Saturday, July 3, 2010

El Salvador

Ok, so I've finally gotten my act together (and gotten some free time) to display the photos from my trip to El Salvador.  I ended up with about 16 new species which was a little disappointing, but a washed out bridge meant we couldn't head to Parque Imposible which would have yielded many more.  Ironically, the most diverse location was the first hotel (Hotel Presidente) in San Salvador which had some extensive gardens and backed up to a natural area.  (Above and Below: Orange Chinned Parakeets)

Great Kiskadees were present in decent numbers as well:

A Spotted Oriole made an early morning appearance:

The Blue Crowned Mot-Mot (my main target bird) proved difficult to photograph, but saw them on a few occasions which made me happy.

A Yellow Winged Tanager was spotted a few times eating away:

What I believe is a Golden-naped Woodpecker hungout in the shade briefly:

The White-Winged Dove (which can be seen throughout the Southern U.S.) was also present in big numbers

Sadly, this Cinnamon Hummingbird was the only one I was able to photograph - and at a considerable distance:

Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures were also a major bird theme on this trip as they dotted the skies and roadsides.  Not a single raptor was seen in the week I was there which was a bit curious...

A 2 day stay on Isla de Meanguera of the coast of El Salvador had me seeing amazing numbers of Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate Birds.  The Frigate Birds numbered in the thousands.

A male showing off:

Heavily Backlit, but you get the idea... this is almost full frame with just a 200mm lens.  I missed the ultimate shot - the bird nailing a fish at the surface about 20 feet from me because I "didn't think it would happen".  Lesson Learned.

Please forgive the quality - lighting was awful, but look at how many there were!

Pelicans Roosting:

Lastly, there was the White-Throated Magpie Jay.  A boisterous bird that flew in flocks and are quite a bit larger than our Blue Jay.

If you are wondering what book I used to help me ID some of these unusual birds, I relied on The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide.  While not perfect for El Salvador which lies North of Costa Rica, many of the species overlap and I would have been lost without it!

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