The morning is hot! I wake up at 5 in the morning for birdwatching. The birdwatch yields several new birds for me. A Variable Seedeater, a black and white chickadee sized bird, Yellow-headed Caracara, a large white falcon with a thin black eye stripe, a Blue-black Grassquit, which resembles the seedeater, but has no white markings, a White-crowned Parrot, which has a lovely green color and distinctive white forehead, a Smooth-billed Ani, black birds with large gray beaks which nest communally, and a Grey-breasted Martin, which resembles our Northern martins, are all added to my list.
We drive to San Isidro after breakfast. We go to the market, where I discover my love for mamochinos: red or yellow spiky fruits with a translucent, chestnut sized fruit in the middle. I also purchase some great Costa Rican coffee from a farmer who produces shade grown coffee without chemicals. The rest of my visit is spent wandering around the city.
My head is pounding from the heat and humidity. A dip in the stream makes me feel much better. Sarah, Bryan, and I show Andrus our plans. He seems to approve. We begin our work with the machetes. It is a bit too gratifying. The destruction we wreak is quite scary too. I can only imagine what logging companies can do. This is very hard, physical work, but also very fun. Another group sees Capuchin Monkeys. I fear that we may not see anything because of the racket.
Just before dinner, we find a bird eating snake. This is a beautiful turquoise and red snake, which is, fortunately for us, not venomous. After dinner we have a lesson on birds to conclude the day. Bird diversity in the tropics is incredibly high, with 850 species in Costa Rica alone. To put this in perspective, a country the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined has about the same number of bird species as the continental United States!