Last Morning Walk at Rancho

Thursday the 15th my driver drove back from Atenas to Rancho Humo and joined me for lunch before we drove back to Atenas. Before breakfast I caught the sunrise, el amanecer, then walked around the ranch one more time. Here are some of the photos I made on my last morning walk there as a slideshow.

Morning Walk 15 November 2018, Rancho Humo, Costa Rica

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Sunrise from my room, 15 November 2018


Hotel’s 2 Minute Video Says it All!

¡Pura Vida!

Another day of “Retired in Costa Rica” with Charlie Doggett!

Why would anyone retire anywhere else?   🙂

Palo Verde National Park Visit

There is plenty to see and photograph on the 5,000+ acres of Rancho Humo, birds, other wildlife, and scenery! But across the river from the ranch is another wonderful and large Costa Rica park: Palo Verde National Park.

Costa Rica is blessed with many national parks and wildlife reserves, more than 25% of country’s total land!  This park is a combination of Tropical Dry Forest, the Tempisque River and its surrounding wetlands which bloom with wildlife.


Tomorrow (Wednesday) I float down the river for a different experience in the park. But here are 3 slideshows for what was seen on Tuesday on a 6 km hike and posting here on Wednesday. Will post boat trip later today or tomorrow.

Birds in Palo Verde National Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other Wildlife in Palo Verde National Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Views Surrounding Us in Palo Verde National Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Hat Full of Sky

“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.” 
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

And today’s story begins as I wake up with that big sky sunrise at the foot of my bed in beautiful Rancho Humo, eat a Tico breakfast of scrambled eggs with beans and rice (Gallo Pinto) and begin a 6 km hike in Palo Verde Park after a 30 minute boat ride to the park entrance.  Tired, invigorated, hot and smiling. Today’s story will continue once I’ve sorted the photos   🙂    –another episode of “Retired in Costa Rica.”  ¡Pura Vida!

New Friends on My Afternoon Walk

My 4 pm afternoon walk ended up being partly with a young couple from Germany who checked in the hotel today along with a separate American couple, so I no longer get all the attention of the staff!   🙂    This German couple are going with me on the hike into the national park tomorrow morning.

My other new friends were a group of Yellow-naped Parrots that live only in the Northwest of Costa Rica and thus my first time to see. They are also popular for pets and thus now endangered, so a really good photo find and a “Lifer” for me. Click the name link above for Cornell University’s Neotropical Birds article with map of the few places they still live in the wild and a recording of their sounds which I heard live today. This kind of wildness is going to disappear one of these days if humans don’t change their ways.

Yellow-naped Parrot, Rancho Humo Estancia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Yellow-naped Parrot, Rancho Humo Estancia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!


Rancho Humo Birds

All of these birds were photographed on the Rancho Humo hotel property (100’s of acres of farmland) with some fields flooded by a tidal irrigation system from the Tempisque River. Many of the fields are shared with some of the 800 cows they have here along with wild deer, howler monkeys, and all the smaller wildlife like coatis and iguanas, etc. Tomorrow I go into the Palo Verde National Park which will probably give me some new birds along with some of these.       CLICK AN IMAGE TO SEE LARGER or to begin a slideshow with larger images than the automated slideshow.


Rancho Humo Estancia on Rio Tempisque

See how I “rough it” in luxury in Costa Rica:

¡Pura Vida!

A Beautiful Day!

And So Many Birds the Photos Aren’t Ready!

I photographed so many birds today that I can’t get them all processed to show tonight, so they’ll come tomorrow.

Above was sunrise from my room and below where I road in a safari jeep on the hotel property photographing birds and at bottom the sunset today.  Lots of bird photos coming tomorrow!

The Wetlands around Rancho Humo Estancia, Costa Rica
Another fabulous end to another fabulous day – Rancho Humo!



¡Pura Vida!

“Home on the Range”

Northwest Costa Rica, the Guanacaste Province, is mostly flat, dry and generally with more sun than rain with lots of cattle ranching. Today Walter drove me to and through this area of Costa Rica for my 5-night stay at Rancho Humo where it is near the end of Rainy Season, so nice and green now! Above photo is from my room deck when I arrived. Here’s a few shots enroute and on the first of 6 days at “Home on the Range.”

BIRDS First Afternoon, 30 minutes in Wetlands

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On the Road to Rancho Humo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My “Jr. Suite” at Rancho Humo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rancho Humo Outside Views

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

¡Pura Vida!


Home from Maybe Best Birding Trip Yet

I am tempted to declare Esquinas Rainforest Lodge my best birding location yet! In 6 days I photographed 50+ species of birds with 12 of them first timers for me or “lifers” for Costa Rica with two seen before in other Panama.  The Lodge name link above is to their lodge website. Or check out others’ reviews on TripAdvisor.

I highly recommend it! The lodging, food and services were all first class while immersed in a rainforest. You know that I have a lot of places I like all over Costa Rica, but this new one for me just moved near the top of my list! And realize that I was here during the wettest month of the year for them and still had a great experience! And it may have helped that I was the only guest there this week and had a personal birding guide!  Plus a personal chef and maid!   🙂  Hey! This is living! Retired in Costa Rica!

My Trip Gallery is Posted!

See the birds, animals, flowers, lodge and Golfito in my gallery for this trip at   2018 Esquinas Rainforest Lodge Visit.  Photos are the reason I make these trips and this collection is the result of this trip. A photo book will be coming soon! If no one else, the host lodges all love my photo books as I send one to each of them.

My Birds This Trip

Here are the birds I saw and photographed with the “lifers” or ones seen for the first time in boldface type. Presented in the order of the lodge’s bird list which is a little different from the Field Guide:

  • Great Curassow
  • Brown Booby  (1st in CR, got some in Panama in June)
  • Brown Pelican
  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • White Ibis
  • Green Ibis
  • Osprey
  • Gray-cowled Wood-Rail  (formerly Gray-necked Wood-Rail)
  • Willet
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Laughing Gull
  • Short-billed Pigeon
  • White-tipped Dove
  • Gray-chested Dove
  • Squirrel Cuckoo
  • Long-billed Hermit
  • Band-tailed Barbthroat
  • Purple-crowned Fairy
  • Charming Hummingbird
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
  • Violet-headed Hummingbird
  • Ringed Kingfisher
  • Green Kingfisher
  • American Pygmy Kingfisher  (1st in CR, have photo from Panama)
  • Fiery-billed Aracari
  • Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
  • Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
  • Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
  • Least Flycatcher
  • Great Kiskadee
  • Gray-capped Flycatcher
  • Tropical Kingbird
  • Orange-collared Manakin
  • Gray-breasted Martin
  • Clay-colored Thrush
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Bananaquit
  • Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (endemic to this area)
  • Scarlet-rumped Tanager (formerly Cherrie’s Tanager)
  • Bay-headed Tanager
  • Green Honeycreeper
  • Variable Seedeater
  • Orange-billed Sparrow
  • Scarlet-rumped Cacique
  • Spot-crowned Euphonia

And with many of these I saw both male & female which can be so different it is like another species!  🙂

Spot-crowned Euphonia female eating a berry. Note her tongue.

¡Pura Vida!


More Than Birds This Morning!

The slideshow photos are in no particular order, just shots from my walk around the campus this morning with no rain! And almost no birds! There were a lot more birds on the rainy days! And now at about 3 in the afternoon the rain is starting for the first time today, so maybe the birds will return. Ahhhh! I just saw two Euphonias but not where I could photograph. Tonight is my last night here and near the end of the most wonderful food that someone else prepares for me. Its been a great week!

Morning Walk Photo Slideshow

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”
~Buddhist Sutra


And I am just now starting the “trip gallery” for this trip at 2018 Esquinas Rainforest Lodge  —  but soon that will be the place to see all my best photos from this week. I have gotten 10 new “lifers” or first-time seen birds this week! That is incredible! Possibly more than on any other trip at least recently.