Monday, November 29, 2010

Costa Rica: I don't know how to sum up this day

Well, sleeping did not go well last night.  Mostly because of sinus issues.  I should have taken Claratin, but it tends to keep me awake.  But I was awake anyway, so really, not much of a down side.  Oh well, the birds got me out of bed and after some Diet Coke they cheered me up quite a bit.

Here's the view from our patio.  That's the ocean out there.  Sometimes we could even see it!  :-)  To the left are the trees across the road.  To the right is the main building and the tree that sticks out on the right is the one that had the iguana, and frequently had hummingbirds.  Those little suckers are fast!  They often went through our little garden, but I was always too slow to take a picture.  Or even call Brooke over.  Maddening!

Anyway.  Wood creepers!  A pair, chasing each other around.  It wasn't light enough yet for good pictures, but I really enjoyed these guys.

Some doves or pigeons came over to the tree past the main building, I'll try to figure out what they were...... Well the only one I see in my book that has the nape band is the band-tailed pigeon, although we were a smidge outside its normal range.

A different kind of wood creeper came over, I guess I was clear about liking those others.  :-)

There is an indigo bunting in this picture.  Seriously.

There was a lull in the birding action, so I decided to go to the other part of the patio (it was quite fancy) to write some notes.  But I was stopped mid-step by this blue-crowned mot mot!  I couldn't get a super crisp photo with the racket tail (thanks autofocus) but isn't he gorgeous??????

Oh, this is a bug of some sort.  They are so odd here I can't even classify it.  A leaf bug I guess?

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My best (sadly) shot of the male cherrie's tanager.  Taken at breakfast.

Again with the posing flycatcher.

Turns out I *did* get a shot of a hummingbird in our garden...... sort of......

I have never been able to shoot a butterfly from this angle before.  Freaky!

To the beach!  We went over and had just a little while to walk along the stream and beach before lunch and heading back for Brooke's conference call.

We saw some guys on the way out to the beach....... I don't know who this guy is.  Some sort of large-ish flycatcher? Kingbird?

Then at the water - a great kiskadee!  Oh, it turns out they are basically everywhere, but we were thrilled to see this guy bathing!

Along the beach were many pretty butterflies.

And a hermit crab that had climbed up into this flower.

A Jesus Christ lizard!  So called because it can run on water.  For a little while anyway.  It runs upright, godzilla-style.  Hilarious!

We quickly found a hermit crab city.  Pretty busy!

And a tiny ghost crab that my camera had a lot of trouble focusing on.

All along the beach we saw a lot of messes, the first one or two looked like possibly tracks from a snake or big lizard, we were iffy about going near the holes.

But it turned out to be these crabs!  The ones that make pellets from sand!

On the way back we saw the vortex butterfly.  I don't know its actual name, I couldn't find it in the book.  It clearly should be named vortex.  :-)

There was only one sandpiper, I don't know what kind....... I'm guessing a yellowlegs.

At lunch, this chestnut mandibled toucan came to visit the feeder!  He showed us his very best Stevie Wonder impression.  It was spot on!

The coveted inside-the-mandible shot.


Once back home, Brooke went to do her work thing, and I got an early start on Happy Hour.  And, as it turns out, birding hour!  These birds were absolutely gorgeous, and quite reclusive.  They did ~not~ want pictures.

Across towards the main building were this parakeet

And this bay-headed tanager.

I wish I had gotten a picture that did it justice!

On the way to pre-massage cocktails, we saw this toucan.  Apparently this one has some sort of beak issue, so at least we can confirm it's a different individual.

In addition to the vultures (as usual), the tanagers teasing me as usual, the dark crazy one with blue shoulders (I never did figure those guys out), I saw this treasure - a green honeycreeper!  I was hoping to see a honeycreeper, I'm so happy!

There was a power outage after our showers but before dinner time.  We decided to just grab our lights (my poor little booklight and Brooke's surprisingly powerful emergency flashlight) and head to where to alcohol was.  It came back on sometime during dinner, so all was fine.  When we got home, there was a frog by my shoe!

That wraps it up for today.  Again, we saw a lot!

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