Kennebunk, Maine, USA, January 2023 — It is very rare indeed for the snow to stay on the trees in southern Maine for more than a few hours. We are into our third day of this winter wonderland now…and it looks good to hold until we get some “wintery mix” late this evening into tomorrow. There are downed trees and branches all over town, and there will be more by morning tomorrow. Still, it is undeniably beautiful. This is two more iPhone 13 shots. One with the ultra-wide lens and, of course, a panorama. The computing power of the phone makes these kinds of photos possible and even easy.
Laughing Falcon: Rio Rincon near Corcovado Lodge and National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — We were getting pretty far up the Rincon toward the border of Corcovado National Park by the time we encountered this Laughing Falcon. I have actually never heard the “laughing” call, which the bird apparently only makes when it is upset. We certainly were not close enough to be a threat. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th. + 1 EV exposure compensation for detail in the backlit bird.
Ringed Kingfisher: Rio Rincon near Danta Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula), Costa Rica — Not a great shot, but a pretty good bird. The biggest of the Kingfishers with a range from just over the border in the US, through Central America, and all of South America. This bird was distant…this is a heavy crop of a 600mm shot, and totally back-lighted, +2EV exposure compensation and even then it took some post processing to show any green at all. Still, I will take it. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv as above. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications and the exposure compensation. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Amazon Kingfishers (pair): Rio Rincon near Danta Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica — As we traveled up the bed of the Rincon in our wagon behind the tractor on our way into Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula, we came up on this pair of Amazon Kingfishers facing off on a branch above the water. We were far enough away so that I could get both in the same frame at 600mm equivalent. The Amazon Kingfisher lives all through the Amazon Basin in South America, and up through Central American and into Mexico. I have even seen one in South Texas, just on the border, but that was big deal, and happened during the Rio Grande Birding and Nature Festival, which meant that several hundred other birders saw it too. Sony Rx10iv as above. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
American Dipper: Savegre River, Savegre Mountain Hotel, Reserve, and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica — I mentioned the American Dipper yesterday, as a bird that shares habitat and habits with the Torrent Flycatcher. It is also another plain grey bird you see on the rocks of rushing streams in the mountains of Central America. The Dipper (sometimes called the Water Ouzel) is a wide ranging bird, found at higher elevations from Alaska to Panama, wherever there are rapid clean rivers and streams. It is, of course, famous as the only aquatic song-bird, and actually walks underwater to forage on stream bottoms. It does not swim, but uses its wings to help navigate the currents. I look for the Dipper every time I visit San Geraldo de Dota as the Savegre river is ideal habitat…it is always there, I am sure, but I see about 1 out of 5 years during my short visit, during which I only spend a few hours along the river itself. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (cropped to about 1800mm equivalent). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 800 and 1600 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Torrent Tyrannulet: Savegre River below Savegre Mountain Hotel, Reserve, and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica — There are 11 species of Tyrannulets in Costa Rica…Tyrannulet is apparently just the name for any small bird in Tyrant Flycatcher family…which runs to 9 pages in the Birds of Costa Rica field guide. The Torrent, is, of course, the only one that feeds on the rocks and margins of rushing mountain streams, as you might guess from its name. You might mistake it for an American Dipper, the only other bird that shares this particular habit, or for a Black Phoebe with you sometimes see on the rocks of a stream like the Savegre, but it is unique enough so that it is easily recognized. We followed this one up the stream a ways before I got decent shots of it. Sony Rx10iv at 595 and 600mm. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 640 and 500 @ f4 @ 1/500th. + 1EV exposure compensation. Stream shot: iPhone SE.
Fasciated Tiger-Heron: Rio Sucio, Costa Rica — On our way from Selva Verde back to San Jose and eventually on to the Savegre Valley we always stop in the foothills of the Central Mountains where a bridge crosses the Rio Sucio to look for Sun Bittern, and generally find a Fasciated Tiger-Heron and some Kingfishers…but never, so far, a Sun Bittern. It is ideal water for both Bittern and the Fasciated Tiger-Heron…fast flowing and clean with lots of rocks and rapids. The Fasciated is just slightly smaller than the Bare-throated, and the extensive black barring on the feathers in the adult is distinctive. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Cattle Egret, Green Ibis, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron: Sarapique River, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica: The Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, posted yesterday, was not the only wader we saw from our boat on the Sarapique River out of Puerto Viejo…it was just the most Costa Rican. The Green Ibis, I suppose, is definitely Central American, but the Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, and Green Heron could have been seen almost anywhere in the US. Still happy to see them, of course…anywhere, any time 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos.
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Sarapique River, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica: The most common and widespread of the three Tiger-Herons of Costa Rica (and Central America)…we found this one along the Sarapique River while on our boat safari out of Puerto Viejo. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mallard ducks: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Wells, Maine, USA — the only thing special about this pair of Mallards from Branch Brook at Rachel Carson is that they were apparently music lovers…either that or they just came downstream to see what the awful racket was as I sat on the observation deck by the marsh playing my Native American Style flute. 🙂 (Of course it is almost impossible to make anything resembling a racket with a NAS flute…it is a naturally melodic instrument…which is why I play it.) They were still shy. Once I noticed them, cruising down under the bank, and stoped playing to take a few photos, they circled back upstream, and then when I started to play again, got up and flew away right in front of me toward the junction of Branch Brook with the Merriland River across the marsh. I wish I had had my camera up at that point…but at least I played them away on their journey. Sony Rx10iv at 580mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photo. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.