March 23th, 2003
In the early morning we could drive with the luggage buggy to Carate. Pedro loved to tear along the beach with the buggy, which was fun. We went from Carate to Puerto Jiminez by colectivo. In an internetcafe, where we just wanted to read about the just started war with Iraq we ran into Liz, the owner of the lodge where we just wanted to go to, a nice and enthusiastic lady. She has a beautiful and rustic lodge with 4 rooms, 1 km at the eastside of Corcovado, so we could drive with her to the lodge. She wanted to show us straightaway everything around the lodge. As it was at the middle of the day and extremely hot, we preferred to relax first a little. A little further upstream was a place where we could take a bathe, so we went there. But the small crayfish were not that happy with us taking a bath, so after several small bites, we got out of the water. I saw that Han had something at his back, a small insect was crawling into his skin, it was bigger as a tick. I could not press it out with my fingers, but we had a small medic kit with us and finally after a while of trying, as the insect shoot every time away under the skin, I managed to get it out with tweezers. No idea what kind of insect it was. Back at the lodge we went at excursion with Liz at her property. Close by was a little lake with 3 nests of a special heron species with a very wide bill. At one nest you could see the 2 young herons very well. We had awaken them with our arrival, so quite some screeching for food. Their parents who sat a little further away were not that happy with our arrival, they mainly hunt and feed in the evenings. Everywhere in the lake you saw little caimans. At the slope behind the lodge we also saw auratus. There was one guest more, an American guy. At night we went with him, Abraham, Liz' husband, a Costa Rican, and Liz at night excursion. As well Abraham as well Liz are good guides. At the river Tigre, at the foot of the lodge we saw several coupling tree frogs, the smilisca sordida. At several spots in the river we saw hundreds of tad-poles close together. We saw some small fer-de-lance and a 'false' fer-de-lance, the xenodon rabdocephalus. A beautifully tree frog with a red back, which identity we could not trace. Liz had also Savage 'bible' of the amphibians and reptiles of Costa Rica, but no trace of this frog. We also saw a hyla rosenbergi, one of the largest tree frogs of Costa Rica, 7 to 9 cm large. The males always build an own small pool (15-50 cm wide), attracts a female, and the eggs are deposited on the nest's water surface. He attends the eggclutch during its development and aggressively defend the nest area against intruders. Competing males often try to invade their nests. Males are often seriously injured during these fights, and are sometimes killed. We also saw 2 kinkayous high up in the trees, they look like lovely fluffy toy animals.
March 24th, 2003
Already before 6 AM we were out for a hike, in search for the vittatus. Today we had Ulysus as guide, a nephew of Abraham. We first walked through Dos Brazos and just behind the village we followed left a small stream La Pizote, upstream. We were walking on sandals, as we followed the stream for a great part through the stream, as there was no path. Already after 10 minutes we heard the first vittatus, but it took a little while before we found him. This vittatus had more grey/green legs as the ones at Las Esquinas. Further upstream we found at several spots vittatus. Mostly closely to the stream, in hollows, in hollow tree trunks or at the rocks next to the stream. Some of them were quite active scraping around. When we left the stream, we saw a sloth with a young. We saw many anole, the norops capito was new for us as well as the keeled leaf litter lizard (ptychoglossus plicatus). At the end of the morning heavy showers, till late in the afternoon. We thought that after these showers we would find more easily some auratus. No, only striped whiptails (ameiva quadrilineata) which we hardly saw before, were scraping around everywhere after those rain showers.
March 25th, 2003
This morning we went on a hike with Abraham. We started a little later as normal, due to some heavy rain showers. We followed the Rio Tigre upstream. After crossing several times this river and passing several goldseekers, we followed a small stream at our right. First it was a little a swamp, full with heleconias and then into a small rocky valley. The first hour we hardly saw anything, except several young anole. We searched and searched between the leaves, normally after the rain frogs come out. But we found some small toads. After 2 hours it became warmer and warmer and we saw several snakes. Some fer-de-lances, a young leptodeira septentrionalis, young ones often have a white band across the neck and back of the head. Their menu mainly exists out of tree frog eggs, especially those of the agalychnis callidryas, but they also eat adult treefrogs. We also saw a very beautiful eyelash pit viper, bothriechis schlegelii). At the way back we saw several vittatus, the last few ones at earthen banks in a swamp.
This lodge is really recommendable, a small and cosy family lodge with very nice and enthusiastic owners/guides. www.osaadventures.com