Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First full day at Arena del Mars

Again I was up quite early - once I hear the birds I want to go find them!  :-)  Out to the deck, where I had some Diet Coke while letting the fog clear from my camera and binocs.  There were not many trees in front of the deck but they were definitely high quality.  Of course at first the light was not so great, and after that it was only great in one direction, so many of the pictures didn't work out.  There were warblers and euphonias teasing me, a hummingbird that seemed to know exactly how fast I was with the camera (not fast enough) and probably many others I'm not remembering right now.

First the parakeets came around!  This proved to be a fairly common occurrence, but I was particularly excited given how hard they were to see the last time I was in Costa Rica.  They were just as difficult to see this time, but they stayed around longer.
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Here is an example flycatcher.  We saw so many that were similar, and flycatchers are not really my thing right now, so I'll just include this particularly handsome fellow.
Great Crested Flycatcher (I think) 
I went up to the reception area and checked out an observation patio, where I saw this lonely howler monkey.  I didn't understand why I was seeing just one (I heard some others but they sounded like they were quite a ways off) until later.  We saw him again while we were with someone knowledgable, and it seems like he was the dominant male but just got challenged and defeated!  He's taking some time to get used to the new order of things.  Sometimes it's hard to be a monkey.
Mantled Howler Monkey
There was a pair of orioles dazzling me by the pool.
Baltimore Oriole
And this snake was on the sidewalk as I returned to our room!  I wouldn't have even noticed it, but someone else pointed it out to her child, so I got to see it too.  Thanks fellow traveler!  :-)
Green Vine Snake (I think)
This is a terrible picture of a hummingbird, but a great picture.

When I brought Jack back to the platform (and breakfast) we found this motmot!  Hahahahaha, another day, another motmot, that's Costa Rica for you.
Blue-crowned Motmot
This blue-grey tanager was gorgeous in the morning light by the pool.
Blue-grey Tanager
We of course saw tons of black vultures and turkey vultures.  You'd think I'd have a zillion great shots, but really after the first day or so I start to just ignore them.  I mean, I still look, and they're great, I just don't take pictures any more.  Like the cherrie's tanagers.  See them all the time, don't have decent pictures.
Turkey Vulture
There were many chestnut sided warblers.  It was interesting to be in a place where they are fairly common.  When the migration comes through New York, they are not so common.  The ones that are most common in NY I didn't see as many of in Costa Rica.
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Hello honeycreeper!  This tree outside reception was quickly turning into my favorite.  No leaves, lots of little berries, and lots of little lovelies.  Warblers, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycathers, euphonias, they all loved this tree.
Red-legged Honeycreeper 
The berries over there look tastier!
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Here's my only picture of the female that you can see from the beak it's definitely a honeycreeper.
Red-legged Honeycreeper, female
 I love pictures of birds hopping.

Back on our deck after breakfast, and a black vulture settled down nearby.  In Costa Rica this is not uncommon, but it's pretty exciting for me!
Black Vulture
We went on our first tour today, a Sustainability tour, where a guy from the hotel took us around and showed us their water processing, solar panels, composting, all that sort of thing.  Jack will write a bunch about that in his blog, I'm sure.  I was more interested in this sloth, a mother hanging out with her baby!
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth 
Same pair, different angle.  This was so great to see!
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth 
While we were touring the composting area (Jack's favorite.  I am not kidding.) a bunch of white-faced monkeys came by.  As it turns out, they are not particularly shy.
White-faced Capuchin 
In the afternoon the parakeets came back, making quite charming bookends for the day!  In this picture you can actually see the elusive orange chin.
Orange-chinned parakeet


  1. Lovely Jeanette, Jennifer

  2. thanks jeanette...those were really cool..glad you,re home safe...muahhh