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Thread: Costa Rica, August 2012

  1. #31
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    The trail to the cabin was wet and slippery. Even though I was careful, I fell nearly everytime that I made the walk between the cafeteria and the cabin. This was not good for Ted who was recovering from an ankle injury so we relocated to "the hotel" on our second night. The balcony on the second floor had a great view of the surrounding forest and we often sat there and birdwatched during wet weather. We observed flocks of tanagers including Bay-headed, Silver-throated, Emerald, Golden-masked and Black-and-Yellow at close range. We also watched a small troop of White-faced Monkeys one day as they foraged in the nearby forest.




    Here is a shot of the cafeteria. It was a great place for seeing animals. We watched many mixed flocks of tanagers as they passed through nearby fruiting trees. At night, we heard Kinkajou, Least Pygmy Owls, Pauraque and saw large forest rats. A Baird's Tapir walked into the clearing near the lodge a few times during the week before our arrival. We were not so lucky and only observed tapir tracks in the mud.



    This Coati Mundi was often sighted near the cafeteria. It was not exactly tame but it was used to seeing people so would only run a short distance before continuing with its search for food.




    Rara Avis was a beautiful place. One of the nicest views of the area was of the waterfalls from the Mirador lookout. This area was about a half-hour walk from the cafeteria.



    River and habitat:



    For me, the highlight was walking into Braulio Carillo NP. It was just so lush and beautiful. Here are a few shots of the area.

    Branches and tree trunks were totally covered:
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  2. #32
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    wet forest





    Bromeliads were numerous:





    ... as were the lovely Heliconia including a species with yellow flowers:

    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  3. #33
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    ... another heliconia


    These Satyrs (Pierella helvetia) were one of the most common butterflies in the forest interior. They tended to fly just a few cms above the surface of the ground and were hard to follow. They had lovely rose patches on their hindwings but usually would snap their wings closed after a beat or two following landing.




    Rusted Clearwing Satyrs (Cithaerias pireta) were fairly common in the forest understorey.




    This satyrinae had irridescent blue upperwings. I think that it is Magneuptychia libye.




    These member of satyrinae was sometimes seen on the grassy lawns at the headquarters
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  4. #34
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    ... a forest satyrinae:




    Here is one of the beautiful Glasswing Ithomiinae. I only saw them a few times and generally, they stayed to high for photos. As with the clearwings, they were very hard to follow in the darkness of the forest interior.



    This Cydno Longwing (Heliconius cydno) was found asleep at night on a branch that was overhanging a small stream.



    These metalmarks were by the far the most common butterfly in the forest interior. I often flushed them from beneath leaves as I walked along the trails. They would zip back and forth for a minute or two before realighting beneath another leaf. I occasionally saw a species with mostly blue upper wings and another that was mostly white but I never was able to obtain a photo. Here are shots of males and a female.

    The first two males are Eurybia unxia or E. lycisca (thanks, Aaron).



    ... female Mesosemia asa (thanks, Aaron)

    Last edited by moloch; 20-Sep-2012 at 06:57 PM.
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  5. #35
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    Here is a female Mesosemia carissima (thanks, Aaron). It would land on the tops of leaves in a manner reminiscent of a Harlequin at Taman Negara. It would dance about for a moment and then zip off to another leaf. Sometimes, it would creep backwards until it was haning over the edge of a leaf. It seemed as if it was displaying but I did not see others of this species in the area.




    Beautiful but I cannot find a name. I believe that it is an ithomiinae but am not certain. It unfortunately only allowed this quick snap before it flew up into the canopy.

    Most likely a Dircenna sp. (thanks, Aaron)



    Unusual pierid, Dismorphia sp. (thanks, Aaron)



    Skippers with swallow-tails were abundant along the ride up the mountain. I did see a few at Rara Avis but I think that they were more common in the open country. This one landed next to the trail in the half light of an overcast dawn.



    These Radiant Skippers (Callimormus radiola) were tiny.




    These day-flying moths were very colourful. I often mistook them for Glasswings in flight but then they would land with open wings beneath leaves.
    Last edited by moloch; 20-Sep-2012 at 06:58 PM.
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  6. #36
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    Aaron, here is a nice lycaenid with blue upperwings. Ted photographed it near the cafeteria. I saw them a few times but could not obtain a decent photo.

    female Panthiades bitias (thanks, Aaron)



    Banded Owl Butterflies (Caligo atreus) were seen a few times. These were the same species as I flushed at La Selva.




    I very nearly stepped on a Fer-de-Lance here about noon one day. There had been a torrential shower for an hour or so earlier in the morning. Finally, there was a break and the sun re-emerged. I was about an hour's walk into the park and was heading back quickly towards the headquarters. I put my boot down right next to a Fer-de-Lance that was crossing the trail. These are normally nocturnal snakes but this one was perhaps disturbed by the rain. The snake fortunately crawled rapidly into cover without biting me.



    Fer-de-Lance were certainly hard to see. After nearly stepping on this one, it headed into a sheltered area and the coiled while still keeping an eye on me:


    Last edited by moloch; 16-Sep-2012 at 06:18 PM.
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  7. #37
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    I saw Cope's or Blunt-headed Vine Snakes (Oxybelis brevirostris) on a couple of occasions.





    I saw this big Bird-eating Snake (Pseutes poecilonotus) one afternoon along the "El Plastico" trail.





    Water Anoles (Norops oxylophis) were common along creeks and even at the cafeteria. One of these displayed at me while I took its photo.

    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  8. #38
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    Rainbow Ameiva (Ameiva festiva) were common near our accommodation




    Rara Avis produced a couple of species of frogs that I really wanted to see on this trip. The top of my frog wish-list was for a Crowned Tree-Frog (Anotheca spinosa). I was lucky and found one of these rare frogs on my first night. It was about the first frog encountered and wow, what an amazing creature it was! It hardly moved at all while I took photos.







    Glass Frogs (Centrolenella ilex) were also high on the wish list. We hired a guide who showed us several of these gorgeous creatures. Their bodies are translucent, hence the name.
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  9. #39
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    Dwarf Glass Frog (Teratohyla spinosa)






    Strawberry Dart Frogs (Oophaga pumilio or Dendrobates pumilio) were seen a few times. Their body size was noticeably larger than those at La Selva. These little guys were quite wary and usually jump away and then hide beneath leaves when disturbed.





    ... more later
    David Fischer
    Wollongong, Australia

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moloch05/sets/

  10. #40
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    I definitely must organize a trip in Costa Rica.

    Amazing!

    Bravissimo!!


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