Friday, May 18, 2012

Costa Rica - Day 4

We were up early today and out the door by 6AM.  We decided to head to the Titi trail to see how far we could get before breakfast and had hopes of seeing some Squirrel Monkeys for the first time.  We didn't end up having time to do the whole trail, but the hike itself was full of wildlife (but no Squirrel Monkeys).

Titi Trail entrance
Upper Entrance to Titi Trail

Male Black-throated Trogon.  Hey...what's he looking at?
Male Black Throated Trogon

Ah...he was checking out the ladies
Female Black Throated Trogon

Male and Female Great Curassow
Male and Female Great Curassow

Male putting on a little display
Male Curassow

Here is a compilation video of various birds taken during our trip.  The Great Curassow are featured in this video.

After another G and G breakfast, we headed back to our cabina only to interrupt our house cleaning service.
Lizard Cleaning our Cabina

There's one less cockroach to worry about now.  Next, it was off to the Titi trail to finish what we started earlier in the day.  We were intent on "going card" today which meant seeing all four monkey species in one day and we only had the Squirrel Monkeys left to see.  It didn't take long to meet that goal.

Squirrel Monkey

We also saw lots of other wildlife on this hike.  The Titi Trail did not disappoint today.

Mangrove Black Hawk
Black Hawk

Golfo Dulce Anole
Golfo Dulce Anolis

Green Page Moth

Towards the end of the hike we encountered a frisky Spider Monkey baby and an indifferent mother.  We watched as the baby used its tail to hang from a branch and spin around and around in circles while Mom just tried to get some sleep.

Spider Monkey Baby

Spider Monkey Baby

Here's a compilation video of all our Spider Monkey encounters including this one.

After lunch we relaxed a bit on our deck before hitting the more strenuous Pacific Trail.  We scanned the ocean from our deck in hopes of seeing a whale or some dolphins and it wasn't long before we did see a couple small pods of dolphins.  We were so far away it was hard to tell what kind they were until they started jumping.  Even with the naked eye we could see these sleek silver shapes leaping out of the water and spinning multiple times in mid air.  This pretty much guaranteed that they were Spinner Dolphins which were a first for us.

The Pacific trail consists of switchbacks and steps straight down to rocks and beach.  This is one of the best places on the grounds to find the endangered Golfo Dulce Dart Frog but we had no luck on that front.  We did have some good sightings however:

Black and Green Dart Frog
Black and Green Dart Frog

Juvenile Capuchin
Juvenile White-Faced Capuchin

Brown Pelicans in formation
Brown Pelicans in Formation

Unfortunately, our trip was cut a bit short.  Looking out over the ocean we saw the same cloud pattern that caused yesterday's afternoon squall.  Not wanting to get all the darn camera gear I lug around soaking wet, we realized that we would have to head back.  In fact, as we started our ascent we could see the that the clouds were moving inland pretty quickly.  While she wasn't fond of me jokingly crying out "double time it" numerous times as we climbed and panted back up the hill, Karen did appreciate the fact that we made it back to the cabina with only about 5 minutes to spare before the skies opened up and unloaded.  We were hot and sweaty but it sure beats working!

Tonight we were desperate to get a night walk in so we decided to go out at dusk and walk until dinner since the rain had let up.  It's a tough life when you have to decide between cocktails in an exotic rainforest bar and a night walk in the jungle.  For tonight at least, the cocktails would have to wait.  So, we headed down to the small pond and had good looks at some frogs and a Cat-eyed snake.

Red-eyed Tree Frog
Red-eyed Tree Frog

A little further down the road, we noticed a bird silhouette on a branch.  We almost didn't investigate it since it looked like a hawk, but I decided to walk around and get a better look.  We were glad that I did that since this was our first ever Spectacled Owl:

Spectacled Owl

After dinner, we went out walking again since the conditions were still dry.  There was more frog life at the pond now and we saw another Cat-eyed snake that was moving through one of the bushes which I captured in the snake video I posted earlier.

As I was filming that snake, I heard "Fer-de-lance!" from Karen.  Those are words that you really don't want to hear someone yell out in the dark in the rain forest.  She had seen one under a bush but luckily it was about 10 feet in front of us and presented no danger.  It was all curled up waiting to ambush some unsuspecting critter so I finished filming the Cat-eyed Snake before getting a few shots of the Fer-De-Lance.  If you look closely you can see that even a deadly snake can get bothered by mosquitoes.

Fer-de-Lance (Terciopelo)

We let Philip know about the Fer-de-lance and he wasn't surprise since he has seen them around the little pond before.  He cautioned us from being too adventurous around there and we took his advice on subsequent trips.  Unless you are out with a guide or really know what you are doing, you should stay on the trails and always look where your walking.  This advice is true during the day and at night.  The day ended as we said good night to the resident Marine Toad that we continued to see every night on our deck.  It is obviously finding something to eat out there.

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