Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — When it became obvious that our driver was not, in fact, going to come back for us at the parking area for the Gorilla Trek, our guide Gordon got talking to one of the rangers (Gordon was a porter at Bwindi for several seasons and knew a lot of the staff there). The ranger told him about a path that lead down the mountain toward a lodge and offered to show us where it left the little town there…I only figured out it was our lodge, which was several miles by road from the trail head, when we actually got to point where we could see it above us on the mountain side. He failed to mention that the trail was near vertical for long sections and typically, for Bwindi, muddy and slippery. If we had known…but we didn’t…so Gordon bought us some water and we headed out. It sloped down through fields for the first quarter mile, before it entered the forest and dropped down steeply toward a stream We had some adventures in controlled falling for a while (a bit too long to be comfortable and bit too much like actual falls) before it leveled out along the stream bed. We were looking for whatever we could find, but one bird we had yet to see in particular…the Regal Sunbird…endemic to the Albertine Rift…but the bloom was off the morning and the birds were quiet. We did come up on this scruffy looking…maybe molting into adult plumage…Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater. We take what we can get! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Not to spoil the story for tomorrow’s post, but we did come out on a road right below our lodge, and actually were almost to the lodge drive when the safari vehicle, coming back from picking up the Trekkers, pulled in and picked us up for last 200 yards…which was, again, typical Bwindi, almost vertical. 🙂 All told, the Gorilla Trek itself might have been less strenuous. But that is Africa!
White-whiskered Puffbird: Danta Corcovodo Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, December 2022 — On our way back from the observation tower at Danta Corcovado Lodge, we almost walked right under this White-whiskered Puffbird. They have a habit of sitting for long periods, in the understory, hunting for whatever happens along…from smaller snakes and lizards to larger insects. This one was clearly not upset by our noisy presence right next to it. They are pretty common, though somewhat hard to see, in the lowland forests of both slopes in Costa Rica. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 3200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.