Adventures in Central America, Part 4

Note: The following is a reproduction of the field journal I kept from my first summer in Costa Rica in June and July 1996, when I was a student at La Suerte Biological Station. This was the first time I’d ever left the United States for a country other than Canada. I’ve typed out the writing and included photos of the drawings when present.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Tuesday, June 25, 1996 2:37 PM

I am sitting and studying in my mosquito net-covered bunk with a cold compress on my ankle. The bite feels much better today but is still badly swollen. I think I’m going to skip this afternoon’s field trip to the manakin lekking grounds so I can heal.

Sketches from my journal.

The new birds keep coming, though at a slower rate. Recent acquisitions include RINGED KINGFISHER, BARRED ANTSHRIKE, SQUIRREL CUCKOO, GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT, YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA, BAT FALCON, BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE, MUSCOVY DUCK, SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK, WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER, and a beautiful hummingbird called the RED-FOOTED PLUMELETEER. We also saw a tree-full of raucous foraging RUFOUS MOTMOTS eating berries.

The primate group apparently saw an adult male HOWLER MONKEY perform “displacement” by throwing a subadult male out of a tree! I wish I had been there to witness that.

Sketch from my journal.
Sketch from my journal.

Today’s trip was an adventure in itself. We went to the primary forest this morning and got some beautiful pictures, but ended up wading through waist-deep water on the trail. My boots are going to be about shot by the end of the month.

On a lighter note, my species list is up to 122. I’ve only been here for 6 days, so a goal of 200 species seems easy to reach, especially since I’m going to Tortuguero for 3 days next week, then possibly Monteverde a week later. Maybe I should shoot for 250?

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