Saturday, February 29, 2020

Bailing the boat

Our typical pattern at Shiripuno would be to walk in the morning, siesta during the midday, and then as the heat started to fall off in the later afternoon bird the river by boat.  The sun started out bright enough that the butterflies were out in force.

This one is on guide Fito's hat...

Others (the black and green ones are Uraenia moths and the brown one some flavor of daggerwing) found salt and minerals from more traditional locations, like the mud at waters edge.  (Note how it's now somewhat overcast)

We kept heading down river and found birds.  The quickest way to ID the aracari toucans is to count the belly bands, this one is one-banded making it Chestnut-eared.  (It's even more overcast...)

Overcast gave way to rain and rain gave way to one of the more torrential downpours I've ever experienced.  It was dumping down in rivulets, just pouring out of the sky.  The bottom of the boat and was honeycombed  by inch and a half tall partitions of steel welded to the bottom of the narrow but flat-bottomed boat.  Let's just say the water level rose.  And rose.  And rose some more.  Eventually the water started cresting over the partitions in the back half of the boat.  If it had gone up farther the water could have flowed from one side of the boat to the other and swamped us going around a corner as 100's of gallons of water flowed to just one side.  We stopped and passed a bail bucket (err cutout milkjug) around.

The rain stopped eventually, but my shoes were SOAKED.  I'd kept my feet perched up on the partitions and partially shielded by my raincoat, but water pouring down my pants filled them with enough water I could pour it out once it finally stopped as we neared the lodge.

So needless to say not a ton of pics that afternoon, though this Bare-necked Fruitcrow flew up the river as we landed and then teed up in a snag above the lodge, one of the more unique birds I've encountered

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