“The Wind in the Trees”

“Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the trees.”

~Thomas Merton

With that, I renew an old adventure that will certainly become an even grander new adventure . . .

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas NP, Golfito

It was in October of 2018, the peak of the rainy season, that I first visited Esquinas Rainforest Lodge at La Gamba Research Station, Piedras Blancas National Park, north of Golfito, Puntarenas. It rained pretty hard every afternoon with the mornings and short spaces between rain full of wonderful birds to photograph! And the planned boat trip to Rio Coto Mangroves turned impossible with high winds and heavy rain on Golfo Dulce, but the ingenious boat captain took me back into the smaller Gulf of Golfito (shielded from heavy wind by trees) for some of my better bird shots in between downpours – an unplanned but excellent substitute for an always good mangrove tour! Making Lemonade from Lemons! 🙂 And how could you not in this incredible rainforest? See more photos from my first trip there & a video link below . . .

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Wet Birds at Gandoca-Manzanillo

This morning’s rain not only interfered with a beautiful sunrise but also dampened my birding expedition with a great guide this morning. I try not to give up too quickly on such efforts, but did cut our hike a little shorter after my camera fogged up on the inside. All 12 of the following birds were photographed in the rain even if not obvious! 🙂 And we saw more birds and other animals, even in the rain! 🙂 Just imagine what it would have been like with a clear morning!

Broad-winged Hawk, Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge, Limón, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Wet Birds at Gandoca-Manzanillo”

Sloth Sanctuary

Today is a rainy day but I went ahead and visited the Sloth Sanctuary in Cahuita, Costa Rica and really glad I did! We had light rain the first part of the canoe trip and thus I did not take out my big camera until near the end, missing a lot of birds, but I have all of them from other places and enjoyed someone else paddling the canoe!   🙂

The canoe trip is to see where the sloths live in the wild before we go into the building to see the rescued sloths. We saw howler monkeys & lots of birds but no wild sloths. A VERY EXCELLENT TOUR that I highly recommend to anyone in this area! I sure learned a lot about sloths!

Banana Azul provided transportation to the sanctuary, about 15 minutes away. It is just as good as the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo and the Ara Project Manzanillo I had already visited here in the South Caribbean. I highly recommend all three! They all do great work saving animals and our environment! Part of the culture of Costa Rica!    🙂

Canoe Trip

Sloth Center


¡Pura Vida!

More Birds from Rancho Naturalista

Chestnut-headed Oropendola
The other day I mistakenly called it a “Crested Oropendola,” which does not
appear in this part of Costa Rica, only a few near Panama border in SW
I’ve not seen this in Atenas, only the Montezuma Oropendola, a favorite!
This one photographed at Rancho Naturalista, Tuis, Costa Rica

The following photos were made at CATIE campus near Turrialba, an agronomic program for research and education for all of Latin America farmers, headquartered in Costa Rica with a campus Trip Advisor reviews if planning to go. Cost is now $10 per visitor. It helped to have a good birding guide because he sees things I often miss! There were a lot of small forest birds I could not photograph because of light, distance and small size of birds. But some of the ones I got below are “first-timers” for me and that is good as my bird collection grows.
here and one in San Jose.  My guide at Rancho Naturalista, Harry, took 3 of us here for the morning of the 7th of Dec. It is a good birding place with a big pond or small lake and a Botanical Gardens with tropical plants from all over Latin America. This terrain is different than the lodge and has lots of possibilities. See the

Tropical Kingbird
Too big for gray-capped or boat-bill flycatchers I believe.
All three are colored the same and sometimes difficult to ID.
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Northern Jacana, second in number only to egrets at the pond.
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

White-ringed Flycatcher, my first photo
Like the Social Flycatcher except white on head makes a circle (ring)
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Prothonotary Warbler, my first photo.
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Keel-billed Toucan, always from a distance,
Not easy for me to photograph.
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Chestnut-sided Warbler, which I photographed again at lodge better
This trip is my first time to photo this bird and twice at that!  🙂
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Chestnut-backed Antbird, not great photo but my first!
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Common Tody-flycatcher, another 1st photo – A good day!  🙂
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Muscovy Duck, who we later observed mating  🙂
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Great-tailed Grackle, female, common all over Costa Rica
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Baby Great Egrets, as this pond is a rookery for the Great Egret
Though fluffy & black-billed like Snowy Egret, they are not!
Note Mom’s black foot to left of baby head. Snowy’s have yellow feet.
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Hoffman’s Woodpecker
CATIE Campus, Turrialba, Costa Rica

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.  ~Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712