The Real Jungle
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
44Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
La Selva Biological Research Station
Anyway, I donned my rubber boots and set out across the metal swinging bridge that crosses the largest river...past the sign that warns against swimming because of the crocodiles and underneath the watchful Howler Monkeys and into the steamy green woods. All of a sudden the whole scene seems to change again. The vegetation is thicker, but because it is away from where it has been cut sometime in the past, the canopy now is so dense that visibility is now very limited even though it is 1:00 in the afternoon. Everything takes on a muted green and brown tone and surprising to me...it becomes almost totally silent. Only Sharon's sharp eyes can pick out tiny brown lizards on leaves or a poison dart frog that is brilliantly red with blue legs; but is only the size of your thumbnail. Photography is almost impossible without a flash and even then we weren't able to convince the animals that we only wanted to take their pictures and that we weren't going to eat them. They just hopped deeper into the leaf litter where no one in their right mind would follow even if they do have big rubber boots.....you'll just have to Google poison dart frog for an image. The trails start out as nice concrete sidewalks; but after an hour or so we were walking through leaves and over gnarly roots and through mud trying to look up, down, and around at the same time so as not to miss anything. Still we didn't really see very much..a troop of peccaries ambled by and we did see a trio of Broad Billed Mot-Mots; but in general the area around the camp buildings was much more alive with birds. Still you can't help but wonder how many things saw us that we didn't see at the time. In the morning we will be on a guided hike and it will be fascinating to see what the possibilities are.
The next morning we joined Edgardo our guide and four birders from England for our nature tour. It was terrific for me because Edgardo knew every call and did a good job of finding the birds for us. We saw another Poison Dart Frog or Blue Jeans Frog as they call it. We also saw two different Mot Mots and two different Trogons and the real highlight was as we were walking back across the big swinging bridge, a whole troop of Howler Monkeys came across with us and then doubled back and came back by us again.
Broad Billed Mot Mot N. Barred Woodcreeper Chestnut Mandibled Toucan
Mealy Parrots Streak Headed Woodcreeper Cheries Tanager
Lineated Woodpecker Slaty Tailed Trogon Long Billed Hermit Hummer
Clay Colored Robin Blue Gray Gnatcatcher Golden Hooded Tanager\
Black Cowled Oriole Violaceous Trogon Slaty Breasted Tinamou
Short Billed Pigeon White Crowned Parrot Squirrel Cuckoo
Vermiculated Screech Owl Band Tailed Barbthroat Hummer White Necked Jacobin Hummer
Rufous Mot Mot American Pygmy Kingfisher Keel Billed Toucan
Black Cheeked Woodpecker Wedge Billed Woodcreeper Plain Brown Woodcreeper
Ochre Bellied Flycatcher Rufous Mourner Long Tailed Tyrant
Boat Billed Flycatcher White Collared Manakin Golden Winged Warbler
Chestnut Sided Warbler Banded Back Wren Red Throated Ant Tanager
Summer Tanager Black Faced Grosbeak Montezuma Oropendola