Saturday, February 7, 2009

Costa Rica Trip Report: Day 5 at Bosque Del Cabo

Day five started out with a trek down the main driveway looking for birds since they flock to the trees around the soccer field. In an hour's time we saw a pair of Pale-billed Woodpeckers, a Lineated Woodpecker, Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, the Masked and Black Crowned Tityras, and a pair of Kiskadees that are nesting in one of the trees. We also spotted Spider Monkeys, Capuchin Monkeys, more Coatis, Agoutis, frogs and lizards. It seemed everything was out this morning except a Puma.




After breakfast, a troop of Capuchin Monkeys moved through the trees around our cabina. I was able to get some great action shots of them including a mother and baby.




We then headed off to the Tropical Garden to the Golfo Dulce trail and looped back via the Trogon Trail. We saw more Spider Monkeys, some Howler Monkeys (which we saw everyday in the Tropical Garden area) and more coatis.



In the afternoon, we signed up for the birding tour with Carlos. This tour takes you offsite to some fields about 15 minutes away. The diversity of birds here was amazing even for us non-hardcore birders. Carlos was an incredible spotter and even found an iguana in a tree that was probably a quarter mile away. The main reason for us taking this tour was to get closer shots of the White Ibis that frequent the river meanders through these fields. There were probably a dozen or more White Ibis feeding in the river but they were too far away for decent pictures. Luckily, 4 more flew in to feed and did a fly-by on their way.

White Ibis

The tour was worth it as we heard a Laughing Falcon and Great Tinamou and saw a ton of birds most of which we didn't write down. But, they included more Scarlet Macaws, Caracara, Parrots, Parakeets, Orioles, Doves, Martins, Herons, Egrets and more.

Before dinner we made a trek down to the little pond on yet another fruitless quest for the Red-eyed Green Tree frog. Besides the usual suspects at the pond, there were two night hawks in the area that we later identified as Pauraques.



Since the small pond was turning into a bust for Red-eyed Green Tree frogs, after dinner we decided to go to the big pond in the tropical garden. We hadn't been out to the tropical garden at night before but since people stayed out there in the garden bad could it be? The first big obstacle is the suspension bridge which is a bit gnarly at night but wasn't much of a problem. As we entered the garden, we shone our flashlights all around looking for eyeshine. Eyeshine in the trees would mean noctornal birds or better yet a Kinkajou, while eyeshine on the ground could be spiders, mammals, or birds. Basically, only nocturnal creatures have eyeshine so you know it is a creature of the night once you see eyeshine. Well, we immediately saw eyeshine across the garden on the way to the pond. As we got closer to investgate, the eyeshine became two distinct eyes looking at us that started to move. As we got even closer, we saw the owner of the eyeshine.


It is an Virginia Opossum that didn't seem to care too much about us so we were able to get pretty close. We ended up seeing 2 more on the trip, but this was the closest that we got to one. We also spotted a nighthawk but couldn't get close enough to identify it. Typically, if you see bright single eyeshine it is probably a nighthawk or pootoo. Dull or faint single eyeshine is probably a spider or frog But, things get really exciting when you see bright dual eyeshine because that means a mammal most likely.

The noise coming from the pond in the garden was deafening. Frogs, toads, insects and probably birds were in full chorus. The people who stay in the cabina next to the pond have to try to sleep with this going on. In any case, the chorus of calls diminished as we toured the pond but we were able to see some very cool new frog species.



But, no Red-eyed Green Tree frogs. Oh well, still it was a very fruitful night hike. On the way back, we saw an assortment of insects and spiders including this Whip Scorpion.

Whip Scorpion

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