Monday 10 December 2012

Deeper into the rainforest

Half an hour in a boat took us to our next place to stay, Cano Palma where we caught this stunning Royal flycatcher mentioned in a previous blog.Cano Palma is the Canadian biological station  for COTERC
It is the fifth site that has been part of the Tortuguero Integrated Bird Monitoring Programme since 1994.
We were fortunate in being accomodated in this characterful thatched house on stilts.
We were welcomed as part of the team which included being on the cooking and cleaning rota. Luckily Richard was on a team with two girls who loved cooking! The volunteers were very enthusiastic about ringing with us in between their other activities of turtle and herp monitoring.
 Some birds ringed there included Cocoa Woodcreeper
 Chestnut-backed Antbird
 Tennessee Warbler
Chequer-throated Antwren
  Kentucky Warbler
 and a Northern Waterthrush (at the ringing table with Ian and Peter, two of the Canadian volunteers)
Each net round was an adventure walking through the lush vegetation
Like at Tortuguero, the day wasn't just about ringing. We also helped with Shorebird surveys walking along the beach to where the canal opened into the sea and seeing some good species including Willet, Collared Plovers, Greater Yellowlegs and Franklins gulls.
 Going anywhere from base was by canoe or kayak which we eventually mastered.
Plenty of reptiles were about, the most colourful being these tiny strawberry poison-dart frogs (Dendrobates pumilio)
and some larger green frogs

 But then the rain started
.............. and continued with 137mm in one 12 hour period! The water rose until the boats were floating on the boat deck (brief video). On the pre-dawn of leaving day we packed in the darkness of a powercut and the water was over the top of our wellies as we waded for the boat.
Even that couldn't spoil our brief stay in this wonderful location and we left for the next step in our adventure with a yearning to return.

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