Week 6 - crocodiles

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Oct 12, 2012

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Limón,
Saturday, February 25, 2012

This week IŽm part way through my leadership BTEC (having now completed the biodiversity BTEC) and have had to lead Biological Assessment Surveys through the rainforest.  I led my first survey whch means being at the front of the team, being the one who looks out for the venemous snakes and spiders etc, looking after the teams safety and welfare and leading the team at the correct pace  and so on.  I led down the Kingfisher Trail which is one of my favourite routes through the rainforest as its really dense vegetation with some really big old trees and is really pretty.  We have to cross the river too, which was only around knee deep on this survey (above welly level though so wellies full of water for the remainder of the survey).

Thats when we saw the crocodiles.  4 of them on the river bank and there was baby crocs too just near where we wade through the river.  So amazing to see the little ones.  They hide in the vegetation so IŽve not managed to get pics of the babies yet but hopefully i will do at some point.

The next survey I led went smoothly along Juana Lopez route which is my next favourite route as this is also a really pretty route.  We saw white collared manakins that IŽd not seen before so that was nice.  On the way back I let base know weŽd done and they told us that the jag walkers had found a leatherback nest on the beach close to where we were, so we went to the beach for the walk back and had a look at the nest.

We also carried out a shore bird survey this week for Minae (Ministry of Environment and Energy) where although we were obviously lookin at the shore birds and their behaviours, we came across some crocodile nests.  That means thereŽs gonna be more baby crocs soon which is really exciting.  Bit dangerous too though as we have to pass by these nests on some of our surveys and the mother crocs are always close by now so we have to be carefull.  Apparently you can maybe outrun a croc if you run in zig-zags rather than in a straight line.

On the canals we also encountered a croc while we were in the canoe.  Yannie made us end the survey and turn back early, which was a bit disappointing.  Then on the way back, we put our white water rafting skills to the test and tried to row as fast as possible back to camp - which ended with me falling off the seats into the back of the canoe so not very successfull.  Then we picked up a hitchhiker in the form of a flat faced katydid - the wierdest looking grasshopper i ever saw - photos to be attached!

Did my opossum presentation this week too, used a few of the jokes Deb gave me on facebook the other week!  Went down alright!

And weŽve starting talking about what to do for the 3 month work placement.  ThereŽs 3 options:  1, stay at camp as staff, leading the surveys etc.  2. go to Drake Bay on the pacific coast as staff there.  3. go to cloud bridge (cloud forest location at the highest peak of costa rica) as staff there.  Me and Mark want to stay together for our placement ideally as we clicked from the start and best mates out here.  It was wierd how instant that happened actually.  Met him at San Jose and within 2 minutes we were chatting like weŽd known each other for years.  Within hours people started asking where we knew each other from, they thought weŽd come out here together, and weŽve stayed best mates since so its really cool.  We hope not to be split up as we are quite silly when weŽre together, but having saif that we work well together too and always help each other get our work done before we go off for a laugh in the jungle.

We find out soon, where weŽre going to spend our last 3 months in Costa Rica.  We hope its in the cloud forest (although it might be a bit too tree based there, but at least it will be a bit colder like mid twenties rather than hgh twenties to thirties all the time, and some cool animals to see).

Fingers crossed...
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