Up at 4:45 AM to meet at the dining hall, and then make our way up the road to the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
We went through a gate in a bamboo fence and found ourselves on a balcony of sorts, covered with a thatched roof. This blind allowed us to see the lek,
The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is the national bird of Peru.
|There are so many birds in that foliage!|
|Tufted Capuchin Monkeys|
|A young Capuchin Monkey|
A Brown Agouti came out of the forest to try his luck with bananas and was chased by whomever was the nearest monkey. The agouti persisted, letting us have a good look at him.
|Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge cabin|
|Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge cabins|
|Clearwing Butterfly (Oleria sp.)|
|Heading down to cloud forest|
|Valley with spots of red Erythrina trees|
|A domesticated peccary|
|Percy explains about the coca plants|
|Coca leaves set out to dry|
|Jan, Kirby and Rob|
|The farmer and his new house|
|The old house|
Next we stopped at a palm swamp, kind of the opposite of our palm hammocks in Florida! It was a birding stop, but we also saw a large meter-tall ant nest,
|Brynne crossing the log bridge|
|Looking back at the palm swamp|
Since Rob’s rash had worsened, spreading up his arms and on his legs, we stopped in the next town of Pilkopata to have him go to a pharmacy. A week before we arrived, Rob was bitten by an ocelot when trying to band/tag him. Rob was given three injections: for rabies, tetanus, and inflammation, and was given an antibiotic medication to take over the next several days. When Rob first started with the itchy rash, he stopped the antibiotic tablets. But this allergic reaction was getting worse.
In order for all of us to use the restrooms, I left 10 Soles. I figured I could also take some photos while I was at it.
|Boys in school uniforms|
|Boy and his bunny|
Kirby wanted some photos of a burned-out building behind an open electrical box.
|Local woman in front of burned out building|
|Trumpet vine arbor|
|Illegal bus on a truck bed|
Leaving Pilkopata, we made another stop at the bridges before we crossed the Kosnipata River. One new steel bridge was painted bright orange,
|New bridge over the Kosnipata River|
|First view of Rio Alto Madre de Dios|
|Rob, Brynne, Jan and Kirby|
Saw a domesticated black fowl of some sort.
|Odd black fowl|
Saw Oropendola and Cacique nests in a tree above us, along with a wasp nest. The wasps protect these birds from Macaws that will raid the nests. Wasps will not allow macaws to nest in the same tree with them.
|Oropendola and Cacique nests|
|Boarding the boat|
|The navigator is up front|
|Shallow Rio Alto Madre de Dios|
|Percy preparing to set the boat free|
|Percy pushing the boat off the shallow bottom|
|The pilot is pushing as well|
|Another grounded boat|
|Along the Rio Madre de Dios|
|Looking at the bottom of the base of fallen tree|
|Tea plantation grounds|
Mrs. Nellie Yabar greeted us with glasses of lemonade, and we were given an orientation. Here there was electricity, but no private bathrooms. And no keys to the doors.
|Showers and toilets building|
But before showers, a lot of time was spent watching all the hummingbirds buzzing around our heads and going to feeders and plants in the area. A popular plant for the hummingbirds is the Porterweed, which is an introduced species. Noisy Crested Oropendolas flew into the treetops.
There were also several breadfruit trees, which appeared to have been purposely pruned to have four upright trunks.
Coming back we saw some giant corn kernels laid out to dry next to the dining hall.
|Giant corn kernels|
Percy pointed out a jeep now overgrown by the jungle, that was left after the river had flooded.
|Jeep in the overgrowth|
|Jaguar paw print|
Back at the lodge, I was going to rest when I heard a knock on the door. Percy said the lodge staff was going to show us an owl. We were taken in small groups behind the staff house, and a flashlight was shined on a Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl. They didn’t want us to look too long, but Rob requested a longer time (twice!) in order to take photos. Then we went looking for the Common Pauraque, a type of nightjar. Rob and Percy shined their flashlights everywhere at ground level, and finally found eyeshine. There were several of these birds sitting on the ground, and they would suddenly jump/fly straight up from the ground for a couple meters and land back on the ground.
Dinner, bird list, shower and bed at 9:30 PM.
Next: Day 5 Manu National Park.