Lineated Woodpecker

The Lineated Woodpecker or Dryocopus lineatus (eBird link) is one of the more colorful woodpeckers found throughout Central America and in most of South America, standing out with their bright red head of hair! Here he is often confused with the less frequent Pale-billed Woodpecker, found only in Central America and southern Mexico, but his black face and the white neck line running all the way to his bill quickly distinguish him from the Pale-billed which cannot be identified by the bill because both have pale bills! 🙂 My Lineated Woodpecker Gallery shows that I’ve seen him all over Costa Rica including more than once here in my garden where this one was photographed in my Cecropia Tree last week, my favorite bird tree! 🙂

Lineated Woodpecker, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Burst of Departure Color

Palm fronds die and depart the trees year around as the tree constantly grows new fronds, but near the end of dry season it is either more often or just more noticeable with the bright greens changing to bright yellows or rich rust colors, like their final flower or “notice me” as they leave this world. 🙂

Departing Palm Frond, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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13 Singing – 1 Photographed!

Since around the first of the year I have been using the sound identification feature of my Merlin phone app to identify birds. For years I only used it to identify birds by photograph. I was slow to adapt to the new sound recording ability, always hesitant to add new technology, like the old man that I am! 🙂 But when I did, I was so surprised at how easy it was to punch a button and record singing birds, usually many at at the same time! With it identifying each one and highlighting the ones singing at that moment! While at Carara Park a week or so ago I heard almost 3 times as many as I photographed! But I still prefer photos! 🙂

So while preparing my breakfast the other morning I turned it on and in 10 minutes it recorded 13 different species singing around my house! Including 2 Trogons! (Black-headed & Gartered). So I took my camera with me to the terrace to eat breakfast and hopefully see and photograph some of those 13. I got useable photos of only one! 🙂

It was the Yellow-green Vireo, Vireo flavoviridis (eBird link) shown by eBird to appear from the southern edges of the USA to the northern edges of South America, so in other words, mostly a Central American! 🙂 Here’s 3 shots from my terrace the other morning while drinking coffee after breakfast. And to be fair, I did see 2 others of those 13 recorded, but did not get useable photos of the Clay-colored Thrush or the Blue-gray Tanager (their back sides). And you can see other photos of this one in my Yellow-green Vireo Gallery which I’ve seen only 2 other times here in Atenas and nowhere else. Now here’s 3 shots from the other morning, including one of him/her singing . . .

Yellow-green Vireo, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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An “Electric Blue” Thrush

It has been a similar problem with other photographs: MORNING SHADOWS in the trees. This original photo was more of a silhouette and of course the English name describes the bird accurately as “Clay-colored Thrush,” while my effort to remove the shadows left him more “electric blue.” 🙂

This is one bird that I prefer the Spanish name for, Yigüirro! I love just saying it and it’s not long until in April and May when he will be singing in the rains for the beginning of our rainy season! I can’t wait! I prefer the rainy (green) season! 🙂

An “Electric Blue” Thrush after my efforts to pull a Clay-colored one out of the shadows. 🙂

See what they really look like in my Clay-colored Thrush Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!

A Jillion Miracles!

“I’ve seen a jillion miracles. They’re all around. Every green leaf is a miracle.”

– Jimmy Dean

And I’m back to doing blog posts from my little casita garden for a while now . . .

Leaves of my Cecropia or Guarumo Tree contrast with the blue sky. Atenas, Costa Rica.

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

~C.S. Lewis

Every green leaf is one! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Check out my Flora & Forest Galleries!

Golden-hooded Tanager

The last bird I will post about from the Villa Lapas & Carara Park trip is not a good photo but a cool bird! The Golden-hooded Tanager, Stilpnia larvata (eBird link) was this time photographed inside Carara Park and is one I’ve seen all over Costa Rica as noted in my Golden-hooded Tanager GALLERY where there are some much better photos than this one in the shadows.

Golden-hooded Tanager, Carara National Park, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Piratic Flycatcher

A pirate because he steals nests made by other birds, the Piratic Flycatcher, Legatus leucophaiuss (eBird link) is not new to me, but these were difficult to identify at first, even confusing one with the Streaked Flycatcher, but he was not large enough. I had several sightings of this bird during my 2 hours in Carara Park and I’m now reasonably certain of these identifications, even with poor light and shadow problems. I’ve seen this species in three other locations (Arenal, Xandari & Monteverde) as shown in my Piratic Flycatcher Gallery. Here’s three totally different photos of the same species . . .

Piratic Flycatcher, Carara National Park, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Kingbird Catches Insect

In Carara National Park on my last morning in Tarcoles, I barely got photos (in poor light) of this Tropical Kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus (eBird link) before and after he caught an insect for his breakfast. 🙂

Tropical Kingbird, Carara National Park, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Tropical Kingbird, Carara National Park, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I have some much better photos in my Tropical Kingbird Gallery. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Villa Lapas/Carara Park Photo Gallery

Though I have another week+ of blog post photos already scheduled, I have now also got my “Trip Gallery” completed for the two-night visit to Villa Lapas Hotel (hotel link) in Tarcoles and it was a productive trip! 🙂 You can see all the photos from that visit last week by clicking the first page of the gallery below or go to this address:

CLICK IMAGE above to go to the gallery.

And the FYI about why I re-visited this older local hotel in Tarcoles now (2015 was my other time) is that next year (2025, Q4) Villa Lapas (hotel link) will become a Marriott “Signature” hotel, whatever that means, and of course the prices will increase significantly as they modernize the very old rooms and restaurant. So it will be interesting to see what happens! 🙂 It is adjacent to Carara National Park and across the highway from Tarcoles Village with the Rio Tarcoles Boat Tours, so a lot to do there for the nature lover like me, including on their own significant chunk of forest on the hotel grounds. I recommend it if you can put up with older facilities, often needing maintenance. Lots of nature there! See the gallery! 🙂

But ALSO NOTE: even though I’m glad I revisited Villa Lapas, my favorite hotel in the area is still Macaw Lodge on top of the mountain above Villa Lapas and Carara Park for much more nature on the lodge grounds! I encourage you to try Macaw Lodge (lodge link) even though the drive up the mountain, partly on a gravel road, is much more difficult. It is worth it!

¡Pura Vida!