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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Stinky Bird and a Cabin Guest

When  Have enjoyed the past couple of days at Yakari Eco Lodge. The personnel are friendly and informative and the other travelers are interesting and funny. There are a few Americans and loads of Australians here. Three of them are here to have a session with a local Shaman. WISH I could be there to see that little get together!

Today again I stayed in camp and went birding while Ingrid went on a boat ride/hike to Lago Sandoval. There Ingrid and the others rode around in Kayaks. Why did I skip that interesting adventure: because I am a child not of the tropical forest of my forebearers. Nope, I have been so overheated and low energy in the forest that walking 100 feet seems like running a marathon. I don't know if I'm experiencing post-altitude sickness let down, or I'm just wilting in the heat. Oh well. At least I saw some more cool birds.
Lesser Kiskadee
Silver-beaked Tanager
These tanagers look like they're made of velvet
 I am not the least bit certain I got the identification correct on one drab gray bird, I hope I got the ID correct. 
Drab Water Tyrant, or so I hope...
South end of Blue-gray Tanager
There were some lovely lepidoptera for all to gawk at.Today at breakfast I spotted a lovely black butterfly with irridescent stripes. I leapt up from the breakfast table to chased the creature to a spot where I took the photo below.
A deceptive Uranus Moth
This very lepidoptera species got Ingrid into a good nature'd argument with one of the camp guides. Astoundingly Ingrid lost the argument, which surprised the hell out of both of us. Why? See that pretty insect I mentioned earlier on the left? If you agree it is a  'really pretty butterfly' you would be wrong too! That gorgeous, winged beauty is a freakn' moth! Yes! Rain forest moths are deceptively pretty enough to even fool the experienced eye of Ingrid. Wow. That's enough to make me wonder if any of the birds I saw this week are actually bats in disguise?
Here is a nice little critter that was kind enough to not be a confusing moth. It was waiting for me outside when I left the cabin today. Wish it had brought along some of its buddies.

Erotia Sister

When Ingrid got back from her Lago Sandival adventure I was so envious! While there she saw and  and photographed three... count 'em, three Hoatzins! Hoatzins are pheasant sized birds that as chicks have claws on their wings, but of far more interest, as adults... not to put too fine a point on it, they stink like poo and check out the blue face tattoo. Quite strange, aren't they?

Adult Hoatzin

When nightfall hit, Ingrid went for an Entomologist's hike with the same Biologist I had a chat with yesterday. The biologist was named Boris, and he pulled several trantulas out of the ground for the entertainment of Ingrid. She said they saw lots of great insects and even more bats.

Now, when she got back from her night hike, I was already in my bed, mosquito net down and I was nearly out for the night. "CLAIRE! Come see who's eating the apple!" Ingrid shouted. I leapt up so excited I could barely get out from under the mosquito netting. There, was Ingrid, her flashlight pointed at the apple-eating culprit on our little table.

A Possum! The little rascal had beady eyes like a hamster and he was gnawing away at the apple, totally ignoring the two happy humans that stood only a couple of feet from him. NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM! He was tearing up that apple, peels flying everywhere! If you examine Ingrid's photo carefully, you'll understand why I refer to our little friend as 'he'.

Little wild Possum, chowing down on Ingrid's apple

He chomped down on that apple for a couple of minutes while I cursed myself for having no clue where, in the pitch dark room, I'd left my camera. Then suddenly the little guy noticed us, scampering off the table, up the wall board and disappearing into woodwork above the window netting.

Wow! I mean, we were floored by our v. cool room mate. Ingrid was careful to leave the apple on a window ledge. I hope he enjoyed a great midnight snack. 

Post trip Possum Update:  After I got home I checked and our visitor was some species of Mouse Possum. Ingrid tried to get a better ID for him, as to which species of Mouse Possum he was but wiser heads than ours said they'd need a specimen in hand to ID him correctly. Oh well, knowing he is a Mouse Possum is exciting enough as it is.

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