Monthly Archives: October 2017

Coppery-headed Emerald

Coppery-headed Emerald Hummingbird, La Paz Waterfalls Gardens, Costa Rica

As I have mentioned before, after birding the grounds of the Bougainvillea Hotel outside San Jose, we traveled up onto the rim the central highlands of Costa Rica to visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The highlight (besides the waterfalls) is the hummingbird garden with several feeders and lots of natural perches. This Coppery-headed Emerald is one of endemic speices of Costa Rica. It is quite small, even by hummingbird standards. We had good light for showing color on the hummingbirds, though not quite enough light to make us happy as photographers (the case for most of our visit to Costa Rica in the rainy season). Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 500. Processed in Polarr. 

Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer

Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Dave and Daves Nature Park, La Virgen, Costa Rica

One morning in Costa Rica we visited Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Park, a small private reserve in La Virgen. Dave, the father, founded it in the 90s when he moved from California to Costa Rica and married a local girl. He bought the property, farm and plantation, and sought out expert advice on how to return it to its natureal state. They told him to plant 20% of the native trees and bushes the ground could hold, and let the rest fill in naturally. Now 30 years later, the trees have grown (it is the tropics) and the property has filled in nicely with a natural succession of plants…and the birds and wildlife love it. His son Dave is now actively involved and both project a real love for the environment and a justifiable pride in what they have accomplished.  It is one of the best places in Costa Rica for bird photography because of Dave and Dave’s sensitivity to maintaining a natural setting. They have feeders…but the sugar and food concentrations are kept intentionally low so that the hummers and other birds will still utilize the abundant native plants by preference…just zipping in for a quick fix when they need it. This is a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer Hummingbird which was defending this Heliconia flower all morning. Other hummers would sneak in for a drink, but the Plumeleteer was always right there to assert his dominance. Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with flight shots adjustments. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 1600. Processed in Polarr. 

Red-headed Barbet

Red-headed Barbet, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica

So many great birds in Costa Rica! And so many new birds for me. This is the Red-headed Barbet…not only a new bird, but a new family of birds on my world list. Taken at La Paz Waterfall Gardens up on the rim of the central highlands above San Jose, on our way to Selva Verde and the Sarapique region. Sony Rx10iii at 600mm. Program mode. 1/125th @ f4 @ ISO 1600. Processed in Polarr. 

Black-bellied Hummingbird

Black-bellied Hummingbird. La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica

Our first stop in Costa Rica, after the wonderful grounds of the Bougainvillea Hotel outside San Jose, was the La Paz Waterfall Gardens up on the rim of the central highlands. The Gardens are famous for waterfalls and birds, but they also have many of the mammals of Costa Rica in enclosures, and a large butterfly house. Of course, hummingbirds are their speciality. We saw a dozen species easily around their feeders. This is the Black-bellied Hummingbird, among the new species for me. An elegant little fellow. 🙂 Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/250th @ ISO 1600 @ f4. Processed in Polarr. 

Glass Frog

Glass Frog, Costa Rica

On one of our “free” afternoons at Sevla Verde Lodge in Costa Rica, we made an appointment with young wildlife artist and photographer who specializes in his particular area. He promised at least one owl, of the two he knew the roosts of, glass frogs, White Honduran Tent-making Bats, and the White-tipped Sicklebill Hummingbird (a very hard to see bird), so we made the 45 minute drive to the minature wildlife refuge he has created around his home. We found one Owl, the Crested Owl, on our second try. The Black and White Owls had shifted roosts in the heavy rains of the night before, and were nowhere to be found in the heavy second growth rainforest, but we did find the bats. And, he had, as promised, found us at least one Glass Frog, which he set us for us in the improvised outdoor photo studio beside his home. Glass Frogs are unique in that they are, as the name might imply, semi-transparent…translucent enough so that, in good light, you can see the organs inside. We were loosing the light to a coming storm, but there was still enough so that I could use the Sony RX10iii’s multiple exposure noise reduction ISO setting for some very effective shots. Wonderful, strange creatures and a real treat to see and photograph. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent. Multi-exposure Noise Reduction ISO mode. 1/125 @ f4 @ a nominal ISO of 1600…but actually 4 stacked exposures at ISO 400. Processed in Polarr. 

Aster fuzz

Small New England Aster, Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk Maine

The blue flowers of little New England Aster have all passed within the week, leaving these amazing furry seas heads, ready to break apart and scatter on the wind. I have never seen either the flowers or the seed heads in such abundance as they have been this year. 

Sony Rx10iii at 120mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/640th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Polarr. 

Good by to biking for now

RadCity on the Kennebunk Bridle Path

Good by to ebiking for almost 2 weeks. I have to wonder if I have had my last ride for the season. When I get back from Costa Rica it will be almost November 1st. We might have snow on the ground?? This is the RadCity on the Kennebunk Bridle Path, not quite its natural habitat but close enough. 🙂

Sony Rx10iii at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr. 


Black-capped Chickadee, the yard. Kennebunk Maine

While photographing the Bluebirds yesterday on the back deck, I could not resist a few Chickadee shots as well. The Chickadees, of course, come every day…but that does not diminish their appeal. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode, -.3 EV. ISO 640 @ 1/250th @ f4. Processed in Polarr. 

Bluebirds at my feeder (to the tune)

Eastern Bluebird, the yard, Kennebunk Maine

The Bluebirds, after at least 2 months of absence, returned to our meal worm feeder yesterday. They appear to be two of this year’s young. I think I still see some gape in some of the shots. We had bluebirds mid-winter through mid-summer. I put up the meal worm feeder for them, and even put up a bluebird house (just in case). No takers this year. Maybe next. The blue shows well against the fall foliage. 🙂

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode, -.3EV. ISO 400 @ 1/250th @ f4. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic. 

Fall in specific…

along the shore of Old Falls Pond, W. Kennebunk Maine

Sometimes a small detail says it all. I know what this says to me. I wonder what it says to you? 

Sony Rx10iii at 300mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1?250th. Processed in Polarr.