Belluda Caño & El Dorado River

May 31, 2018 - Delfin II

We heard the knock-knock on our cabin doors at 0530 this morning and sleepily but eagerly boarded the skiffs for a morning of exploration up one of the most beautiful creeks in the area—on one of the most beautiful mornings of this month! The full moon was setting, the sun was rising, and the clouds looked like cotton candy. We motored up Belluda Caño, which translates to Hairy Creek, a reference to all the hanging vines and roots seen here. Birds were everywhere and we saw several beautiful species: white-throated toucans, red-bellied macaws, red-capped cardinals, two species of caracaras, and brilliant turquoise plum-throated cotingas.

We found adorable night monkeys snuggled into a hollow tree trunk, two yellow-crowned brush-tailed rats also squeezed into a hole, and some of us saw the Isabela saki monkeys high in the biggest trees. Javier spied a long billed tree-creeper peeking at a two meter olive whip snake that was coiled on a branch.

We came back hungry to enjoy a very welcome breakfast buffet. Naturalist Sandro shared his knowledge of the birds of the Pacaya- Samiria Reserve and we had a fun time with cabin boys Fredy and Jackson attempting to learn how to fold towels. Everyday they have been surprising us with a new towel creature in our cabins!

Ten of us went out for kayaking along the Dorado River in the afternoon, enjoying the peaceful outing and returning just as thunder was heard and the clouds overhead turned an ominous dark gray.  The heavens opened up and it poured!  We learned to make pisco sours as we waited for the sky to clear, and then boarded the skiffs to explore the Dorado Lakes. Thousands of neotropical cormorants had settled in the tree tops at the lake for the night and we listened to their croaking calls and tried not to disturb them. As night fell we used a powerful spotlight to search for caiman that are easily located because of their bright orange eye-shine. The bright lights temporarily disorient the reptiles and we were able to approach slowly in the skiffs for good looks and photographs.

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About the Author

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

About the Photographer

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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