About Stephen G. Hipperson

stephenhip@hotmail.co.uk

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

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We saw a fair number of these Tiger-Herons.  This one was standing in a tree, quite some way from water.  It allowed me to get relatively close – had this been a UK equivalent it  would have flown as soon as it saw me approach.

—Stephen—

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A Deviation

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This little fella is a Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), which I saw yesterday at a local nature reserve of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) – St. Aiden’s (also known as Swillington Ings).   When I was younger these were rarer than hen’s teeth in the UK, but thanks to the work of Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB they are becoming a little more secure in some places.

—-Stephen—

Froggy Went a-Walking

_MG_7761Our guide took us on an informal tour of the gardens at our hotel in Tortuguero.  One of the gardens was dedicated to the support of tree frogs.  We had a good look round but couldn’t find any.  The guide dashed off somewhere and came back with his hands cupped, holding this little chap (he told us that he recalled seeing one earlier, but I suspect he took it out of a breeding tank).  He placed the frog on large leaf so we could photograph it with a natural background.  Red-eyed Tree Frog – Agalychnis callidryas.

—Stephen—

Grrrr… mutter, mutter, mutter.

I don’t know if it’s just me, the way I use PCs or I’m just unlucky, but I’ve had another hard drive go tits up on me.  It has been a gradual thing, the read/write seems to have become slower and slower … and slower.  Accessing my digital photos with Bridge or Lightroom has been next to impossible.   Despite the numerous updates from Microsoft and Adobe over the recent weeks I concluded it was a problem with the drive and not some spurious bug introduced by Auto Update.

I’ve now installed a new drive and am in the process of recovering the majority of my images from my backup drive – 1.5 TB I think.   Unfortunately, some of my more recent work wasn’t backed up so I’ve jury-rigged the faulty drive into another, older machine in an attempt to copy the files onto it – Windows is telling me that it’s going to take 11.5 hours to copy one folder of 15GB – scratch that, I’ve just checked and it’s now going to take 16 hours.  Whatever I can recover will save me having to redo my editing.

I don’t mind wasting my own time, but I hate have my time wasted.

—Stephen—

To Tortuguero

Our guide, who introduced himself during the mid-morning breakfast session, called on us to load our luggage on to the appropriate shuttle-bus for the onward journey to Tortuguero – he was a little bemused by the fact our family had none.  We were soon on our way for the next leg.  It was a bit like “Wagons Roll!” as all the buses set off in convoy down the road. Our guide explained that some of the roads were so rough it was worthwhile that they all stick together, in case one broke down.   Sections of the road were a bit dodgy to say the least.  (Our return ride, after our stay at Tortuguero, was delayed by an hour because of a landslide.)

After what seemed like an age, we arrived at a sort of inland river port – where we were put aboard a covered flat bottom boat equipped with a meaty looking outboard engine.  We were asked to don life-vests before setting off down the river at a fair rate of knots towards our ‘hotel’.

_MG_7634Many of this type of boat filled with orange clad tourists zipped up and down the river at ‘changeover’ time.

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Lop eared cattle seemed to be the main breed in this part of Costa Rica – I guess these arrived by boat too.

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A little bit of excitement when a young fawn was seen swimming across the wide river in front of us – everyone was relieved when we watched it struggle ashore – crocs and caiman are present in the rivers hereabouts.

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.. and a kingfisher staring into space…. a bit weird, but who’s to know the mind of kingfisher!

—Stephen—

 

 

 

San Jose to Tortuguero

With an overnight in San Jose and an early start next morning (7 a.m.), the hotel put together a packed meal for breakfast, (an apple and some kind of processed flat meat between two pieces of bread), we were whisked away in a shuttle bus for the first part of our journey to Tortuguero.  At about the halfway point we stopped  somewhere called Guapiles at the Restaurante Selva Tropical, for a mid-morning breakfast and transfer to another shuttle bus for our onward journey.  Fresh fruit, our first encounter with ‘rice and beans’ (a Costa Rican staple), plantain, scrambled eggs, there was enough to satisfy most people.

At the rear of the restaurant was a covered butterfly garden which was an interesting place to meander while we waited for the off for the next part of our journey.  The proprietor had clearly put some effort into making an interesting exhibition.   Near the entrance were some glass cases with chrysalis in various stages of development.

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To the best of my knowledge this and the image below show the Blue Morpho butterfly.

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I’ve no idea what this flower is.

—Stephen—