3 February 2014

Travels chapter 2 - Monteverde & Arenal

Chapter 2 of the wonderous, marvelfull adventures of the Goddens + Charlie: Monteverde & Arenal. This is where the bird-watching really started to pick up pace with a rare sighting of the Resplendent Quetzal and a bewildering array of hummingbirds.

A Resplendent Quetzal shows off irredescent turquoise feathers in the Caribbean wind blowing through Monteverde

Female Purple-throated Mountain Gem
Male Purple-throated Mountain Gem
Female Green-crowned Brilliant

Green Violetears compete with a Brilliant

White-nosed Coati

A tiny Bananaquit perches behind a hibiscus flower
The strange looking Montezuma Oropendola

Normally nocturnal, this Olingo was seen in the day coming down to steal sugar-water from hummingbird feeders
This stick insect decided that looking like a stick just wasn't good enough in the dangerous jungle and has added moss to complete the illusion
The Side-striped palm-pitviper - confined to just the mountains of Costa Rica and Western Panama

31 January 2014

Travels chapter 1 - Tortuguero

We have now left Islita and have been off exploring other corners of the Costa Rican jungle for slithery, feathery and crawly things to photograph. Robert and Nick (Spade's father and brother) came to visit and we couldn't resist taking them back to Tortuguero. The rainforest was typically wet, and the photos were typically green:

Little Blue Heron perched on some floating weeds on one of the canals.
Chestnut-mandibilled toucan perched in a tree and eating berries in the middle of Tortuguero village.

A red eyed tree frog closes it's third eyelid - the fine gold threads are a nictating membrane, which protect the eye but allow the frog to see.
Ants in the jungle are amazingly diverse - this species is farming aphids - tending to the herds and extracting honeydew as a reward.
The eyelash viper is one of the most dimorphic reptile on the planet. This individual was a pale green with pink patches - compare it to the yellow individual earlier in the blog, or the dark green one that we will post later!

A Boat-billed heron hides away in the vines by the edge of the river.
Cayman, unlike crocodiles will keep completely still when people pass by and hope to avoid detection.
Helmeted basilisk clings parallel to a branch trying to blend in. They will slowly swivel around the branch attempting to remain on the opposite side to any threat.

The famous red-eyed tree frog displaying his full colours.
An anole lizard blends in perfectly with his chosen branch.
Stay tuned y'all for chapter 2 - Monetverde!

2 October 2013

New Releases

Over the last few months we have released 10 macaws - all of Group 2 and the beginning of Group 3. All the birds are finding their wings and doing well. Here are a few snaps of their progress...

Group 2
Cutie & Pi
Group 2: Chili, August, June, Sweet, Geoffrey, July
Zeus & Charlie

31 July 2013


Tortuguero National Park is a remote patch of rainforest circling a fresh water lagoon and crisscrossed with countless streams and waterways. It is only accessible by boat or plane and the best way to see the wildlife is by kayaking along it's the silty waters. Tortuguero boasts the world's largest green turtle population and is also a hotspot for jaguars (who eat the turtles), endangered manatees and the Great Green Macaw.

Spectacled Caiman lurking in the undergrowth
Parrot Snake hanging motionless from a tree stump in the rain.
Brown Vine Snake - head elongated to help it's camouflage
Bird-Eating Snake. This 2m reptile was crawling along vines by the river
Common Basilisk. Also called the Jesus Christ Lizard due to it's ability to run along the surface of water
Black River Turtle sunning itself on a floating log

Bare-Throated Tiger Heron
Green Ibis
Some sort of pretty butterfly.
Green Basilisk Lizard - much rarer than it's common cousins (pictured above)

White-faced capuchin - the most intelligent of the New World monkeys. They also like to throw their own faeces when threatened.
Geoffroy's Spider Monkey - Costa Rica's most endangered primate.

8 June 2013

Here Come The Rains

It has been a busy few months here working for The ARA Project - we successfully released all 6 Scarlets from Group 2 and just in time! Towards the end of April, the dry season spectacularly departed in a series of  giant thunderstorms accompanied by heavy tropical rain that seriously tested all of our new construction here! Photography has become a little more tricky as the air humidity rarely dips below 99%. But with the rains come all the scaly, slimy things that spent the hot dry months hiding underground...

Geoffrey - The last Macaw of Group 2 to be released at Punta Islita. A very handsome birdy, here pictured on his 3rd day after release.
Juv. Ctenosaur. I spent a long time trying to sneak close enough to photograph the detail in it's eye.
A very friendly Anole lizard chilling out with Spade

The view from our new house on the hill. Following the frequent rains, clouds of steam rise from the forest.
Boa constrictor - cryptic against the dead leaves on the jungle floor.
Somewhat less threatening than the Boa, this is a tiny juvenile blunt-headed vine snake.
Orange-chinned Parakeet.

The Sun setting over the islands of Granada, Nicaragua
Three macaws from Group 2 finding their wings and enjoying having free reign of the valley.

Jack looks out to sea, taking a break from his bossy partner Mary-Anne. They nested this year - a first for The ARA Project in Islita and the first in this area for over 50 years.
A trio of Brown Pelicans out for a early morning surf