Day 73 - Pink dolphins and Scarlet macaws

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
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77
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Trip End Jan 09, 2013


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Flag of Peru  , Loreto,
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We headed out for a long trip upriver after breakfast in search of Pink Dolphins and Scarlet Macaws.

Plus had a few fish from the previous day to show us a hawk grabbing prey. After a little apprehension by the hawk he gave us a nice dive for the fish.

We also were fortunate enough to see an Ayaymama (Great Potoo) bird. The Indians have a great legend about this bird. The legend says that there was a terrible sickness in a village. A mother, who was already sick, tried to save her two children by taking them deep into the jungle. She died and the two children were left hungry and alone. They kept calling out "Ayaymama", Where are you, mother. God felt sorry for them so He turned them into the birds so they could fly and find food for themselves. A fun and sad story. It was also interesting to hear that these birds lay eggs only once every eight years. They only reproduce twice in their lifetimes so are very rare.

But that was not all.

Complete shock, where the Ucayali River meets the Yarapa River we got to see common dolphins. We were definitely not expecting to actually see any, so it was a wonderful surprise. And then to top it off we got to see our first pink dolphin! Wow, how cool. They surface once every two to three minutes so you've really got to keep your eyes peeled and hope to see one. They also only surface for a split second so you don't get to see much but we were very excited when we glimpsed the grey top and pink sides of a juvenile dolphin. It's so strange seeing dolphins in the muddy river water after we usually see them in the sea. Strange but wonderful.

We then headed down into the darker waters of the Yarapa River towards the lagoon. It was so beautiful on this stretch of the river. Something out of the movies. Thick jungle on both sides of the river full of life. Fish jumping every few seconds and jungle sounds all around us as we cruised along. As we got nearer the inland lagoon we had great sightings of Screamers, with their unicorn type horns clearly visible. So peculiar. We also saw hawks, kingfishers, jacanas springing off the water hyacinth and loads of other birds on display. Then, after punching through the water hyacinth and water grass, we entered the lagoon. It was actually quite a huge lagoon with cormorants and other water birds enjoying the wide open space. We cruised along the edge of the lagoon and down into a smaller tributary. It's the place for spotting macaws and we were fortunate enough to see a large flock of perhaps ten Blue and Yellow Macaws all perched in the top of one of the trees. They were so beautiful and very noisy. After watching for a while the guys pulled out fishing rods and dropped in a line. Leo told us we should wait at this spot for the Scarlet Macaws. And just as he predicted two Scarlets flew into the tree top a little while later. They are an endangered species because they produce eggs only once every two years. The locals also use to hunt them them for the feathers and the meat. They have beautifully long tail feathers that act as a rudder when they fly. Once again we felt very lucky to have been able to see these magnificent birds in the wild.

We then started heading back to the lodge. On the way we stopped the boat, pulled on the rubber boots and headed into the jungle to see the Watson bird. This bird also has an interesting story and is believed to be prehistoric. When the chicks are born they have claws on the shoulder part of their wings. If a predator tries to get them in their nests their instinct tells them to climb out of the nest and fall into the water below. Then using their claws they climb back up into the nest when it's safe. The claws fall off once they are two months old. So fascinating. They were wonderful birds to see and seem to be thriving in this part of the jungle. We also managed to spot a Caiman Lizard lying in the water hyacinth. He looked very relaxed.

We got back to the lodge just after three and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Then we relaxed for the afternoon and evening, enjoying a game of cards and showing the staff some of our travel pics. It's been a great place to relax and take time out from the busy travel itinerary.
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