Friday, February 4, 2011

Week 2 – Let Surveys Begin

With a look of relief on a lot of people’s faces, surveys began on Sunday this week. Everyone would be happy to admit that it was the moment that they had been looking forward to all through training week, time to put all that learning to the test.
With 19 volunteers on base we could send out a lot of teams to monitor the beach and forest meaning lots of data to manage for the staff and interns in the weeks ahead. Unfortunately the first day didn’t quite go as planned (when does it ever in the rainforest?) as our faithful boat, Iriria, decided that it was a convenient time for her motor to take a little break. Fortunately this was fixed relatively quickly (by Costa Rican standards) and she was put into action later in the week. So no birds surveys in the first couple of days then, but plenty of action maintaining trails, surveying the biodiversity of the forest transects and trying to get track records of the jag for our new jaguar identification project.
Everyone has been settling in and learning most of the common species to be seen in the local area and catching some of their first sightings of the iconic species of the area. Red-eyed Treefrogs, Green Iguanas and Striped Basilisks making most people’s lists, along with an unusually high number of sightings of 2 toed sloths! The first few lunch time briefs (where we fill in the rest of the group about what happened on our surveys) have been full of one-upmanship as each group tries to illicit a bigger ooh regarding a sighting.
The group are getting on well and everyone is settling into their roles on base. Surveys are starting to make people more tired and the volunteers are beginning to realise that between 7 and 8pm isn’t such a silly time to go to bed!