Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trosia Nigropunctigera - Wow!!!

Hola Amigos -
Last night, we had a nice visitor at one of our outside lights, the elusive Trosia Nigropunctigera!  This is certainly one of the prettiest moths that we have seen at our house thus far.
*Note - No animals were harmed in the filming of this moth!!!
Good Mothing - STEVEN

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nesting Sunbittern @ La Mina near Rancho Naturalista

Hello Friends -
Here are a few shots of the Sunbittern, we photographed this morning. 
La Mina is a very scenic area near Rancho Naturalista and it has become a great place to find Sunbittern over the last couple of years.  I'm not sure who found the nest, but I would guess it was one of the sharp guides at Rancho. We believe the bird is sitting on eggs.  It should be there for another couple of weeks. 
Hopefully it will be successful!
Good Birding - Steven Easley

La Mina, Costa Rica

Sunbittern @ La Mina

Sunbittern @ La Mina

Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon @ Heliconia Lodge

Hola Amigos -
On Feb 23, while birding with Bruce, Judy and Dale Wolck, we found a Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon @ Heliconia Lodge on the slopes of the Tenorio Volcano.  This is most likely the 1rst record of this species from that region.
We watched the bird for about 10 minutes and it appeared to be quite tame.  After getting a few pics in low light, it finally flew away and began to call - the call sounds like a shorter version of a Laughing Falcon.

The previous day, we located a Hermit Warbler in front of the Fonda Vela Hotel in Monteverde.  It was in the pine trees at the beginning of the entrance road.   The next day my brother Kevin had a Blue-headed Vireo in that same area.

And also on Feb 27, we encountered a flock of Cave Swallows on the road between Cano Negro and Los Chiles.  There were aproximately 15 individuals in total.  Great views and many repeated views of this poorly understood migrant (at least in Costa Rica).  Numbers in the US of A are increasing - could they also be moving further south?  I'll leave that to the experts...

Good Birding - Steven Easley

Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon @ Heliconia Lodge

Black-throated Blue-Warbler @ Rancho Naturalista!!!

Hello Friends,
My good friend Harry Barnard called me early this morning to alert me of a Black-throated Blue-Warbler sighting at Rancho Naturalista.  It was actually being seen while he was on the phone with me.  Immediately Magda and I grabbed our binoculars and were out the door.  We got there about 45 minutes later and Harry was waiting for us along the road - giving me the thumbs up signal!  Harry then relocated the bird for us and we even managed to snap a few shots of it.  Many Thanks to Harry for an A+ Job of guiding!!! 
The only sad news to report is that the bird had a broken leg.  While he was feeding he seemed to be hovering more than normal.  Hopefully he'll be OK...
Good Birding - Steven Easley

Black-throated Blue-Warbler @ Rancho Naturalista
Black-throated Blue-Warbler @ Rancho Naturalista

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ruddy Ducks @ Angostura in Turrialba!!!

Hola Amigos -
Here are the photos taken today of the Ruddy Ducks that were recently found @ La Angostura Dam near Turrialba, Costa Rica.  They were originally found by Jesse Fagan of Field Guides, during a tour to Rancho Naturalista.
We saw at least 8 birds at the same time today, but we only checked one side of the lake, which means there could be more.  We also had nice views of at least 7 Ring-necked Ducks at the same location. 
Ruddy Duck was #765 in Costa Rica for Magdalena and was #780 for myself!
It just makes you wonder what is going to turn up next...
We were also joined yesterday by fellow twitchers:  Peter, Carol & Seyo Westra & Herman & Jennifer Venegas & Aldo Sanchez!
Good Birding - Steven Easley

Ruddy Ducks @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ruddy Ducks in flight @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ruddy Ducks @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ruddy Duck in flight @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ruddy Duck in flight @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ring-necked Ducks in flight @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica
Ring-necked Ducks in flight @ Angostura - Turrialba, Costa Rica

Friday, November 26, 2010

An American Wigeon in Paradise!

Hola Amigos - Yesterday we received word that an American Wigeon had turned up in Paraiso "Paradise".  I believe it was found by Ernesto Carmen, Strong Work Ernesto!!!  We quckly grabbed our stuff and drove over to the site.  We met our friend Peter Westra at the pond and began our search.  After a few minutes of scanning the small pond we finally found our target.  We watched this attractive duck (a drake in eclipse) cruising around with several Blue-winged Teals.  We also saw 5 Northern Shovelers on the same pond.    

Magda and I missed an American Wigeon a couple years back near Jaco on the Pacific Coast, so this was especially SWEET!!!
Good Birding - Steven Easley

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ecuador Adventure Part 5 - Rio Silanche & Milpe

Hello Friends - After our nice stay at Bellavista, we transferred to the comfortable Septimo Paradiso Lodge for a 4 night-stay.  From here we were able to visit several different habitat zones near Mindo.  The first area visited was the Rio Silanche Reserve in the morning and then the vistior center at the Milpe Reserve in the afternoon. 
Some of the highlights from the Rio Silanche Reserve were: Crane Hawk, Gray-headed Kite, Bat Falcon, Pallid Dove, Pacific Parrotlet, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Blue-chested Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, Western White-tailed Trogon, Choco Trogon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-fronted Barbet, Pale-mandibled Aracari, Choco Toucan, Guayaquil & Red-rumped Woodpeckers, Olivaceous Piculet, Steaked Xenops, Black-striped & Spotted Woodcreepers, Western Slaty-Antshrike, Dot-winged, Checker-throated & White-flanked Antwren, Dusky & Chestnut-backed Antbirds, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, White-bearded Manakin, Greenish Elaenia, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Streaked, Rusty-margined, Boat-billed, Yellow-margined, Sulphur-rumped & Ruddy-tailed Flycatchers, Masked Water-Tyrant, Band-backed Wren, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat, White-shouldered, Bay-headed, Rufous-winged, Golden-hooded, Gray-and-Gold Tanagers, Blue Dacnis and Green Honeycreeper.
Later at the Milpe Reserve we found:  Green-fronted Lancebill, Green Thorntail, Green-crowned Brilliant, Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Ornate & Bran-colored Flycatchers, Snowy-throated Kingbird, Bananaquit, Rufous-throated Tanager and an Orange-billed Sparrow.
Our next post will be all about Mashpy...
Good Birding - Steven Easley SMAN

Choco Trogon (male) - Rio Silanche
Choco Trogon (female) - Rio Silanche
Pale-mandibled Aracari - Rio Silanche
Green Thorntail (female) - Milpe
Green Thorntail (female) - Milpe
Bananaquit - Milpe
Green-crowned Woodnymph - Milpe
Green-crowned Brilliant (juv. male) - Milpe
Green-crowned Brilliant (female) - Milpe
Green-fronted Lancebill (female) - Milpe

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New CR Bird - Cape May Warbler @ Las Brisas

Hola Amigos - A good friend of ours, Ernesto Carmen, called us last night to inform us of a Cape May Warbler sighting near Siquirres.  So after getting some much needed directions, we decided to 'twitch' this Costa Rican Rarity.  We left early this morning and drove to the Las Brisas Reserve to try our luck.  After arriving, we met a few birders already at the site, Donald Jimenez and his friend Juan.  They told us they had seen the bird just before we arrived and they had nice photos to prove it.  My confidence grew and I thought this was going to be easy - remember children:  Nothing is Easy!  However, my confidence began to fade after 3 hours of searching yielded - NOTHING! 
The owner of the property, Eric Berlin, offered to take us into the Las Brisas Reserve and give us a short tour of the property. Wow, what a fantastic piece of property this is.  Stunning forest that stretches as far as the eye can see.  I can't wait to go back and really get a feel for what this place has to offer. After climbing up two very well constructed canopy towers, we headed back to the car to try the Cape May once again.  While hiking back to the car, we came across a small mixed feeding flock.  A Red-throated Ant-Tanager popped out and then was followed by a Blue-winged (Brewster's) Warbler.  This was a new Costa Rican Bird for Magdalena and we began to think our luck was changing...Oh yeah...
After arriving back to the Cape May site, we began scanning the trees and bushes once again.  After less than 5 minutes, we finally found our target. I spotted some movement and sure enough it was our bird -a juvenile male Cape May Warbler!  We quickly made our way back to where he was feeding and got off a few shots before he flew away.  This was a new Costa Rican Bird for us both - 778 for the SMAN and 763 for my lovely wife!  The drive back home was much nicer after having seen our target bird, Yeah!!!

Apparently our luck hadn't worn off yet, because after arriving back home we saw a pair of  Barred Parakeets fly right above our house, then they swung back around and flew over for a 2nd time. 
Not an easy bird in Costa Rica and certainly not common in our area!
Thanks again to Donald Jimenez for his help at Las Brisas and also thanks to Eric Berlin for his hospitality!!!
Good Birding - Steven Easley - THE SMAN

Blue-winged (Brewster's) Warbler - Las Brisas Reserve
Blue-winged (Brewster's) Warbler - Las Brisas Reserve

Olive-backed Euphonia (female) - Las Brisas Reserve

White-ruffed Manakin (female) - Las Brisas Reserve

Cape May Warbler (juvenile male) - Las Brisas Reserve

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ecuador Adventure Part 4 - Bellavista Lodge

Hello Friends -

During our stay at the lovely Bellavista Lodge, we saw lots of spectacular birds. Here is a list of species seen during our 2 night-stay...
Roadside Hawk, White-throated & White-rumped Hawks, Swallow-tailed Kite, Black & Turkey Vultures, Sickle-winged Guan, Plumbeous & Band-tailed Pigeons, White-throated Quail-Dove, White-collared Swift, Red-billed Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Common (Gray) Potoo, Speckled Hummingbird, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Buff-tailed Coronet, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Brown, Green & Sparkling Violet-ears, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Andean Emerald, Brown Inca, Collared Inca, Gorgeted Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail, Violet-tailed Sylph, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, White-bellied Woodstar, Masked Trogon, Red-headed Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled & Powerful Woodpeckers, Azara's Spinetail, Red-faced Spinetail, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Lineated Foliage-Gleaner, Striped Treehunter, Streaked Xenops, Strong-billed & Montane Woodcreepers, Long-tailed Antbird, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Spillmann's Tapaculo, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Black-capped, Rufous-winged & White-tailed Tyrannulets, White-crested Elaenia, Streak-necked, Golden-crowned & Cinnamon Flycatchers, Smoke-colored Pewee, Tropical Kingbird, Barred & One-colored & Black-and-white Becards, Blue-and-white Swallow, Sepia-brown & Plain-tailed Wrens, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Great & Glossy-black Thrushes, Turquoise Jay, Brown-capped & Red-eyed Vireos, Thick-billed Euphonia, Tropical Parula, Slate-throated & Spectacled Redstarts, Black-crested, Russet-crowned & Three-striped Warblers, Capped Conebill, Grass-green Tanager, Dusky Bush-Tanager, Western Hemispingus, Lemon-rumped, Flame-faced, Blue-gray, Blue-capped, Black-capped, Blue-and-black, Fawn-breasted, Golden, Golden-naped & Beryl-spangled Tanagers, Hooded & Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers, Plushcap, White-sided & Masked Flowerpiercers, Chestnut-capped, Rufous-naped, Stripe-headed & White-winged Brush-Finches, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Black-winged Saltator, Golden-bellied Grosbeak

Bellavista Entrance

Gorgeted Sunangel
Sparkling Violet-ear

Booted Racket-tail

Goddard Group birding from the "Dome"

Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager

Montane Woodcreeper

Golden-bellied Flycatcher

Fawn-breasted Brilliant
Turquoise Jay

Goddard Group photographing Masked Trogon
Masked Trogon

Powerful Woodpecker
Powerful Woodpecker (zoomed in)

Powerful Woodpecker - female

Common (Gray) Potoo

Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan

Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan
Green Violet-ear

Purple-throated Woodstar (juv. male)

Violet-tailed Sylph

Violet-tailed Sylph

Booted Racket-tail - female

Brown Inca

Speckled Hummingbird

Andean Emerald