started the long ride to the hotel, stopping at crocodile bridge and at someone's yard where these macaws were chowing down.

scarlet macaw

Then on the way in to the hotel we also saw one squirrel monkey and some aracari, and then headed to our room.  WOW!  What an incredible room!  I mean, the room is exactly as expected (we've been here before) but the balcony - it's *so* *incredible*!!!  While I was exploring it, our friends came out onto their balcony so we were chatting.  And I happened to notice we had company!


This was getting better and better!

I did spend a couple of hours on the balcony while Jack napped, and had my first look at this yellow warbler who was a regular.
yellow warbler

And got to see these honey creepers, who we didn't see here again.

What a joy to be back!

red-legged honey creeper

Friday, August 14, 2015

A day at the beach

Last full day in Costa Rica!  I spent the morning on the balcony, and the afternoon at the beach.  It was pretty great!

In the morning there were the usual suspects.

green heron
 This giant moth flew around for a while, it was surprisingly loud.
 One of the wrens got over its shyness and posed on the railing.
rufous-naped wren
Off to the beach!  I packed up a bag (forgetting my swim shirt, more sunblock, and bug spray) and headed off.  As soon as I got onto the beach I looked left, and there were 2 open chairs with sweet, glorious shade - umbrella *and* trees!  I plopped myself down and settled in for a wonderful afternoon.  I read until I got hot, and then I either ran into the water for a dip (it was wonderful) or ran to the bar for a daiquiri and a refill on my icy cold water.  A couple of times I scooted my chair back further under the trees for excellent shade as the sun moved.  This was the kind of beach afternoon that vacation dreams are made of!
 I left the beach in time to do my shopping (the vendors I wanted stuff from said they left about 4), made my purchases, and headed back to the room.  Just in time to see the monkeys in the tree right outside, a whole pile of them, crossing from tree to tree.  So I got out my camera and sat on the balcony (have I mentioned how much I love our balcony?) and watched the monkeys do their thing.  There were at least 3 or 4 with little monkey babies on their backs, it was so cute!  :-)

Oh, and here is the green iguana, the pond boss.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A few new visitors today

Another day mostly on the balcony, with all of the usual suspects plus a few new visitors.  I know I should probably go walking and see some other stuff, but it's so hot I just have no energy for that whatsoever.  Luckily, I love this balcony!

cinnamon hummingbird  

variegated squirrel 

streak-backed oriole

streak-backed oriole

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventure Day Number 2!

Time for another adventure day!  Ersel picked us up just after we spotted some caracaras at the hotel.  Off to a good start!

yellow-headed caracara
Another great breakfast, and another long drive, this time up to Murcielago Park.  We picked up a couple of journalists on the way, anting to do a story about this tour company, which is fairly new and totally awesome.  :-)  We stopped at their headquarters (a gorgeous ranch) to gear up and then headed over to the park.  Right away we saw more monkeys!
white-faced capuchin
turquoise-browed motmot
The birding trail we followed was gorgeous, but the birds were mostly just teasing us.  To me this motmot was the star attraction.  

Snack on the beach, and then out on the boat!  Here's the beach we just left.
 Geological formations with layers that contain the history of millions of years.
 Frigates and an optimistic pelican hang out with local fishermen.
 Turtles!  This is the pre-egg-laying phase.
 We should probably leave them alone.  :-)
 This was just ridiculously beautiful.  Like, if somehow a postcard became 3-D, photoshopping and all, and you got to go inside it.  Everything was so bright and vivid and beautiful!
 Hawk!  He flew back and forth between a couple of trees, and then he got a fish!
mangrove black-hawk
 Snorkeling was really nice - how great to be back in the water!  It was cloudy and I'm not good with underwater photography, but here's a little of what we saw.

 Oscar (the boat driver who is impressive with incredible credentials) found us some starfish!


 On the road again, heading back to the ranch.  Another spoonbill, another crappy picture.

roseate spoonbill
 The light was incredible as the sun set, so we stopped for some magazine-style pictures.  What a day!