Fearing we might be a little bored with jaguars (?!?!?!?!), the leaders decided – after consultation – that this morning we would not go in search of felines, but visit instead a very bird-friendly fazenda (farm). So, even earlier than usual, we set off with the faithful Manuel, this time turning right from the flotel. (Up-river I think, but the waters flow so slowly in that so-flat land that it was difficult to tell).
But before going any further, do you remember the giant anteater we saw a few days back? Dave Allen was a fellow wildlife enthusiast on this trip. A great birder, he personally saw 199 different species during our time in the Pantanal. He was wielding a video camera for much of the time, and he has authorised me to share with you this excellent clip of our anteater encounter. Can you believe that such an animal exists?
We had hoped yesterday’s rain might mean it was a little cooler today, Thursday 24th September. In vain.
It was not long before we came across a small group of Giant river otters. Those with fish were making it very clear they were not going to share.
Anhinga and Giant river otters
Shortly afterwards, the boat screeched – metaphorically – to a halt. We had come to a phenomenon that neither of our naturalists had ever seen before: Capped herons courting. What beautiful birds!
I wonder if she’ll like this twig
In case not, I’ll fluff myself up
and I’ll throw my head back and show her what my throat can do
Perhaps this pretty leaf will please her
Think I’m in with a chance here
I’ll go on ahead
but mustn’t forget that leaf…
We moved on.
Capybara and Smooth-billed ani
Cocoi heron and fish. We stayed to watch for a while, but he just didn’t seem to know what to do with such a great big catch.
When we arrived at the fazenda, we were stepping on to land for the first time for three days, though it seemed, in the nicest way, to have been much longer. What a collection of avian masterpieces we saw there, including those noisy, noisy Hyacinth macaws once more.
Jabiru stork practising its arabesque
Who’s a cheeky boy then?
A reminder of the wonderful silhouette of a hyacinth macaw as it comes in to land
Chestnut-bellied guans, with caracara
Giant cowbird (BL)
And there was a little extra treat in store at the river bank as we went back to the boat for our return to the flotel and lunch.