Many things were put on hold during the peak of the pandemic, including travel. We reveled today in visiting the deepest reaches of the Pacaya-Samaira National Reserve. We visited areas that our local guides have not had the opportunity to explore in almost three years. We were richly rewarded by sightings of capybaras, brown capuchins, squirrels, Isabel’s sakis, and red howlers. The bird species sighted numbered over three dozen. The weather gave us a reminder that we are in a tropical rainforest, as the skies dumped a cleansing rain on us and everything else as we made our way back to Delfin II. It was an awesome experience of the sounds, sights, and smells of the rainforest.
During the early morning hours, we could hear rain pounding on our boat. Happily, the rain slowed to a drizzle as dawn approached. We slipped into ponchos as we boarded the skiffs and motored off in search of whatever Mother Nature had to offer. We observed dozens of great egrets fishing along the muddy banks at the mouth of Clavero Lake. By the high water marks on the reeds and bushes, we could see that the lake level recently dropped by at least four feet. We found and photographed at least a dozen species of birds during our hour in the skiffs before breakfast. In addition, we saw a troop of squirrel monkeys and both gray and pink dolphins. In the afternoon, we explored Supay Creek and followed a narrow waterway into a peaceful oxbow lake. Some of the many bird species we identified included two bright turquoise cotingas, short-tailed parrots, hoatzins, and a gray-headed kite. We saw our first giant water lilies, and one was in bloom! The highlight of our evening was watching hundreds of sand-colored nighthawks. These nocturnal birds feed on flying insects, and they came out of the forest and perched in the treetops as the sun set over the lake.