Three of us began this day by searching for the Highland Guan again. Becasue it was Sunday, there was very little foot traffic on the road below El Jaguar where they can be found foraging in the open. We got lucky and several females first came out to forage shortly before sunrise. The males only came out later, after the females, several Common Agouti’s, domestic chickens, Gray-headed Woodrails, and small squirrels had been moving around for awhile.
We set up on the porch of a multi-family dwelling where a woman was already up making the days tortillas in a very primitive kitchen. She allowed us to toss corn kernals out in the road to attract the forest dwellers.
At this point we began the two hour trip to Selva Negra. I took some pictures of the landscape and dwellings along the way.
What would a trip be without an unexpected adventure? We were traveling along the highway when there was suddenly a loud bang! We had blown the inner rear right tire. We pulled over and Elvis our driver removed the first tire but was unable to get the lug nuts of the seond tire to budge. After receiving directions, we were forced to limp slowly into the nearest town to have someone put the spare on.
As we were driving towards Selva Negra Elvis spotted a troop of Howler Monkeys near the roadside so we stopped and I was able to get some decent pictures of them.
According to National Geographic Howlers are New World monkeys found in tropical Central and South America. They are aptly named for their cacophonous cries. When a number of howlers let loose their lungs in concert, often at dawn or dusk, the din can be heard up to three miles (five kilometers) away. Male monkeys have large throats and specialized, shell-like vocal chambers that help to turn up the volume on their distinctive call. The noise sends a clear message to other monkeys: This territory is already occupied by a troop.
As we turned off of the highway to go to Selva Negra, there was an old Sandanista military vehicle that had apparently broken down during the war and was towed to that spot and left there.
Selva Negra (Black Forest) is a combination organic farm, eco-lodge, and bird-friendly coffee estate was established by German immigrants. It was certainly the most luxurious place we stayed. As soon as we got there and settled into our casitas we were on birds. They were all over and we had some great species there, among them the strikingly patterned Rufous-naped Wren.