Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Costa Rica - Day 6

Today, that howler monkey wake up call we had been waiting for all week finally came. They woke us up before 5AM so we were able to get out to an earlier than usual start to the day. For the first time, there wasn't much rain overnight so the pathways were relatively dry. We did the "loop" through the tropical garden to the driveway and then back to the lodge.

Black and Green Dart Frog (Told you I couldn't get enough of these guys):
Black and Green Dart Frog

Northern Barred-woodcreeper:
Northern Bared-Woodcreeper

Yellow-headed Caracara:
Yellow-headed Caracara

The forest was alive with sounds this morning including the great call of the Tinamou. We saw Tinamou just about every day this trip and heard them multiple times per day. While they aren't the must beautiful of birds, their calls are one of our favorites. On this outing we also came across a couple Great Curassow roosting in the trees by the suspension bridge. This one was right over my head.

Great Curassow Roosting

I only took one picture since I didn't want to dawdle standing under the business end of a Great Curassow.

After breakfast we hit the Titi trail yet again. We came across Tinamou, Howler and Spider Monkeys, and some new birds for us.

White-necked Puffbird:
White-necked Puffbird

But, the highlight was finally finding Squirrel Monkeys. Of the four monkeys found at BdC, these are the hardest to find and undoubtedly the cutest. They are about the size of a large squirrel and have really long beautiful tails. They are very tough to photograph however since they tend not to sit still and the area in which we saw them today had pretty dense foliage. So, I spent a lot of time trying to get clear shots of them through the few holes in the foliage that I could find.

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

After another filling lunch (The Chicken Burrito is Yummy…) we decided to take a walk on the Teak Plantation road which is an area that we had never hiked before. We have stayed away from it because unlike the other trails at BdC which are groomed frequently to reduce the leaf litter, this road isn't. Between, the noise caused by the leaves and the possibility of something camouflaged and dangerous sitting on the trail, we had shied away from it in the past. But, between our large rubber boots, the dampness of the leaf litter, and the fact that there had been puma sightings along this road in the recent past we decided to give it a shot. We had only made it about a 1/2 mile up the trail when we came across any area that was roped off with camera traps on both sides. There was no easy way around this and we thought the ropes meant "Keep out" so we turned around and headed out the Golfo Dulce trail instead. Maybe next time for the Teak Plantation trail.

We didn't really see anything of note during the rest of the hike until we got to the tropical garden.

Roadside Hawk with Green Iguana Snack:
Roadside Hawk with Green Iguana Lunch

Agouti with Snack

There were 3 Green Kingfishers at the big pond, 2 males and 1 female. Both males were vying for the attention of the female. We watched as one male skimmed the water and picked up a small fish or large tadpole. He then landed on the branch next to the female and went through a little courtship dance of head bobbing and tail raising. Then, he presented the snack to her and she accepted. It was quite fun to watch.

Green Kingfisher with Courtship Gift

Green Kingfisher Presenting Courtship Gift

Female Green Kingfisher Accepting Gift

The frantic pace of the trip started to take its toll in the afternoon so we relaxed around our bungalow in the late afternoon which did allow us to see a troop of Spider Monkeys that "swung" by to say hello. We also saw a pod of dolphins pass by. They were most likely either Spinner or Bottlenose but we weren't close enough to tell. Here is a shot of Sol:

Sol Bungalow, Bosque Del Cabo

Dinner was exceptionally good again tonight and included some mouth watering beef tenderloin and some really tasty chocolate cake. I could get used to having fancy desserts every night, but I just don't burn enough calories sitting in my little cubicle at work to justify that in my "real life". I could walk around work carrying my tripod everywhere like I do at BdC to burn extra calories but I think that HR might frown upon that and it would be awkward to explain in meetings.

For the second time during the week our opportunity for a night walk was rained out. Instead we sat on our deck, watched the distant lightning and listened to the rain. It was a pretty darn relaxing way to end the day.

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