Yanallpa and Dorado River

Oct 18, 2018 - Delfin II

Today we woke up in the vicinity of Yanallpa, on the northern shore of the Ucayali River; we boarded our skiffs shortly after sunrise and explored the shoreline looking for wildlife. We are never disappointed when we do so and this morning was no exception. Besides the usual suspects like the ringed and Amazon kingfishers, the black-collared, roadside and great black hawks, different egret and heron species, and many other abundant birds, we found several very interesting ones. A couple of laughing falcons, a bird of prey that specialized in capturing snakes, iguanas and other reptiles, regaled us with great views as they called to each other from trees close to shore. We watched a peregrine falcon, the world's fastest creature, feeding on a yellow-rumped cacique that it had just captured. Numerous groups and flocks of parakeets and parrots flew all around, including some red-bellied, blue and yellow, and scarlet macaws!

We decide to explore for the first time this season, a small tributary known as Belluda Caño. The rising water level barely allowed us to maneuver the skiffs around the many logs and branches that partially blocked the stream, showing the great skill of our drivers, and giving us a true sense of adventure and exploration. All that effort was rewarded with some great wildlife sightings, like the group of saddle-backed tamarin monkeys that we watched at our leisure moving around and jumping just in front of our skiffs.

Delfín II kept moving upriver during the morning and getting closer to the Dorado River, where some of us explored by kayak and some others by skiff. We all enjoyed some more great wildlife watching, particularly during the late hours. We waited in the river until after sunset and turned on spotlights to look for the shining eyes of caiman. Due to a reflective layer on the back of their eyes that helped many nocturnal creatures to gather more light, caiman's eyes shine brightly when illuminated with a lamp and allowed us to find them from far away. We all had the chance to see several spectacled caimans up close and personal, and to learn more about one of the region's top predators, ending another awesome day exploring the Peruvian Amazon.

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About the Author

Carlos Navarro

Undersea Specialist

Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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