And for new readers, the explanation of “Lifer:” It is a bird that someone sees for the first time in his life. You can see on my “life list” that I have observed 552 species from many countries in the Americas and Africa, with 373 of those in Costa Rica. And that does not count this bird because I haven’t reported it on eBird yet! He was the only bird I got a decent shot of at the Cahuita National Park, though I got photos of 14 species of butterflies there! 🙂
It is just an inconspicuous little flycatcher, found only in lowland rainforests of Central America and the northern half of South America. I am pleased with these two shots of both front and side views! It is a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Terenotriccus erythrurus(linked to the eBird description).
You will note that I saw and photographed many more birds in Gandoca-Manzanillo (which is always the case) and those birds were linked to in an earlier blog post on Gandoca-Manzanillo which can be seen in the first sub-gallery created for this trip gallery: Refugio Gandoca-Manzanillo. It is a wildlife refuge with fewer people visiting than the national park and has always been a better place for birds than Cahuita for me. I photographed 9 species there, 7 species at the hotel and just this one at Cahuita, BUT IT IS ALIFER! 🙂
The first shot was earliest, about 4:45 am and increasingly later until 3rd at about 5 am. It changes rapidly over the fifteen minutes or so of rising. I also gradually zoomed in on the sky in each progressive shot.
See a free preview of my book: Sunrise Banana Azul with all 2-page spread photos on “lay flat” photo paper.
The wildlife refuge was Wednesday and the best report on that is my Gandoca-Manzanillo GALLERY. And as a sample, here’s one bird, one butterfly and one “other” wildlife pix! 🙂 PLUS one shot of the cloud covered sunrise this morning. At 8 am today I’m going to Cahuita National Park with a report on that later and tomorrow (Saturday) will be my last day for nature around the hotel which will be reported on even later. A good week! Here’s 4 sample shots from Gandoca and one of sunrise today.
I got similar shots yesterday and this morning with the sun completely hidden behind clouds, but as always, it is still beautiful and no two sunrises are alike! 🙂 Here’s 4 shots from this morning while having my early coffee on the beach! 🙂
This Zebra-striped Hairstreak, Panthiades bathildis, is the third new species I photographed yesterday on the beach road behind Hotel Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, Limón. It looks similar to another species I also got this year and last year called Togarna Hairstreak, Arawacus togarna (linked to my gallery where you can see the differences in the stripes and the orange trim on the two species). My two shots of this new species below are of the only one I saw.
NOTE: This is the 3rd and last of the three new species I photographed yesterday on the beach road behind the hotel. This morning an excellent new local guide named Henis took me birding in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge at 5:30 am, where I got at least one new species of birds and at least two new species of butterflies. And thus I’m beginning to get way behind on reporting from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica – but will eventually catch up! 🙂 This afternoon (Wed) and tomorrow I will continue my nature photo collections at Banana Azul, then on Friday Henis is taking me to Cahuita National Park for more wildlife photography, though they don’t open until 8 am! It’s turning out to be a great week here in the South Caribbean while many of my friends back in Atenas are getting the new ARTenas Gallería ready to open on October 4! A lot is happening in pura vida Costa Rica! 🙂
The Cabbage White is a common butterfly over most of the United States, but this is my first time to see one here in Costa Rica. The first shot of four here is not as good a photo but it solidifies the identification with that lone black spot on the upper wing and also makes it a male, since the females have two black spots! 🙂
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.
Today begins what has become almost an annual tradition of spending a week in the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, during September when this rainy rainforest has the least amount of rain. After trying a few other hotels, I’ve settled on Banana Azul as my favorite and it is right on the beach (one of the few!) in a favorite room with balcony overlooking the beach and hotel gardens. It is one of my most relaxing weeks of the year! This Puerto Viejo area is south, near the Panama Border and quite different from my other Caribe fave which is north of the port of Limón and in a great wetlands wildlife national park called Tortuguero.
I have just two morning bird hikes scheduled, one in the Cahuita National Park and the other in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Otherwise I just “hangout” at the hotel and beach, walking both the beach and a forested beach road where last year I found a bonanza of butterflies! 🙂
Read on for some of my past creative endeavors from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica . . .