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
Part 4

Thursday, June 27, 1996 10:10 PM

I just counted my checklist and it’s up to 118. Not too bad, but it’s obviously slowed down. I should add new birds every day, though.

I never went out birding yesterday because of my ankle. I did go with my class into Cariari in the afternoon to go shopping. I sent a few postcards, drank some “cerveza Imperial”, and had a horrible hamburger. It was nice to get out, though.

Relaxing in Cariari.
Relaxing in Cariari.

Today it was back to work as we had an exam at 2:00. It was relatively easy and I was done in a half hour (less than half the time it took anyone else). There were three essay questions, ten definitions, and one bonus on “species packing” in antwrens. Tomorrow is our field identification quiz which should be easy.

My ankle is beginning to heal today. The skin around the swollen bite site is very painful to the touch but the swelling has gone down enough that you can tell I have ankles. You can also see the blood vessels on top of my foot now.

Common Tody-Flycatcher. Sketch from my journal.
Common Tody-Flycatcher. Sketch from my journal.

This afternoon we worked our census plots in the “big forest”. The trail was beautiful and it was raining the whole time. We saw one hummingbird species (Little Hermit?) and 1 Keel-billed Toucan, 1 Black Vulture, and 2 Howler Monkeys. Chris and I also heard the roaring of what sounded like a large cat. Terry said he wouldn’t be surprised if a Jaguar wondered in from Tortuguero.

Speaking of Tortuguero, looking forward to going there July 1-3. More on that later.

Tonight we saw Common Pauraque and heard Crested Owl while walking to the store in La Primavera. Also got our research project approved (my idea). We’ll compare territorial responses of Common and Black-headed Tody-Flycatchers at their nests using dummies. Terry seemed to “light up” when heard the idea.

Keel-billed Toucan. Sketch from my journal.
Keel-billed Toucan. Sketch from my journal.

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