Thursday, March 17, 2016

Costa Rica Day 8 - March 23, 2016

It rained pretty much all night, but it stopped by 7 AM.  With the screaming baby checking out the day before (well, I assume the parents checked out while the baby screamed), the sleep was much better last night.  That was good because we planned to do a full day of hiking today since it was our last full day in Costa Rica.

Once again, I had an early morning photo shoot with the Blue Jeans frogs.  But, they were divas just like real models at a photo shoot and hopped away every time I got close. It's amazing how quick they can move in their tight blue jeans.  I finally got one to stay still long enough for a picture and that was because it was climbing up the side of a tree:
Strawberry Dart Frog

After the frog shoot ended, we looked around for the resident sloths but they were round balls of fur high up in the branches.  Unfortunately, it was at this point that something decided to poop on me.  I think it was a bird. But, I know it was FOWL smelling.  Luckily, only my arm and tripod got it so it was easy to clean up.  But, it was great foreshadowing...

After breakfast, we journeyed out into the rain forest for a couple of hours.  It was on this hike that we heard one of our favorite bird calls.  That of a Great Tinamou.  We have seen them before in Costa Rica but this call was from a ways away so we just stood still and enjoyed it.  Its call is very haunting if you ask me.

At one point, we turned the corner of the trail and ran right into this:
Green Iguana

It's a Green Iguana that would not budge.  I guess it thought that if it froze we may not notice it.  But, with tail included, it was close to 4 feet long and we weren't going to miss seeing it.

Green Iguana

We ended up stepping over it and it still didn't move.  But, its eyes did track our every movement.  It was a cool encounter.

We also have very fleeting glimpses of the only White-face Capuchin Monkeys we saw the whole trip.  They were traveling pretty high up so unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

For multiple days right off the main trail were some Common Tent Making bats.  We had previously seen three of them under a folded leaf that they used as a day roost.  Today, there were four:
Common Tent Making Bats

When we got back to the lodge we again looked for the resident sloths that had been "hanging around" lately. We had seen 3 on and off the last few days but today we were in for a treat.  One of the Three-toed Sloths was moving around and started to climb down a tree:
Three-toed Sloth

As it climbed down further it became apparent that it was coming all the way down to the ground:
Three-toed Sloth

Now, for those that don't know, sloths only go to the bathroom about once a week (What a time saver, huh!).  When they do go, they climb down to the ground and go there.  In some cases, they have been known to actually cover their poop.  So, the theory is that they don't poop in the trees because their scent would be dispersed all over the place as the poop fell to the ground.  Instead, they come down to the ground and poop in a nice small pile (Yes, we have seen sloth poop and it's not as cool looking as you might think).

Well, I figured this would be quite a unique photo op.  So, even though it was coy and tried to hide, here is a picture of a sloth going to the bathroom:
Three-toed Sloth (Weekly

You're welcome!

When it was done, it promptly (speed is relative of course) headed back up a nearby tree:
Three-toed Sloth

Once again, we had lunch at Sarapiqui Lodge next door which was good.  I also had a chance to get a better picture of the Long-nosed Bats that roost on the roof of their very impressive lobby:
Long-nosed Bats

After lunch, we went back into the rain forest for our last hike.  While we did see more Howler monkeys, Trogons, and heard another Great Tinamou, the photo ops weren't very good.  So, here's another picture of one of the trails and some cool natural "doorway beads" we had to walk through:
Nature's Doorway

Our trip would end with one last night walk between the lodge and bridge (which is closed at dusk if you remember).  The only new critter we saw was an Armored Millipede.  We actually saw three of them.  They are pretty cool looking:
Armored Miliipede

At that point, the rain started to come down and we decided to call it a night. So, we said goodbye to Fred and Ethel, the Smokey Jungle Frogs, and went back to our room to pack.

Rather than summarize our Tirimbina Lodge feelings in this post, you can take a look at my TripAdvisor review

Looking back, it was a really nice trip.  We accomplished our goals of seeing other parts of Costa Rica and lots of new species.  In fact, seeing Arenal relatively cloud free, viewing a plethora of new birds, and getting great looks at the Red-eyed Tree and Blue Jeans Frogs were some of the highlights. Also, the bugs were almost non-existent.  We both came back with about two bites which is good for me and a freaking miracle for my wife. Speaking of new species, here is the latest count although we still have a few more to identify:

15 Mammals (New species in Bold):
- Brown-throated Sloth
- Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth
- White-nosed Coati
- Variegated Squirrel
- Red-tailed Squirrel
- Nine-baned Armadillo
- Lesser White-lined Bat
- Honduran White Bat
- Common Tent Making Bat
- Short-tailed Bat
- Northern Tamandua
- Mantled Howler Monkey
- White-faced Capuchin Monkey
- Central American Spider Monkey
- Kinkajou

28 Herps (New Species in Bold):

- Slender Anole
- Ground Anole
- Brown Basilisk
- Eyelash Pitviper
- Tropical Night Lizard
- Helmeted Basilisk
- IndoPacific Gecko
- Giant Banded Anole
- Pink-bellied Litter Snake
- Ghost Anole
- Neotropical Bird Eating Snake
- Fer-de-Lance (2)
- Cat-eyed Snake
- Blunt-headed Snake
- Red-eye Tree Frog
- Masked Tree Frog (Smilisca)
- Central American Ameiva
- Black and Green Poison Dart Frog

- Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Blue Jeans Frog)
- Litter Toad
- Dink Frog
- Brilliant Forest Frog
- Wet Forest Toad
- Glass Frog
- Broad-headed Rain Frog
- Common (Fitzinger's) Rain Frog
- Green Iguana
- Smoky Jungle Frog
- Marine Toad

40 New Bird Species:
- Buff-throated Saltator
- Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
- White-necked Jacobin
- Crimson-collared Tanager
- Gray-headed Chachalaca
- Cinnamon Becard
- Black and White Warbler
- Bay-headed Tanager
- Emerald Tanager
- Ocellated Antbird
- Spotted Antbird
- Bicolored Antbird
- Rufous Motmot
- Broad-billed Motmot
- Scarlet-thighed Dacnis
- Yellow-faced Grassquit
- Black-striped Sparrow
- Passerini's Tanager
- Swainson's Thrush
- Gray-capped Flycatcher
- Violet-crowned Woodnymph
- Tennessee Warbler
- Chestnut-sided Warbler
- Brown Violet-ear
- Shining Honeycreeper
- Wood Thrush
- Stripe-breasted Wren
- Great Black-hawk
- Golden-winged Warbler
- Common Tody-flycatcher
- Buff-rumped Warbler
- Blue-black Grosbeak
- Olive-backed Euphonia
- Keel-billed Motmot
- Melodious Blackbird
- White-throated Robin
- Sooty Robin
- Magnificent Hummingbird
- Great Green Macaw
- Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer

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