Sketches of Birds not photographed

by Paul Gale

While cameras can capture a pin-sharp image of a bird in a fraction of a second, there are occasions when photography is not possible. I have therefore resorted to rough water colour paintings. This first sketch is of the Streak-headed woodcreeper which was on a wooden fence post on the way to Tortuguero.

When we visited Poas Volcano, it was raining, well pouring. So torrential was the downpour that using a camera was not possible (although I wish now that I'd risked getting it wet for these two birds). Hoping around at our feet was this yellow-thighed finch, which is endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama. The bright yellow thigh feathers were obvious even in the rain.

By the volcano cafe, two Sooty Robins were hoping around on the grass. At a distance they looked like English blackbirds; black with an orange bill. This is another bird which is endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama.

This swallow-tailed kite was perched on the wires on the roadside along the Pacific coast coming back from Manuel Antonio. Although only a fleeting glimpse from the coach, I could see its tail streamers and long primary projections.

Costa Rica