Do you remember how I told you that fantastic places have their own way of saying goodbye? That was true of the first biological station we left in Costa Rica…as we were leaving half a dozen charismatic animals came out to distract us (I realize I even forgot one in that post, so I added it back it…it was a tarantula!). The same thing happened to me when I was leaving the second biological station.
This was a more personal experience, because I spent a lot of time hiking alone in the rainforest at the second biological station. I spent hours trekking around and around on the trails, sitting on old logs or moving at a snail’s pace through the undergrowth, trying to sneak up on a bird. Or sometimes moving at a breakneck pace up a hill chasing daylight.
Then, as I hiked through the forest, I was surrounded by a lek of calling male hermit hummingbirds. I chased a butterfly for half a mile,
and then got distracted by a skink.
And then another skink.
I smelled the peccaries before I saw them. Actually, I smelled them before I heard them, and I heard them before I saw them. Having just had the experience with the tapir, my first thought was that it was another tapir, but then I heard the clacking noise. Peccaries make a clacking alarm call to communicate amongst themselves, and it is very distinctive!
I tried to get some photos of them but it was very difficult. They were deep in the underbrush and the lead male clacked an alarm when he caught sight of me trying to get a photo and they all trundled off.
After that, I heard but did not see another tapir crashing through the forest, spotted a pale billed woodpecker destroying an old tree trunk, and got quite close to howler monkeys hooting up a storm. All in all, a very satisfying day to say goodbye!