I have been neglecting my blog because I'm am in dissertation crunch time! But I just came across one of my old field journals, so I figured I'd share some of my thoughts from the beginning of my pilot work in the summer of 2008.
I'm so happy, possibly giddy, to be in CR again. Today I am going to head back to my beautiful, magical spider monkeys!
We got into El Zota yesterday. It's good to return here. Yesterday afternoon, I saw capuchins and howlers. And this morning, I took the new Laguna trail (later named Sendero Colorado) and saw spiders monkeys. They started off alarm-barking, more than I ever remember them alarm-barking before! There was an adult female with a dorsal infant, another adult female, and then an adult female with a juvenile female. The female with the infant had Evita-like facial markings, and I think the juvie female is Buttercup (one of my focal individuals from my masters research two years before)! The others left, but Buttercup and her mom stayed, and Buttercup cam down low and watched me. It was great! I was so deliriously happy to see them.
Today I saw a semi-plumbeous hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbea) and a male scarlet-rumped tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii). I also saw a coati, toucans, capuchins, and plenty of whip-tails (Ameiva festiva). Yesterday I think I saw a flash of an agouti and had great spider monkey encounters. I spent an hour with a party containing an adult female (I think Beatrice) and a juvenile female (I think my dear Buttercup!) and a third adult female--she has white markings on her nose that look like sunblock, so I'm going to call her Coppertone (during my dissertation research, she was re-named Leila). I also ran into a party containing an adult female and a young juvenile-2 male. Unfortunately, I then fell into the floating vegetation mat swamp, and lost the monkeys.
Later, I also saw howlers, capuchins, and spiders in association together. A juvenile male spider monkey and a juvenile howler monkey were playing together. The juvie spider monkey chased the juvie howler, and she appeared scared. But then, in retaliation, an adult male howler hit the juvenile spider monkey!
I found one adult female spider in the afternoon, in association with howlers and capuchins.
After that, I got busy with a field course and data collection, and the journal-writing stopped. But it's fun to read those recollections from several years ago!