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Rainforest Expeditions Day 4

May 8, 2011

Scarlet macaw by Rick Stanley


Sunrise from the tower was lovely. We had it all to ourselves. We arrived to a misty morning with fog covering all the trees. We could barely see the river. Rick and I filmed and enjoyed the early morning sounds. After taking a few sound recordings and pictures, we watched the fog clear and the early morning light shine on the river.


We got up early this morning to visit the tower at Posada one last time. We passed a group returning from the tower on our way out there and they appeared not to have seen much. About 10 minutes after we climbed the 37-meter tower, three scarlet macaws swooped in and sat in a tree right next to us. It was by far the closest we have ever been to macaws. They flew below us and we could look down on them from above, there colors stark and brilliant against the forest background. After that I got my fist look at curl-crested aracaris and two ivory-billed aracaris also arrived in a far away tree. Rick and I waited for a few minutes at the top and spotted a black-tailed trogon and a teensy tyrannulet. Just as the birding was getting good, we had to run back for breakfast.

Immediately after breakfast, we were informed that the boat was leaving 30 minutes earlier than we had anticipated. We rushed to get showers and gather our things to make it in time for our departure. The boat was incredibly comfortable, with separate padded seats for everyone. It was just us, Julio (a bartender), and a boat driver for the first three hours.

About one hour into the ride, Julio said “Look, and osprey.” Rick quickly corrected him – an eagle was flying across the river. We followed it with our binoculars until it landed in a tree on the other side. It only took a few seconds to realize it was a harpy eagle. The bushy crest was raised and the black stripe on the chest was just visible in the dark light. “Paramaos, paramos,” Rick yelled (Let’s stop, let’s stop!). But, after about 10 seconds, the bird flew off and our lucky sighting of the rare eagle ended.

The rest of the boat ride was lovely with a few nice sightings. We saw capybaras bathing in the river and Orinoco geese on the beach. No jaguars to report, but we were scanning the banks the whole ride with the small hope that we would see one.

The only snafu on the trip was our lack of documentation at the park guard posts. We barely made it through at Malinowsky, because we did not have an authorization form. Thankfully, the park guard decided that it was not our fault that we did not have documents. He let us through with a warning. We were not aware that we needed anything to enter the reserve since we were going with Rainforest Expeditions.

We arrived at Tambopata Research Center at 3:30pm, after about seven hours on the river.

Butterfly by Rick Stanley

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