Thursday, 2 August 2012

High and Cool - All Day

Thursday August 2
After a fitful night, it was - almost - a pleasure to get up for a 6.00 breakfast. Away at 6.30 for an all dayer in the twin cab pick-up Toyota, 4 wheel drive. David in the front with Elias, Pam and and I in the back. Pam needed a tall box to get in.
We climbed higher and higher up a heavily wooded mountain area laid out for real estate. Good roads and storm drains, imposing entrance arch and guard, no sign of any homes yet, just the lot markers. Only 4 wheel drives are allowed - nothing else could cope. Dave reckoned most of the ups and downs were art least 1 in 3. The pattern became, park and walk for an hour or more, Elias would return for the truck and the pattern would continue. 
We saw some splendid birds, including several new ones for all of us. Snowcap Hummingbirds delighted everyone, although we'd seen them in Costa Rica. 

Snowcap. I'm amazed that Eliecer manage to find this in the scope. It was in deep cover.
Eliecer is excellent at seeing, making sure everyone else does, whistling them in and giving salient ID information. We even managed to SEE an AntPitta, so elusive. 
We lunched at a covered view point overlooking a lake. 

Good timing. It tipped down. It had been cool with, often, cloud rolling across and around us, most of the morning. When the rain eventually stopped, we circled the lake on a slippery, concrete path strewn with leaves and twigs, taking several detours. More splendid birds including the Black-chested Jay Pam and I wanted to see. Zillions of  Leafcutter ants, marching their way along military paths, carrying leaf particles much bigger than their bodies, above their heads,  like a flotilla of small sailboats.
Last stop was an unscheduled call in to a private home where the gardener had alerted Eliecer to the presence of Tropical Screech Owls. It was an arduous way to end the day, a  very steep climb down steps and then  through bushes and lawn into the forest where we viewed two Owls huddled up in a fork, peering down at us. 

David and Eliecer toiling back up . Pam's photo
Very well hidden but we attempted some photos.

Tropical Screech Owls - the best I could manage. Pretty awful.....
Happy but very tired, time to do the laundry - our clothes and ourselves - before the last supper with Ron and Kate who leave for Brazil in the morning.

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