Sulphur-winged Parakeets at the limits!

Sulphur-winged Parakeets at the absolute limits of what the Sony Rx10iv (or about any camera) is capable of. They flew overhead several times while we watched from beside the Savegre River just below Savegre Mountain Hotel, Resort, and Reserve in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, and then settled in an apple tree waaay up the side of the mountain. I could not see them with my naked eye, green against green, and kept losing and then having to refind the right tree. I could barely see them through the viewfinder of the camera. This shot is at 1200mm equivalent on the Sony, using 2x Clear Image (digital) Zoom, and then cropped to between 1 and 2 mega pixels from the 20mp frame. Absolute limits! I would have loved to have had them closer, but we make do with what we are given. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv as above. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Female Volcano Hummingbird at the feeder

In my experience, Volcano Hummingbirds rarely come to feeders, and I was surprised to see this female at the feeder at Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, even though Volcano Hummingbirds are common there, and I had seen both males and females feeding in the flowers around the viewing platform. This one came to a feeder only 4 feet from me, right at the closest focus of my camera. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Flame-colored Tanager in the moss

This Flame-colored Tanager at Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica shows well in contrast to the rich detail and color of the moss. One of the best things about Batsu Gardens is that it is perched on the side of steep valley with the valley open before it. The out of focus mountains across the way provide a great backdrop in telephoto shots. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Talamanca Threesome

An interesting threesome: Left to right, Silver-throated Tanager, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, and Tennessee Warbler. Batsu Gardens, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. It was getting late and the light had gone. The Tennessee Warbler was the most common of our North American breeding warblers in Costa Rica in December. We saw them everywhere. The contrast between the winter plumage of the Tennessee and the colorful Chlorophonia and Tanager couldn’t be more marked. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Pic of the Day 2: Alternative display of Lesser Violet-ear

The alternative dominance display of the Lesser Violet-ear Hummingbird. This is what they do when they aren’t wing posturing. Cleary where the violet-ear name comes from. Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Lesser Violet-ear displaying

The Lesser Violet-ear was the Green Violet-ear until recently. In its range it is the most aggressive hummingbird. It actually spends more time in dominance displays and defending food sources than it does feeding. Though it seems counterproductive, the strategy seems to work for this bird…as it is also among the most numerous hummer in its range. It’s displays involve both wing posturing, as in this photo, and flaring out those violet-ears until they stand away from the head pretty much their full length. This one is at Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird

This Stripe-tailed Hummingbird was the rarest species at Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica when we visited in December. We only saw it a few times and we never did find where it perched away from the feeders. The stripe-tailed is easiest recognized, despite its name, by the highly visible patch of rufous on its wing. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Talamanca Hummingbird

A Talamanca Hummingbird faces off with an “intruder” to his dominion. All hummingbirds spend a lot of time in dominance displays, especially around artificial feeding stations, like those at the Batsu Gardens in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. In this case it looks like the intruder is a female Talamanca, so it is only competition for the feeder, not a threat to the territory. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

White-throated Mountain Gem

A male White-throated Mountain Gem from the Batsu Gardens above Savegre Mountain Hotel in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. Batsu Gardens is a delightful spot on the side of the mountain…a terrace with native plantings, hummingbird and fruit feeders, a sheltered patio, restrooms, and fresh coffee. You have to reserve ahead of time and you are driven up there on benches in the back of a 4 wheel drive truck. It is a experience not to be missed when visiting the Valley of the Quetzals and San Gerardo de Dota. The birds you see there vary by season and by day…but in December there were lots of Mountain Gems, Talamanca Hummingbirds, Volcano Hummingbirds, Scintillant Hummingbirds, and a few Stripe-tailed Hummingbirds. At the fruit feeders we had Silver-throated Tanager, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, and the brilliant Golden-browed Chlorophonia. At the edge of the forest we had Buff-throated Quail Dove. And I am missing some. Quite a place. But the White-throated Mountain Gems were certainly a highlight. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Resplendent Quetzal!

The Resplendent Quetzal is the reason many birders visit San Gerardo de Dota and the Savegre River Valley in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. It is sometimes called the Valley of the Quetzal. The Resplendent Quetzal has to rate among the most beautiful birds in the world, and certainly one of the most beautiful birds of the Americas, but it is not an easy bird to photograph. The only time it is seen in the open is early in the morning, before the sun has cleared the mountain tops to bring full daylight to the deep valley. During the day it feeds under the dense canopy of the cloud forest. There is never enough light. This was the first of three Quetzals we saw on our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica in December 2019. To get an angle on its perch we had to position ourselves at an distance that was not ideal. Still, it is a Resplendent Quetzal! You take whatever view you can get. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed and heavily cropped in Polarr and Apple Photos.