Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Costa Rica: Mangrove Day, Part 1

Today was mangrove tour day!  Apparently I didn't do much else, there are no pictures from the morning.

Starting the tour were some iguanas in trees.  I thought I saw a crocodile right away, but it was just a bunch of floating vegetation.  And thus the rest of the boat was introduced to my optimism.  :-)

Here's a groove-billed ani!  I was hoping to see one, having seen the smooth-billed ani in Cayman.  They're harder to tell apart from the grackles here.  In Cayman the grackles flew with their tails making a vertical silhouette a lot of the time, but I'm not seeing that here.  I already know they're a different kind because of the coloring of the female, plus the longer tail, it's interesting to see the differences.

These mangrove swallows were all over, and gorgeous!  They have a nest in there, and this one seems to be guarding a much-prized egret feather.  All through the trip I would see these guys flitting about, showing off their extreme flying acrobatic skills.

This black iguana / ctenosaur is shaking its money-maker for the ladies.  Work it!

Jacana!  They claimed it's the first one they've seen here.  Yay!  I didn't get a good view of its ridiculous feet, but did get a great view of its built-in sun visor.  Love!

Little blue heron.  First of many.

River turtle.  We saw two of these, they are good-sized turtles, and so beautiful!

Great blue heron.  He needed to go.

I'll say it again - Damn You Autofocus!

Tropical kingbird - I didn't get a shot with its incredibly yellow chest shown off to its full advantage.  Believe me - that little sliver is just the beginning!  You can see the tail is notched, which is the big difference between the tropical kingbird and the western kingbird.  

There is a green heron in this picture.  That I spotted!  I mean, accidentally while I was looking for something else entirely, but still......

There was also another kind of swallow, they said southern rough-winged.  They were hiding in bad light though, so the pictures are not great.  I got a really nice shot later though!

We saw two crocodiles.  They saw the one chilling by the bank, but didn't see the one swimming across the front of the boat until I pointed it out.  The pics came out..... meh.  

This woodpecker came by, I didn't bother telling anyone, I was the only one with binocs and it was kind of far off.  The picture isn't good enough to ID it, there are several candidates.  And it only stayed for a few seconds.  I was lucky to see it!

This green heron is much less shy!

Another little blue heron.  I like the framing here.

Purple gallinule!  At last!  We actually saw a bunch of these guys here and there.  This guy was so elusive in Cayman, the guides were a little confused why I was excited to see them.  :-)

Yellow crowned night heron, showing off, lounge lizard style.  He looks like he's about to break into Rod Sterwart at any time!

And normal.

Short billed (?) pigeon.  We didn't stick around.  Really, birders are the only ones at all interested in different kinds of pigeons, unless they look ~really~ different.  

White ibis!  They are both gorgeous and ..... well, a bit freaky.  Doesn't its head look ..... well..... slightly vulture-esque?

Little blue heron number 17-ish.  Seriously, they were everywhere!

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