There are a few feeders right inside the entrance of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, right opposite the rest rooms, so while some of us are otherwise engaged, the rest are easily entertained. In fact, I warned my Point and Shoot Nature Photography group that it is easy to get so wrapped up in the hummers just inside the entrance that we might find it difficult to get to the real birding on the levels below. And, sure enough, this Coppery-headed Emerald was there to great us, and, along with the many other species using the feeders, keep us way too long. The Coppery-headed Emerald is one of only 6 endemic species in Costa Rica, and the only one with a wide enough distribution to be easily seen. (There are also, of course, 48 near endemics, shared only, mostly, with a narrow strip of northern Panama.) One of the reasons it is hard to break away form the upper feeders at La Paz is that there are lots of natural perches around them, and natural looking shots like this one are possible as the birds return repeatedly to the same perches. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Anti-motion Blur mode. (The feeders are in the deep shade of the entrance building itself.) Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We only saw a few of the 17 species of parrots and parakeets that live in Costa Rica on our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure. This is the White-crowned Parrot, common in the Central Valley in the foothills around San Jose. At dawn they generally fly over the hotel where we spend our first night in Costa Rica, and often settle for a moment in the top of tall trees just off the hotel grounds. They are, parrot like, very noisy in flight and you can often hear them coming before you see them. The tree they favor is not close, but using Clear Image Zoom to extend the Sony Rx10iv’s range out to 1200mm equivalent, it is possible to get a decent shot. The colors are intense in the fresh morning sun. This is program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I did not get home from Costa Rica until 4 AM this morning, thanks to weather delays in Newark, but that gave me lots of time to continue to work with my images from the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica. 🙂 This is the Green Thorntail hummingbird from La Paz Waterfall Gardens just over the continental divide on the way from San Jose to Selva Verde Lodge in the lowland forest. Most years I have to wait a while to see one, but this was among the first hummers I encountered at La Paz and there were numerous individuals present. Nice surprise. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Anti-motion Blur Mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
So here I am, stuck at the Newark Airport on my way back from the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica…canceled flight…and not rebooked until 10 PM…so what better to do than to to remember this amazing bird. The Golden-browed Chlorophonia from Batsu Gardens above the Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort in the Savegre Valley of the Talamanca Mountains. Certainly a stunning little finch (or at least finch-like bird). This is a male in full plumage. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction, as it was getting late in the day. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I have an early pick-up for the airport here in San Jose Costa Rica for my flights home, so I will post this tonight. Another classic pose of the Red-eyed Leaf Frog from my last night at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapiqui river valley’s lowland rain-forest. This one makes me smile! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Lighted with my little light cube in the camera’s flash shoe. Processed in Polarr.
The Collared Redstart is called, here in Costa Rica, “friend of man” because it often approaches humans, This one was right outside my cabin at Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
Coming back from the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica’s visit to the paramo (the area above tree-line at 11,000 feet, where we unsuccessfully chased Volcano Junco and Timberline Wren) we decided to walk a section of the road down to Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort that is known to be good habitat for Quetzels and other birds. We were not 50 yards and 5 minutes from the bus when Edwin shushed us all and pointed up. There was a male Resplendent Quetzel closer and in better light than I have ever seen before, sitting right over the road. We took way too many photos and collected several cars and bus load of tourists on their way into one of the lodges in the valley. I say better light, but I was still using Multi-frame Noise Reduction to compensate for the high ISOs required under the canopy. Sony Rx10iv at about 500mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Batsu Gardens sit on the side of the mountain about 500 feet above the Savegre River and Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort. I always schedule a visit to the gardens for the hummingbirds and other mountain specialties that come the well designed feeding stations and the abundant bird magnet plants. This the male Lesser Violetear Hummingbird, which Edwin, our guide, tells me expends up to 60% of its energy in competitive displays with other males. You can clearly see where the “violetear” part of name comes from. The ears lay flat against the head when it is not displaying. it used to be called the “green violetear”. I have no idea why they changed the name. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
The Point and Shoot Nature Adventure in Costa Rica is at the Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort for our annual search for the Resplendent Quetzel. For the past 5 trips we have found it in the same tree on the mountainside above the road, but this year the wild avocado fruit is already gone from that tree. We had to find another tree. We were blessed to find the birds right along road, in the next tree up the mountain. Such a spectacular bird! The long streamers are actually the tail coverts…not the tail itself, and you can clearly see that in this photo. Sony Rx10iv at around 800mm equivalent (using a little Clear Image Zoom to fill the frame. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction since we were out before the sun worked its way this deep into the valley (taken at the equivalent of ISO 6400 but using 3 stacked exposures for better image quality.) Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
It was a travel day today, from Selva Verde Lodge in the lowland rain-forest to Savegre Lodge in the Talamanca Mountains. Still we arrived in the highlands in time to make a stop at Miriam’s Quetzels…a small coffee shop on the mountainside with a Quetzel tree out back…and feeders for when the Quetzels are elseware…as in today. We did have a number of great birds around the feeders, including this Slaty Flowerpiercer. You can see in this shot were the bird gets its name. They feed from the bottom of blossoms by poking a hole in the base and extracting nectar and insects. This bird was busy only about 4 feet from the deck. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.