Every morning has been free of rain in the rainforest so far with the usual afternoon and evening rainy season rains that are great for sleeping at night! 🙂
This morning I had switched my planned morning hike in the mountains after learning how steep the trail is to a boat trip up Esquinas River and the Mangrove Forest for birds and maybe other wildlife. The highlight ended up being a group of about 5 Bottlenose Dolphins which are a little different from the Spotted Dolphins I’ve seen at Drake Bay and Uvita. They are “friendly” and followed our boat part of the way back to the lodge. 🙂
On Saturday, my 3rd day here I chose to do the boat tour of part of the Sarapiqui River and part on the Puerto Viejo River. When I was here before in a December it was one of my best places for a large number of bird, but this time, like everywhere else in May, there were not as many birds. But it was still a good tour and a nice young couple from Austin, TX also in Selva Verde Lodge went on the same tour with me plus about 5 others on the boat. Here’s my photos in three categories:
Birds on the River
Other Wildlife on the River
Boat & River Shots
“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Lots of water adds intrigue and adventure to any landscape or outdoor experience and that is an important element at Maquenque Lodge from the moment you cross the river to get to the lodge until your bags are carried across the lagoon to your cabin while scores of birds fly overhead. Click an image to see it larger:
PERSONAL NOTE: Right now I’m writing my posts at least one day in advance and scheduling them for 5 am publication the next morning or future morning. I prepared the above Tuesday the 29th in morning. This afternoon I am scheduled for my second skin cancer surgery at a clinic in Alajuela. It will be “Mohs” surgery where there is a second doctor, a pathologist, running a continuous biopsy until the two of them are sure they got all the cancer. This one is on my face next to my left eye and is a more complicated and difficult surgery than the last one on my arm. But I have confidence in my Dermatologist and will give a report later.
Accept this red berry gift from a Prothonotary Warbler and expect a lot of cool birds in tomorrow’s post about my wet boat trip today. I’m too tired to do a good report tonight but staying in tomorrow. Hasta mañana.
You may remember my first post from this trip, Life on the Water – check it out again and then here are some more water scenes in addition to that post and the Bird Island & Soropta Canal photos! It is all about water at Bocas del Toro, Panama!
Our dock at Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
A Little Island within swimming distance of our dock This was the best area for snorkeling with colorful coral and fish! Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
15 year old Scott, one of the owner’s sons and an excellent birding guide! Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Sunrises & Sunsets were mostly indirect for my times on the water Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
A common view when we went away from the island Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
I think this is a lodge or restaurant on one of the islands Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
And many people lived on the islands and thus on the water as here in Bocas Town Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
My Front Porch Hammock & Bay View
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
My Front Door & Outside Chairs Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
My Room, All those windows have only screens. High ceiling with Fan! Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
One of 3 Flights of Stairs UP to Rooms on Top of Hill Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
One of 3 Flights of Stairs DOWN from Rooms on Top of Hill Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Exit Sign from Drake Bay Community Trail to Hotel Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
3 Meals a Day Overlooking the Bay Though some trips included a box lunch on the day trip Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Gourmet Meals Served Three Times a Day!
Plus Happy Hour with Appetizers! Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Hotel’s Fleet of Boats is Important to Guest Transportation! Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
As Are the Boat Captains! Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
A Familiar Scene Coming and Going from the Hotel Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
And the Hotel Pier is Really the “Front Door” to Hotel You get here by boat or by walking a trail. No road for cars. Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
I loved it here! Being gone the bulk of the daytime on adventures kept me from missing air-conditioning, which in the hot and humid coastal rainforest would have been better for resting inside during the day. But who does that with all the things to do during the day? At night the ceiling fan was more than adequate and I actually turned it off two nights and used the blanket.
The tour possibilities, guides and all other staff were simply great in every way! One family went deep-sea fishing and the kitchen cooked one of their fish for their dinner that night and the rest of us got a little as part of the appetizers! The food was excellent as was the food service. I highly recommend Hotel Aguila de Osa for anyone considering Drake Bay. Of course I have not tried any of the other hotels here to compare. This was not my best birding location, but was very good and a big variety of total animals to see both in and out of the park. I was disappointed I did not see a wild Tapir, though people on other tours did. Wildlife is always unpredictable and sightings cannot be scheduled!
It is not easy to compare this to my visit to the southern end of Corcovado Park at Carate Village and the two inns of Luna Lodge and Lookout Inn. That was on a 2009 Birding Tour from the states and the link is to my old PBase Photo Gallery of the total trip that included San Gerado de Dota in the mountains, so more than Corcovado. It was my first trip to Costa Rica and I fell in love with the country immediately! I may have seen and photographed more birds on that trip, but this was a better and more relaxed trip with more variety. And though Luna Lodge is very nice with gourmet food, Aguila might have even better food and my room was better. But glad I’ve seen both ends of this great rainforest park! Next time I may try one of those lodges on the east side of park.
Though not made yet, I will soon have a “Trip Gallery” on this trip in a new area of my Costa Rica galleries simply called TRIPS.And of course as always I use every trip to increase my collection of bird photos and other categories of photos in my big gallery called Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.If interested in Costa Rica you might enjoy exploring my galleries.
And this concludes the Blog reports on my recent Corcovado-Drake Bay trip, though more photos may pop up here in the future. A 6-day trip is the longest I have made since my move here and I like longer visits in the same location! A friend has scheduled a week-long trip here soon for birding and will be in a different hotel every night. He may see more birds but will be physically exhausted by the end of the week! I’m too old for that now! 🙂 Pura Vida!
Yellow-headed Caracara juvenile Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Great Blue Heron with catfish Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Great Blue Heron finding fish Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Roseate Spoonbill Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Mangrove Swallow Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Tricolored Heron Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Green Kingfisher female Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Whimbrel Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Tomorrow I will post some photos of other animals and scenery from this trip. And I’ve created a new section of my photo gallery for trips and this is the first trip to get a gallery, though I may still be working on it when you get there: 2017-13-April Tarcoles Float Trip
First thing this morning I meet guide Evon at the Reception Desk and we drive to the boat dock for what I know has to be a better boat trip with always more birds in the mornings. Well it turned out to be maybe more but not a lot more, just a lot of different birds which is very good and worth the trip! I was especially pleased with photographing Crested Guans, Rough-winged Swallow, Green Ibis, Lattice-tailed Trogon and a Hook-billed Kite, among others.
We were then late for breakfast at Selva Verde and I treated Lavon with breakfast at a local Soda. Then when I returned to Selva Verde I decided to try the self-guided trail again, expecting it to be better in the morning (a la 10). Sure enough! I got more photos of Crested Guans here plus some wonderful close-up shots of a Pale-billed Woodpecker, probably my best yet of him! Also some fun lizard shots I haven’t identified yet. So a good morning!
Yesterday was too long and busy, so relaxing the rest of today and looking forward to my visit to La Selva Biological Station tomorrow morning for maybe the best birding yet (say some people). Then I head home.
Last night’s “Night Hike” was mainly about hiking in the mud in lodge-provided high boots. We saw some sleeping birds, lots of different frogs, an opossum, lots of insects, and probably something else I’ve forgotten. We went across the swinging bridge in the dark to the lodge’s primary rainforest across the river. Very interesting including a nice little waterfall with frogs around it. And of course the interesting people from all parts of Europe and North America. But for birding I still prefer my solo trips!
Levon helping another night hiker get wading boots.
Sorry, forgot to make any cellphone photos on the boat trip. Here’s one of the boardwalk to my room and one of a silk cotton tree on the trail near my room.
The red wood I thought was cedar is actually almond tree wood.
I’m typing this at lunch while watching a Yellow-throated Toucan just below me eating bananas at the feeder. I’ve gotten so many toucan photos that it is no big deal anymore. That has been the most seen big bird here this week. I’m posting this now so I don’t have to bring the computer to dinner tonight. There is no Wifi in the rooms, only lobby and both restaurants. Pura Vida!