Bosque del Cabo July 2011 Nature Review   Leave a comment

Felipe del Bosque Blog July 2011 Review

The weather continued to be kind to visitors during July.  The precipitation increased dramatically but again a lot of it at night with the days being warm and sunny.

The sap from the fallen Milky Tree had run dry and the bees had made short work of collecting the available latex leaving only the exposed wood.  The moisture content of the tree had now been evaporated into the air, so the tree had started to crack in section.

Over the past few years a succession of Long-tailed Hermits, (Phaethornis superciliosus), have built nests, laid eggs and raised young on the underside of palm leaves next to the restaurant.  This location probably affords them protection from predators as it is subject to a lot of human activity.  People tend to observe the hummingbird and continue about their business without molesting them.

Phaethornis superciliosus

There are a good variety of hummingbirds in the grounds of Bosque.  The hermits are trap liners; they visit a set series of nectar producing flowers over the course of the day.  Just in front of the restaurant they can be seen imbibing the sweet sugary solution of nectar from the heliconias.  In return for providing this food source, the hummingbirds which have become dusted with pollen, transfer it to other heliconias of the same species thus fertilizing the plants.

Other hummingbirds seen around the grounds are the pugnacious little Rufus-tailed Hummingbird, Violet-crowned Woodnymph, White-necked Jacobin, Stripe-throated Hermit, Bronzy Hermit, Blue-throated Goldentail and the White-crested Coquette.

One unusual visitor that turned up in the grounds this month was a young American Crocodile.  As the crocodiles are normally found in estuaries and salt water environments in is a mystery how this one managed to make its way up to 500 feet above sea level.  It did not look in the best of health so it was taken back to where it would normally be found, down in one of the creeks close to the sea.

Crocodylus acutus

Over recent months, some of our visitors taking a walk on the Pacific Beach below Bosque have seen a large “lizard-like” animal heading into the ocean upon their approach.  Most descriptions had it looking like a crocodile.  Although I did not see the animal myself, if something that looks like a crocodile is in an area where crocodiles live, my guess would be that it was indeed a crocodile.

Although generally shy and retiring from human presence, the American crocodile can reach upto 20 feet in length.  Its normal diet is fish, but it is nonetheless a huge predatory reptile and there have been several accounts of people being killed by crocodiles in Costa Rica.

Phasmids and mantids always make interesting photographic subjects.  The problem with these two groups is that many of them are masters of disguise.  It is often through good fortune rather than concerted effort that will locate the walking sticks and praying mantises.  I found these two quite close together over a short period of time last July.

Phasmid sp

Mantid sp

Finally the obligatory unidentified beetle.  One of the things I would really like to devote more time to is the identification of the arthropods I find.  I have enough trouble with the group that I most familiar with, the butterflies, but I see so many beetles, odonates, orthoptera and spiders that I have photographed and would like to put a name to.  But to quote a well hackneyed saying, “there are only so many hours in a day” and mine currently are filled.   One day when I have more time to myself I may get to revisit the photos and name the species I saw.  In the meantime I hope everyone continues to enjoy my work and I look forward to starting my new weekly blog updates for Bosque del Cabo when I return next week.

Unidentified Beetle

Text and Photographs are taken from the forthcoming books:

The Natural History of Bosque del Cabo by Philip Davison

The Small World of Bosque del Cabo

The Colors of Bosque del Cabo

A Children’s Guide to Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Temperature and Rainfall

Average M Temp High 86°F.  Average Daily Temp Low 73°F.

Average Daily Rainfall 1.15 ins.  Total Monthly Rainfall 35.55 ins

Average Daily Temp High 29.0°C.  Average Daily Temp Low 22.7°C.

Average Daily Rainfall 29.0 mm.  Total Monthly Rainfall 897.8 mm



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