Punta Leona Photo Gallery

I really got a lot of good photos on this last trip and finally have them culled and organized into a gallery for the trip. See this newest photo gallery at:

2019 Mar 5-10 – Punta Leona

I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

~ Marcel Proust

¡Pura Vida!

OTHER WILDLIFE – Punta Leona

I did not get as many photos as in some places, but “other wildlife” was not my goal. There were lots of squirrels and iguanas which I mainly ignored. And of course the birds and butterflies were in separate posts! Click an image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:

 

“A forest’s beauty lies with its inhabitants.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

 

See my Other Wildlife Galleries for many more Costa Rica animals

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

¡Pura Vida!

BIRDS – Carara National Park

The hotel secured an outside guide to take me to nearby Carara National Park birding at 7:30 AM which should have been at 5:30 but they do that to fit their 7 AM Breakfast. If I had it to do over I would have asked for a “box breakfast” and a 5:30 departure! We would have seen more birds. This is my third guided walk in the park and equal to or better than my second one on the number of birds. We saw more than 20 species easily though I only have here the halfway decent photos of 13 species.

About half of these photos were made on a fruiting tree in the rainforest called huevos de caballo or “horse’s balls” which look in these photos like a pair of little hamburgers or egg mcmuffins.  🙂   These two fruits were cracked open from the heat or dryness and lots of different birds were picking the little red seeds out of the center of the fruit. You will see the seeds in some photos. 

Explanation of the two Trogon photo IDs: The one labeled Black-headed is based on the wings which are showing in that image. The one labeled Black-throated is based mainly on the type of stripes on the tail, which though not showing as well, could cause me to label the other one black-throated too. These are the only two trogons with yellow breasts that also have light blue eye-rings and are very similar. But the black-headed male is the only one with green on shoulder, thus that label. ID of birds is not always easy. These two IDs were made with the aide of my guide in the park.

The Ovenbird (featured photo) is one lifer on this hike and it is similar to the Northern Waterthrush from my first hotel birding hike which is another “lifer” or first time seen bird. Also on this trip I saw for the first time the Gray-chested Dove, another “lifer.”

Click an image to enlarge or start a manual slide show:

 

¡Pura Vida!

 

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

Church Group Cancels & I Add Monteverde!

Anytime you are dealing with groups of people there are complications and changes and this happened with the First Baptist Nashville group that were coming back to Atenas to work again in the Hogar de Vida Children’s Home this April. Pam told me yesterday that it did not work out, so instead of a week with them I now have scheduled a week in the Quaker town of Monteverde in April and already scheduling guided birding hikes while there.   🙂

IMG_1732-A-WEB
Rare Three-wattled Bellbird I photographed at Selvatura Monteverde in 2016

I limit myself to one birding trip a month and somehow for 2 years now I have not been able to get back to Monteverde where I had only 2.5 days back in 2016 on a Birding Club Trip that I added an extra night to but still did not have enough time for all the reserves and other places for nature. I’ll stay 6 nights this time with my first priorities guided birding hikes in three reserves: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (or Official Site in English), Santa Elena Reserve (or Official Site in Spanish), and Curi-Cancha Reserve. That’s three days! Then a really good commercial nature reserve there called Selvatura that has the longest canopy hanging-bridges in the country plus a fabulous butterfly garden & hummingbird garden and more! That will be another full day, to which I will then add shorter trips like one of the best night hikes in the country, the excellent Monteverde Butterfly Garden, not to mention the trails and gardens at the Monteverde Lodge & Gardens where I will be staying. A full and fulfilling week!   🙂   So Nashville guys, I will miss you, but not be bored!   🙂

And I change my 2019 Trips Map with #4 (April) moved from Atenas to Monteverde.

Click to enlarge

 

 

¡Pura Vida!

A Blog-reader Stops By for ZooAve

My Visitor at Zoo Ave

Yes, I actually have some regular readers of my blog and several I have never met, some of whom are contemplating retiring in Costa Rica. One from Texas, a bigger birder than me, has visited several times and is possibly going to move somewhere in Central Valley here next year in retirement, with Atenas one option. One “Retired in Costa Rica” Wannabe from California has been planning a nature photography trip here for months, writing me for advice and with questions. She arrived today with a local flight to the Osa Peninsula in the morning but needed something to do today. I took her to Animal Rescate Zoo Ave in La Garita today with her hotel reasonably close to the airport for her flight out in the morning.

We did not finish our walk through the zoo because her camera battery went dead with her other one left in the hotel, but I got a few photos shown below. Note that 4 of the animals in today’s animal gallery or slideshow below were “wild” or not part of the zoo collection!   🙂

Animal Photos

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More of My Photos at Zoo Ave

One of many flowers at zoo

 

 

 

 

Part of a magnificent bamboo grove at Zoo Ave

My 2019 Nature Adventures

A different hotel/lodge every month except April when a gang from Nashville come to volunteer in the children’s home here in Atenas. 4 lodges are repeats but such great places they will be totally new experiences! I start this month near the Nicaragua border sleeping 5 nights in a treehouse and from there it is everything from Whale Watching to Tapirs and of course lots of birds! There will be new wildlife this year and also its the year I expect to top 300 bird species that I will have photographed in Costa Rica! What a life!   🙂

And you may wonder why I am planning so far ahead? Well, it was not far enough for some places I wanted to visit, especially for next Christmas when my first two choices were already booked. Costa Rica and its best lodges and hotels are very popular and stay booked more than a year in advance.

The links on the hotel/lodge name is to that hotel’s website, if you are interested. And the map gives the approximate location of each visit this year using the month number for when I visit that spot and listing indicates lodge or national park visited that month.

  1. Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada
  2. Doubletree San Jose & Turtle Beach Lodge Tortuguero
  3. Hotel Punta Leona, Jaco Beach
  4. Hogar de Vida Children’s Home, Atenas
  5. Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui  *
  6. Macaw Lodge (Nat Geo), Carara National Park
  7. Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela  *
  8. Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Caribe (Carnival Week)  *
  9. Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita (Whale Watching) Ballena NP
  10. Hotel Hacienda GuachipelinRincón de la Vieja National Park
  11. Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park  *
  12. Tapirus LodgeBraulio Carrillo National Park

*The 4 starred hotels are repeats for me, meaning I really like them!  🙂  And this is what it is like to be Retired in Costa Rica, the name of my blog! Pura vida!

For those who know Costa Rica the map helps understand where I’m traveling this year, my first to not go to Osa Peninsula, as I explore new places.

CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE  

Manuel Antonio Flowers

Everywhere I go in Costa Rica I’m captivated by the flowers! Here’s a few from my recent visit to Manuel Antonio, park, hotel grounds, and other locations, Click an image to enlarge it or start a manual slideshow:


Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.

~Gerard De Nerval

-o-

NOTE TO OTHER WP BLOGGERS : This is my first post with the new WP5 Editing Software called “Guttenberg.” For now I’m staying with the Theme “Twenty Seventeen” which means my pages still look about the same. Their new recommended default Theme is called “Twenty Nineteen” and designed for the new editor, but does not have the right column I’m used to, so debating over that change, but may try it. The biggest difference on this post now is that the “Quotation Block” looks different and is very nice though it doesn’t seem to allow color typeface like I was using with dark red. But I like the softer quote look. And the “Button” to click for a link to my gallery (or other places) is new and I like that very much. All our different worlds are constantly changing! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Next to Last Sunset Here

I have really enjoyed the sunsets here from my room and try to be there between 5 & 5:30 every evening when our sun sets here pretty much year around. Tonight I used a real camera instead of the cell phone and it does make a difference I think, though I did not try to make the trees green tonight but let them silhouette into black. That is another difference with more contrast.

See this TRIP GALLERY   2018 December Si Como No.

Birds at Hotel & Park

That’s a Fiery-billed Aracari in above feature photo which is the rarest bird yet for me here, shot from the deck of my room. I’m doing this as a separate birds post from what I will see tomorrow on:

Damas Island Estuary Boat Trip

Discover the complex estuary system of Damas Island. From your covered boat, you’ll wind you way through coastal mangroves for up-close looks at the abundant wildlife, including a variety of sea birds and tropical birds, reptiles, and monkeys.  ~from the hotel website Tours descriptions

Note, that even with their own “Wildlife Refuge” at this hotel, I have seen fewer birds here than most of the lodges I visit and in this national park the only bird photo I got was of the stationary Hermit Hummingbird nest. I did see a Kingfisher and Woodrail on the hotel night hike but no photos. I expect my most bird photos tomorrow in the mangroves.

Si Como No Birds:

 

Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain. 

~Douglas Coupland

I have started my TRIP Gallery for this 2018 December Si Como No trip.