Even with lots of rain all day today, I got these birds before and after breakfast and it doesn’t count some different birds on an afternoon bird walk that was nearly rained out. Rain or shine, there are always a lot of birds at Arenal Observatory! Click image to enlarge and pass cursor over image for name of bird.
Monday I’m off to Arenal Observatory Lodge in Arenal Volcano National Park with my choice room reserved again – #27 – where my deck looks up at the volcano and out past the bird feeders to Lake Arenal over which the suns sets each evening in brilliant colors!
I was there a year and a half ago and you can see why I like it in my trip photo gallery: 2018-May 4-9 – Arenal Observatory Lodge. It is truly one of my favorite places and I’m beginning to return to such more often now, where there are more birds than I will every photograph! (An “official” birding hot spot.) Plus waterfalls, trails, horses, a farm, beautiful scenery, good food, and a comfortable room with more places nearby to visit. And I will probably relax more this time without the rush of trying to see and do everything the first time! ¡Tranquilo!
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
For you who are not “Birders” or persons who like to go out in the forests and find new birds, “lifer” is a new bird you see for the first time. In an earlier post I think I mentioned I had seen 4 “lifers” while at Hacienda Guachipelín – well . . . I was wrong! It is five.
I had not included the Stripe-headed Sparrow because I was sure I had a photo of one, but when I got home and checked it out, what I had from an earlier trip was a Black-striped Sparrow and not the Stripe-headed and you Costa Rica birders know that there is a difference! Thus meaning I got photos of 5 new birds added to my Costa Rica Birds gallery, bringing my CR collection up to 325 species, which sounds like a lot, but with nearly 1,000 species of birds in Costa Rica – I have a ways to go! 🙂
My 5 New Birds
All but the Western Wood-Pewee have been shared in other posts but in a different context. And the Wood-Pewee is simply not a good photo thus not used before. The linked names below take you to the eBird or Cornell Neotropical page on that bird if you want more information, plus I have added some of my own comments on each bird related to my experiences.
There are so many parrots here and I have a lot in my gallery but still only about half of the ones in Costa Rica. There were few parrots in the two parts of Africa I visited and thus all my parrot photos are mostly in Latin America, including Brazil & Mexico. I may start going to CR places known for the species I do not have. But I now have added a White-fronted Parrot Gallery! And for those who know parrots don’t confuse this one with the White-crowned Parrot which I’ve seen in three places now.
I was in the only area of Costa Rica where this bird appears (Northern Guanacaste). The closest thing I have ever had like this beautiful bird is the Black-billed Magpie in the Yellowstone National Park in the states. Though both are named Magpie, they are quite different! And I now have a White-throated Magpie Jay Gallery added to my collection!
This is the one I confused with Black-striped Sparrow and that link to my photo will show you the difference, mainly the body colors and the stripe through the eye, though similar as they are with the Olive and Green-backed Sparrows. And now I have a Stripe-headed Sparrow Gallery!
Though it is almost identical to the Eastern Wood-Pewee, they are slightly different migrant birds appearing on our east and west coasts according to their name with the eastern being more broadly distributed even into the west as you will see with my photos of the eastern I found at Rancho Humo, both in Guanacaste on our west coast. And now my Western Wood-Pewee Gallery!
It is fun to see my collection grow!
“The sharp thrill of seeing them [killdeer birds] reminded me of childhood happiness, gifts under the Christmas tree, perhaps, a kind of euphoria we adults manage to shut out most of the time. This is why I bird-watch, to recapture what it’s like to live in this moment, right now.”
― Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir
The book is finished with 4 new lifer birds for me and now I’m off to other creative activities. Remember – you can PREVIEW the book electronically (flip through the pages) for free at my bookstore by clicking on this link and then each page to turn a page. Fun! And best seen in full screen mode! 🙂
My trip gallery is finished with a lot of interesting photos I think including 24 species of birds four of which are “Lifers” for me! So a good trip for me and some of my most interesting airplane photos en route like the big waterfall from above! And that reminds me that I have also added 9 waterfalls to my collection on this trip. See the trip gallery at this link:
Included are shots from their “Rainforest Trail” which is a fairly dense forest with a lot of old growth big trees which is refreshing but difficult to photograph birds in because of all the limbs and leaves! 🙂
I did not show my room this time but the rooms are on the hill just above the restaurant and pool seen at top of feature photo above or in the pool photo below at upper left. Rooms 10-14 look directly over the ocean and sunsets, while other rooms like mine have garden views with partial ocean views. (My room views are seen in gallery Day Vistas.) I got more birds from my garden view but the premium rooms have better sunset views (cost more) and with clouds & rain every afternoon in rainy season there is not much sunset to see. See the hotel website for more information at https://www.cristal-ballena.com/
Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita
CLICK Image to Enlarge
Ocean Views from Everywhere!
Restaurant by Pool w/ Meeting Room Above
Hotel Seen from Ocean Boat
Banana Plant Flower
Old Growth Big Trees
Hotel on a Hill
Birds Slide Show in Bar When No Ball Game
Yoga Chapel? Hmmm!
In a Beautiful Forest
Stairs up to Rooms
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― Lord Byron
The latest trip book is completed, a short & simple photo book of 36 pages for only $19 which is low price for a photo book + order by 10 September and get 40% off with discount code: SEPTEMBER4T
Banana Azul is maybe my most relaxing hotel in Costa Rica or certainly the Caribbean, thus I focused on the tranquility of nature there with several sunrise photos along with birds and other nature! 🙂 Click this link or the cover image below to see a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages of the book. As always, full screen mode is better for photos! 🙂
These 4 species of birds were finding their breakfast as I ate mine on the patio of Hotel Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica this morning. How fortunate I am to live and travel in such a beautiful, peaceful little country! ¡Pura Vida!
Breakfast at Banana Azul
Female Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Gardens Full of Flowers!
Male Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Common Black Hawk
“The sky’s gone blue: azure, the ocean bluer: cerulean, the trees are swirls of every hella freaking green on earth and bright thick eggy yellow is spilling over everything.”
― Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun
I like this new welcome video Banana Azul has commissioned for its website! It’s casual nature kind of depicts the casual nature of the place that is popular with young American Backpackers staying in hostels, as well as more traditional tourists like me. Be sure to click the “Full Screen” Icon in lower right corner while watching:
I will be doing another personal post later as I share my arrival here! Though the featured photo at top is mine showing how American advertisers are welcome to spend their money here! Ha, ha! 🙂