Puerto Rico, 2008

Puerto Rico Trip 2008: t-shirt design, available here.

San Juan

A stroll in old San Juan near the fort.

A Java sparrow on the green.

A segway tour, or is that the end of a modern remake of The Seventh Seal?

I did not notice the pigeon at the time.

Rachel and Misha. Unofficial tour guides.

The glazed brick cobbles are slick when wet.

El Yunque

The next morning at the Rainforest Inn. Looking up towards El Yunque.

And yes it does rain off and on.

A bedraggled lizard cuckoo near El Portal.

The lizards like to show off.

The Mt. Britton trail...we're going all the way up there?

We saw some wildlife along the way.

Including this tiny bundle of energy, a Puerto Rican Toady.

Blue sky over the rainforest.

A smooth-billed ani --- not on the list at the Inn.

No, this picture is not turned the wrong way.

Mornings were time to read.

Afternoons were for adventure. A trail into the rainforest from the Inn.

There were countless snails along the trail.

The official guide.

The trail's destination.

The trail's purpose.

At the inn an unfinished house serves as a birding platform (Misha is on the second floor with his scope).

A good reason to use the scope.

Brady would drop the book and pick up her binoculars if she heard a cuckoo. Relaxed birding.

Scaly-naped pigeons were always flying past.

The company where Albert works puts out a calendar and this year's theme is patterns.

Pearly-eyed thrushes were vocal companions on both ends of the island.


Outside Guanica, on the southwestern side of the island we had an ocean view.

Frigate birds flew just over the rooftop.

In the Guanica State Forest we saw Adelaide's warblers.

Not to be confused with this bananaquit.

In the distance we could see the barrier island beach we would visit later.

Do not touch.

A mangrove cuckoo, right?

There were toadies in Guanica too.

And the light is better when you aren't in a rainforest.

A not so exotic bird (house sparrow).

A black-faced grassquit on flowers by the beach.

A closer shot of the grassquit.

A walk on the beach.

Also walking on the beach - a white-winged dove. There are so many types of doves in Puerto Rico.

Maricao, San German, and Cabo Rojo

Wind-swept and cloudy. We must not be at the beach anymore...

It was a little windy, but the views were great from the top of this CCC-built tower near Maricao.

Something worth pointing out.

We were in the forest to look for the elusive elfin woods warbler.

Animals can be good at hiding in plain sight though.

We did see some wildlife.

There's an elfin woods warbler!

Oh well, not quite.

Yagruma leaves (Cecropia peltata).

Fern fronds unfolding.

Remind me what kind of hummingbird this was, a Green Mango?

Can you identify this fruit? Let me know.

Mystery solved! The Spanish name is Cupey, and English common names include pitch apple and autograph tree (Clusia rosea). Thanks to Javier!

Because the birds loved it, like this Puerto Rican Tanager.

From the mountains to San German for lunch.

From San German to the blazing hot salt flats of Cabo Rojo. Why would we go there?

Black-necked stilts, for one.

LOTS of black-necked stilts.

Close up black-necked stilts.

White-cheeked pintails, which the bird book says are limited to a few places in Puerto Rico, not mentioning this location.

Hey, that's a different dove. Enough with the doves already?

Egrets too, of course.

A view from the tower across the road from a new solar powered nature center.

Off in the distance we could hear an ice cream truck crossing the salt flats.

Salt ponds.

Later, out the long dirt road to the lighthouse...

We caught up with the ice cream truck!

Mmmm...eat fast it's melting!

A salty backwater.

A resident (non-migratory) yellow warbler.

Its song was different from those we see in Maryland.

The lighthouse.

Looking for sea birds.

Brady and Albert just enjoying the view.
Albert will need to put together a panorama of the scenery here -- a single photo of the beach will not do it justice.

One last black-necked stilt.


Brady looking out at the island we would soon visit.

A sunbathing iguana leaves the dock.

Out on the island Misha heads in to do some snorkeling.

The view back to where we were staying. When we were dropped off we asked to be picked up in two hours.

The view out towards the reef and open ocean.

This solitary beach was inaccessable to the many more tourists on the other side of the island.

A heron hunting near the mangroves.

It has been nearly three hours, where's the boat?

Fortunately we had a cell phone, the number, and a signal! That's our place upstairs.

The iguana greets our return.

There's another pattern.

Dawn our last morning in Puerto Rico.

A final group photo.

Crossing the Laguna San Jose on the way to the airport.

Looking for more? A link to some pictures that did not make it onto this page will show up here in a few days.

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All photographs Copyright 2008 by Albert Hartley.   All images here are reduced, so if you want an electronic copy or reprint please contact Albert.