Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Back-Coiba Island

Black Headed Vulture
Today we glimpse the rare and exciting island of Coiba.   For many people, this island is too expensive or too difficult to reach.  But for us, this wild untouched piece of the world was the most exciting part of our Panama visit.  One of the last remaining groups of Scarlet Macaws live on this island of Panama.  For action birders, this is definitely worth your time and money.  It's a difficult ride into this marine corridor for some and even more difficult for people who have physical limitations getting on and off a boat.  And I have to admit, the mud was pretty bad on some of the hills preventing me from rising to the top. At one point, I almost stepped near Tito...a Saltwater Croc!
It was cloudy and grey most of the time, but the wildlife was abundant and EVERYWHERE!  And if you want to see all of this incredible life, you'll need to pack excellent footwear.  Water shoes for going in and out of boats. Flip flops for the brief and cold shower.  Strong spiked boots to climb the muddy paths.  Maybe even rubber boots?  It was muddy!  Because I didn't have the good boots, I was limited to where I could walk on the island.
Coiba Island from our boat
Like something out of the Lost World, the island was covered in vines and forest.  Some of the most amazing life can be found here....which includes a special kind of Howler Monkey and algae that may cure cancer....both endemic to this island.
A Ringed Kingfisher on Coiba Island
At night, we would have a lovely dinner together along the beach where we would watch this Kingfisher look for things swimming along the shore.  Sit.  Watch.  Fly. Swoop Down. Grab. And do it all over again.  It was one of the many things to observe along the beach. We swam keeping our eyes open for the singular crocs floating like logs in the ocean.  Thankfully they're territorial and don't congregate in great numbers around certain areas.  There is a secret river that flows through the island which is difficult to reach full of them.  A study continues on this interesting reptile.
A weird pic of me but I am loving the hike.  The sounds are incredible in this primary rainforest.  And this pic below!!!  Why didn't I post this number last year??  Oh I could kick myself.  The reason?  I thought it was boring. 
Tropical Kingbird
That's why it was nice digging through the albums again and posting the things that I thought, at the time, were rubbish.   And it would be here that my work would get notice.  A Brazillian Professor will be publishing some of my work from this island in a book about UNESCO sites around the world in January.  Excited?  Oh yes! 

There were beautiful untouched views everywhere.  This island is protected and studied by the Smithsonian Institute.  If you go during the right time of year, you'll see whales.  I searched and searched and searched.....one of my life's goals is to photograph this amazing creature.  But as for sea turtles?  Wow!!  Everywhere.
Capuchin Monkey
Again, here is a shot that would have been clear with my current camera.  It was blurred so I never posted it.  It's the Capuchin monkey. They had no problem throwing mangos at our building and waking us up:)  We'd come outside and they'd quickly run into the tree tops.  I tracked this guy and had this shot until he spotted me and quickly disappeared:)
On top of Coiba Island overlooking the ocean
And check out this view!!!  That little clearing is where we stayed.  Note the 3 tiny islands in the distance.  They are great for scuba diving!    Again this whole area is protected as a marine corridor.   Beginning from the bird islands from the Mexican waters down to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.  This corridor is studied for whale and sea turtle migration, but sharks, etc are also studied.
For now I leave you with a cheesy pic and two mini vids from our adventures to Coiba Island.  More tomorrow.....
Brown-backed(Gray-headed) Dove on Coiba


  1. A wonderful place...Good luck with publication.

  2. I love your photos and the video, scrumptious.

  3. Wow, this sounds like a great place. It looks beautiful and the wildlife is awesome. Great shots and congrats on having your work published. Very exciting. Great post and I loved the photos. Especially the birds and the monkey. Have a great day.

  4. How exciting, Chris, that some of your photos will be published! You're so modest, not to be shouting that from rooftops! You go, Boy!

  5. Beautiful photos and memories to last a lifetime. Priceless.. Chris.

  6. Congrats on having some work published! This trip sounds wonderful. The monkeys, kingfisher and king birds are way cool!

  7. Revisiting pictures is a Must... :-)
    The Black Headed Vulture is a good proof... and I thought for an instant your shorts were tatoos... :-)

  8. Wow! great exotic trip))

    xoxo, Juliana

  9. wow chris!! what an unbelievably gorgeous place to visit!! so much to see...beautiful pictures!!

    don't kick yourself for not posting some of them back then...if you're like me...you probably took SO MANY...that at the time it was pretty hard to PICK & CHOOSE!! SO...you saved some for later...now!

    LOVE the ring necked kingfisher!
    OH and that croc! yikes! even though we see a lot of gators around here...i think the Crocs are so much more frightening...more prehistoric and deadly looking!
    the beach video...aaaaah, so relaxing...

    thanks for the trip!! =)

  10. That is beautiful and magical. Lovely views. You can keep the croc though. Scary! ;)

    Congratulations on being published! LOVE that your talents are being recognized!

  11. Amazing! I just put Coibas Island on my Panama list. I want to lie on that beach and enjoy the wildlife. Well maybe not too close to the Crocs.

    Congrats on getting published.

  12. The photos and the videos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

  13. just beautiful - the vines and greenery is stunning! like that croc video! :)

  14. Congratulations, it must feel amazing to be chosen to contribute to a book about this piece of paradise! I hope this area continues to be protected in the future. We need visual reminders to show us why parts of the earth must remain free from development and why we must not develop without any regard for the environment.

  15. Oh that is exciting Chris and so very well deserved. Excellent series of images from Coibas Island. Cancer curing algae sounds fascinating. Beautiful beaches not so beautiful crocs it must have been scary almost stepping on one. Love your shot of the 'tropical king bird' so glad you decided to post it.

  16. Oh, those marine reserach scientists have all the good spots to work in! I don't see cubicles or desks to be chained to. What a life!!!

  17. Niesamowite i piękne miejsce. Chyba bym się trochę bała krokodyli i z pewnością kąpać bym się nie poszła. Podziwiam Cię za filmik z nim. Pozdrawiam.
    Amazing and beautiful place. I think I'd be a little afraid of crocodiles swim and certainly would not go. I admire you for the video with him. Yours.

  18. Hola!!!.. pues encantada de conocerte.. jiji...
    Vaya si que es bella esta isla Coiba, y tiene unas aves fantásticas.. Que bonito el Martín pescador, diferente al nuestro, al español..
    Un saludillo

  19. Wow what a wonderful place to visit. It looks very beautiful.
    How exciting to get some of your work published - well done!!!

  20. Every bit of this post is excellent, I don't know where to start except to look at it all again.

    P.S. I have a temporary fix for the picture viewing issue. Thanks to a tip from Pam I realized the Lightbox Blogger plug-in is not working in IE, with some research I found that it may be another plug-in that is competing or preventing Lightbox from working. The good thing is I found a workaround until I solve the prob completely. Load Safari and view your blog from that browser. Then the flowy thing and thumbnails work. You will also need Quicktime to view video. You may have to right click on the first video to kick start Quicktime. Safari is a teeny bit sluggish on some PC's but I also hear Foxfire will work. I haven't tried it yet. Sooooo, it is definitely a browser and plug-in issue, as I suspected all along. I will get to the bottom of it!!

    1. Thank you for checking into it. That actually sounds quite complicated:) I'll look into this and see what I can do. But I'm so scared after the last blogger issue. I change something and everything goes haywire...and then that's a whole other issue:) We have Safari and Foxfire on my main laptop and it does work like you say....but my goodness, one should be able to open our blogs up and stream the pics:) Thanks for the updates. I have parent teacher meetings tonight so I'm relaxing before everything gets going:)

  21. How awesome... Isn't it great to visit some 'untouched' areas of our beautiful world? Have you been to Cumberland Island (near St. Simon's on the coast in Georgia? You can only get to Cumberland by boat --and no one lives there. It's FABULOUS...

    Great pictures.. Thanks!!!

  22. Whoa...look at all that green stuff. And water! Very nice...could do without the crocodile though. BUT I LOVE PENGUINS!

  23. What a beautiful unspoilt island Chris. Your landscape photos are stunning - no wonder some of them are being used for the book:)

  24. Glad you and Tito did NOT connect. :) I have to agree that sometimes I find treasures in my rejected photos. Our perceptions of good and bad are sometimes cloudy.

  25. This is truly an adventure! I imagine listening to the sounds of the rainforest and looking at all those wonderful creatures. Thanks for sharing the adventure and the nice pics.


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