Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 5, 2018

Finca Don Mincho

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:49 am

La Flor Ometepe Island

I moved around to the other side of the island. I caught the bus at 10.30am and went and had lunch at a restaurant. I asked a dude how to get to Finca Don Mincho and he said it was difficult and he would take me in his tuk-tuk for 200 cordobas, about $7. After a bumpy ride along some rough tracks, I arrived and it is a nice little farm with lots of animals. In fact it is like a zoo. I love it.

Red-throated Parakeet
Red-throated Parakeet (Psittacara rubritorquis)

I think this is a juvenile because there is only a bit of red on the sides of the throat.

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

I sorted out my gear and then had a rest in the hammock. I wandered down to the beach about 4pm. Everywhere I go I see a few Groove-billed Ani.

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

It is not everyday that you see the top of a Turkey Vulture so I thought I would share this unique view with you.

Great Egret
Great Egret (Ardea alba)

I usually do not take photos of Great Egrets because I have seen so many. But I did.

Ebony and Ivory
Ebony and Ivory

Come together on my keyboard. Why Can’t we? Black Vulture and Snowy Egret sharing a dead fish on the black sand beach. Black and white sharing a dead fish. Why can’t we be like the animals?

Ometepe bird list

Red-throated Parakeet (Psittacara rubritorquis)
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Great Kiskadee
White-throated Magpie-jay
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

June 4, 2018

Charco Verde Reserve

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:44 pm

Ometepe Island

While I am rendering my previews, I suppose I could start on this blog post. I was lucky I got out of Granada. They had the road out blockaded and I had to get a taxi to the blockage and walk through it, then get 3 buses to the ferry at San Jorge. Oh man , what a horrible boat. The worst boat ride ever. What a piece of crap! And I was sitting right next to the exhaust which was burning my face.

Yellow-naped Parrot
Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata)

I have no idea what this parakeet is. I cannot find it in my book. They are screeching their heads off around my hotel. Edit: I think it is a Yellow-naped Parrot.

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

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

Lucky this one came and sat on the tree right next to where I was having a rest.

Howler Monkey
Howler Monkey

I have no idea what exact species this is.

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)

This Crested Caracara was scavenging on the beach. I saw a few around the lake.

squirrel
Squirrel

Ometepe bird list

Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)
Bare-throated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)
White-winged Dove
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)
Groove-billed Ani
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons )
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Little Blue Heron

Granada Nicaragua Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 pm

Granada bike ride

Last day in Granada, I rented a bike again and set off for the water front towards the marina. I got stopped twice by people warning me that there were robbers around this area. The police have been busy watching their facebook feeds.

Stripe-headed Sparrow
Stripe-headed Sparrow (Peucaea ruficauda)

I had no idea what I had with this Stripe-headed Sparrow until I looked at in in the computer. doh! Tick.

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

There were heaps on the fences along the road.

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

The boatman called these blue jays and they are getting more and more common in Nicaragua. I saw them first in El Salvador at the bridge at El Sunzal.

unknown. maybe flycatcher.
Nutting’s Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi)

I think it is some kind of flycatcher but other than that I have no idea. Edit: Thanks to Manoli and james for the id. 🙂

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

A stick for the nest perhaps.

Green Heron
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

This is very sad. This Green Heron has got a hook or a can ring stuck in his bill. I have seen this a few times. I do not like it. 🙁

Grey-breasted Martin
Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)

These Grey-breasted Martin were on the wharf at Granada. A decent shot of one in flight.

Grey-breasted Martin
Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)

This Grey-breasted Martin looks like a cocky bloke to me. Must be short guy syndrome.

Mangrove Swallow
Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)

And a Mangrove Swallow to show the difference. Mangrove Swallows have a white rump. That usually identifies them pretty well. As well as the all white breast and tummy and two white eye-brows.

Granada bird list

Nutting’s Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi)
Stripe-headed Sparrow (Peucaea ruficauda)
Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)
Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)
Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)
White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)

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 Norteña.

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

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