Monday, November 23, 2009

Costa Rica Day 21 - Corcovado: Squirrel Monkeys and Anteaters!

We had all day to wander the area around today, since we were camping at the Sirena Station another night. We took the hiking pretty easy today but probably still got about 8 miles in. We woke up and walked over to another river crossing - this one is known for not only crocs but also bullsharks! Very nice! Alas, we saw neither. We did see a Bare-throated Tiger Heron (above). I love that picture, it's one of my favorites.

We also saw see squirrel monkeys! and spider monkeys! There was a group of about 7-8 squirrel monkeys with one spider monkey hanging out with them. They were so much fun to watch! The squirrels were awfully feisty and that one guy above barred his teeth at some of his friends. The spider on the other hand was pretty curious about us and ended up following us through the trees after we walked away. Pretty exciting stuff to get to see these guys!
When we got to our packs back at camp, we were thrilled to find out that Zac's pack had been thoroughly attacked by ants. It took about an hour to get them all out...this small fiasco could have been avoided...but...ahem. Those things hurt! After lunch, we we went out again in search of the moo-ing Great Curassow. It took a while, but we ended up seeing two of them. Wow! Pretty fantastic looking birds! I'm not going to lie, I had absolutely no idea what was making that noise until Zac told me. They have a really guttural, well, it's a moo. Crazy noises for a bird to make. These were the best shots I could get of the guy.

We saw a couple passion flowers blooming along the trail - there weren't many of them, but hot damn they were good looking! Soon after that I managed to drop the big lens (I like to just call it the 'big lens') on a fairly obvious root sticking out of the ground. Close call...those bad boys are hearty! Also noteworthy was this huge hive of some sort below. Didn't want to get too close to that, but I admire their craftwork.

Here' some sort of orb weaver (right?) and an unidentified butterfly.

It was soon time for dinner so we unenthusiastically snarfed down our corn tortillas and refrieds (vegan backpacking options were lacking in the Costa Rican grocery stores, so this was our staple for a month).

There was still some daylight left so we went for another hike and saw a few Great Tinamous, one of whom posed nicely for a photo. Other birds of the day were Chestnut-backed Antbird, Orange-billed Sparrows, Golden-napped Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Parrot, Rufus Nightjar, Rufous Piha, White-lined Tanager, among others.
Wait! I'm not done! I gotta say that the best find of the day was...a Banded Anteater! What! Yes really! This was crazy thrilling - I've always wanted to see an anteater in the wild! We thought it was a monkey at first. I guess neither of us really thought about anteaters being so arboreal. We soon realized he was actually a real live anteater and proceeded to be in awe of this fact. We watched him move extremely gracefully through the trees until it got too dark and we couldn't see him anymore. I love his ears! He's got such an adorable face! Such a great experience!

We went on a night hike a little bit later. We still had our hopes up about seeing a crocodile, so we went to the river mouth in search of one. Nope, still no luck! Oh well, there were tons and tons of paroques and one massive toad and a few frogs. We got back to the tent and proceeded to remove about 30 more ticks between the two of us. I was too excited about the anteater to sleep like a normal person :)


Dan said...

The whole experience must have been incredible. Kudos on the trip, the writing, and the photos.

Johnny Nutcase said...

thanks a bunch, Dan! You need to put up some more photos of your recent trips!