Ben’s News from The Jaguars of Pantanal Tour: A Kaleidoscope of Birds
Santa Teresa had some very early guests this morning … and we were there to greet (and photograph) them.
The morning started when a number of Toco Toucans (the largest of the Tocans) arrived to feed at the local feeding station. Their large orange coloured beaks, black plumage with white bibs looked stunning in the early dawn light.
It took only moments for the Toucans to be joined by a assortment of vividly coloured birds. Vermilion Flycatchers flitted around to ensure that they got their share. Bare-faced Curassows scrabbled around on the ground, looking just too wonderful with their amazing hairstyles. Scurrying between the Curassows a number of Chaco Chachalacas tried to grab what they could of the plentiful feast.
To complete the colourful kaleidoscope, pigeons and doves, small yellow finches, and the blues and purples of Plush-crested Jays and Purplish Jays could be seen among all the busily feeding local birds.
Finally we pushed off to enjoy our own breakfast before we boarded our boat for our morning adventure on the Pixaim River.
We hoped to see more of the birds we had enjoyed photographing yesterday afternoon – and there they were! Ringed Kingfishers were diving for fish close to the boat, and we captured some great shots at the moment they entered the river, and again just as they burst out of the water.
The Black-collared Hawks were also busily fishing … grabbing fish effectively and efficiently as they swooped to the surface of the water.
We ended the morning with a great sighting of a Potu trying very hard to appear invisible to us as it sat motionless on a tree branch. These birds mimic a dead nocturnal bird at night, and during the day they mimic a dead tree branch – very successfully. They usually select a favorite tree for roosting and sit there all day long, blending perfectly with their surroundings, and making it extremely difficult to spot them … even if you know full well that they are there!
After lunch we walked to a nearby fig-tree grove where we had heard of a nesting Great Horned Owl. The female was incubating her eggs, but we managed some really good images of the vigilant male.
Then we returned to our boat to photograph the bird life along the banks of the river. A variety of herons, kingfishers and Hawks kept us occupied …
… until it was time to go in search of the cayman we had seen at sunset the day before. There he was again, hanging quietly in the water in almost the same spot and we were able to perfect the images from the previous day.
Tomorrow we move to our next exciting stop … the Flotel …
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