The largest toucan in Costa Rica is the Yellow-throated Toucan, and it is common at the feeders here at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapique River valley (and everywhere else we have been in the the valley rain forest). It used to be the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, and, before that, the Black-mandibled Toucan. It is big and noisy and hard to miss! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus auto ISO with multi-frame-noise reduction. Processed in Polarr.
There are always surprises on our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventures in Costa Rica. This year’s stand-out so far, edging out the Yellow Eyelash Pit-viper by a nose, is the Lesser Anteater…also called the Collared Anteater or the Collared Tamandua. This one, the first and only I have ever seen, was climbing a tree along the road beside the old botanical gardens at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapique River Valley. We watched it devour termites (its main food) from a termite highway leading up the tree to a termite nest above for 15 minutes or more before moving on. Very special! Sony Rx10iv at 150mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
On our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica, the Red-eyed Leaf Frogs have never failed us. We found 5 of them last night on our night walk at Selva Verde Lodge here in the Sarapique River. This is one of my best shots ever as the frog was posing nicely just below eye-level right beside the path. I am using a new flash-shoe mounted light cube that has just the right intensity (adjustable) for shots like this using the Sony Rx10iv’s Anti-motion Blur mode. It is certainly much easier then hand holding a flashlight. (No flash allowed when photographing leaf frogs 🙂 600mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr.
We spent the morning at Dave & Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion photographing a wide range of birds in the rain…including hummingbirds. This is a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, the only red-footed hummingbird in Costa Rica. Dave & Dave (father and son) no longer use artificial hummingbird feeders. They put out fresh flowers each day which attract the hummers without distracting them from natural food sources. Challenging photography. Natural light. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (full frame). Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
So I posed a bird of the day (Spectacled Owl), and a creature of the day (Eyelash Pit-viper, on Facebook and Instagram) from the 2nd day of the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica already. This has to be the mammal of the day. A Three-toed (or more properly, 3 fingered) Sloth at Donde Cope…Jose Perez’s home in La Union Costa Rica. He has a pair of Sloths living in his tiny garden. This male was slowly working through the vines just above our heads. I was after dark and raining so this was taken with the light of my little light cube mounted in the flash shoe of my Sony Rx10iv in Anti-motion blur mode. It is only at 254mm equivalent and it is a full frame shot (not cropped) so you might be able to appreciated just how close we were. The difficulty was catching the sloth’s face exposed as it climbed the among the vines. Yes, we are having fun in Costa Rica!
The bird of the day for our second full day on the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica was probably this immature Spectacled Owl, which Cope found for us a few miles from his home in La Union de Gaupiles in Limon, Costa Rica. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Anti-motion blur mode, with supplemental light from a light cube attached to the flash shoe. Processed in Polarr.
One of the problems with my yearly Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventures in Costa Rica is that the first day is always so spectacular that it sets a high bar for the remainder of the trip. We start in the morning birding around the hotel grounds above San Jose, and then move on to the hummingbirds and barbets and and warblers and butterflies of La Paz Waterfall Gardens…then stop at at the little back deck at Soda Y Mirador Cinchona for toucanets and more barbets and tanagers and guans and more hummingbirds and arrive at Selva Verde in time for the 5 o’clock Howler Monkey serenade. Most people see more birds in that single day than they see in several months in North America. If Costa Rica was not so rich in birds and wildlife and scenery, and it each day did not top the last, the trip might be all downhill after the first day.
I am writing and posting this tonight, for tomorrow morning, since we will meet at 5am to bird the entrance road…the world famous entrance road…to the La Silva Biological Station. La Silva is often sited as having one of the highest biodiversities of anywhere in the world. And then in the afternoon, we will go hunting owls and bats and wood rails, iguanas and glass frogs, with Cope, around his little half acre paradise and the further neighborhood. Better and better.
What we have here is an Emerald, or Blue-throated Emerald Toucanet at Soda Y Mirador Cinchona. There were three, at eye-level and at about 12 feet. Then one came into the fruit feeder at the corner of the porch and sat less than 4 feet from our fascinated and happy faces. I could literally have petted its head as it feed on the fruit. Happy faces indeed.
Posting may be erratic and in the evening instead of the morning as I have a few more minutes after supper than before breakfast. There is no place in the world for bird photography that is better than Costa Rica 🙂
Here we are just outside San Jose in Costa Rica, at the Bueno Vista Hotel, and soon after arrival we were graced by not one, but three Hoffmann’s Woodpeckers. You can see the marked resemblance to several North American woodpeckers. Note the erected crown. Evidently at least two the birds were male and displaying some signs of dominance behavior. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
On my one fly-in at the Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (Socorro, New Mexico, USA) this year, we were graced by a sun dog in the sunset. It was subtle, but there. I waited patiently for at least a few Sandhill Cranes to fly by it on their way into the shallow pond for the night. It was low on the horizon and most of the cranes came in too high or too low. Patience was eventually rewarded. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 475mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Socorro, New Mexico, USA. As I said in yesterday’s post, I never did see a full scale panic of Snow Geese this year at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge while I was there for the Festival of the Cranes. But I did see several mixed mini panics, involving both Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese. And that is really odd because Cranes do not startle like that very often, at least in my limited experience. Generally Cranes are very deliberate, even about moving from one field to another. They go family by family after much apparent consideration. They don’t leap into the air in a bunch. Who knows what was up at Bosque this year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.