Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 22, 2018

Dominical Costa Rica Part 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:45 am

Dominical Birding

Yesterday afternoon at Manuel Antonio I managed to get some photos of some nice toucans. After that, it poured down rain.

Yellow-throated Toucan
Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus)

Some guys were looking up at a tree and I was wondering what they were looking at. Then they flew past and I realised what they were. I grabbed my camera and by that time they were a fair way away , but I got a reasonable shot. Whew!

Fiery-billed Aracari
Fiery-billed Aracari ( Pteroglossus frantzii )

These pair were making such a racket in a palm tree that I thought they were parakeets. But luckily they flew to a nearby tree and sat there for a while. Thank you. This morning it was raining lightly for a change. I caught the bus to Quepos and waited around for a while, indulging in a decent cup of coffee and a hamburger – luxury! Then I hopped on the bus to Dominical and here I am.

Gray-capped Flycatcher
Gray-capped Flycatcher (Myiozetetes granadensis)

It took me a while to work out what this was – Gray-capped Flycatcher (Myiozetetes granadensis). The spanish name is Mosquero Cabecigrís.

Variable Seedeater  - female
Variable Seedeater (Sporophila americana) – female

I had no idea what this was. I thought it might have been an Indigo or Painted Bunting at first. But thanks to Luis I got the right identification. The spanish name is Espiguero Variable.

Palm Tanager
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)

A nice shot of a Palm Tanager showing a lot of green in the tail.

Red-legged Honeycreeper  - female
Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – female

It took me a while to decide what this was. The spanish name is Picudo.

Streaked Flycatcher
Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus)

This pair were having a big fight on a tree. The spanish name is Mosquero Listado.

sloth
Sloth

Just hanging about over the road.

iguana
Iguana

This really ugly iguana was trying to get into the rubbish. He was so fat.

Sunset clouds
Sunset clouds

I was watching the sunset so I took some photos of the clouds to see what they turned out like. I like the depth of this photo.

Dominical bird list

Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus)
Fiery-billed Aracari ( Pteroglossus frantzii )
Variable Seedeater (Sporophila americana) Espiguero Variable
Gray-capped Flycatcher (Myiozetetes granadensis) Mosquero Cabecigrís
Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) Picudo
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) Zoncho
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Cherelá
Royal Tern
Brown Pelican
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) Ibis Blanco
White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta Formosa) Urraca
Green Heron (Butorides virencens) Garcilla Verde
Great Kiskadee
White-collared Seedeater
Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpacoti) Palomita Colorada
Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus) Mosquero Listado
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)

Here is a bird checklist from Hacienda Baru, just near Dominical.

Bird Watching Checklist

June 21, 2018

Dominical Costa Rica 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:45 pm

Dominical Birding Part 2

This is part two of my time here in Dominical. Part one is coming up later. I edited them back to front. doh!

Blue-black Grassquit - male
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) – male

I saw this male Blue-black Grassquit walking along the side of the river. The spanish name is Brea.

Variable Seedeater -  female
Variable Seedeater (Sporophila americana) – female

I found this on the edge of a paddock by the river. The spanish name for Variable Seedeater is Espiguero Variable.

Bananaquit
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)

At long last I have seen a Bananaquit. It took me a while to work out what it was. The spanish name of the Bananaquit is Picaflor.

Common Black-Hawk - immature
Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) – immature

I spied this flying into the trees near some houses. This immature Common Black-Hawk has caught what looks like a possum or a squirrel. Very good for a young bird. Its spanish name is Gavilán Cangrejero.

Common Black-Hawk
Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

This is an adult and it had a nest very close to here. It buzzed me a few times because I was too close to it. I moved away as soon as I could.

Rufous-naped Wren
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha)

Dominical bird list

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) Picaflor
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) Brea
Variable Seedeater (Sporophila americana) Espiguero Variable
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha)
Gray-capped Flycatcher (Myiozetetes granadensis) Mosquero Cabecigrís
Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) Gavilán Cangrejero
Ruddy Ground-dove
Inca Dove
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) Cucarachero
White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola) Setillero
Palm Tanager
Great Kiskadee
Cattle Egret
Magnificent Frigatebird
Mangrove Swallow

June 20, 2018

Quepos Costa Rica Part 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:47 am

Manuel Antonio Part 2

I split up the folder again because I took more than 600 photos. It works good I reckon. And it spreads the photos out so they are not jammed into one post. This morning I walked down the beach and then headed up the road towards the national park.

Common Black-hawk
Common Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

I saw this Common Black-hawk screaming in a tree. I think it is a young one. Edit: No it is an adult.

Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)

At first I thought it was a Golden-fronted Woodpecker but the white stripe down the back got me looking closer.

Crimson-fronted Parakeet
Crimson-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga finschi)

Another nice looking parakeet.

Palm Tanager
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)

Finally I got a photo of a Palm Tanager.

Palm Tanager
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)

This Palm Tanager kept looking at himself in the car mirror.

Cherrie's Tanager
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)

I think this is an eclipse male Cherrie’s Tanager.

Cherrie's Tanager - male
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)

And the male Cherrie’s Tanager.

Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey

June 19, 2018

Quepos Costa Rica

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:55 pm

Manuel Antonio National Park

I caught a bus just outside the hostel in Jaco at mid-day to Quepos. After a leisurely couple of hours in the bus, I made it to Quepos, where I had dinner, watched England beat Tunisia, then jumped on the bus to Manuel Antonio. Very easy.

Rufous-and-white  Wren
Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophilus rufalbus)

There were a couple of photos left in the camera from the back yard in Jaco. I think this is a Rufous-and-white Wren.

Cherrie's Tanager
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)

I took a guess that this was female and immature Cherrie’s Tanager. It is not in my book.

Cherrie's Tanager - male
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)

And this is the spectacular male Cherrie’s Tanager. Passerini’s Tanager looks exactly the same but is found on the Caribbean coast.

ferruginous pygmy owl
ferruginous pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)

I think so. But must get some help. Thanks Eitan.

Pale-vented Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis)

I thought this was a Red-billed Pigeon. doh!

hummingbird
hummingbird

Again, I need some help to id this.

Manuel Antonio bird list

Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophilus rufalbus)
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)
ferruginous pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)
Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis)
5505 Hummingbird
Common Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)
Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)
Crimson-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga finschi)
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)
Black-bellied Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Orange-chinned Parakeet ( Brotogeriss jugularis)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Hoffman’s Woodpecker
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Inca Dove
Groove-billed Ani
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee

June 17, 2018

Jaco Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:05 pm

Jaco Birding Costa Rica

After the cool mountain air of Monteverde, it was a shock coming back to the heat and humidity of the coast. I caught the 5:30am bus from the end of our street in Monteverde and arrived in Puntarenas in time for a lovely tipico breakfast of rice and beans, omlet and spicy sausage, slugged down with black coffee. The bus left at 9am and I arrived in Jaco pretty early. I found my party hostel and checked in after a few hours wandering around.

Passerini"s Tanager  - male
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) – male

It took me a while to suss out what this was – a Passerini”s Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii), male and a not Red-winged Blackbird or Scarlet-rumped Cacique. This bird was just out the back of my hostel. Edit: totally wrong. The Passerini’s are on the Caribbean coastt and Cherrie’s Tanager are on the Pacific coast. doh! Thanks to Sandra for setting me on the right track.

Blue-black Grassquit - male
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) male

Not sure about this. Maybe a Blue Seedeater or a grosbeak. Waiting for some id help. Edit: thanks to Patrick for the identification.

Blue-black Grassquit -  immature
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) immature

This might be the female. But the stripes on the chest have got me going. No, it is an immature Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina). Thanks Patrick.

House Wren
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

Unknown bird
immature Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)

I really have no idea what this is. I had the wrong coast.

Bare-throated Tiger-heron and kill
Bare-throated Tiger-heron and kill

I spotted this Bare-throated Tiger-heron stalking something and then it had this black bird. I am not sure what it is. Maybe a grackle or a Groove-billed Ani. The heron was bashing it and trying to eat it. I have never seen that before.

Stolen by Caracaras
Stolen by Caracaras

Then a pair of Crested Caracaras turn up and stole the dead bird from the heron which flew away screeching. Amazing. The caracaras then proceeding to eat the black bird.

Hoffman's Woodpecker
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)

At last a relatively decent photo of a Hoffmann’s Woodpecker.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)

There were quite a few birds around the creek near the football ground.

Green Iguana
Green Iguana

In the back yard of the hostel in the tree.

Lizard
Lizard

Jaco bird list

Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Bare-throated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)
Blue-gray Tanager
Great Kiskadee
Red-legged Honeycreeper female
Torquoise-browed Motmot
Hoffman’s Woodpecker
Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio)
Turkey Vulture
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Inca Dove (Columbina inca)
Groove-billed Ani
Red-billed Doves
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)
White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
Ringed Kingfisher

Green Iguana
squirrel

Costa Rica Surfing

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 6:34 pm

Surfing at Jaco – Costa Rica

Just a few photos from a couple of days at Jaco, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. There were quite a few good surfers out so I was able to get some nice shots.

5203 Sik air
Sik air

This guy got some great air. Good shot.

5207 hitting the lip
hitting the lip

I had to straighten the horizon, doh!

5204 More sik air
More sik air

Nice and high here.

4737 Lost focus
Lost focus

This is totally out of focus, but I just like it.

4711 Nice carving cut back
Nice carving cut back

I really like this photo of this guy doing a nice carve. Sweet as, bro.

5210 Re-entry old skool
Re-entry

Nice style, old skool.

June 13, 2018

Costa Rica Birds Three

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:46 pm

Monteverde Birding Day Two

This morning I started at 6:30am with my guide Freddy. We just went up the ridge about a kilometer and walked along a side track for a kilometer or so. We met a young bird photographer from Melbourne. He had a 600 lens and I was so glad I did not have to lug that thing. And the tripod, even though it was carbon fibre. Maybe it is about time they made lenses that do not weigh much. ha ha.

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat (Geothlypis poliocephala)

A new bird, not so many today but that always happens on the second day. Very yellow.

Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)

Another new one.

Long-tailed Manakin
Long-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis)

All the other shots were out of focus, so here is an arse shot, doh!

 Emerald Toucanet
Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)

At last a decent shot.

Keel-billed Toucan
Keel-billed Toucan

White-eared Ground-sparrow
White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis)

This is a better photo than yesterday but still not good.

 Rufous-and-white Wren
Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophiluss rufalbus)

I am liking the wrens of Central America. They are very cute.

Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Streak-headed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)

I was thinking this might be a Cocoa Woodcreeper but the bill is all wrong I reckon.

Yellow-faced Grassquit
Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiarus olivaceus)

I saw these in the grass with the seedeaters.

Yellowthroat maybe
White-vented Euphonia (Euphonia minuta)

Hoffman's Woodpecker
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)

The best I have got of the Hoffman’s Woodpecker. Still not great but it is a good action shot.

unknown swallow
unknown swallow

green lizard
lizard

Monteverde bird list

Long-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis)
Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat (Geothlypis poliocephala)
White-vented Euphonia (Euphonia minuta)
Blue-and-White Swallow ???

White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiarus olivaceus)
Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
Gray-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis cinereiceps)
Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophiluss rufalbus)
White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis)
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)
Streak-headed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
Tropical Kingbird

Monteverde Birding Part Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:00 am

Monteverde Birding Part Two

I split the folder up in two so I could manage it better. Just as well. There were too many birds for one post.

Three-wattled Bellbird
Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculatus)

This bird is pretty famous around here.

Emerald Toucanet
Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)

Very nice looking bird.

Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush
Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush (Catharus aurantiirostris)

Orange-bellied Trogon
Orange-bellied Trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris)

“The orange-bellied trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris) is a species of bird in the family Trogonidae. It has been considered a morph of the collared trogon, but most maintain its status as a separate species. It is found in Costa Rica and Panama.” (wiki)

Lesser Violetear
Lesser Violetear ( Colibri cyanotus)

It was really difficult to take a photo of this hummingbird.

White-eared Ground-sparrow
White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis)

White-naped Brushfinch
White-naped Brushfinch (Atlapetes albinucha)

More shocking photos.

Yellow-throated Euphonia
Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea)

Yellow-faced Grassquit
Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiarus olivaceus)

agouti
Agouti

The Agouti is a rodent.

Monteverde bird list

Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculatus)
Blue-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilla cyanura)
Lesser Violetear ( Colibri cyanotus)
Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush (Catharus aurantiirostris)
White-naped Brushfinch (Atlapetes albinucha)
Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea)
Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiarus olivaceus)
Orange-bellied Trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris)
Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
Gray-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis cinereiceps)
Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophiluss rufalbus)
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)
Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)
White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis)
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)
White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)
Clay-colored Thrush
Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus)
Red-legged Treecreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus)
Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)
Bronzed Cowbird
Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarhynchus pitangua)
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher (Myiodynastes luteiventris)
Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata)
Black Vulture
Slate-throated Redstart

Agouti
Coati

June 12, 2018

Costa Rica Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:11 pm

Monteverde Costa Rica

Yesterday I arrived up in the mountains at Monteverde after a two hour bus ride going up hill and down dale. It is a very touristy town but it is well worth it for the birds. I organized a birding trip with a guide called Freddy. (See his details below) He picked me up at 6am and we headed up the hill in his 4×4. First stop was near some bird sanctuary and we just walked around the scrub around the area.

Gray-headed Chachalaca
Gray-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis cinereiceps)

This is one of the other Chachalacas. I have previously seen the Plain variety.

Rufous-and-white Wren
Rufous-and-white Wren (Thryophiluss rufalbus)

A very nice looking wren.

Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)

The Band-tailed Pigeon and the Red-billed Pigeon are pretty closely related.

Red-billed Pigeon
Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)

White-eared Ground-sparrow
White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis)

I did not even know this one existed before I saw it.

Hoffman's Woodpecker
Hoffman’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii)

It looks very similar to the Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

Turquoise-browed Motmot
Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)

He has got a bee or something. It is a very moody shot.

White-fronted Parrot
White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)

This guy looks a bit loco.

Here are the details for the guide that I used. I highly recommend him.

Guide: Freddy Mejias, Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Phone: (506) 2645-5130 / 8390-8474
Email: info@lapuestadelsolcr.com

June 9, 2018

Southern Nicaragua

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:46 pm

Ometepe Island and San Juan del Sur

It has been a hectic time in Nicaragua with all the political problems. A lot of the roads have been blockaded by protesterss. I barely managed to get out of Granada. I had to get a taxi to the road block and then walk through and get a bus on the other side. After a few buses I made it to the port of San Jorgee where I caught this really crappy boat.

Worst boat ever
Worst boat ever

I had to sit right next to the motor exhaust. It was so hot it nearly burnt my face off. Here is that boat getting unloaded. Check out the list to port.

Boat getting unloaded
Boat getting unloaded

Here is a shot of one of the two volcanoes on the island.

Nicaraguan volcano
Nicaraguan volcano

I stayed about five days and had a very relaxing time swinging in a hammock and patting the dogs. Finally it was time to leave and luckily it was another boat this time. They shoved a car and a few bikes on as well as the passengers. At the port we had to get a taxi in the road to San Juan del Sur. In the rain and along this dirt road. Fun fun fun.

Ferry  to San Jorge
Ferry to San Jorge

Tuna catch
Tuna

I went to the fishing co-op and saw this boat with a great catch of tuna and dolphin fish.

San Juan del Sur bay
San Juan del Sur bay

This is the view across the bay.

Laughing Gull
Laughing Gull (Leucophacus atricilla)

A solitary Laughing Gull was situated at the rainwater drain.

Line up  for petrol
Line up for petrol

Around midday I went to the beach and there was this massive lineup for petrol. The petrol tankers have not been able to get through because of the roads being blockaded. They reckon the supermarket is empty. They are running out of food.

Petrol tankers by barge
Petrol tankers by barge

It looks like they might be bringing in petrol by sea. These tankers were on a barge in the harbour. Things look like they are getting desperate.

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