Monday, February 1, 2016

Pura Vida II: On the Road (to Tenorio) #328-332

It's still Christmas Day and we've already done a short hike at Rincon de la Vieja. We then headed to toward our next destination, Tenorio Volcano National Park, and it really struck me how relatively few tourists there were around these parts. On the road, it sometimes felt like we were the only ones around, with the exception of the off pick-up truck loaded with fruit.

I spotted some big white birds through some trees in a large opening beside the road and I made Matt stop--he kept insisting they were egrets (they were a long way off, and there were some egrets close by) and I kept insisting they weren't. The images aren't amazing since they were so far out, but they were huge (about 1 metre tall), and looks like the one in the  middle found something good to eat! It's a good thing we stopped--we never saw these again! 
#328: Wood Stork; On the 6 just north of Interamericano 1, Costa Rica; December 2015
Wood stork in flight. Somehow I figured out with the new camera how to focus on birds on flight! Or rather, I figured out the setting to do it, which I "knew" of but I guess I didn't use, or it hadn't worked for me before. Maybe it's the extra focus points--don't know, but it's awesome!

On the way to Tenorio - beautiful rolling countryside

#329: Crested Caracara; On the 6 north of Interamericano 1, Costa Rica; December 2015.
Matt spotted this beauty (in fact, there were a few of them, and we'd see many of them later on in the trip). Such a striking bird, it's almost difficult to express how awesome I think they are!
I included this one because you can see its EYELASHES! Seriously, click on it and see for yourself.
We checked in quickly at our B&B in Bijagua and mentioned we were headed to the Park. Donald (one of the owners) said, "well you can't get in past 4, and it's 3:15 now, and the road is....only 10km but [pause] quite bumpy..." 10 km, no problem right? It turns out it really can take you 45-60 minutes to drive 10km in Costa Rica, and, wow. The roads. I was warned; I scoffed. I get it. I get it now.

But we did make it. The park is truly lovely and has some super interesting stuff. This is where we spotted our first white-faced monkeys! Matt spotted a guan-type of bird in the forest but it took off before I could get the camera out. I had tucked it away because it was SO WET. Yeah, turns out it actually rains a lot in the rain forest. I need to come up with a better cover for my camera for situations like these!
The forest was so peaceful!

Colorful stilt roots on a euterpe palm
Our first monkeys (white-faced)! And they were so sweet looking! Not scared of us, but not particularly interested either.
It was so wet, in fact, that we rented rubber boots to walk the trail. So aside from the monkeys and the guan, we didn't see much until in terms of wildlife and birds (since they sort of lay low in the rain). But as we were about to leave I noticed some action in the tree birds right at the trail head,  including some wonderfully colourful birds.
#330: Yellow-throated Euphonia; Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica; December 2015.
At first I almost cropped into the mail until I noticed the female hiding out below him. Kind of neat to see them side by side!
Black vulture on the roadside
On the drive home, Matt spotted a few toucans, which just seemed so unreal. There was so much fog, turning the branches into this eerie stark backdrop. They sat for the longest time. I guess I'm influenced by Fruit Loops commercials, but Toucans are different than I was expecting--they are very shy and so striking and careful in their movement - they stay still for very long periods, or move just the slightest (turn their heads).
#331: Keel-billed Toucan; near Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica; December 2015.

#332: Black-mandibled Toucan; near Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica; December 2015.

Not really sure which bird Toucan Sam is modeled after!

I'm pretty excited for the next post about our morning in Tenorio, so check back soon :)

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