Brazilian Skipper

While at Villa Lapas in Tarcoles last month, I got only one butterfly with a decent photo and it is another semi-unusual or not seen much here butterfly, though on butterfliesandmoths it seems to be quite common in the Eastern USA. It is the Brazilian Skipper, Calpodes ethlius (link to my gallery) and this was my second time to see one. Here’s just one photo . . .

Brazilian Skipper, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

The Hero Vulture!

Yes! He’s a hero! Nature’s sanitation engineer or garbage collector if you prefer, but all the species of vultures keep our natural world clean and more beautiful for people like me to explore! And I think they are “handsome” in their own special way! 🙂 These two photographed at Hotel Villa Lapas in Tarcoles are each a Black Vulture, Coragyps atratus (eBird link) and you can see more of my CR vulture photos in their 3 different species galleries:

And here’s just two photos from Villa Lapas, one on the ground and one flying above . . .

Black Vulture, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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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!

The Ever-present Kiskadee!

Everywhere I go in Costa Rica I see Clay-colored Thrush and Great Kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus (eBird link). And therefore I was not surprised to see many of the Great Kiskadee at Hotel Villa Lapas in Tarcoles. And this time I got a good shot of a Kiskadee Nest with a Kiskadee coming in and out of it, though sadly it had been built on an electrical power pole. Here’s four shots and you can see more in my Great Kiskadee Gallery.

Great Kiskadee, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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A Waterthrush

The Northern Waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis (eBird link), is a common bird found near water throughout North America, Central America and the northern portions of South America, but I’m sharing this lackluster photo because I haven’t seen very many here in Costa Rica. In my Northern Waterthrush Gallery I have photos of them from only 2 other places, the nearby Hotel Punta Leona and Maquenque Eco Lodge. Here’s one now from Hotel Villa Lapas in Tarcoles . . .

Northern Waterthrush, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Orange-billed Sparrow

This Orange-billed Sparrow, Arremon aurantiirostris (linked to eBird) is another mostly Central America bird with a few in the southern edges of Mexico and northwestern South America. His bright beak makes it obvious when you spot one! This one was in the gardens of Villa Lapas Hotel at Tarcoles. And though the book says it is fairly common on both slopes here, I’ve only seen in 2 other locations so far, as shown in my Orange-billed Sparrow Gallery. Here’s two shots of this one . . .

Orange-billed Sparrow, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Wedge-billed Woodcreeper

Another not often seen birds from Villa Lapas earlier this week is the Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Glyphorynchus spirurus (linked to eBird) which I’ve only seen one other time which was at Rancho Naturalista many years ago. They are another bird found throughout Central America and Northern South America. Here’s three photos from a tree by the bridge to my room.

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Hotel Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Turquoise-browed Motmot

I had a good birding hike this morning with Vicktor as my guide and got a lot of birds but haven’t had time to process all the photos yet, so here’s just one – the Turquoise-browed Motmot, Eumomota superciliosa (eBird link), one of the two main motmots in Costa Rica and this one is only found in Costa Rica north to Southern Mexico!

Turquoise-browed Motmot, Hotel Villa Lapas. Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I will eventually share the photos of the other birds photographed this morning and eventually some photos from the Sky Way Bridges and Trails (a lot of steps!) from the 2 km mountain walk with a family of 5 from the states (the Mom born in CR) and our guide Stephanie. It was a nice, brisk, hour and a half mountain walk with pleasant people and I was hot and sweaty when we returned. 🙂

Tonight is the night hike for hopefully some good frog pix and in the morning I changed from the jungle wagon to another birding hike, this time in the Carara National Park when they open at 8am. Then leave for home at noon.

See my gallery of Turquoise-browed Motmots.

¡Pura Vida!