We are now a packed out camp with the Central American Eco-Trail group having joined us. Spread across two tables at meal times, those on cooking duty are testing their portion size estimates and the surveys are in full swing having two groups going out each morning. We have volunteers from all over; America, Italy, Switzerland, Holland and the UK. The numbers means more help around camp to get it set up faster too, so a few of us have been nailing in wooden planks at the bottom of the cabins and following that, the mesh walls have been be stapled down at the sides and at the bottom. They now feel like rooms again!
It’s been a bit of a dry patch this week in terms of spotting primates, hatchlings and adult turtles but the birds sightings seem to be second to none. To introduce the study species to the new volunteers I split the 44 species of birds into 3 groups so both their identity and their calls are easier to learn. It’s a lot to take in in one go but it’s so rewarding being able to identify a bird by sight and/or sound.
Despite the low numbers of wildlife on most of our surveys, luck has come to us in the sloth world. Whilst doing a primate survey, a two-toed sloth was in the trees on the roadside! We wouldn’t have spotted it if it wasn’t for a local guide that was with guests. He had his telescope out and allowed us to look through and see the ball of fluff in between the leaves. Just before sunset, the sloth was foraging and I managed to get some good photos of his face and a video of it in action. Now I have seen a three-toed sloth (in Panama) and a two-toed. I never thought I would see one so close to camp!!
A couple of activities this week included a photography workshop by Ben, one of our Field Communications Officers, where he was showing us how to set our cameras to get the best out of different landscape shots and both Kirsten, the Trail Leader, and Sylvia, Trail volunteer, gave us a Spanish lesson for an hour. It’s as much about the science as it is about learning all sorts of new skills; a great sense of sharing knowledge is happening at Camp Osita!
By Bella Field - Assistant Research Officer
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