Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

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Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby MikeW » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:54 am

During our stay at Arenal Lodge we made a day trip to the Arenal Eco Zoo to photograph snakes, frogs, etc. Now when someone says 'zoo' it brings certain images to mind, at least for me, so I had my doubts about this at first. However, this brought new meaning to the word zoo. This was more of holding area for reptiles so that they could cater to photographers. Yes, the photos you get there are under controlled conditions with captive reptiles and some nice setups that make it look as natural as possible, but unless you want to take your life in your own hands it is the only safe way to get photos of some of these snakes, since many of them are very poisonous. This was an optional trip and you could stay at the lodge if you wanted to, but I'm very glad I went. This was all macro photography and the setups were very nice, so you could come away with some photos you would otherwise never get. Since we were at this lodge for 3 nights and 4 days there was plenty of time to photograph the birds and still make this day-trip.

At the end of the trip we made our way back to San Jose with a couple stops along the way. One to photograph some Macaws and then to a river where there were a lot of really big Crocs. Very cool stuff to see.

Of course if you are driving along and spot something there is a good chance you can stop and take photos, like these Collared Aracari we found on the last day before flying back home.

Collared Aracari-5921.jpg
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Here are a few other bird photos I've been able to process so far.

Acorn Woodpecker-7394-2.jpg
This Acorn Woodpecker was a tough one for me to get a good shot of for some reason. I really don't like the busy background in this shot, but it is one of the best ones I was able to get of this guy.
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Flame-colored Tanager-7589.jpg
There were a lot of opportunities to photograph the Flame-colored Tanager and I staked out this spot for a while to see if I could get him with the Hibiscus flowers and it finally paid off.
Flame-colored Tanager-7589.jpg (222.78 KiB) Viewed 808 times
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Re: Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby MikeW » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:21 am

Here are a few more from the trip.

We saw quite a few of these Red-legged Honeycreepers, but they move fast and remind me of Warblers in a way because they always seem to have something in front of them.

Red-legged Honeycreeper-9967.jpg
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This Slaty Flowerpiercer was a strange one to watch. He eats the nectar just like a Hummingbird except he lacks the long bill to get into the flower, so instead he pierces the flower at the top and drinks the nectar out of it that way. They move around quickly from flower to flower and it is cool to watch them work.

Slaty Flowerpiercer-7278-2.jpg
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This next one was not quite as common as other birds but I did manage to see about 4 or 5 on the trip. Getting a photo where both of the yellow thighs showed was tough though.

Yellow-thighed Finch-6059.jpg
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I thought this next one was interesting behavior. This White-throated Mountain-gem was using his bill to penetrate the flower like the Slaty Flowerpiercer, possibly using the holes that the Flowerpiercer had already made on these long flowers. The quality of this photo is not very good because it is heavily cropped, but this was the only time I saw this behavior and could not get any closer.

White-throated Mountain-gem-7287.jpg
White-throated Mountain-gem-7287.jpg (193.95 KiB) Viewed 806 times

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Have a good rest of the week,
Mike
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Re: Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby res » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:55 am

More nice work Mike. I have enjoyed looking at all 4 sets.
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Re: Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby Cindee » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:26 am

Great stuff Mike. Thanks for the photos as well as all of the good information. Now I am REALLY looking forward to our trip.
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Re: Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby SandyLee » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:38 am

Once again, amazing birds and images Mike! Really appreciate the background and behavior info you included.
- Sandy
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Re: Costa Rica Trip Report and Photos - Part 4

Postby MikeW » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:08 pm

Thanks for the comments, they are very appreciated.
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