Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week 8 Roundup

It’s that time again, most of the volunteers have left base for a couple of days off, the long weekend of week 8. This time the activity of choice is white water rafting and the rain that has been in the highlands of late should make the river extra fast and exciting.

Week 8 on base has been generally a bit quieter than others. Extreme rainfall in the middle of the week perhaps meant that some of the local animals decided to stay under shelter, instead of allowing us to view and count them towards our various research totals. Jag Walk got an absolute drenching as they went from base to Tortuguero, the rain never actually stopping at any point in the 8 hour walk. This weather also curtailed some of the planned walks into the forest, new rivers being formed across the trails, the Atlantic rainy season is showing its grunts this week…

We still managed to hold our bird surveys this week though, in varying conditions. A new record was set on Sirena, they saw a staggering 8 birds. Believe it or not, that is actually a new high for phase. The other canals went off as usual too, the normal selection of snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and northern jacanas (Jacana spinosa) on show.

Unfortunately the mammal transect turned into a bit more of a paddle. No records were made along the 1km stretch of forest, which was more of a stream. This didn’t dampen spirits however as the team enjoyed being out in the middle of the national park (see photo below).

It’s at this point that we look back and wonder how on earth 8 weeks have managed to pass us by so far and how are we going to fit everything into the last 2 that are coming up.