This morning, we woke up on the shores of the Ucayali River near the mouth of a small creek that leads to the community called Flor de Castaña. We enjoyed a wonderful and hearty breakfast prepared by the galley team before we boarded the skiffs. Right away, we noticed the shoreline of the creek was lined with soil. This was a unique experience so far on this expedition. All the other creeks we explored have been completely flooded forests with no “firm ground” surrounding us. Above the banks of the stream, we noticed the vegetation was also different. We observed many cultivars, including plantains and yucca. As we continued exploring the creek, one of our guides spotted a northern tamandua high up in a tree. Our skiff drivers carefully repositioned so we could enjoy an excellent and clear view of this curious creature that seemed to be resting.

As we continued exploring, we found all kinds of wonderful birds, including a russet-backed oropendola, two masked tityras, and a pair of dusky-headed parakeets. One of the morning’s highlights was a close view of a vocal black-capped donacobius.

After we left the creek behind, the landscape opened into a wide lake. This lake was part of the forest that was recently flooded, leaving behind many dead trees. These abundant dead trees provided habitat for more unique bird sightings, including grey-breasted martins, barn swallows, yellow-tufted woodpeckers, and plumbeous kites. We also saw a tree trunk covered with about ten sleeping long-nosed bats.

Back on the ship, we enjoyed a fascinating presentation from on-board National Geographic expert Kike Calvo on the art of storytelling. The presentation was both insightful and inspiring.

After lunch, some of us took to the water to explore the Yarapa River via kayak and skiff. It was a pleasant afternoon exploring the calm waters lined with towering green forest and dramatic clouds above us. Again, just when we thought the day was over, we spotted a yellow-tailed woolly monkey near the confluence of the Yarapa and the Ucayali Rivers.

Overall, it was another great day exploring here in the Upper Amazon of Peru.