Friday, May 20, 2011

Costa Rica - Day 4

No thunder and lightning last night, just the sounds of steady rain so we both slept much better. A squirrel chattering outside our bungalow ended up waking us up around 5:15AM. Maybe the howlers don't do wake up calls any more? That would be disappointing. In any case, we were out just after 6AM and headed again to the Titi Trail to see what we could see first thing in the morning.

Crested Caracara:
Crested Caracara


Evidence that I can take non-wildlife photos as well (The spider doesn't count...right?)
Spider on Heliconia

We didn't make it too far before it started to sprinkle and we were afraid a downpour was coming next. So, we ended up retreating back to the lodge for an early breakfast in hopes that the rain would stop. A little Black and Green Dart Frog must have been thinking the same thing since it hopped around our table as we ate.

The rain never really materialized, so we were back out after breakfast but this time decided to hit the Zapatero Trail. This is a longer trail with about a half dozen small canyons that need to be traversed via steps so it can be quite invigorating.


Black-hooded Ant Shrike:
Black-hooded Antshrike

We saw both Spider and Howler Monkeys as well, but the highlight of this hike was seeing a pair of courting Great Tinamou. They strutted around a bit and the female would lie on the ground and wiggle her tail in the air:

Great Tinamou

Great Tinamou Courtship

We have always said that you need to get out on the trails to see the more exotic wildlife (like cats, peccaries, jungle birds, snakes, etc), but you could could come to BdC and just hang out on your deck or around the pool and see about 75% of the wildlife. For example, a pair of Scarlet Macaws spent every afternoon eating between two of the bungalows. These are gorgeous birds and next to toucans are probably my favorite.

Scarlet Macaw

After lunch we did a large loop via the Creek to Trogon to Golfo Dulce trails and had some pretty good luck.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan:
Chestnut Mandibled Toucan

Four-striped Whiptail:
Four-striped Whiptail

Hibiscus Flower (Look, no animals):
Hibiscus Flower

Plain Antvireo:
Plain Antvireo

A troop of Spider Monkeys took their turn at the ripe mango trees by the driveway. They are great fun to watch swing through the trees and they aren't shy about taking huge leaps:

Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey Preparing to Leap

Spider Monkey Leaping

The whole troop leaped across the driveway towards some ripe palm nuts:

One Monkey:
Spider Monkey Eating Palm Nuts

Two Monkey:
Spider Monkey Pair Eating Palm Nuts

Three Monkey:
Spider Monkey Trio Eating Palm Nuts

Spider Monkey Foursome Eating Palm Nuts

Try as they might, they could not fit any more!

(Did Dr. Suess ever write a book about the rainforest?)

During the midst of photographing these Spider Monkeys, some Red-lored Parrots were squawking in the tree above me. I tried to ignore them since they were in bad light. But, I couldn't ignore the sight of a blur of green and red feathers tangled together dropping to the ground about six feet from me. Two of the parrots weren't happy and "It was On".

Red-lored Parrot Fight

It didn't last long and one emerged the victor with only a bit of feather damage:
Red-lored Parrot Fight Winner

Just before dark, the same troop of Spider Monkeys made their way up and over our bungalow. Watching them swing and leap so close was fantastic. One actually stopped for a quick break right over our deck:
Spider Monkey

Another delicious dinner was followed up by a night walk to the big pond since we didn't make it the night before. Our rubber boots gave us more confidence during the walk but we were still careful to watch where we stepped before we actually stepped since you never know what you might be about to step on. There was a little less action at the big pond when compared to the small one, but we still had some cool sightings.

Hourglass Tree Frog:
Hourglass Tree Frog

And another:
Hourglass Tree Frog

Gladiator Frog:
Gladiator Frog

Cat-eyed Snake:
Cat-eyed Snake

Red-eyed Tree Frog:
Parachuting Red-eyed Tree Frog

It did end up raining again that night, but by then were were safely back in our bungalow reflecting upon another day of great sightings. The highlight probably being the troop of Spider Monkeys. A couple ibuprofen to take care of the "jungle neck" and then we hit the sack.

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