A good friend of mine Mark W Larson went over to Costa Rica earlier this year and recently sent me a couple of photos that I thought I'd share with everyone (with his permission!), these images brought back some fond memories for me.
Firstly my favourite of Marks photos, the Sunbittern who's range stretches from south Mexico to NW Peru and Amazonian Brazil. Within Costa Rica the Sunbittern is a resident on the Caribbean and south Pacific slopes, mostly in the foothills and adjacent lowlands up to around 5000ft. In display the Sunbittern spreads it's wings, with it's richly coloured upper surface tilted forward, and fans out its raised tail to fill the gap between them, thereby forming a semicircle of plumage, in the middle of which its head stands. The Sunbittern prefers fast-flowing rocky rivers in addition to slow-flowing creeks, or swamp pools generally in forested country. Usually sedentary or in pairs they jump from rock to rock and wade in the water catching small amphibians, crayfish, crabs and insects. Always a popular bird high up on most peoples 'most-wanted' list.
Equally as impressive and just as popular as the Sunbittern, Boat-billed Heron. This nocturnal foraging Heron frequents wooded riverbanks, swamp and pond margins, estuaries and mangroves and by day roosts in groups of up to 50 birds in trees overhanging water.
A fairly common resident (locally) throughout the dryer Guanacaste lowlands south to around the Rio Tarcoles area of Costa Rica the Double-striped Thick-knee is an interesting bird - like many members of the Burhinidae family. Active principally at night on savanna's, pastures and arable farmland this large bird rests quietly and loafs in small loose flocks during the generally warm days. Double-striped Thick-knees are generally shy and wary, often crouching and freezing when alarmed, preferring to run away rather than fly off. In typical fashion Double-striped Thick-knees, like their global cousins make a nest scrape on bare open ground, within which they lay 1 or 2 eggs.
Other pictures sent through included a White-necked Jacobin and the beautiful Dione moneta poeyii butterfly