Rufous Motmot


What better thing to do on a cold, gloomy and snowy January afternoon than trawl through the archives of photos taken in Costa Rica. We were there getting on for two years ago, and I’ve still not ID’d some of the birds and other wildlife we saw.

I knew this was a Motmot, but had forgotten what sort. The guide must have told us because as soon as I looked it up I remembered the “Rufous” part of its name. I clearly remember, though, that the guide pointed out its tail which was moving from side to side, like a pendulum. “Tick tock” he said.

Rufous Motmots eat invertebrates, small vertebrates and various fruits. They feast on beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, scorpions and small crustaceans.



p1030084 I saw this keel-billed or –¬† as they are also known –¬† rainbow-billed toucan in Costa Rica. It wasn’t in a zoo or refuge, it was in the wild.

Right above my head, there it was, looking superb and magnificent in all it’s resplendent colours.

And it stayed there, perfectly still, while I took this photo.

Broccoli overhead


P1030091This may be a reminder to eat your greens, inspired by the overhead view of what appears to be a large head of broccoli.

In fact, it’s a shot of the lush vegetation seen on the Hanging Bridges rain forest walk I did inP1030093 Costa Rica last year.

I also saw a snoozing snake, its skin coloured like savoury sprinkles or nutty seeds.


A visual pick-me-up


It’s still January. It’s still fairly dark and gloomy in the morning. Each day it’s getting lighter, little by little. But sometimes a bit of help is needed, so here’s my visual pick-me-up.

I photographed this slightly scruffy Blue Morpho butterfly in Costa Rica last year. Its ragged wings suggest it had been around for a while and was not newly-hatched. It had landed on ivy, and the slighly muted greens, blues and browns are lit, not garishly but with subtle sunlight  which illuminates the glow of its blue wings.

Eyeballing an iguana

P1030549This lumbering great beauty was wandering around freely at Zoo Ave, near San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Zoo is home to rescued and injured wildlife, and they are housed in a mixture of open and secured enclosures. This iguana may have been a resident with freedom to roam in the grounds, but he or she seemed to know the layout and was unconcerned by the few people who were about when I visited. Continue reading

Curassow encounter


Visiting Zoo Ave, a rescue centre and wild life refuge in Costa Rica, we saw this huge bird strutting about on the ground some way off. Our guide said it was a female Great Currasow.

It was making a distinctive call, which I imitated. It immediately started coming towards me, flying up to perch on a railing, and then it began to edge towards me, closer and closer. We clearly had a big thing going on! I’d continued to imitate its call, but stopped when I realised it might get really friendly and leap into my arms! Continue reading


Before I visited Costa Rica the animal I most wanted to see was a sloth. I’d read they were not easy to get close to as they spend most of their time in the branches of trees, either eating or sleeping. There are two sorts of sloth – two toed and three toed. “Toes” is a rather misleading description of their long claws, which look like lethal talons, but they use these to hang on branches, and I guess if you spend a lot of time asleep, hanging upside down, you need something pretty substantial to keep you safely in place up there in the trees.P1030461

According to our guides, sloths only come down from the trees when they need to have a poo – and that’s not very often – but when they do come down they’re in danger, if near a road, of being hit by passing cars as they are the slowest moving creatures on earth. Continue reading