Arenal - La Fortuna Area
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Close to our home, this is a little park where a large number of birds, waterfowl especially, congregate in winter.
A Black Crowned Night Heron
A Snowy Egret
A snowy egret has a black beak while a great egret has a yellow one.
A great white Egret
A Solitary Mute Swan
American Coot – Unlike ducks, their feet do not have web between “toes”. They have a funny walk and it almost appears like they are going to tip over when I watch them running to the water from land. I noticed that they can “walk” on water for a short distance as pictures in the photo above.
Pied Billed Grebe
A very common Male Mallard Duck
A Barnyard version of Mallard Duck
(A barnyard version is from cross hybridization of ducks bred in captivity)
A pair of Lesser Scaup
These are diving ducks.
A small diving duck. Usually seen as a pair of male-female. Unlike other varieties of ducks, bufflehead remains monogamous all their life.
A Ruddy Duck
Hooded Merganser (Male)
Common Golden-eye duck
A plain old white duck
I am not sure why the 2nd Sunday of May is chosen as the mother’s day. But, one does find birds nurturing their little ones around this time of the year.
Happy mother’s day!!
Watched the cute babies of Canadian Goose wobble around and splash in water as they swam in shallow water protected by their parents on the either side.
And there were ducklings too ..
And many more … a couple of varieties of cormorants, black phoebes and belted king-fisher among others. Please have realistic expectation. While many of these birds can be seen on a given day, I must admit that I have taken these pictures over several months – waiting for the opportunity to have the birds close enough to my camera lens.
There are several ponds/lakes lined with grasses and “fenugreek-like” plants. The smell of leaves of these fenugreek like plants is pleasant.
A Hermit Thrush on a “fenugreek” Plant.
This is a very tiny bird – barely bigger than a thumb. I like the funny look.
Male : Black bird with red wings
A Belted Kingfisher
Dark Eyed Junco
Golden Crown Sparrow
White Crowned Sparrow
Yellow Rumped Warbler. Male. Nesting in the bushes near water. Flies away from the branch only to return exact same spot momentarily.
Excellent flying skills, change direction midair for aerial feeding. Communal birds – seen resting on a twig after a hunting session.
The afternoon sun in Feb is good for warming up as turtles cannot regulate their body temperature. You can see them best on afternoons in February sitting on grasses, logs and rocks on the bank of the creek.
If you observe carefully the orange color is misleading and there is a small eye right in front of the “mean looking orange eye”.
Sony alpha-230 Digital SLR, 10 Mega Pixel, Image Stabilization
Minolta 75-300mm zoom lens
(Effective focal length ~ 450mm)Kodak Z715 – with 450mm zoom equivalent of 35mm
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Los Cabos, translates to english as “The Capes”. Twin towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas are located at the tip of Baja California Peninsula.
San Jose del Cabo: Closer to the airport (SJD) and more traditional. The mission founded in 1730 is the center of the town.
Cabo San Lucas: Set against the backdrop of the “del-arco”, more tourist oriented centered around the marina with a mall, many restaurants, bars, spas and dance clubs catering to the year long spring break crowd.
Scenes from Nativity (accounts of birth) of Jesus Christ adorn homes and Churches. The statue of baby Christ is added to the scene on the Christmas day.
On Dec 24th : No Christ in the cradle next to Mother Mary.
On Dec 25th : Jesus Christ appears in the cradle next to Mother Mary.
The mission town of San Jose is centered around a Mission from 1730. We visited the mission several times and attended the Christmas morning mass. When the priest opened a cradle to show baby Christ, a hummingbird entered the church and hovered above the priest and the Christ statue for some time before going to the altar where it was perhaps attracted by presence of flowers.
San Jose del Cabo: Town-square
A water fountain, an open air theater, the Mission and Municipal buildings occupy the town-square of this historic town. Narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants cater to the tourists. Blvd Mijares has most shops specializing in Mexican arts and crafts.
San Jose del Cabo – Jazmine Restaurant
It was Mexican food with a unique twist – using local foods and tastes which I never experienced in the Mexican restaurants in America. The decor was nice and service was impeccable. A couple of blocks behind the Mission.
Tropical Salad – with papaya, tomato, beet and a local cheese (white)A Vegetarian platter – Stuffed Chilli was hot and sweet, Enchilada was out of the world – it had a hint of sweet (almost like Jaggery sweet)..nice food..
Since the target is the American tourist – prices are bloated and in US$ rather than in Mexican pesos. If anything appears cheap do ask if the “$” sign indicates US $ or Mexican pesos and be prepared to bargain.
Some beach vendors can be very aggressive
One tried to sell me goggles on an overcast day, while I was wearing one. Another one approached me and asked if I wanted to buy dope.
What to buy depends on your taste – painted china, hats or jewelry. Mexico is especially famous for Silver jewelry and ornaments made from Mexican Fire Opal or Abalone Shell/Pearls found in the sea around Los Cabos. Many of the cheap souvenirs are Made in China.
Fiery shades of orange and red in Mexican Fire Opal
You can select a stone and have it set in 24 hours.
Finally .. our find
Mexican masks with a modern twist
Sunrises and Sunsets
Beautiful Sunrises and Colorful sunsets marked the begining and end of our days. The best colors last for no more than 5-10 minutes. None of these pictures are color enhanced.
Sunrise as seen from Worldmark-Coral Baja resort
Sunset on Medano Beach – Waited for the wave to recede to capture the glow of the sky in the thin film of water left behind by the receding wave. Medano beach is a zoo when the cruise ships are in the town as it is walking distance from the Marina. Nice long beach with roped off areas for swimming in warm water. Water taxis and Jet Skis can be rented to visit the Arco. Too crowded for us.. OK for an occasional evening stroll.
Male Frigate bird (one with Red breast) trying to impress the femaleFrigate birds are a common sight near the Del Arco.
Female bird of a Yellow Warbler Variety during morning walk near Mission
Brown Pelicans wait for fishing boats to return to the Harbor
A Seagull hovering near our Catamaran
In the 1700s the pirates looted ships sailing with Silver and Gold to the Philippines. The rock formation at the arc provided a vantage point to see the Armadas far away at the sea while coves and caves around the area provided excellent hideouts for the pirates and their loot.
Today this ship - “Buccaneer Queen”, serves as Charter for snorkelers and runs sunset dinner cruises. Pictured above anchored in Chileano Bay for snorkeling tour.
Cabo San Lucas Marina as seen from water taxi
Puerto Parisio Mall tower is in the center of the picture.Puerto Parisio Mall
Great place to park your rental car. 10-15 pesos for the whole day. Clean restrooms and easy access to restaurants/shopping around the Marina. Most snorkel/dinner/whale-watching tours and water taxi’s leave from here. Cruise ship passengers are also ferried to this marina by the tenders.
Other major attractions are: Sport-fishing, Golf and visiting near-by towns of Todos-Santos on the Pacific Coast and La-Paz on the Sea of Cortez coast. La Paz has the only natural coral reef in this area – though snorkeling is fun in Chileano Bay (and I have heard Santa Maria Bay).