Friday, June 13, 2014

Some of the wildlife along the river

While in the Amazon I saw about 50 different types of birds, 8 types of monkeys, caimans, and several different boa's, and poison dart frogs.  Unfortunately, most of my pictures are not of the quality for posting.  I was using a waterproof camera with limited zoom capability, so although I know what that lump is in the tree, no one else would.  But I do a have a few pictures that I will share in my next few blogs.
Black Collared Hawk

Capuchin Monkey

Wasp nest

Yellow Headed Caracara

Just a view of the smaller tributaries and rivers we ventured down.  All of the animals we saw were on these smaller tributaries.  The Amazon and Maranon rivers were up to a mile wide in places.

Most of the area we visited was part of a National Preserve.  Everyone entering has to stop at the ranger station and get a permit.  

Capped Heron

Our 18 ft skiff barely made it through these trees.  Our driver, Raoul, was excellent, maneuvering that skiff in places I never would have taken a boat. 

Beyond the trees was a little lake with lots of water plants.  And yes, we drove right through them.

As we were returning, someone spotted a sloth making its way across the lake on top of the water plants.  It is unusual to see them anywhere but up in a tree.

One day we took a dugout canoe ride back into a small creek.  Here I am, ready to go.

This was my driver.  She didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish.

The only time it rained during the day while I was on the river and it was while we were paddling in the canoe.  But it was just a light rain and since it was warm anyway, the rain actually felt good.

How you normally see a sloth.

Horned Screamer.  These birds sound like monkeys and can be heard for long distances.

One of our activities was getting to swim in the Amazon River.  Out of the 18 people, only 7 took advantage of this opportunity.  Remember, this is the river we spotted caiman and went pirahna fishing (just not nearby).  We did spot some pink dolphins within about 100 feet, but since I didn't have my camera, no pictures.

Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey and Red Howler Monkey playing.  While sitting watching these play, along came a squirrel monkey and joined in.  Nearby we saw several other species of monkeys also.

This is a pink dolphin, one of 2 fresh water species found in the Amazon.  We also saw the grey dolphin, but they don't break the water so you can get a good picture.  The pink dolphin has a much longer nose and large pink hump.  

We stopped at a river lodge to take a break and use the facilities.  

The lower left is a blue morpho butterfly.  I saw lots of them, but they were so fast, I couldn't get a picture.  They never seem to land.  These are all varieties of butterflies found in the Amazon.

The big surprise came when we spotted this ocelot.  It runs freely within the lodge and scared one of the ladies in the bathroom when she looked up and found it watching her.  At the time she didn't know it was somewhat of a pet.  

It's actually just 6 months old and still recovering from a battle with an anaconda when it was only 2 months old.  It was rescued and taken to the lodge where it has been nursed back to health.  There is nothing to keep the ocelot from leaving, but it seems to like the place.  

It wouldn't come down out of the rafters, but you could reach up and pet it.  Here it is sucking on my fingers.

We went fishing for red bellied pirahnas.

And yes, their teeth are vicious looking.

Here was the catch which we took back to our ship.  

Although I hooked two, both got off my hook before getting them in the boat.  My only catch of the day was this drum type fish.

Pirahna for dinner.  It was very good.

More adventures to come.  I'm not done with the Amazon yet.

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