Early Walk to Diablo Creek

Had a very nice walk today.  I left at 7:00 and returned just before 11:00.  The sun was partially out at the start of the walk (60% cloud cover), but it started to drizzle while I was on the Diablo Beach trail.  Sure like my new poncho.  I can roll it up to fit in my bum bag and it keeps me and the camera and bins dry without a fuss.  It is a bit like walking in a portable sauna, but it beats carrying a lightening rod.  The first (and last) time I took an umbrella with me, I ended up ditching it for fear of getting electrocuted.  It had a metal handle and the strobe-like lightening was flashing everywhere!

For the most part, it was a beautiful morning, cool with a slight breeze.  It had rained earlier and the breeze moved the wet leaves enough for them to drop their moisture making it sound like rain.  It was weird having the sun overhead and hearing rain in the forest. For such a glorious morning, it was pretty quiet; I wondered where everybody was.  When I reached Diablo Creek, things started to pick up.

I saw a pair of Gray-necked Woodrails at the park entrance which was nice.  I've only seen this bird twice before.  The first time was in Costa Rica and the second was here on the Diablo Beach road--very close to these birds. I saw a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher which is not an everyday thing.  Got a new butterfly.  I believe it's an Heliconius erato hydara  It's like the erato, but it doesn't show any white. One site I read said it was Eastern Panama.  If so, the range must be expanding.
Didn't get much in the way of photos today, it was either too early and not enough light or rainy. The rail shots were terrible and so were some of a beautiful Violet-crowned Woodnymph Hummingbird.  If I had had some sun the hummingbird shots would have been so good.  He perched close and I could see his beautiful colors. Unfortunately, the photos are blurry.
Once I got close to home, the rain stopped (of course) and I got a couple of nice photos of a Plain-colored Tanager.  I love these little guys. They remind me of the Tits in Europe or Chickadees at home.  They just aren't as Tanagerish as other Tanagers
Bird Species List for Today:
Black Vultures
Common Black-hawks
Gray-necked Wood-rails
White-tipped Dove (heard)
Short-billed Pigeon (heard)
Orange-chinned Parakeets
Mealy Parrots
Greater Anis
Smooth-billed Anis
Violet-crowned Woodnymph
Keel-billed toucan
Western Slaty Antshrikes
Tropical Kingbirds
Great Kiskadees
Social Flycatchers
Streaked Flycatcher
Panama Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (heard)
Southern Bent-bill
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher
Gray-breasted Martins
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Bay Wren
House Wren
Clay-colored Thrush
Tropical Mockingbirds
Fulvous-vented Euphonia
Plain-colored Tanagers
Palm Tanagers
Blue-gray Tanagers
Crimson-backed Tanager
White-shouldered Tanager
Variable Seedeaters
Yellow-backed Oriole
Great-tailed Grackles
Tiny frog--baby Smokey Jungle Frog? When I first saw it hop, I thought it was a Leaf-litter Frog because it was so small, but after looking, I thought it was a baby Smokey Jungle.


  1. Lovely butterfly! It sounds as though you are having similar weather to us in Scotland, except several degrees warmer!

  2. Hi Nick,
    Been meaning to pop over to your site. Wondered when you are going to St. Lucia. The rainy season really hasn't been too rainy here yet. November is supposed to be the worst month according to the locals.

  3. Hi Sue,
    We are heading off to St Lucia for two weeks around Christmas. I hope the weather is fine then. We have just experienced the worst summer in living memory - hardly a day without any rain and the last decent sunny day was in March!! St Lucia has to be better than that!!

  4. Yes, I gathered by some posts on Bird Forum that it's been a hard summer for the birds in the UK. Scotland must be even more inclement than England? At least you got a little sun in Spain! I'm sure St. Lucia will be beautiful. Thanks again for the Butterfly Id's.