Around Sirena Biological Station

 

white_throated_shrike_tanager

Woken up this morning by a big group of Howler Monkeys who were parked up quite close to the station. We got our stuff together and left to walk the Claro trail. After a short climb up onto the hill near the beginning of the trail a couple of collared peccary made an appearance. They are slightly smaller and very different in temperament to their white-lipped relatives. These two couldn’t get away from us fast enough.  As is often the case we actually smelt them before we saw them. It’s a very strong musty smell which emanates from a gland on top of their rump. A beautiful day today with blue skies and baking sunshine so I took the opportunity to take a dip in the Claro river to cool down. There is an excellent swimming area just up-stream from the crossing point and if the tide is right there’s a small beach. It’s a great spot to just sit and relax and cool down whilst watching the blue morphos flit up and down the river valley.

 

spider monkey

Winding our way back towards the station for lunch along the Naranjo trail we encounter a group of birders with a guide and spotting scope who are checking out a Slaty-tailed Trogon who is way up in the canopy. Fair play to the guide for finding him that high up. It’s not much of a view though even through the binoculars so we move on and encounter a bit of a feeding frenzy. There’s a large colony of ants on a tree near the trial and it’s attracted a number of birds. We see blue-grey tanager, black-cheeked ant tanager which is fantastic as it is endemic to the Osa Peninsula and also White-throated Shrike-tanager. With our feet up back at the station we tuck into some tins of tuna for lunch and watch some spider monkeys messing around in the trees above the camping area.

 

american crocodile

It’s high tide around 3pm so after lunch we head along the Sirena trail to the estuary in hope of seeing the bull sharks that often enter the river at this time. We surprise a Great Tinamou on the trail and a pair of Great Curassow. It’s quite pleasant sitting by the river mouth so we find a suitable rock and settle in for a while. We see the guide with the Dutch group who had followed us into the park yesterday. He’s putting on a show for the ladies and teasing a big American Crocodile by waving a big stick around at the waters edge. Pretty impressive watching this croc lunch out of the water at him. As a guide he should probably know better though. This croc is significantly bigger than the others in the estuary and you can see that he has dominance over the better parts of the estuary. Unfortunately the sharks fail to show up which is a shame but I guess you can’t have everything.

 

A heavy evening rain shower sends us back to the station and our diner and then a let up in the rain gives me a chance to do a little exploring after dark around the station. Poking around in the vegetation with my flash-light reveals a Masked tree-frog and there are also a number of Marine toads hopping around the runway area. These are one of the world’s biggest toads and are infamous in Australia where they are known as Cane toads, once introduced to control cane beetles and now running riot.

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