Thursday, February 5, 2009

Costa Rica Trip Report: Day 3 at Bosque Del Cabo

There was no Howler Monkey wake up call at all today. Either they were sleeping in or were too far away to hear. So, we didn't get out of the Cabina until after 6:30AM today. I wanted to make an early morning search for poison dart frogs along the creek trail again. But, again we struck out. We did however find the Howler Monkeys in the Tropical Garden. I guess they decided to sleep in today but they were in good light and not being camera shy. We saw multiple mothers with babies which is a good sign.

Howler Monkeys

In the garden we also ran into this Coati hanging out in a palm tree and an Agouti wasn't too far away either.


The usual jungle sounds of birds and Cicadas was sharply broken as two really loud Red-lored Parrots flew into the garden. This Roadside Hawk didn't appear too amused at this loud interruption to the peaceful morning.

Roadside Hawk

As we looped back to the main road, the early morning light streamed into the rainforest and created spotlights on the trail. A multitude of butterflies fluttered in and out of these spotlights but none posed long enough for any pictures. The Butterfly life this trip was great. They were everywhere and in all sizes and shapes. Our favorite is of course the Blue Morpho, but we never had one stop for pictures. It seemed that the easiest way to photography a butterfly was to catch it early on in it's lifecycle.


Back on the main road, we decided to check in to see if the sloth had reappeared...and it had. It had moved to a different tree about 20 feet from where we saw it the first night. If we didn't know exactly what we were looking for, we probably never would have found it again. Unfortunately, it was deep in the shadows and had some branches between us and it.


Heading back towards our cabina we spotted a large Striped Basilisk lizard sunning itself. This is the biggest one we have seen at Bosque Del Cabo but was much small than ones we saw in Belize.

After breakfast, we decided to hike the Saino trail which is one of the more remote trails. Even though it is only a mile in length, the ups and downs and sweltering heat of the rainforest makes this a pretty exhausting hike. We tend to hike slowly and quietly so that we can maximize wildlife encounters. However, this trail had not been raked in a while and the leaf litter made the going noisy. Plus, we started to run out of time towards the end since we didn't want to miss lunch so we picked up the pace which tired us out even more. Besides seeing lots of lizards, anoles and a skink or two, the first major encounter was when I stopped because of some rustling in the leaf litter. It turned out to be a Tinamou, most likely a Lesser Tinamou, but the undergrowth made for poor pictures. As I turned to head down the trail, something shiny with green and black caught my eye.

Oriole Snake

It took a moment for me to register that this was a snake... and it was big... and it was looking right at me. I typically wouldn't be too alarmed by this but the snake was at eye level because the trail ran along the side of a hill and it didn't seem to be scared of me. Of course, we left our snake ID guides back at the cabina so we had no idea whether this one was venomous or not. So, while I couldn't pass up the photo opportunities, we didn't overstay our welcome. As we walked past the snake, it's head turned and followed our progress. We were obviously not welcome in its territory.

Oriole Snake

Later on, we identified the snake as an Oriole Snake which is non-venomous but can be a bit feisty apparently.

After lunch, our quest for wildlife yielded the usual suspects. The afternoon's are definitely the slowest part of the day for wildlife but were also a decent time to see Puma so we refused to take an afternoon off. But, with less photo ops outside, I decided to take a picture of one of our room mates.


After dinner, we continued our quest for the Red-eyed Green Tree frog at the small pond. Once again, it taunted us with its chirping but refused to come out of hiding. We did spot a Cat-eyed Snake (a regular at the small pond after dark), our buddy the Smoky Jungle Frog, a Marine Toad and a plethora of wolf spiders.


Cat-eyed Snake

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