Sunday, May 15, 2011

Costa Rica - Day 8 and 9

Today we woke up to rain but it stopped by around 6:30AM so we decided to have an early breakfast and then hit the Titi Trail. On the Trail, the cicadas were nowhere to be found so we had an enjoyable hike which included a family of Tinamou and more.

Leaf Cutter Ants:
Leaf-cutting Ants

Black-hooded Antshrike:
Black-hooded Antshrike

Male Howler Monkey "Relaxing":
Mantled Howler Monkey

One thing that I have failed to mention so far are the crabs. Sure, they are cute at first and fun to watch. But, when there are literally hundreds of them scampering through the leaf litter by the trails, you have to learn to tune out the noise they make to try to hear the other critters. This took us a few days to master but even towards the end we would have a few false alarms that turned out to be crabs.

In the banana tree by the driveway, we had a different Coatimundi today. He went up and down a couple times to snag bananas. Now we know why the lodge was out of them yesterday at breakfast.

White-nosed Coati Looking for Bananas

White-nosed Coati with Snack

White-nosed Coati

We also had a really good look at a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan that was as interested in us as we were in it. I love how they tilt their head from side to side when they are "checking you out". Definitely one of my favorite birds.

Chestnut Mandibled Toucan

At lunch we saw Kim (She and Phil are the owners) so we were able to catch up a bit. Kim and Phil should be commended for what they have done in protecting nearly 1000 acres of land and bringing wildlife back to this area of the Osa. It is truly an amazing place for nature lovers and we can't recommend it highly enough.

On the way back to our room after lunch, I couldn't pass up some photo ops with the Scarlet Macaws that were feeding in a tree by our bungalow.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

After lunch we hiked the…you guessed it…Titi Trail again. We were rewarded with an Agouti family (mother and two juveniles) as well as Howler and Spider Monkeys. But, all in all, it was another pretty quiet walk.

Blue Morpho Eating Mango:
Blue Morpho

We were really beat this afternoon and just hung out around the bungalow. We did see our first King Vulture as it soared past but it all happened too quick for pictures.

We did two night walks again tonight, one before dinner and one after. We were rewarded with two Virginia Opossum and the Wooly Opossum was again in the same palm tree. We also spotted a Coatimundi along with the usual frogs and cat-eyed snake at the small pond.

An XXX Frog:
Unknown Frog

One Last Hourglass Tree Frog:
Hourglass Tree Frog

Virginia Opossum:
Virginia Opossum

We did have an interesting encounter with a Gladiator Frog that was perched on a tree trunk by the pond. It was in a nice pose so I took a few pictures.

Gladiator Frog

Gladiator Frog Closeup

When I was done, I turned to take the camera off the tripod and I felt something land on my left shoulder in a sort of cool splat. My initial reaction was to freak out and scream like a girl but luckily I resisted that initial temptation long enough to glance at my shoulder. In the dark, all I could tell was that it was something medium sized like a bat. For some reason, that calmed me down. I guess I was worried it was a spider or scorpion or some other creature that I like looking at but don't want on me. A split second later, I realized it was the Gladiator Frog who I guess had taken exception to me photographing it. As it turns out, I think the frog was just trying to get to the pond and I was the first hop in that general direction. It hopped off me quickly and onto a plant and then made once last huge leap onto a plant in the pond. Nothing like something landing on you in the darkness of the rainforest to get your heart going though. So ended our last full day at BdC.

Our last day would be a short one since we were scheduled to leave at 8AM. But, BdC had one last special encounter in store for us. In the grassy area between our bungalow and the lodge, a White-nosed Coati family was foraging beneath a palm tree.

White-nosed Coati Family

Whitenosed Coati Family

Until this point, we had only see solitary male Coatimundi. This was our first sighting of juveniles this small and they were a lot of fun to watch as they raced across the grass.

We had a relaxing breakfast soaking in the sounds of the rainforest one more time and then we said our goodbyes to Philip, Kim, Phil and the staff. The only thing good about leaving BdC is knowing with certainty that we will be back.

We ended up going to Costa Rica to try to see a puma since the sightings over the last month were plentiful. That didn't happen, but we still had an outstanding trip. We met some new friends that we hope to see again, saw some old friends, drank our share of cold beverages at the bar, ate some outstanding food, hiked our butts off, and saw dozens of new species. Here is the final tally of species seen and photographed (for the most part) this trip:

Mammals (15 Species):
- Howler, Spider, Squirrel, and White-face Capuchin Monkeys
- Coati, Agouti, Red-tailed Squirrel, Varigated Squirrel, Collared Peccary
- White-line bat, Fruit Bat, Spiny Pocket Mouse, Dolphins
- Virginia and Wooly Opossums

Birds (150+ Species with the following new species for us):
Rufous-naped Wren
Blue-black Grassquit
Rufous-capped Warbler
Tri-colored Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
Sandwich Tern
Boat-billed Heron
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Brown Booby
King Vulture
Black-hooded Antshrike
Plain Xenops
Black-striped Woodcreeper
Plain Antvireo
Blue Dacnis
Bright-rumped Attila
White-necked Puffbird
Stripe-throated Hermit
Black-cheek Ant Tanager
Scaley-throated Leadtosser
White-throated Shrike-Tanager
Coco Woodcreeper
Northern Bared-Woodcreeper
Tropical Kingbird
Least Flycatcher

New Reptiles:
Green Iguana
Ringed Tree Boa
Four-striped Whiptail
Central American Smooth Gecko
Litter Skink
Boa Constrictor

New Amphibians:
Hourglass Tree Frog
Milky Frog
Olive Tree Frog
Fitzinger’s Rain Frog
Rough-skinned Dirt Frog

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