Oct 25, 2018 - Delfin II
Today we started our day in the usual way, with a very early exploration; we boarded our skiffs before breakfast and went looking for wildlife at Yanallpa in the Ucayali River. The early morning is the time when most birds and other creatures are more active, every one of them looking for their respective breakfast, and we saw many examples. Neotropical cormorants swallowing surprisingly big fishes, white-eared jacamars with large insects at the end of their beaks and plumbeous kites chasing dragonflies high in the sky. Several others were still patiently awaiting their meal, including the ever-present great black hawks,
Then we entered a small tributary named Belluda Caño, where we pretty quickly found a small group of the rare and very interesting monk saki monkeys; with their long hair and very fluffy tail, monk sakis look very different than the other primates in the region. Their long tails were the cause of a lot of hunting in the past, being used as dusters throughout the area. And then we found something unusual: a dead green anaconda! At about seven ft long, the young snake seemed to be resting on a branch just above the water, but closer inspection revealed that the reptile wasn't alive anymore. We couldn't find any evidence of what may have caused its death; I guess that it was an example of how tough life can be in the Amazon and even the mightiest hunters die. It is a jungle out there!
During the afternoon, we explored the Dorado River, another tributary to the Ucayali further upriver. Some of us opted to visit it by kayak first, and then everyone boarded our skiffs to continue our search for wildlife; this time we stayed in the river until after sunset and brought spotlights and lamps with us to look for night creatures. It is something very special to be on a tropical river in the dark looking for the tell-tale sign of eyes reflecting our lights. We found numerous caimans, both spectacled and black, and had the chance to take some photographs of them as they watched us with just their eyes, ears and nostril out the water. What a special day we had today exploring the Ucayali River!
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