First Birding Day in Ten Days

12/17/14
Finally felt well enough for a bird walk this morning--it's been ten days.  What a waste as I fly back to Southern California on the 20th.   I wondered if I haven't had a mild case of dengue fever, but Gene scoffs at the idea; something made me too weak to do almost anything. Anyway, went out today for a short walk and got another bird for the Barra List; and a lifer for me.
I was walking and glanced up to see a Kingbird with a very large black insect in its bill.  To me 'Kingbird' means Tropical Kingbird.  They are common everyday birds here, as they were in Panama. I put my bins down and was getting ready to scan where I heard some chatter when I realized that it wasn't only the bug that was big. The bill was big.  The bird was big. Several things weren't right.  I put the bins back up and the bird was still there.  Definitely not a Tropical Kingbird.  I remembered that there was something other than a Boat-billed Flycatcher with a big bill and figured this was it. When I got back to Peregrine, I got out the book and had a very easy ID:  Thick-billed Kingbird. 
Took a bunch of shots of the Thick-billed and they were all crappy.  I wanted to put one up, so I took the best of the worst and sharpened and highlighted. 
My Barra de Navidad list is near the top of the blog under 'Pages' for anyone who wants to see possibilities for the area.  I have not even taken a panga or dinghy trip to the end of the lagoon--that would be an interesting day.

Barra Butterflies 2


The closest I could come was Montezuma's Cattleheart (Parides Montezuma), but mine doesn't seem to have red on the whole body like the photos of Montezuma's I found, and mine has red dots while the Montezuma's I looked at had larger, almost 'c' shaped orange marks. Here is a link to one (and a much better photo than mine!:
http://www.richard-seaman.com/Wallpaper/Nature/Butterflies/Swallowtails/SwallowtailAtCacahuamilpa.jpg
and another:
http://butterfliesofamerica.com/parides_montezuma_live1.htm
Maybe this is the female and those are males or vice-versa.
                                                                 Tropical Skipper

A Few Butterflies Found In Barra de Navidad, Mexico

For me, birding is not just about seeing birds; it's an immersion into the natural world.  When I go for a bird walk in a reasonably natural area, I take in what Mother Nature is serving up for the day.  It is a way to escape worries and live in the here and now of the hunt for something magical. While scanning for birds my eyes go to movements; a slender branch in the understory that is spinning wildly in an unseen whirlpool of wind, the movement of a gossamer strand sparkling between branches,  a lizard scurrying for the understory or up the branch of a tree and of course, the flickering beauty of one of natures most endearing creatures; butterflies. 
White Morphos Butterfly.
I have been watching these gorgeous things for weeks now and  this is the first time I've seen one land, it must be getting old. They are much like the electric blue kind I saw daily in Panama, but are white. They appear all white while flying at a distance, but they have markings when you see them up close. They fly in the same floppy, bouncy way the Blue Morphos did.
Microtia elva
Elf Butterfly. Tiny little guy.  Wing span 1 to 1 7/16 inches.
 Heliconius erato. Wingspan for this butterfly is 2.2 to 3.1 inches  5.5–8 cm
Above:  A very faded Ruddy Daggerwing
Carolina Satyr ?
I had originally posted the following butterflies with questionable IDs. Thanks to Nick Morgan for helping out. Nick is a butterfly enthusiast from Scotland.  You can check out his blog here:
Master of  camouflage:  Gray Cracker
Guatemalan Cracker
 Possibly Glaucous Cracker
 Four-spotted Sailor (Dynamine postverta)