Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak

This is my second time to see this rare butterfly, with the other time being in the south of the country near Golfito at Playa Cativo Lodge on Golfo Dulce at Piedras Blancas National Park AND I am the only person to have submitted any photos of it to butterfliesandmoths.org (Link to their page for this butterfly.) Or you can see the same photos in my gallery for the Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon megarus. 🙂 Here’s four shots from a recent sighting in my garden . . .

Male Megarus Scrub-Hairstreak, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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28 Bird Species at Arenal

Both birds and butterflies are the two groups of photos from a forest trip that take me a long time to process the literal thousands of photos and this time I did the butterflies earlier and finally I have finished the birds with 28 species photographed and only 1 is unidentified. Click the first page of the bird gallery below to see it or you can go to this web address: https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2024-May-6-11-Arenal-Observatory-Lodge-Trails/BIRDS

CLICK this image of the first page of the gallery to go there.

Plus I have added the better photos from this trip gallery to my Costa Rica Birds by Species galleries, so they are found in both places. 🙂 And now I will more quickly finish the entire “Trip Gallery!” 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The “Other” Hummingbird at Arenal

Like in my garden and some other places visited in Costa Rica, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails seemed dominated by the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and when I finally get my Arenal ’24 Birds Gallery finished, you will see a lot of Rufous-tailed Hummingbird photos as without-a-doubt my most seen hummingbird, though I place this Violet-headed Hummingbird (eBird link) as number 2 seen by me while at Arenal and as the only other hummingbird I got useable photos of on this trip, though I’m pretty sure I saw a Cinnamon Hummingbird but without a useable photo of him/her. So here’s one shot of the Violet-headed Hummingbird plus the featured photo at top and in my Big Costa Rica Birds Gallery, my Violet-headed Hummingbird Gallery has more photos from this trip plus shots from 3 other locations earlier in Costa Rica! So check it out for another beautiful Hummingbird here! The Violet-headed Hummingbird is found only in Central America and the northern fringes of South America, exactly like the seemingly more dominant Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.

Violet-headed Hummingbird, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Lake Arenal Day Views

with overcast skies, clouds or rain every day (rainy season now), but it is still a nice “extra” visita in addition to the volcano adjacent the lodge. And as you can tell on the Google Map I’ve included below, the portion you see from the lodge or the Arenal Volcano National Park on the map in lower right-hand corner of the lake is only about 1/20th of the total 20-mile long lake that fills the valleys where the river used to flow. It is the largest lake in Costa Rica and a major source of electricity. Several small towns had to be relocated when the dam was built. Read the lodge’s description linked. It is one of the most popular places for Costa Ricans to go bass fishing and some tourist! 🙂 3 photos & a map . . .

Lake Arenal seen from Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica.
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Curassows on the Trails

The Great Curassow, Crax rubra (eBird link) with more information about this big bird, usually a little bit larger than the Crested Guan shown yesterday. But unlike the guan, the female curassow is more colorful than the male, unusual for birds. Though the male of this species has a bright yellow bump above his beak in great contrast to his all-black body, which I guess is to attract females and may be considered brighter to them. 🙂 See more of my photos of this Central-America-only species in my Great Curassow Gallery. I did not see as many of these on the trails but there were more of them at the fruit feeder by the restaurant deck, which is not my prefered place to photograph. These 3 photos were made on a trail.

Female Great Curassow, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
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Guans on the Trails

One of the largest and most seen birds on my morning walks on the trails of Arenal Observatory Lodge was the Crested Guan, Penelope purpurascens (eBird link) for more info on this large turkey-sized Central American bird found from parts of Mexico to parts of northern South America and all over every Central American country. For more of my photos, see my Crested Guan Gallery. The male & female look alike and are difficult to differentiate with both being either all black or sometimes brownish. 🙂

Yes, you can see some of these at the Observatory feeder by the restaurant deck, but I prefer to find them in the wild and did on almost every one of the Arenal Observatory trails where all of these photos were made. Unlike the other large bird at Arenal, the Great Curassow, they fly a lot and spend as much time in trees as on the ground, foraging for food of fruit, berries, seeds, insects and small invertebrates. While the Curassow spends most of his time on the ground and doesn’t seem to be able to fly as well. I’ll try to do a post on the Curassow tomorrow since I’m a long way from finishing my Arenal ’24 Birds Gallery! 🙂 And I’m no longer doing blog posts a week ahead, but day by day! 🙂 Below this introductory photo is a gallery of 6 more Crested Guans I photographed in the rainforest on Arenal Observatory Trails.

Crested Guan, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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Arenal Butterfly Gallery Complete

and with 3 new moth species for me and at least one new butterfly species. First, to see them all in the sub-gallery of my developing trip gallery, go to Arenal ’24 Butterflies & Moths Gallery with 15 species . . .

Click Image of 1st page of Gallery to see gallery.

Since I did a post on most of these from Arenal, I will let you look for the last minute photos in the gallery! 🙂 Though one is the featured image at top of post of a Hecale Longwing shot on my last morning there. And the birds gallery may take much longer with a lot more photos to sort through! And I think that I’m just getting slower at everything I do now. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

“AND Trails”

You who live in Costa Rica or visit here often may not have noticed, but the Arenal Observatory Lodge (the undisputed #1 for nature in the La Fortuna/Arenal area) has recently changed their name to Arenal Observatory Lodge and Trails, sometimes using the ampersand & or spelling out the “and.”

And I, for one, like the name change because it better describes what you come here for; whether looking for birds, butterflies, monkeys or frogs; there are trails that take you from the “Nest” birding tower to the Frog Pond or through the cultivated gardens on through the rainforest to the waterfalls or the continuing farm still on the property and of course the “Los Monos (Monkeys) Trail. And the map is, like much of my language here in Costa Rica, in “Spanglish!” 🙂 For example, the just mentioned “Los Monos Trail” uses the Spanish word for monkeys but the English word for trails, while “River Trail” is all English, as is most of the map, so you Americans don’t have to worry, you can read it and all of the signs! 🙂 Here’s my cell phone photo of the big map first, of the whole reserve, and then of the reverse side, an enlarged map of just the areas close to the rooms and most cabins, where most people do their most walking. If you come here, you must explore the trails! 🙂

All the Reserve Trails on one side of Map . . .

All the trails at Arenal Observatory Lodge

See the enlarged map of close trails on the reverse side, plus a gallery of actual trail shots by continuing online . . .

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Giant Grasshopper Nymphs

Tropidacris cristata (linked to Wikipedia) is the scientific name of the Central & South American “Giant Grasshopper” or “Red-wing Grasshopper” and the plague we had at Arenal last week on a few plants was just their “nymphs” or babies! Interesting, colorful and amazing to see! See some of the giants in my Grasshopper Gallery. They are generally called “Lubber” Grasshoppers and these are just one of many species under lubbers. All grasshoppers together in Costa Rica number over 11,000 species. So it is difficult to get IDs of very many! 🙂 Here’s four photos including a close-up of these ‘nymphs” at work in Arenal.

Giant Grasshopper Nymphs devouring a leaf at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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