Ben’s News from The Jaguars of Pantanal Tour: Action Along the Cuiaba River
We could hardly wait to climb into our skiff this morning to start our excursion up the river.
We really wanted to see a jaguar again, but that was not to be this morning – but there was plenty of other action along the river.
First we spent some some with a large Coqui Heron. It caught a huge fish as we photographed it on the bank of the river. Then suddenly it took off – with the fish – and flew in a large circle. First it started out across the river, then flew downstream for about a hundred meters before veering around to return and land exactly where it had originally caught the fish.
As soon as it landed the heron was mobbed by a Great Black Hawk, intent on steeling that huge fish! But the heron got such a fright that it dropped the fish back into the river – and the spoils were lost to both birds. Oh, well, there were no winners!
This afternoon we were back on the river – and this time we were much luckier. We found Patricia, the female jaguar we saw yesterday with her cub, Hunter. She was busily hunting along the banks of the river and we managed some great images as she stalked, and occasionally disappeared into the riverine vegetation, and then reappeared – all the time in full hunting mode. Crouched down low, ears flattened, she crept along watchfully with that typical feline hunting posture.
We remained with Patricia until she disappeared into the thick undergrowth again, and did not emerge. As it was getting towards sunset, we turned towards the Flotel – but there was one more fascinating bit of action along the way.
We found two Black Skimmers engaged a a really tough duel! We simply had to stop the photograph the pair as they chased each other in an aerial battle of note, looking fabulous against the evening clouds. Again and again they chased each other up into the air, then back to just above the water, only to soar together up into the sky again. It was riveting to watch!
We remained until it was too dark for photography and only then we packed up to return to the Flotel for dinner.
We are excited to see what the river has for us again tomorrow …
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