Wildlife in Costa Rica
While traveling in Costa Rica in late November and early December, I saw lots of wildlife. This is the wildlife series I shot. You can see my earlier sunset series here. A complete gallery of the trip are at the end of the post.
First in the series were the fish. I bought a Canon D10 right before we left. I had experimented with my dad’s in Hawaii a couple year ago. I was excited to try again. Here are a few shots I got with it while snorkeling.
I do not remember the names of any of these fish. Most of these images did require a little processing. The water tended to be pretty murky most mornings.
Often there were schools of fishes on the reefs. I like how this one came out.
I was fascinated with the puffer fish. I was determined to get at least one good shot. Here’s the best one I got. I have many, many out of focus and blurry images in addition to this one. The camera performed reasonably well, but did have a short delay, and was tougher in the lower light. I did like that it had an underwater setting.
I could probably make a separate entry just on the turtles. Seeing a turtle arribata was an amazing experience. We were up at 4:00 AM to be at the beach by 5:00 before the sun came up to see all the turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. These were the Olive Ridley turtles and are the only ones to lay eggs in a group. There were hundreds of them.
This was just as the sun was coming up. Notice all the vultures and the turtles in the coming daylight. It was chaos and carnage on the beach as the turtles were moving up and down the beach. The birds were taking the eggs as fast as the turtles could lay them. It is amazing to think that any baby turtles actually get to the ocean.
We did give a little assistance at one point and helped a group of babies down closer to the ocean. You are not supposed to put them directly in the water because they need time for their lungs to strengthen in the run from the nest to the ocean.
As turtles dug nests to lay eggs, they would often dig up nests from previous arribatas.
As you can see, eggs would fly in all directions as they dug out the new nest.
And there were really a lot of turtles climbing all over the beach.
I don’t think lesbianism runs in the turtle world, but hard to know. All the turtles on the beach were females, because only females come to lay eggs.
There were lots of awesome views of the turtles as they crawled around the beach.
Here’s one more picture of Evan with a turtle. Again, notice the birds all around.
Other wildlife included Pizotes that were everywhere on the grounds of the Four Seasons. We saw them on the golf course as we were eating dinner. The also apparently liked the pool.
This little guy has been rooting around in the garbage before I got this picture. The staff was not amused.
I don’t know why, but I was absolutely fascinated with this dog and pig that were with these kids who were playing in the tidal pool. The dog and pig did appear to like each other.
When the kids left the pool to go home, the dog and pig followed obediently.
We did finally see some howler monkeys. We certainly heard them! A whole family of them climbed out of the trees and hung out in the area between the pool and the beach at the Four Seasons.
We did get out into the jungle areas and see some more exotic wildlife. The iguanas were gorgeous.
The next two are not so much the wild life, but animals we got to see that were work animals.
This is me on a horse for the first time in 35 years, I would guess. It was a beautiful experience to ride along the beach like this.
Then there were the oxen and the carts.
The cart was beautifully crafted. The are quite famous in Costa Rica.
Finally, there were the birds.
I like the composition of this one. The light could be a little better. I was using a borrowed 70-200mm lens and it was awesome. The image stabilization came in quite handy too.
The light at the end of the day made for great shots.
This image of the bird on one leg might be my favorite bird picture from the trip.
Lastly there were the spiders. One night at dinner, someone noticed a tarantula in the dining room! Everyone was quite calm about it. Later, as we walked to our room, there was another one crawling across the path! We were told that was rare.
I caught this little guy from a boat with the long lens. I guess this was the female. The male is the smaller one and is likely to be dinner sometime soon.
Here’s the complete portfolio of the Costa Rica Trip.