Arrived on the Beach!

And you can take that literally since the Limón Landing Strip in on the Caribbean Beach just south of the provincial capital of Limón with a 25 to 30 minute drive to my Hotel Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo where the owner comes down and welcomes me again! 🙂 Here’s 6 arrival afternoon general shots. Though I’ve started photographing birds & butterflies, I’m saving those for later posts.

Landing our plane on the beach near Limón!
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A “Lifer” Bird for Me!

The other morning I had about four species of birds feeding on the flowers of my Cecropia or Guarumo Tree and one of them was a new species for me! A White-winged Becard, Pachyramphus polychopterus (linked to eBird). He is smaller than the Rose-throated Becard I’ve seen several of here and like that one is less colorful as a male. In this species the female is a golden orange or tan and more colorful than this male photographed here. Here’s three shots including one of him eating a caterpillar:

White-winged Becard, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Zilpa Longtail

Another new species for me! Zilpa Longtail, Chioides zilpa, found from the Southwestern U.S. throughout Central America and in Ecuador. It is kind of amazing that in this hotter and drier year of fewer birds and butterflies for me, I am still getting about as many new species of butterflies as in a more “normal” year! Of course they are mostly new species of Skippers with definitely not as many of the more colorful butterflies, but hey! A butterfly is a butterfly! 🙂 And I am happy to be finding these new brown ones in my garden this year. And just maybe, when I go the the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in the middle of September, I’ll be blessed with a lot of new varieties of butterflies over there in a totally different climate than the Central Valley where I live. But realistically the whole globe is being affected by the extreme weather this year, so, we will see. 🙂 Here’s three photos of this one . . .

Zilpa Longtail Skipper, Atenas, Costa Rica
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2 Dazzling Hummingbirds!

In my brief time at El Silencio Lodge this trip (last month) I managed to photograph two of their several mountain hummingbirds either in the rain or in-between rains: The Lesser Violetear, Colibri Cyanotus (linked to eBird) and the Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Lampornis [castaneoventris] calolaemus (also linked to eBird). And you can see some of my other shots of both of these species in my galleries:

Now find below three shots of each species. Note that the male & female of the Violetear are identical thus not identified while the male & female of the Purple-throated are different and I did get shots of both in the latter! Plus I have here one shot of each species flying/hovering/eating! 🙂

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Common Chlorospingus or . . .

Middle America Bush-Tanager, Chlorospingus flavopectus, which is sporting a new name found only in my new 2023 Princeton Field Guide, Birds of Costa Rica (and online). And that is why I try to always have the latest bird guide because there are always changes in the names. eBird is currently using both names and even “Middle America Chlorospingus” as another option. This particular one is found only in Central America with a slightly different one in South America which I suspect is why the name change. I photographed this one from my porch chair at my cabin in El Silencio Lodge & Reserve last month. I’ve already featured the Collared Trogon and now this one from El Silencio and may do just one more bird post on all the others I photographed to keep from stringing the El Silencio posts out too far. 🙂 Or maybe one on Hummingbirds and one on all the others! 🙂 Here’s 3 of my porch shots of this nice little bird by whatever name! 🙂

Middle America Bush-Tanager, El Silencio Lodge, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica
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Tallest Agave I’ve Ever Seen!

For years this has been on the hill above my house in the yard of “the big house,” where my former landlord lived and is now rented to a wonderful young couple. And I’m pretty sure it is one of the several species of Agave and my gardener called it an Agave. But it could be something else. I first called it a “yucca” which the garden says it is not. 🙂

Over more than 8 years here the flower has never gotten that tall! Sorry I didn’t ask someone to stand by it for comparison. It is taller than two men or more that 12 feet (3.7 meters) I’m sure! And maybe even equal to tree men or 18 feet! Shooting from my yard down the hill it took 4 photos to make this vertical pano! 🙂 Another fun tropical anomaly! 🙂

An amazingly TALL Agave Flower
in my backyard reaching for the sun! 🙂

I tried to identify it online and the closest match (not exact) was to the Tequilana Agave, grown mostly in Mexico and used to make Tequila! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Another Unidentified Skipper

In fact, I have a whole GALLERY of Unidentified Skippers. And hopefully I will eventually get all of them identified, but until then, it is a large category of my photos! 🙂 Just one photo of this one today!

Unidentified Skipper, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Intel Costa Rica Helping the USA!

And Tico Times online has Good News for both the U.S. & Costa Rica with this article yesterday: Intel Investing $1.2 Billion in Costa Rica which means there will be an increase in the 3,000 employees and over 5,000 contractors already working on the research & development plus manufacturing of semiconductors here! And a lot better product than what the U.S. gets from China! 🙂 Costa Rica continues to be the technology hub of Central America and for much of all the Americas. ¡Pura vida!

Bright Scintillant or Rounded Metalmark?

In the Glassberg book, this matches what Jeffrey Glassberg calls the Bright Scintillant, a Calephelis Species, but my butterfly websites don’t list it as an official species, so I continue to list it in the next closest match, Rounded Metalmark, Calephelis perditalis, though I think it should be listed as a separate subspecies. Most of the characteristics of these two are the same with the Bright Scintillant obviously being brighter and also the border fringe is brown and white checkered, while the Rounded is one solid color. But I’m not in charge of naming butterflies, so I label them the best I can with what information I do have. 🙂 Here’s four shots of one recently in my garden and be aware that he is tiny, only a little larger than my thumbnail . . .

Rounded Metalmark, Atenas, Costa Rica
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