I’m happy to announce that the trip report photo book from my visit to El Silencio Lodge is finished and now available for you to preview electronically for free or order a copy if you like! 🙂 It’s 60 pages with 97 photos of a truly incredible place! See it in my Blurb Bookstore at https://www.blurb.com/b/10309436-el-silencio.
Feature photo is front cover and the back cover is below:
“God is the friend of Silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence . . .
After breakfast this morning walking back to my villa, I got one more species, not new to me, but upping my photo count to 16 here this trip. It is the Common Chlorospingus (link to eBird article) and he used to be called a “Common Bush Tanager.” There was a flock of them along the main road flitting from tree to tree.
I’m now packing and will leave around 10:30, back to Atenas!
Here’s 12 birds I photographed at El Silencio Lodge and Reserve in addition to the 3 hummingbirds shared yesterday. Of the 15 I photographed, 4 are lifers or first-time I’ve seen that species. Then there were others not photographed like the red-tailed hawk flying overhead and a Black and White Warbler. And my main reason for coming here was the waterfalls! 🙂 So it has been a very good week and I go home tomorrow morning (Saturday) to continue my lesser adventures in Atenas, but will continue sharing photos from this excellent trip.
And the lifers? They are the Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, Blackburnian Warbler, Scintillant Hummingbird, and the Black-bellied Hummingbird. I showed the two hummingbirds in a post yesterday. And the reason the Brushfinch is in a girl’s hand, he had just flown into one of the lodge office’s plate-glass windows and was still in shock. He eventually flew off.
I highly recommend El Silencio Lodge & Reserve and though it is expensive, it is well-worth what they charge! And I am not finished sharing photos from this trip, so expect more for the next few days! 🙂
The El Silencio Hummingbird Garden is like mine, no feeders, just flowers. And also like mine, there is a dominant hummingbird species that chases many of the others away from the garden and they just go to other flowers on the grounds. I only found three species in the official Hummingbird Garden, though I saw, but did not photograph, others around the grounds. Their dominant bird here is the Purple-throated Mountain Gem, but the tiny Scintillant and the Black-bellied Hummingbirds seem to hang in there with the Mountain Gems! And I photographed bees here! 🙂
CLICK an image to see larger:
I still have 10 other bird species I photographed and hope to post soon. See also my CR Birds photo gallery for all I have photographed here in 5.5 years. The Black-bellied Hummingbird and Scintillant are “lifers” for me and I got 2 other lifers in the next batch of 10 birds I will post soon. 4 lifers in one trip is very good now with my CR count up to 349! 🙂
I left about 5:30 this morning for a walk to help me shape up for the coming week of hikes and to maybe get some birds on the hill above my house, always hoping for a “lifer” or first time bird. It was cool and very foggy and so I wrote my first blog post on the fog which I’ve already scheduled for tomorrow morning.
THEN I went through my bird photos and found that I did indeed get a “lifer” this morning, even if not a good photo. It is the featured photo, a Cabanis’s Wren (eBird article link) in bad light and too far away with lots of limbs and leaves, but I got it! 🙂 Another new bird in my gallery and that now makes 5 different wrens and a total of 344 identified birds in Costa Rica plus a few unidentified ones. So a nice surprise this morning in my neighborhood. All the other birds today are fairly common, except maybe the Yellow-faced Grassquit which I have photographed in two other places (better photos) plus one juvenile here earlier.
The “4” can mean my 4th trip to Xandari or the 4th Gallery on Xandari or the fact that I was there for 4 days this time! 🙂 The featured photo is on my walk to the restaurant from my villa.
It is a magical getaway every visit and I tend to photograph many new things or the same things in different ways each time, like this time I didn’t even hike to the waterfalls but spent more time with flowers & butterflies and a feature on the bamboo forest. So if considering a visit to Xandari, check out each of my photo galleries from 4 different trips there with 4 different perspectives:
2020 August 21-24 – A Weekend Retreat during a World Pandemic with masks & solo activities in nature. Most butterflies & flowers this time.
2020 January 12-16 – Five days when I installed my photo books library and photographed all kinds of nature with more birds than above.
Merriam-Webster defines “bewitching” as “powerfully or seductively attractive or charming” which well-describes the effect of over 900 species of birds in Costa Rica on me, along with my love of alliterations! 🙂
I usually photograph more birds than this at Xandari, but with rain and fog blanketing that mountain most of the time this past weekend, I got usable photos of only 9 species, but as indicated yesterday, I made up the difference with butterflies and flowers! 🙂 I’m never without something to photograph at Xandari! 🙂
No new species this time, but as always, I love trying to get a different view, perspective, or activity of a bird to make my bird galleries more interesting. CLICK image to enlarge.
I return to my home in Atenas today but will have more posts about this weekend trip to Xandari and a gallery of the best photos from the weekend posted by the end of the week. In the meantime you might be interested in some of my other Costa Rica Travel galleries at CR Trips. Some of my Tico friends tell me that I’ve seen more of their home country than they have. I love it all!
This weekend I go to Xandari Nature Resortnear Alajuela, which is the only place in Costa Rica that you can see all of my Costa Rica Photo Books, other than at my house. I installed the library of photo books in January there for the benefit of their guests and this weekend I will be adding two more books, the only ones made since January for all of Costa Rica. (I also did a photo book on my Roca Verde neighborhood birds, but figure that is too narrow a focus, but may decide to take one of those too.)
Two new books for the Charlie Doggett Photo Library at Xandari Resort.
Doing some things on impulse is part of being retired in Costa Rica I think and I’m tired of being cooped up at home in Atenas. One of my favorite nearby get-a-ways announced they were open on weekends only for now with special discounted prices, so I took the bait and will go to Xandari Nature Resort this weekend, an hour away, Friday afternoon to Monday morning; to hike their forests, waterfalls and most beautiful gardens. Hope to get some good photos and will avoid group hikes or any other interactions with people, eating alone, maybe even relaxing in their solo hot tub by reservation. But mainly some new nature experiences, some with my mask and face shield as we continue to fight the spread of COVID19 here. I will stay safe! And I forgot to say yesterday that I now have my “Permanent Residency” in Costa Rica! 🙂