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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Cassius Blue – A New Species!

That is . . . a new species for me to photograph! There are so many species of butterflies in Costa Rica, about 1500, that my butterfly gallery of 260 species barely shows the huge variety here! This tiny butterfly landed on an equally tiny wildflower for just a few seconds and was gone! Because he is one of the “Blues,” the top side of his wings will be some shade of blue, but I did not get to see or photograph that and he was even partly hidden behind a portion of the flower. Maybe I’ll see this one again soon.

He has been seen spottily across the U.S., though mainly in Florida and Texas and on south through Central America. See the location map on ButterfliesAndMoths. Here’s two shots I got in my garden.

Cassius Blue, Leptotes cassius, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Parasola plicatilis: The Pleated Inkcap Mushroom 

and one website called it an “Urban Mushroom” while a third site more logically called it the “Japanese Parasol Mushroom.” 🙂 These were seen on a morning walk growing under the Higueron Tree (Strangler Fig) by the cow pasture in front of my house. This identity was found on the internet which sometimes works if I use the right words! 🙂 I started to just call them “Fluted Mushrooms” (my first impression) but learned on the internet search that that is the name of a culinary recipe! 🙂 There is also a “Fluted Bird’s Nest Mushroom” that is different and concave like a nest. Nature continues to entertain me! 🙂

Pleated Inkcap Mushroom contrasted with a blue washcloth someone threw down or lost.
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Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl or Mochuelo Común en español, is one of the smaller of the many owls found in Costa Rica and for the first time I saw one this morning in my yard uphill from me with four photos to follow (though I was shooting into the sun). I’ve seen this species 3 other places in Costa Rica and you can see those photos in my Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl GALLERY. And one of the more interesting sightings was outside Costa Rica of a family of this owl in Guatemala which they locally called “Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl” but I’m pretty sure it is the same species. 🙂

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail, Atenas, Costa Rica

This was one of the butterflies in my garden this morning that I haven’t seen here for awhile. He is similar to te Broad-banded Swallowtail and a little bit like the Thoas & the Ornythion Swallowtails, so you have to examine the details in the photos for a good ID. 🙂

You can read about the Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes on either of these websites: butterfliesandmoths.org or the butterfliesofamerica.com, the first of which is where I will eventually post one or more of these photos, when I get caught up, and the second sight is another one I use for identification along with my favorite butterfly book, A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America. The gallery below includes 2 top views, 2 bottom wing views and 2 side views or folded wings views of this beautiful big butterfly.

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Dusky-blue Groundstreak

Another “First Time Seen” butterfly for me, so I’m doing a second post today! 🙂 One of the “Hairstreak” butterflies, the Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Calycopis isobeon (link to butterflies & moths.org), is all over Costa Rica and another fingernail-sized butterfly! 🙂

I’m posting more butterflies than birds now partly because I haven’t had many birds in my garden and this is the time of year for more butterflies in Atenas is one reason. Another is that my interest in butterflies is going up and I have just become the “Costa Rica Coordinator” for the website butterfliesandmoths.org and since they haven’t had a CR Coordinator for 7 or more years here, I inherited a backlog of 450 submissions which will take months to go through, identify and approve while I’m anxious to submit my own 150 species photographed here. 🙂 I seem to always have plenty to keep me busy! 🙂 Enjoy this cool and different tiny butterfly and go outside and look for some where you live!

Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly

Here’s my first Damsel or Dragonfly photo this year though not the first seen. They are all hard for me to photograph and to identify, usually! But this time with my handy new book Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica by Dennis Paulson and William Haber, I managed to narrow it down quicker than usual for me; obviously first to a Damselfly and then by the spreading wings that it is one of the subspecies called “Spreadwing” (most Damsels keep their wings straight by their side) and then with the book’s excellent photos and me having a photo with enough detail like the blue eyes and the brown thorax with white stripe I quickly determined that this is a “Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly” or “Lestes alacer” the technical name of this species found in Central America and parts of North America. I hope to expand my collection of Dragonflies & Damselflies which is already a pretty good start . . .

See my GALLERY: Dragonflies & Damselflies of CR (18+ species identified with many more not identified. Your ID help welcomed!) 🙂

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Church Christmas Décor

At the Catholic Church Central Park, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

There is an inside manger scene to the right of altar, but people were praying in that area and I did not want to disturb them.

My Atenas Catholic Church GALLERY.

My 2021 Christmas Photos GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!