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Barranco Alto and Pantanal, a yearly appointment

Bush dog

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Skimmers skimming. Great action shots!

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@Busg dog

Black Skimmer Landing ... just perfect. And I love the photos of pantaneiros daily life. Do they call them also "gaucho"? Or is this word reserved for Argentinian cowboys?

Edited by xelas
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Thanks again for your comments.




"Gaucho" is indeed the word reserved to Argentinian cow-boys.


I seize the opportunity to make a precision on the "comitiva". As you can see the cow-boys are riding mules and never horses, for that job, that can last several days. Indeed, the Pantanal horses are not strong enough fot it.

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Let's continue on the river with the otters


Neotropical Otter (2012)




Neotropical otter (2009)




Neotropical otter (2007)




This year I did not see a lot of giant otters. In fact, I saw more in the lakes than in the river which is a worrying sign for this also endangered specie. It means that the fish population in the river is decreasing.


Giant otter (2009)




Giant otter (2014)










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@@Bush dog

Super pictures of the skimmers in action and superb pictures of the two types of otter.

(I now know how difficult it can be to get pictures of the otters as they move so quickly that I admire these even more!)


It is interesting to get your perspective on sightings over time - and worrying if your theory is correct.

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Thank you for your comments,


and thanks also to all of you who tick off the "Like this" box.

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To continue on the river


Amazon Kingfisher Female (2014)




Couple of Amazon Kingfishers (2014)




Male of the same couple




Ringed Kingfisher 2012)




Green Kingfisher (2010)





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From the boat, we were looking at the Rufescent Tiger-Heron below, when our attention was caught by its strange behaviour. His regard was focused on a point two meters from him.




Suddenly, Francesco shouted « snake ». We saw only its tail. We, then, heard squeaks. We understood that the snake had caught a frog. We, then, saw the head of the snake swallowing the frog when he was moving back. I just had the time to take a dozen of shots before he disappeared in the bushes. Fernando told me that it was a Brazilian False Water Cobra, a long snake of about 2,5 meters that is usually nocturnal. Later, Lucas told me, that it was a very fast and agressive reptile.



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Mike, the otter serious is just brilliant!!!

Birdlife alone looks spectacular (even for a non-birder like me) - I must go with you one of these years!!!

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Thank you, Hari.


If that can sort itself out, I would be very glad to accompany you there.


And you are right, birdlife, alone, is one of the main reasons of my regular visits.

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Concerning the snake episode, it happened last month, the morning of my departure day


Concerning caimans, they were in greater number the first years of my visits there. It is of course depending on the water levels (a lot of water=not a lot of caimans) but I wonder if it is not like for the otters, because of a decrease of the fish population???

I arrived to the same conclusion concerning capibaras along the river, less population than some years ago.


Caimans (2014)








Caiman (2010)




Capibaras (2006)



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Continued on the river


In July 2010, I was on a beach of the inside side of a loop of the Rio Negro. I heard some noise, and instead of making the whole tour around the loop, I decided, carefully, to cut through the bushes to see what was happening on the other side of the beach. The sun was about to disappear behind the horizon. There was an important group of White-lipped Pecaris with young ones. Their teeth began to chatter. This is, for them, a sign of intense stress. So, after a few shots, I decided to move back. Indeed, a group of white-lipped pecaris can be extremely dangerous.


That reminds me of a story that Lucas told me. A few years ago, there was, at FBA, a female jaguar, called « Barbie ». She was living in the forest, far from the river, and had a cub. One day, Lucas found her, with her cub, extremely terrified, on top of a tree, with, all around, a group of raging pecaris whose teeth were chattering.




Southern Caracara (2010), drinking and that did not appreciate what he drank.




Amazonian Motmot (2012)




Large-billed Tern (2014)




Pied Lapwing (2008)




Rufous-tailed Jacamar (2012 & 2014)






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What TonyQ said. Love the Motmot, what a beautiful bird!

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Thanks for you support.


Continued on the river


Gray-necked Wood-rail (2009)




Black-crowned Night Heron (2009)




In July 2010, I was far away on the river with Lucas, when we came to that floating dead feral pig, wit a lesser yellow-headed Vulture on it, trying to keep his balance and wandering how to feed on it.




In July 2010 also, the beautiful and strange boat-billed Heron, not seen often at FBA.




Capped Heron (2010)




Yellow-billed Cardinal (2012)




Rufescent Tiger Heron (2012)





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Last pictures on the river


Last month, I was with Fernando on the river. As it was quiet, we decided to fish for piranhas. On the dozen we caught, we kept only two, the biggest one, and throw the others back in the river. We stopped, then, on a beach. While I was marking my territory, Fernando cleaned the fishes, cut off the fillets - back at the lodge, Lucas prepared the « piranhas’ sushis » : the raw fillets are cut in thin slides and plunged in a mixture of soy sauce, fresh lime juice and small pieces of oignons, it’s delicious - and threw the rest in the river. Very quickly, two southern caracaras came and tried, several times, to catch the floating remains, without succes.




Talking about piranhas, here are two different species, amongst others, that can be found in the Rio Negro.



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Now, we arrive to the third area of FBA : the forest, with the pools and the lakes.


Last year, I arrived to a small pool, with Fernando and my wife, where a tapir was having a bath. I walked alone to the pool, to be closer. While I was busy taking shots, I heard, in my back, a whistling. So, I turned my head and saw Fernando and my wife, gesticulating and pointing out something, somewhere in the pool or on the other side of it. Because I was sitting on the ground, and the height of the grass on the other side, it took me a certain time to discover the reason of all this gesticulation. A second tapir was coming and joined his congeneric in the water. During a few minutes, they turned around each other, sniffing. I tought that they were about to mate, but obviously Mrs Tapir was not ready and they went both their separate ways.



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@TonyQ@Game Warden@@jeremie


Many thanks for your comments


Seeing tapirs in the water is not really that uncommon. I have seen them several times, crossing rivers and lakes in daylight and at night. Seeing two together is more uncommon, though this year, at night, I saw a female and her young one, crossing a lake. But seeing them like I saw them last year, from a short distance, is quite exceptional. The fact that, like anteaters, they have poor hearing and eyesight, helps of course a lot.

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Some more pictures of the 2013 sighting




Tapirs crossing river or lake


Tapir crossing the river (2006)




Tapir crossing a salina (2012)



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Fantastic tapir shots, all of them! What a superb encounter.

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Thank you for your kind comments.


Continued around the pools and lakes (2014). There is always a great bird activity and a great diversification of species.




Scarlet-headed Blackbird (2010)




Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (2010). Find the intruder.




At the end of the dry season, some pools are getting dry. Great feast for the jabirus and the wood storcks (2013). I had never seen so many jabirus together, they were coming from everywhere like vultures on a carrion.




Yellowlegs, I think Lesser but might be Greater? (2013)




Coscoroba Swans (2013). It's a migratory specie. They are not coming every year.




Red Shovelers (2009). Those are extremely rare.




Black-collared Hawk (2014) eating a kind of eel.



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