Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Costa Rica: Mangrove Tour Day, Part 2

There he is, running across the water!  Hahahahaha, yeah, the picture blows, but it's the best I could get.  They're ~really~ fast!

The other swallow, some sort of rough-winged swallow.  I have a picture that shows a pale rump, so maybe it's southern (as the guides said) although I don't see much of a cinnamon throat.  I mean, I could sort of talk myself into a hint of a cinnamon.... goatee.

Mangrove swallow!

I spotted a blue-black grassquit, since I'm the only one with binocs.  He was hilarious - he would just hop up about 2 feet and back down, wait a minute, and hop again.  Off of whatever - the wire, the grass, whatever.  Awesome!  The pictures are terrible, just a silhouette of a bird, basically.

And here's stumpy.  An iguana can lose its tail, but it doesn't really grow back, so it's a one-time thing.

We found a tree boa.  And by "we" I mean the girl in the front with no binocs.  The guide wrestled it into the boat.  He wanted us to hold it, but nobody would.  We touched it though.

Howler monkeys!  It was during this sighting that I got the unfortunate news that my memory card was full.  And I foolishly didn't bring another one, even though I've seen it happen to other people!  So I frantically started deleting crappy shots.  Oof.

Blue-crowned mot mot!  The guides didn't know why I wasn't super-excited about this guy.  I mean, yeah, they are definitely awesome.  But one came right over to me specifically yesterday morning, and posed for a few minutes, so seeing one far away and half hidden was not quite the rush it otherwise would have been!

Squirrel monkeys!  Little and quick and really quite beautiful.  Hard to get pictures of.  But there were many of them, so I had a few chances.

A boat-billed heron!  I was hoping to see one of these, the pictures are hilarious.

It's even funnier from the front!

We saw a turkey vulture perched. Probably going after the dead iguana we saw after noticing the vulture. Everyone else wanted to move along quickly, so, no great pictures.  It was cool though!

And at one point we were looking at something else, and I saw another grey-necked wood rail sneaking through the underbrush.  Two in one trip!  I felt so lucky!

White-faced monkeys!  This whole encounter was hilarious.  The monkeys were busy facing off with another group across the river, defending their territory, shaking the branches, the whole thing.  Awesome!

The guides were determined to get us to feed the monkeys bananas.

It took a ~while~ because the monkeys..... well they were busy!


A bunch of black vultures in a tree.  It was actually a little .... meunsters-esque.

Roadside hawk!  In this case riverside hawk, but, whatever.  I felt really happy to see him, after reading so many people say they didn't see many birds of prey in Costa Rica.  At least I got one!  :-)

Then the guests of honor finally arrived - scarlet macaws!

They were in almond trees in someone's yard (apparently that's their favorite so people plant them on purpose for them) and we all trooped out of the boat and into the yard.

It was an absolutely incredible sighting, 2 pairs, close up.  And we left first, which I felt good about.

But then they left too and passed us on the boat, stopping at a tree just ahead of us, to give us another spectacular view!  Ridiculous!

On the way back, the crocodile was still there.  He had a lunch, but he put it away when I got the camera out.  Probably for the best, they are messy eaters.

It started to sprinkle as we came into the marina, but not hard enough to stop me from shooting these two orange-chinned parakeets in the parking lot!  Hahahaha, I didn't even realize it was a pair until I was cropping the picture to post it.  I thought I was taking a picture of just the one.  Awesome!  :-)

We had lunch at a pretty place that looked really promising, but it was raining so much that I didn't go around.  I did from the covered patio see a northern waterthrush but it left when I cam back with the camera.

What a day!  After that, it was just driving back to Rancho Pacifico, quick rinse, massages, long hot shower, cocktails, dinner, falling over into bed.  We're getting the hang of this!

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