South Caribe Birds This Year

Some trips I put more energy into getting many more bird photos, this year in South Caribe was more relaxed and slower, focusing a little more on culture and people, but here are my 10 birds and 1 nest photos representing 8 species with 3 having both male and female photos. My one “lifer” or first-time seen bird was the Gray-necked Wood-Rail.

Birds are still my first passion, but tomorrow I will share the “Other Animals” seen here this year including one of my better sloth photos shot near the hotel, as were most of the birds. I saw a few water birds from a distance but not as many as usually seen here. And I’m very pleased with my new Tamron 60mm lense which has really helped to zoom in on more birds!

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The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind.

~Carly Simon

See my TRIP Photo Gallery:   2018 Caribe South, Puerto Viejo  for many other kinds of photos from this fun trip and for more on the South Caribe see these other past trip galleries:

¡Pura Vida!

Isla Popa for the Snowy Cotinga

One afternoon we had a 2 hour boat ride around a smaller island called Popa. 
This is the only island in the Boca del Toro Archipelago to have the Snowy Cotinga.
We searched for over an hour before we finally found one of these semi-rare birds.
Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

For the birders among my readers, this is only my second time to see and photograph a Snowy Cotinga. The other time was Christmas before last at Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí.  


And everyone likes to see a toucan! This is now called the Yellow-throated Toucan
Popa is close enough to the mainland for toucans to fly to them.
Our island, Barsimanto, is not, thus no toucans!
Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Brown Pelican 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Brown Pelican 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Being in the Atlantic Ocean with lots of islands and mainland nearby is pretty!
Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

I love the trees! 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

I love the trees! 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

I love the trees! 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

And the houses and tourist cabins are interesting too! 
 Popa Island, Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
I am now back home in Atenas, Costa Rica after a very long day getting back with rain and heavy traffic making it a slower drive and not back home until about 8:30 or 9:00 PM Wednesday night. Today, Thursday, was busy with laundry, grocery shopping, bank visit, and lots of text messages and emails to deal with. Friday I meet a young friend for lunch who wants to practice his English and I will practice my Spanish. And Saturday morning I will go to Alajuela to pick up another photo book that has arrived. I probably will be sharing more photos from Panama for another week. It was a good trip! 

And in between all the other things I will be back onto building my new website and maybe transferring this blog to it. 

Cañon Negro Birds, Part 1

Squirrel Cuckoo 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

Anhinga female 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

Yellow-throated Toucan 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica
Green Heron 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica
Amazon Kingfisher female 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica
Boat-billed Heron 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

Laughing Falcon 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

Red-winged Blackbird 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

Social Flycatcher building a nest 
Cañon Negro, Costa Rica

And 9 more tomorrow night, then we start on Tenorio and more from the lodge. Tomorrow (Wed.) I ride the buses back to Atenas.

And my Birds photo gallery

3 Species of Toucans Every Day!

Yellow-throated Toucan
Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, La Virgen, Costa Rica
Former known as Chestnut-Mandibled and then Black-Mandibled Toucan
A very common bird in Sarapiquí area including at Selva Verde Lodge.

Keel-billed Toucan
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Collared Aracari
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan Flying
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

The Last Cell Phone Post & Home Again

I’m glad to be home but good photos not processed yet, so here’s more cell phone shots:

White-water rafters seen from the terrace of my cabin in cell phone.
Selva Verde Lodge, Chilamate, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica
on the Sarapiquí River 

Rafters zoomed-in and cropped from cell phone pix.
Selva Verde Lodge, Chilamate, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica
on the Sarapiquí River 

Yellow-throated Toucan cell phone shot cropped to 1/4 size to enlarge.
Behind dining room, Selva Verde Lodge, Chilamate, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica.
Good photos of this bird coming in next few days. Saw him everywhere! 

Lower Falls at La Paz Gardens
Seen from highway enroute to and from
Selva Verde Lodge Costa Rica this trip.
You don’t see this on your paid visit
inside the park!  🙂

I drove a rent car through the mountains above Alajuela to avoid going through the nerve-wracking traffic of San Jose, but not sure how much better with all the hairpin curves! It is a tiring drive of less than 60 miles that takes 3 hours. (Yep! I averaged 20 mph!) And rent cars with full insurance are expensive! So next trip will be on public transportation even though I am still not fluent in Spanish. With friendly Ticos I can struggle through the language with less stress than comes with driving through city traffic or mountain curves AND it will be a whole lot less expensive! And slower is part of the adventure. ¡Pura Vida! I was told at Selva Verde that the bus from San Jose was the equivalent of $4, but of course mine will be discounted with my senior adult card.  🙂

I’ll try to start posting Sarapiqui bird photos tomorrow and over the next few days or probably a week since I made over 3,000 photos. And I promise that most will be much better than these cell phone shots I’ve been forced to share since I forgot my USB cord on this trip. 
I drove straight to the airport with one stop for snack and baño. The bus to Atenas and cab home. A suitcase is no problem on bus since there is storage underneath the bus. Then a taxi home. The Selva Verde buffet restaurant was all Tico food and the sit-down restaurant with waiters was pasta and pizza, so I took Anthony to Donde Bocha for a hamburguesa tonight. Nice change!

Christmas Day Wildlife Photos

The 6 AM Bird Walk had a different guide, Ronald, and a lot more birds today! Of course most photos are on my SLR camera, but the guide used my phone on his spotting scope for the next three photos below. I have some better ones on my real camera. All the guides here are provided by the Selva Verde Lodge, at a reasonable extra cost or in my case as part of a “Birding Package.”

Snowy Cotinga  (A first sighting for me)
By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope
Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Yellow-throated Toucan (formerly Chestnut or Black-mandibled Toucan)
By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope
Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Mantled Howler Monkey
By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope
Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
And I haven’t mentioned that I hear them often in the forest here.

Nature Guide Ronald at the front entrance
to Selva Verde before we cross the road
for birds in a botanical garden.
Then, late morning I got out of our lodge reserve to visit Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion which several people had recommended. It is basically a lot of different kinds of feeders on the edge of a thick secondary rainforest with a lot of birds. It provided me with some good close-ups and of a few new birds. So it was worth the 10 km drive down the highway. The father-son project has a great story behind it but I will let you read about it on their website at Dave & Dave’s.
More hummingbirds than I’ve seen almost anywhere else.
Some eating out of that heliconia flower.
Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

There was a group of German photographers there with their big lenses.
Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Dave Senior putting out more fruit for the birds.
Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Tonight I am going on the “Night Hike” and hope to get another good shot of a red-eyed tree frog. We will see. Animals are unpredictable. The restaurant has had this Christmas tree up since I’ve been here and they play Christmas music.
Christmas Tree
Selva Verde Lodge Restaurant #1
Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Tomorrow I’ve scheduled an early morning boat trip, Guide Evan is going with me. And oh yes, in the rainforest there are still afternoon showers, even in the Dry Season. A shot from my room this afternoon during the short shower to keep everything watered!  🙂

Rain seen from Riverside Room 45, Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

And all these photos were made on my cell phone!

Merry Christmas Day!  ~Charlie