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Costa Rica part two, snakes, frogs and bats.

Eye-lash pit viper.

I started my photography career almost exclusively as a bird photographer yet when I look back at my wildlife interests over my life snakes, frogs and butterflies featured as strongly as birds.

Red-eyed tree frog

It’s only as I matured as a photographer that I started to spend more time working with these groups and diversified away from birds.

Nectar feeding leaf-nosed bat and orchid

I have always had a special fascination with snakes. At one time I was a commercial breeder of many species of snakes and probably had over thirty different species at any one point. None of these were venomous though I always fancied keeping pit vipers; they are just so stunning to look at.

Black and green dart frog

So, when the opportunity to work with two species of pit viper arose in Costa Rica I was like a kid in a giant sweet shop (well one who hasn’t read about the perils of sugar and on-set diabetes!!!).

Eye-lash pit viper

The first pit viper we worked with was one I caught on the ground in the rainforest. I was working my way through some leaf litter for anything interesting when I turned over a large leaf and spotted a camouflaged small snake. This turned out to be a rainforest hog-nosed pit viper.

Helmeted iguana

At a different lodge we were lucky to be able to work with the two colour forms of the eye-lash pit viper plus a number of lizards.

Anolis lizard

The most photographed frog in the world must be the red-eyed tree frog. When you find one it’s immediately obvious why - they are just stunning.

Like many of the frogs these are nocturnal so finding good subjects requires a fair bit of time searching after dark.

This trip was fantastic and it’s hard to pick a favourite animal but if I had to, the nectar-feeding bats would probably win my personal top ten.

Hog-nosed rainforst pit viper

To spend hours at night in the dark with dozens of small bats flitting around you as they search for nectar was an amazing experience. To actually be able to photograph them feeding at a wild rainforest orchid was even better!

Boa constrictor