Thursday, May 12, 2011

On the way to the Mammals Transect

After the customary porridge and brown sugar first thing this morning myself, Joao, John and Ian set off at sun rise along the beach towards mile 15, and the mammal transect. As the sun rose we were treated to some beautiful crepuscular rays shining down through the clouds onto the ocean, and it also wasn´t too hot which is always a bonus here. We played one or two games of 20 questions to pass the time and then, as we neared the 15 4/8 mile marker we could see a large group of vultures on the beach. The guys who had been on nest check the previous nights had told us that there had been a leatherback turtle killed by a jaguar on the beach so I was quite excited to see the gory remains (a little sad, but still pretty cool). Then as we got about 100 meters away Ian shouted something like “OH S**T, there’s a jag”, and on the dead turtle feeding with its back to us is a female jaguar. At this point Joao still hadn´t noticed so I shouted to him that there was a jag and it was at that moment it realised that there were four people right behind it. It then made a b-line for the vegetation. Joao, in a frenzy, ripped his bag in half trying to get his camera out in time and John managed to stop recording on his camera the moment the jaguar was spotted so sadly we got no pictures. I did however get an awesome view, through my binoculars, of one of Costa Ricas most beautiful and elusive species that will stay with me forever.
Harry Goodrick

(Its amazing how we manage to get sightings of different jags in different places, so close together. We have waited almost 6 months for a jag sighting, now 2 in the space of about 10 days. They really are like buses. People wait for a very long time to see a jag in Tortuguero. Some people, Ian and John, have now seen the same number as I have, but instead of taking 2 ½ years, they took 5 weeks! – Rich)