Friday, February 11, 2011

Having the freedom to drive where we wanted meant that we could experience the huge diversity of Costa Rican wildlife. The morning could be spent in Central America's largest wetland, the afternoon in montane cloud-forest. A morning birding volcano top endemics was followed by an afternoon in Caribbean lowland forest. I think its this huge diversity that made Costa Rica such an amazing place to visit.

Collared Aracari (c) Richard Brown

It was fantastic to be surrounded by birds so different to those we see at home. Aracari, Toucans, Hummingbirds, Tanagers, Antshrikes, Trogons, Parrots and Guans were always on hand to provide a touch of the spectacular. Families that we were more familiar with were represented by birds hugely different to our own.

A Squirrel Cuckoo. At first glance this large cuckoo could be mistaken for a squirrel as it leaps between trees and scurries along the branches. This one had taken an Anole Lizard which seemed to be making a failed attempt to startle its captor with its dewlap (c) Richard Brown

And the birds were not the only stars of the show. The forest contained Capuchins, Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Peccaries, Sloths, all manner of rodents, bats, lizards and a mass of invertebrate life was on constant display.

A Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth. Apparently the leafs these guys munch are rather similar to a very potent cannabis. Perhaps this goes someway to explain their rather sluggish behaviour. The energetic highpoint of the week will be a visit to the forest floor for a crap (c) Richard Brown

A Basilisk or Jesus Christ Lizard. The youngsters are capable of running along the surface of water to escape predators. Bigger ones such as this tend to swim (c) Richard Brown

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