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Always something new…

October 4, 2019

Not quite sure how this has happened already, but our time managing Las Tangaras has come to an end…time flies in the rainforest! As we reflected on our past few months of looking after the reserve, we both had the same revelation – every single day, we have each noticed something new. Perhaps it was a cool new butterfly that hadn’t made an appearance before, or a plant that had suddenly flowered and was then unrecognisable – it was clear that no two days are the same at Reserva Las Tangaras.

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There were many beautiful species of day-flying moth

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These unidentified grasshoppers were stunning

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We couldn’t even begin to identify the flora!

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The forest is full of a huge diversity of flowers

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Western Basilisk were common along the river

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Green Sipo – our only encounter with this stunning snake

For instance – we were walking the Bosque trail early September, high in the primary forest at around 11am, something we had done many times before without really seeing much. Then suddenly, a group of 6 White-faced Capuchin monkeys come crashing through the trees above us! These elusive animals are a threatened species and seeing them well is very rare, so we were absolutely spoilt when this group decided to stick around and forage, effortlessly leaping around in the canopy whilst keeping an ever-watchful eye on those weird, tall monkey-things gawking at them from below. Surprise encounters like this ensured that no matter how well you think you know a trail, something unexpected will always come along and prove you wrong!

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We had also been seeing regular changes in the hummingbird species present at the feeders over our last month. A female Empress Brilliant FINALLY made an appearance, having not seen one for 3 months whilst a number of males show up daily – reassuring to see that females do indeed exist! Perhaps an even nicer (and much more unexpected) visitor to the feeders was a stunning male Collared Inca, a species only recently added to the reserve list and thought to inhabit much higher elevations than the cabin. Maybe he was lost – but hopefully he’ll start to be a regular visitor! We also started to get daily visits from a very aggressive (yet very impressive) male Violet-tailed Sylph, who seems more interested in picking a fight than using the feeders. These few interesting changes, along with many others, kept us on our toes as we never knew exactly what the daily hummingbird count would bring.

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Collared Inca

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Violet-tailed Sylph

Along with amazing rare mammal encounters and ever-changing hummingbird species diversity, there were plenty of other things constantly evolving at the reserve. Maybe it was a new leak in the water system, or a changing weather pattern, or visitors asking questions that you hadn’t even thought about the answer before, there is always something new at Reserva Las Tangaras. Due to this, we felt like we were also constantly learning and adapting to life at the reserve, as it presented its new challenges along with new species to look at and in Alex’s case, get that perfect photograph!

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Fixing the water system was a tough (if very picturesque) job after some heavy rains shifted the intake

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Living without mains electricity meant lots of candlelit evenings

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Bird ringing (banding) in the rainforest was a clear highlight of our time at RLT

So from us this is farewell, as we return back to Scotland and having seasons again, where autumn (the BEST time of year) will be in full swing. We have left the reserve in the extremely capable hands of Guillermo y Ayla, who we’re sure will soon found out about the unexpected nature of life at RLT!

Alex and Georgia

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