Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

May 29, 2018

Granada Nicaragua Monday Part Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:09 am

Las Islettas Part Two

This is the second half of the photos. I broke the folder up because there were too many photos. More than 500. They are easier to handle when they are split up into manageable sizes. Continuing on with my boat ride around the islettas of Lake Nicaragua with Lorenzo my trusy boatman.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

I got the shock of my life when I saw this grebe. I did not even know it existed. It may even be the only one in Central America as far as I know. Too lazy to look in the book to check.

Yellow-lored Parrot
Yellow-lored Parrot (Amazona xantholora)

I was really pleased to see this amazona parrot. I am not sure if I already have a photo of these or not.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)

Funny things, these gallinules. Climbing up a plant stalk. doh! I even remembered its scientific name.

Montezuma Oropendola nests
Montezuma Oropendola nests

I found another tree full of Montezuma Oropendola nests. They certainly like to congregate together.

bat
Bat

I could hardly see these little bats on a tree near the water. They were so well camouflaged. No idea what their names were.

spider monkey
Spider Monkey

There were about four Spider Monkeys on this tiny little island. They had plenty of mangoes to eat and lots of fresh water on tap.

Granada Bird List

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Yellow-lored Parrot (Amazona xantholora)
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons )
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Neotropic Cormorant

bat
Spider Monkey

May 28, 2018

Granada Nicaragua Monday

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:09 pm

Las Islettas

After breakfast I went to find a boat tour around the islands on Lake Nicaragua at Granada. I got one for thirty bucks all included. The taxi dropped me off at the marina and we set off in the boat. My boatman was Lorenzo and I highly recommend him. I thought I had a Rufescent Tiger-heron but it turned out to be a Green Heron. Doh!

Bare-throated Tiger-heron
Bare-throated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

I have seen one of these before at Tikal in Guatemala. But still it is exciting to see such an awesome bird.

Limpkin
Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)

Finally I got a photo of a Limpkin. I have been waiting long enough.

Groove-billed Ani
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

Everywhere I go I see a Groove-billed Ani. I do love seeing them.

 Ringed Kingfisher  - female
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) – female

Ringed Kingfishers are really huge.

Northern Jacana
Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa)

On top of the water plants as usual. The spanish name is Jacana NorteƱa.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)

Granada bird list

Bare-throated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)
Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)
Green Heron
Great Egret
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)
Groove-billed Ani
Tropical Kingbird
White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)
Northern Jacana
Social Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)

May 27, 2018

Nicaragua Tourist Shots

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 11:53 pm

Nicaragua Tourist

These are my tourist shots from my point and shoot camera. First up is Las Penitas, just towards the coast from Leon in Nicaragua. There are lots of fishermen there. When it is high tide they head out to sea and go through the surf. Even when there are quite large waves.

Las Penitas
Las Penitas estuary

This Red-lored Parrot had its wings clipped and was hanging around the hotel where I was staying.

Red-lored Parrot
Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)

The same at my hotel in Granada as well. Almost. These Black-bellied Whistling-ducks hung around the swimming pool. Do not ask my why.

Black-bellied Whistling-duck
Black-bellied Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

When I got to Granada there were protests every day. I think they want the president to resign.

Street protests
Street Protests

street protests
Street Protests

Random birds list

Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)
Black-bellied Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Lake Nicaragua

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:52 pm

Granada Birding

This morning I got up at 6:30am and hired a bike from the hotel. Five dollars for two hours. I headed down towards Lake Nicaragua and headed east along the lake foreshore.

Bridled Tern
Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)

The first thing I saw was this Bridled Tern. I did not have a clue what it was at the time.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)

There were a few Tricolored Heron on the shores feeding. Not much else. A Great Egret and that was about it.

White-throated Magpie-jay
White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)

I was lucky to spot a White-throated Magpie-jay on a tree above the road. The last time I saw one was in El Salvador and it was not very good. So I got a reasonable photo at last.

Montezuma Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)

I was very excited to see some Montezuma Oropendola.

Montezuma Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)

Later on I found their nesting colony. There must have been more than a dozen nests.

Montezuma Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)

This bird had a huge mouthful of food and disappeared into a nest.

Montezuma Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)

One stuck his head out of a nest while another flies off to get more food for the babies inside.

Black-headed Trogon
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)

There were heaps of Black-headed Trogons as well.

Granada Bird list

Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)
Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)
Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)

Masaya Nicaragua

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:07 pm

Malecon Parque Birding

This morning I walked down the edge of town looking over the crater lake here at Masaya. There were no new birds but I took some photos that I can share with you.

Rufous-naped Wren
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchuss rufinucha)

My favourite bird in Central America. They remind me of our aussie babblers.

Cinnamon Hummingbird
Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)

They look so small but are actually quite large for a hummingbird.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow
grey-breasted martin (Progne chalybea)

I think this is right. Might get some advice. Edit: I was wrong. Thanks Eitan.

Dusky-capped Flycatcher
tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)

And not too sure about this one either. Wrong again. Tropical Kingbird. doh!

Orange-chinned Parakeet
Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)

There were about 8 of these hanging around together. Very noisy.

Ruddy Ground-dove
Ruddy Ground-dove (Columbina talpacoti)

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

Masaya Bird List

Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchuss rufinucha)
Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)
Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)
Ruddy Ground-dove (Columbina talpacoti)
Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)
White-winged Dove
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

May 22, 2018

Magnificent Frigatebird

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:39 pm

Fregata magnificens

The male Magnificent Frigatebird has a red gular sac under the chin, which he inflates to attract a female. You can just see the de-inflated sac under the chin of the male in this photo. I think this male is in non-breeding phase.

Magnificent Frigatebird  - male
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) – male

The female is slightly larger than the male and has a white breast and belly.

Magnificent Frigatebird  - female
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) – female

Frigatebirds feed by stealing fish from other birds on the wing. They harass the bird causing them to drop a fish, which they swoop upon. Their range is from Mexico to Brazil on both Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Magnificent Frigatebird  - immature
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) – immature

Immature Magnificent Frigatebirds have a white head as well as white on chest and belly. They keep this plumage for four to six years.

A great resource : http://nemesisbird.com/birding/identification/magnificent-frigatebirds-determining-age-and-sex/

Juan Venado Reserve

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:31 am

Boat Ride in the Mangroves

This afternoon I went for a ride in the mangroves. But. It was in a dugout canoe. And I will say categorically that I do NOT like dugout canoes. They rock all over the place. It is extremely difficult to take photos that are in focus when the boat is rocking all the time. Whinge over. I started off at 2.30pm, went with my guide to the boat with this dodgy outboard motor and a couple of planks to sit on.

American white ibis
American white ibis (Eudocimus albus)

Well at least I got a new bird, maybe a couple of them. And a new sub-species. The American White Ibis is called Ibis Blanco in Spanish. This one had a hook in its beak. Poor thing.

Ringed Kingfisher   - female
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)

This is a female Ringed Kingfisher. I had to work out if it was a Belted Kingfisher or not but this one had rufous under the wings, so that settled it.

Ringed Kingfisher   female
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)

Just to show both sides of the Ringed Kingfisher.

Mangrove Warbler
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia bryanti)

This is the Mangrove Warbler sub-species of the Yellow Warbler. I am pretty sure it is local to Central America. But not sure exactly where.

Tricoloured Heron
Tricoloured Heron (Egretta tricolor)

A lot of these birds are in breeding plumage.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

Whimbrel
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Green Iguana
Green Iguana

I did not see much of the Green Iguana but I liked the claws. Called Iguana verde in spanish.

Las Penitas bird list

American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) Ibis Blanco
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)
Yellow “Mangrove” Warbler (Setophaga petechia bryanti)
Orange-fronted Parakeet (Eupsittula canicularis)
Spotted Sandpiper
Tricoloured Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Great Egret
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Mangrove Swallow
White-winged Dove
Red-billed Pigeon

May 21, 2018

Nicaragua Day Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:58 pm

Las Penitas Village Amble

This morning I woke up at 6am and went for a walk through the village at the back of the beach looking for birds. It was quite good, finding a number of good birds, a new species and a local race. I had to deal with barking dogs and huge sows that wanted to eat me, but I came out with my dignity intact.

Cinnamon Hummingbird
Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)

A number of thes Cinnamon Hummingbirds were hovering and feeding on the flowers in the trees.

Rose-throated Becard    female
Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae) female

It took me a while to identify this Rose-throated Becard. I am pretty sure it is a local race but I cannot find out any information. There are 8 sub-species but I do not know which one it is. Thanks to James again for help with the identification.

Black-headed Trogon
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)

White-lored Gnatcatcher
White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)

This is a better shot of the White-lored Gnatcatcher , breeding male as far as I can tell.

Blue-gray Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)

There are a lot of birds here that i did not expect to see. But then again i have no idea what to expect. doh!

Bronzed Cowbird
Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)

Good shot showing the red eye of the Bronzed Cowbird. The red eye is a very good indicator.

Tropical Mockingbird
Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)

Altamira Oriole
Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis)

There are some very nice deep colours in this Altamira Oriole.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Nice shot of a Brown Pelican just skimming over the top of the waves.

Clay-colored Thrush
Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi)

The Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi) changes eye color from brown when young to deep red when adult. This is a good shot showing the eye color of what I assume is an adult.

Magnificent Frigatebird - male
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregatus magnificens)

This is a male Magnificent Frigatebird. The chest is all black but it does not have a red patch under the chin. Do not know what that means.

Las Penitas bird list

Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)
Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae)
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)
Great Kiskadee
Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)
Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi)
Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)
Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis)
Scrub Euphonia (Euphonia affinis)
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregatus magnificens)

Nicaragua Pacific Coast

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:09 am

Las Penitas

Well it has been a while since I posted some bird photos. It has been raining heaps in Nicaragua. I went up to the hills but it poured and I realized it was useless because all the tracks would be mud. So I came to the coast where it is sunny.

White-lored Gnatcatcher
White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)

This little fellow was flitting around in a tree. I had no idea what it was at the time but I was surprised that I got even a semi-horrible photo.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

I was quite shocked to see a House Sparrow but it seems they have made inroads into Nicaragua mainly in towns and not so much in the bush.

kingbird maybe
Tropical Kingbird

I cannot see a white stripe at the edges of the tail and the chest has no grey in it. I am waiting for the experts. But it is getting a bit late. Thanks james, it was a tropical kingbird. Just hoping. doh!

Altamira Oriole
Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis)

Quite a nice photo of these beauties. I have been seeing them all over Central America.

fishing boat getting air
Fishing Boat

This fishing boat was going out of the river and the surf was about six foot sets. I was gob-smacked. They got some good air, but.

Royal Tern - non breeding
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)

Took me a while to id this one. I have forgotten what a Caspian Tern looks like. doh!

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

A few flocks of Brown Pelicans came flying down the beach. Quite a sight.

Magnificent Frigatebird
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregatus magnificens)

And last but not least a Magnificent Frigatebird. I have to hurry because they are turning off all the lights at the hotel. doh!

Las Penitas bird list

White-lored Gnatcatcher (Polioptila albiloris)
Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)
Great-tailed Grackle
Tri-colored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
White-winged Dove
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
tropical kingbird
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregatus magnificens)
Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis)
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)

May 12, 2018

Mexico to El Salvador

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:59 pm

Tourist Shots from Mexico to El Salvador

It has been so long since I uploaded the tourist photos. All the way from Chiapas, Mexico to El tunco in El Salvador. It’s nuking, man.

san cristobal
Street in San Cristobal

This was a tourist street in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, south Mexico. I have no idea why they had all these umbrellas over the street but it worked because there were heaps of tourrists promenading up and down. I think there were lots of tourists there because it was Easter week.

tourist crap
Selling tourist junk

The tourist knick-knacks. It is the same old same old every tourist town you go to.

chicken bus
Chicken Bus

A genuine Guatemalan chicken bus at Xela, just about to take me to Lake Atitlan. It only took me three buses to get there.

Outskirts of Xela
Outskirts of Xela

After a week of spanish lessons, I was on my way to Panajachel, out of the city.

Atitlan Reserva
Atitlan Reserva

A waterfall at Atitlan Reserve, just out of Panajachel. I saw quite a lot of nice birds out in the bush and up into the mountains. Coban was superb, as was Lanquin, except for the horrendous bus rides to get there.

Old Gnarly Tree
Old Gnarly Tree

It is actually some kind of strangler fig climbing up a big tree. At Tikal.

tikal
Tikal

This is what all the tourists go to see. I did it and I got the pictures. the end.

Hotel Kangaroo
Hotel Kangaroo

An oasis of Aussieness in the jungles of Rio Dulce, Guatemala. You get around in boats, no roads there.

Finca Paraiso
Finca Paraiso

I went on a mammoth bus ride to get to this waterfall that was hot water coming out of a volcano or something. It was super hot.

El Tunco Point
El Tunco Point

And into El Salvador. Lots of waves here. They ain’t hollow barrels but a good fun wave nevertheless.

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