Thursday, December 18, 2014

Postcard from Honduras

Brilliant blue-skipper (Paches loxus - I had just one afternoon of warmer, almost sunny, weather during the week on a day trip to Lancetilla -  an hour west of Pico Bonito. Butterflies and dragonflies responded and I saw a lot of new things including this little stunner.

I had a week in Honduras at the end of November, staying at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, which was excellent despite the non-stop rain (just my luck to be hit by a weather-bomb during my stay). The weather made frogging rather good but put a definite dampener on invertebrate activity and prevented me seeing many of the birds I had hoped to track down during the week. That said the place is amazing and if you have a week to spare and you fancy Honduras, this is the place to get to know the country and its wildlife. Great guides, accommodation and food.

 We visited the nearby Rio Santiago Nature Resort on two days. They have an incredible number of hummingbird feeders here and we had nine species of hummer including plenty of fantastic violet-crowned woodnymphs.

Another hummingbird easily spotted at Rio Santiago was the white-necked jacobin.

The Lodge garden was always worth stalking about to see what was coming into the feeders, like this collared aracari.

 Honduras finally produced my first male red-capped manakin, after a number of female/immatures in Belize and Guatemala.

This juvenile boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) was a nice find in the Lodge garden on the last day. A tick for me and yet another Brooke Bond wildlife card moment on tour.

The easy highlight of the week though was two Honduras brook frogs (Duellmanohyla salvavida) on a night walk at Rio Santiago.

 This crazy glass frog (Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni) was the target of a concerted effort in the rain one evening at at the Rio Santiago Nature Resort with James Adams and some very good local guides. These frogs reflect or absorb light differently than most things!

More Duellmanohyla salvavida - this frog is a critically endangered endemic. They do not get better on the frogging front than this little beauty. The specific name is in honour of the local beer I believe...

 Some crazy invertebrates are attracted to the light at the Lodge, it was not brilliant whilst I was there because of the rain but things like this freaky Odontoptera carrenoi could be found.

 The blunthead tree snake (Imantodes cenchoa) was surprisingly easily found at night around the Lodge.

The animal I most wanted to see at night was the iconic red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas). They did not disappoint at the specially-constructed ponds near the Lodge.

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