Immersed in the sights and sounds of the rainforest, we have become more attuned to the biodiversity around us. With sharpened senses, we are now able to tell the species apart.
It feels great to be able to call a plant or creature by its name! In becoming more familiar with the place, we beginning to feel like we are part of it!
We started with an early breakfast and early exploration too. As we are in the deepest part of the nature reserve, and we do not want to waste a minute! The resulting visit was superb, possibly the best of the whole trip due to the weather, the landscape, and sightings we all experienced.
Unlike other flooded forests that are covered by murky silty waters, this region is flooded by the black waters of the Pacaya River itself. The black water gives a special characteristic to the whole ecosystem. To start, this is home to the pink river dolphins, large birds such as the horned screamer, tiny ones such as the pygmy owl, and conspicuous mammals such as the red howler monkey! All of this and more much more only in this visitor site!
In the afternoon we returned to Dorado River for more exploration, birdwatching, photography, and a different type of experience. Once again, we explored Dorado River but this time it would be a sunset-night experience in the swamps. We had all sort of sightings starting with birds, sloths, giant trees that happen to be the roosting site of the black-collared hawk, and yellow macaws! As time went by, we saw more and more creatures such as the red howler monkeys again and the elusive hoatzin nesting and feeding a tiny chick!
Once the sun set, it was dark and the ecosystem changed entirely. The songs of birds, the sounds of insects and monkeys disappeared, replaced by a different repertoire of sounds. The nocturnal creatures come to life, ranging from frogs, crickets, bats, and night hawks. Next, we began to shine spotlights into the swamp, looking for caiman. It did not take long to spot the glowing eyes of the first one! In minutes we found several, resting on floating vegetation and some camouflaged waiting for their first meal of the night.
A day like this is indeed an unforgettable one! Just amazing and there is a lot more to come in the following days!