Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pacific Lowland Forest - Costa Rica Part 3

Time moves on and we needed to also.  We drove along the Pacific Highway northwest to Ojochal where we would be staying at the Hotel El Castillo for two nights.  Perched on the cliff 600 feet above the ocean it was very elegant, but the driveway to the hotel absolutely required our 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Northern Jacana

On our way we did see some birds that were  worth a stop . . .
Roadside Hawk

Red-breasted Blackbird

Sunset from the Hotel El Castillo

After checking into the hotel, first priority was a dip in the infinity pool.  Felt wonderful after enduring days of heat and humidity.
Blue Morph Butterfly

Each morning we drove to Hacienda Baru' for guided walks through the Pacific Lowland Forest.  After three hours of magnificent birding we were treated to a Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto (rice & beans) with scrambled eggs and tortillas.  Then a couple more hours of birding.  Here's a sample of what we saw. . . .

Great Curassows - turkey sized

Orange-collared Manakin

Owl-eyed Butterfly

Boat-billed Heron

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

Chilamata Tree with buttressed roots

Three-toed Sloth high in the tree canopy

White-faced Capuchin & baby on back


Mangrove Cuckoo

Rufous-naped Wren

Beetle with powerful mandibles in the hotel

Yellow-bellied Gecko on hotel ceiling

White-faced Capuchin checking us out

Cocoa Tree - fruit forms on trunk

Gray-necked Wood Rail

Blue Dacnis female

Potoo taking a nap

Black-mandibled Toucan

Carmen and Troy tested the waves on the way back to the hotel
White-necked Puffbird near the hotel

Ida, Ty, Troy & Carmen by the roots of the Chilamata Tree

Now for the afternoon drive back into San Jose; a special supper that cost 68,898 colonies (that could make you faint if you didn't know the exchange rate).  Repacking for the flight home and trying to get some sleep before a 4 am breakfast and shuttle to the airport.

All in all this trip was wonderful, thanks to Troy & Carmen's planning.  Memories will last forever.  What a marvelous adventure seeing so many exotic birds, animals and plants.  We ended with 245 species of birds (171 lifers) for us and many more for Troy & Carmen.

Just a taste of all that God has created.
Ty & Ida Baumann

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Rain Forest - Costa Rica Part 2

Descending out of the cool Cloud Forest into the hot,humid rain forest, following along the Pacific Ocean coastal road, we would be spending the next three nights on the Osa Peninsula at the Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge.  We made many stops along the way for new birds such as these tropical Scarlet Macaws.

Little Tinamou at lodge eating rice

The road narrowed until it was not much more than a gravel path.  We knew there was a river crossing involved at a village.  Way too much water was flowing, we parked and waited as our hosts came across and took us over in their large vehicle.
Orange-billed Sparrow

Cherrie's Tanager

This "eco-lodge" was complete open air which we thoroughly enjoyed.  No windows, really no walls, except for the semi-private bedrooms with mosquito netting covering the beds.  Being the last quests of the season has it's advantages, the four of us; Troy, Carmen, Ty and I were the only ones there.
Wasp nest


At dawn, our guide/host took us on our first adventure,  Toucans, Aracaris, Boat-billed Herons, 40 species, most of them lifers.  Amazing!!
Blue Ground Doves, female is brown

8 foot long Boa Constrictor near the trail

Gartered Trogon

Into our boots or water shoes for the afternoon walk as we crossed the river several times.  We had the company of the "Jesus Christ Lizards" the Basilisk scurried across the top of the water.  Ringed, Green and Amazon Kingfishers were along the bank.  Four different Trogons, Tanagers, Antshrikes and many others.
Poison Dart Frog

Troy & Carmen searching for frogs

During the night we could hear the Howler Monkeys high on the surrounding mountains.  A Spectacled Owl called early and the Blue-crowned Motmots were our alarm clock.  A special walk into the dark jungle for poisonous frogs and snakes took special care.  Another great day of wildlife watching.
Green Poison Arrow Frog

Eyelash Viper coiled high in the tree

Blue-crowned Motmot

Cashew fruit - note "nut" below fruit

American Pygmy Kingfisher (5" long)

Golden-naped Woodpecker bringing home lunch

Basilisk visits banana feeder (over 3 feet long)

Greater White-lined Bats

Rainy season was about to begin and thunderstorms came as rain poured on the tin roof all night.  Other critters joined us inside the lodge: bats, scorpions, wood roaches and lizards.
White-throated Crake

Scorpion on the hammock rope

Spectacled Caiman 

Strange looking caterpillar 

Five inch long Wood Roach making itself at home

Fiery-billed Aracari

After our last morning walk, we packed up for the ride to our next destination along the Pacific Coast and the Lowland Forest.

Until Part 3,
Awesome trip seeing so much more of God's creation.    Ty & Ida Baumann