Website Update #1

I decided it was about time I did some updating on my website.

First up, My Bird List. I removed the Birds by Location thumbnails, and replaced them with thumbnails of all the birds. In doing so, I discovered a few things:

  • I totally missed a bird that I saw in Costa Rica – the Crimson-collared Tanager – so I added it to my list.
  • I don’t have a Common Raven on my list! I know I have Raven photos, I just have to find them.
  • Some of the photos I had of the more common birds – that would have been some of the first photos I posted – weren’t very good. And I have better ones, I just haven’t updated them. Here’s a couple of examples, with the original photo on the left and its replacement on the right:

So I’m glad I put up the thumbnails, because it alerted me to more updates I need to make. But that’s a winter project…

Hawaii Birds and such

It didn’t work out to do a birding tour while I was in Hawaii but I still managed to get 19 lifers on my own!

On Oahu:

In Maui:

In Kaui:

And no, I didn’t tell anyone that I was hoping to see Boobies on the cruise… but I was. 🙂

I also saw a Hammerhead shark from our balcony on the ship but it was gone before I could grab my camera. But I did get some shots of this Barracuda that showed up a few minutes later. It was at least 5 feet long!

Check out this close-up of its head:

I also saw a female Hawaiian Garden Spider that I thought was pretty cool:

Hawaiian Garden Spider

It was a great trip!

Highlights (and lowlights) from Ecuador

Just two days short of the anniversary of my birding trip to Ecuador, I finally finished going through all my photos! After a few corrections (Thanks Steven!), I ended up with photos of 281 different species of birds, which brings my life list up to 731.

Shot I was happiest with:

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

You often cannot see this bird’s beak because its large crest usually obscures it. I was hoping to get a photo with the beak visible, and I did it!

Shot I was unhappiest with:

Channel-billed Toucan

I had just been taking some photos in a lower light situation, and forgot to zero my settings again before taking a photo of this beautiful toucan. By the time I realized it, the toucan had flown away. This was the best shot I could salvage.

Prettiest bird I don’t remember seeing:

Paradise Tanager

What I nice surprise to come across this photo! I don’t remember it at all. It was on the second last day of the trip, so I may just have been in overload by then. This bird reminds me of those Mexican wrestlers that wear the masks. 🙂

Bird with the best name:

Shining Sunbeam

This little hummingbird has a rainbow on its back when the light hits it just the right way. I was happy to get a shot of the rainbow effect.

Most interesting variation:

Booted Racket-tail
Booted Racket-tail (E)

These are the same species of bird, but in the west the “boots” are white and in the east the “boots” are orange.

First photo I took (that I kept):

Golden Grosbeak

Taken on Nov. 30th at 9:08 am.

Last photo that I took (that I kept):

Tawny-bellied Hermit

Taken on Dec. 14th at 1:33 pm.

Coolest hummingbird (in my opinion):

Sword-billed Hummingbird

I photographed 51 species of hummingbirds, but this one was my favourite. So beautiful and so ridiculous at the same time!

Best family shot:

Torrent Ducks (l to r: duckling, male, female, duckling)

We got to watch this family of white-water ducks travel down the river together. I thought those ducklings would drown, but they made it!

It was an amazing trip! If you’d like to see my other bird photos from Ecuador, click here.