Madam - Vultures on the beachI looked up from breakfast and saw something shifty on the beach.

Several shifty somethings now as I looked closer…

Good grief – are those vultures on the beach?!

And yes, that’s exactly what they are. Vultures in a group, skulking about the beach in Costa Rica.

I’ve seen some funny stuff down there, but seeing vultures casually, just after spotting a dinosaur on the lawn, well it was some of the strangest.

Though, right enough I’m not certain they were vultures – I’m patently no avian expert. Plus it wasn’t even my most recent visit when I saw them, but about 18 months ago. All the same, an urban soul such as myself, gets a bit of a turn seeing large birds of… carrion? As they’re not birds of prey now are they? Seeing huge violent birds like that is it’s both wonderful and really freaky.

Later I sauntered down to the beach and saw the flock moving away from me – hopping along on the sand for a long as they could appear unconcerned, and then lazily flapping into the trees. There they acted cool and nonchalant and as though they’d always intended to move to the trees and weren’t in anyway doing it because I was there. It was all very street corner – and had the real air of 1930s Depression era men at a loose end. Most odd.

Madam - Vultures on the beachAnd why do I mention it now? Well – it’s not something I’m used to seeing, it was strange and magical and really quite unnerving. And that – that’s pretty much how my years in India were.

So although I saw the vultures in Costa Rica it brought back other times I’ve seen vultures – my first real up close was years before in Cuba passing massive carrion eaters lurking about on the railing of a road bridge, obviously eyeing me up as a potential snack.

But weirdest of all was that as I sat in Costa Rica this time, thinking about last time and the vultures on the beach… well at that point, I got a massive wave of nostalgia and homesickness for India. Even though I didn’t see them there.

Isn’t the way memory and the human mind works odd?


Enjoy this – want to read more about freaky animals I’ve seen along the way? Then stay right here and click one of these links and get reading:

Crows are the new black
Death of a dragonfly
I seem to have eaten an ant

And why not drop me a comment on Facebook – have you ever seen a vulture? And for that matter, have you ever had a wave of nostalgia triggered by something really random?