This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve

On the third day we finally were allowed to cross the river to Pacaya-Samiria. We initially went river dolphin spotting and managed to get a few good shots of dolphins gracefully jumping out of the water.

We then got an introduction to the many species of fish caught for food ...

... and particularly the great paich which is commonly poached, resulting in the murder of some park wardens with machetes when they approached a poaching camp and confiscated nets and fishing equippment.

Heath with some of the eager conservationists at Pacaya-Samiria

Conservation of the otters was also a priority.

We then went further into the reserve through the many channels and lagoons by canoe. The wetlands were full of diverse bird life, including the giant tuiuius, blue and white herons, several kinds of small wading bird, kingfishers, shags, white crested falcons, canary-like birds and a variety of grouse likfe game birds.

Many of these were shy and quite distant and better views of them can be found in the Pantanaal section of this blog where we were able to photograph them close up.

A tuiuiu in flight.

... and putting on a mating display ...

A shag eating the fish it has caught

Shags in a tree roost.

The water was teeming with cayman

We camped the night further into the reserve.

... and went out in the night to call for crocodiles.

In the morning we went off on a long jungle walk ...

Giant snail shells along the track ...

Vertical panoramas of several of the giant jungle trees.

A strangler fig in two stages of development

A vine which you cut cut to provide clean drinking water.

A bat's nest

A variety of flowers and a rich diversity of fungi.

The insects included butterflies, moths, dragonflies, termites, hornets, leaf-cutter ants and a huge stick insect.

There was also a huge variety of viciously thorned species.

There were two prominent species of monkey a smaller one with 'binocular' eye markings ...

and a larger howler monkey with darker brown markings ...

radiant squirrels ... and the ground markings of a panther on the prowl.

A giant hevea tree whose latex could be rolled on the spot into raw bubber.

We walked out to the lagoon's edge to give mating calls to attract the female crocodiles ...

and then journed to spend the night at the reserve accommodation on the far side of the park.

A sculpted version of the squirrel.

A canary-like bird with hanging nests it would fly into from below.

We then did a round of fishing for all the small lagoon species including piranas.

... accompanied by mating blue dragonflies ...

... and yellow macaws ...

The very elusive turtles.

Farewell in the morning.

A huge flock of green parakeets.

We finally returned back through the lagoons, filming further bird life and cayman.

A well disguised kingfisher.

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