We knew there was a good chance of seeing Poison Dart Frogs here and I was very pleased and excited to find some at our first attempt. The picture above is deceiving, they are not much bigger than my thumbnail. Luckily they stand out nicely in their strawberry red livery, a clear warning to predators to think before they eat!
From noisy monkeys to noisy birds. These are the wonderfully named Montezuma Oropendola's. They had adopted a particular palm tree just outside the restaurant where they spent most of their time building their amazing hanging woven nests, sometimes two or three feet long.
Because of the location, most of our wildlife watching was done from a boat on the river and its narrower channels. These Iguanas were a pretty common sight as they lay on branches sunning themselves. Any sign of danger and their escape strategy is to drop straight into the river and swim to safety.
On our first full day here the heavens opened just as we were waiting for our guide. It was pretty torrential for most of the morning, forcing us to huddle under ponchos and making photography even more difficult than I usually find it. The very impressive Tiger Heron above and below were taking it in their stride. the top one appears to be sheltering under a more natural poncho.
Given its watery location Herons and Kingfishers are common. We saw Tiger Herons, Green Herons, Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets and Snowy Egrets,
Ringed Kingfishers, Belted Kingfishers, and Green and Rufous Kingfishers all made appearances. But probably my favourite was the Green Kingfisher above. Not least because he posed so nicely for me.
When the rain finally stopped, the rainforest inhabitants started to dry off. The bird above is an Anhinga, similar in habits and appearance to Cormorants. They are often seen swimming with just their head and neck above the water........
.......This one was taking advantage of some warm sun to dry out in the style of said Cormorants.
Our excellent guide took the boat down a narrow channel to see a Great Potoo which had been found earlier. No chance of a picture of this cryptically plumaged high in a tree, but while we were watching that, this juvenile Boat-billed Heron turned up and treated us to a few poses. What a great bird.
And now for something completely different. These are Basilisk Lizards, sometimes called Jesus Christ Lizards because of their ability to run on water. We saw a few of these but unfortunately never saw one in action.
Probably number one on our 'hit' list was the Sloth. Costa Rica is home to the Two Toed and the Three Toed. After the rain stopped on our first day in Tortuguero we saw the Two Toed version above, he's a bit soggy and wasn't inclined to move (hence the name)! Which was a bit disappointing. Luckily, a bit later on we found a Three Toed, below, who decided to hang out to dry for us. What a strange creature and even stranger is the fact that these two creatures, bizarrely, are not even related.
We really enjoyed our stay in Tortuga Lodge and wished we could have stayed longer. However, The Osa Peninsula was calling, so that's where we headed.