Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Costa Rica - Day 7 (Part 2) - March 22, 2013

After returning to the Nature Pavilion around 10am, we set out to explore the trails and see how many species of birds and other creatures we could add to our trip and life lists. Although we saw many "new" birds here they were often tough to track down, let alone photograph well. It was on this walk that we saw our very first Blue Morpho butterfly! These insects never seem to land, and when they do it is often in a very bad place for a good photo, or they only stay for a split second. I ended up trying to photograph this stunning butterfly while it was in flight later in the trip, but that is a story for another post.
Here are some of the birds and other spectacles we saw on our walk.

Striped Basilisk (male)
Leafcutter ants with a piece of leaf!

Cutting up the leaf to haul away

Broad-billed Motmot

One of those frogs you don't want to touch

A gathering of Daddy-long-leg type insects. They were all vibrating

Sarapiqui River - look at the size of the rocks it is able to carry in the rainy season! 

This speck of dirt was was a moth!

All the soil washed out, but the tree hung onto the rocks like a champion!

Can you see the Buff-rumped Warbler?

Summer Tanager about to take a bath. 

Pretty butterfly

The bird I was most proud of spotting! Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer
White-necked Jacobin

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird 

Palm Tanagers

Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Crimson-collared Tanager - one of my top 3 favorite birds of the trip

Crimson-collared Tanager

Crimson-collared Tanager with a Blue-gray Tanager for contrast 
Buff-throated Saltator eating banana

Green Honeycreeper couple. (Female on left, male on right)

Red-billed Pigeon on the nest!

Gray-headed Chachalaca eating a pear

Gray-headed Chachalacas running around like feathered dinosaurs

I figured I needed at least one photo of a flower now and then.

Mealy Parrots (if you can find them!)

     After our walk we decided to relax at the nature pavilion for a bit to just take in the sights and sounds without the stresses of trying to get photos or find new species. Eventually hunger set in and we piled in the car to cruise down the street in search of a good lunch place (we already had our favorite dinner and breakfast places picked out by this time). Strangely enough we ended up at a place called "Joe's Pizza". Initially we were wary of a place with such an american english name, but the food was delicious and had an interesting Costa Rican spin on all the "American" dishes which were served alongside more traditional fare. A Crested Caracara even flew by as we enjoyed our meal in the open-air dining area.
Around 2:30pm we returned to the Nature Pavilion for some relaxation . We were treated to many repeat visits of birds we had seen earlier in the trip/day, but the highlight of the day was the Snowy Continga that we spotted sitting at the top of a tree off the balcony of the casa! Many thanks to the owners of the Nature Pavilion who alerted us that one had been seen a few days before, and told us where/when to keep an eye out.
Once it got dark we made a decision to take another night hike in the hopes of seeing more snakes or other interesting creatures. One of our companions decided she had enough of insects and other nighttime visitors and opted to stay inside and relax with a long shower. What happened next was quite hilarious, but that is a story for the next post....stay tuned!

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