20 May 2014

What a Spectacled….

It's raining here in wet-and-clammy late spring Hong Kong, so what better time to air a few more shots from Costa Rica.

(Just when you thought it was all over !)

We got back to San Jose on February 17th, and Nigel Croft headed back to the UK the following day.  Having splashed out on those trans-pacific air fares, though, we stayed on for a couple of weeks longer.

First stop, five nights at Rara Avis, which involved a 12 km horse ride and 3km trek in the forest next to Braulio Carrillo National Park…

Coati- (Nasua narica) 

Most of the Coatis we saw were hanging around picnic areas, so it was nice to see one in a natural setting, albeit with sniffing range of the Rara Avis kitchen….

Atmospheric open-air dining area

And "Thanks !" to Jonathan at Rara Avis for showing us this on one of his Night Walks…..

Ghost Glass Frog - (Sachatamia ilex)

On from Rara Avis to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. We stayed at Hotel Gavilan, a pleasant hotel with a lot of birds in the grounds. Here are a few of them…

Spectacled Owl - (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

Slaty-tailed Trogon - (Trogon massena)

White-collared Manakin - (Manacus candei)
With digital, they sometimes say "If you can see it, you can shoot it…" well we could barely see this male Pauraque, calling from the stump of a fallen palm frond as night fell.  But he was puffing out his white throat patches manfully….

Common Pauraque - calling at dusk

Common Pauraque

There were howler monkeys down by the Sarapiqui River, and sometimes in the trees near the hotel, too.

Mantled Howler Monkey (Female) - (Alouatta palliata)

Then we tore ourselves away and headed towards Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua, namely to 

Caño Negro...

Here's a foretaste of that…

 Gray-necked Wood Rail - (Aramides cajanea)

Ringed Kingfisher - (Ceryle torquatus)

Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)

Caño Negro…   home of the Caiman !


  1. Truly exotic-looking collection you got here, John. Love the owl. I knew that would be more from this visit.

    1. Thanks, Mun ! The owl was a favorite of ours, too !

  2. Great photos of some old friends. I never did see a Spectacled Owl.
    . Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui holds bad memories for me. That is where I got robbed and lost my beloved Ziess Binoculars, brand new Canon with lenses, flash etc, not to mention my passport, driver's license, credit card, and traveller's checks. It was fun trying to get out of the country with no identification whatsoever. I hope to never repeat that experience.

    1. John, sorry to hear about your bad experience… Perhaps we were lucky, be we generally felt pretty safe in CR !

  3. Howler Monkeys...............must be an annoying way to get woken up (or to be kept awake).

  4. We've got Asian Koels to wake us up here in HK now, I think preferred the monkeys !

  5. Wonderful birds and animals and your pictures are superb. Love that owl. The nocturnal birds are brilliant but difficult to see or photograph. You did very well, John.

    1. Thanks Russell,
      For the Owls, all we had to do was ask the Hotel Manager….. he always knows where they are !

  6. You did much better with the Spectacled Owl than I did, and also with the capturing the Paraque. We only saw them when driving.

  7. We were lucky with the Pauraque, most of them were flyways off the road, but the second one here was just roosting at the edge of the (Gavilan) Hotel garden..

    1. I meant "fly-aways"…. curses, spellcheck

  8. Must have been invigorating!