Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Next morning we were scheduled to go on the boat again. Unfortunately it was still raining when we got up, and the whole world looked cold, grey, damp and miserable. After a while the rain did not exactly stop but changed into more of a drizzle at least so we decided to give it a go.




Not the best circumstances for photography obviously but you have to work with what Mother Nature gives.




The Emerald Tree Boa was still in roughly the same spot but still pretty deep inside the thickish.




Our only sighting of Skimmers.




Marail Guan




The first proper sighting of  a Howler. They are incredibly loud animals, we heard them very often during the rainforest part of the trip. Good weathermen, their howling seems to come to a peak shortly before it starts raining.




Silvered Antbird. Like all Antbirds, an incredibly skulky bird. No chance of ever seeing one without a guide recognizing their song and attracting it.




Black Currasow.  It is the only Crax curassow where the male and female cannot be separated by plumage.




Great Black Hawk - probably the bird of prey we saw the most.




Cocoi Heron, very similar to our European Grey Heron. A regular on the rivers but never allowing close approach.


After we had circled "Indian Island" we returned to the lodge for breakfast, the Pied Plovers saying "Good Morning" to us.




Right after breakfast we returned to the boat, going upriver again. The weather was much nicer now.






Our only sighting of a Red-Fan Parrot.




A very patient Ladder-Tailed Nightjar, obviously fully relying on its camouflage.




A bit of blue sky, hooray!




Large-Billed Tern




We left the main river and came to a lovely secluded pond where we embarked.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)



A trek up Turtle Mountain was up now. We really enjoyed this, it was great walking in such a secluded part of rainforest. At first it´s pretty flat but the actual ascent could be quite steep in parts. Not really a problem but because of the heavy rain the path was very muddy and often slippery.


TR_0212_0445_Iwokrama Rainforest - Turtle Hill Trail.jpg




Rufous-Capped Antthrush, one of the specialties guide Alex managed to get for us here. A bird you need patience for.




We were delighted to have a very good (photographable!) sighting of Red-Faced Spider Monkeys. An advantage of going up - much easier to see canopy wildlife.




This one seemed shocked that we were here. :D




Nothing to see here guys, just hanging around.




A vulnerable species, threatened by hunting and habitat loss.  Found in undisturbed primary rainforests in northern Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana and Venezuela.




It was a good thing we were not right below them - Spider Monkeys are experts in, well, throwing their shit at people they want to get rid off. :D




Ferruginous Antbird, another skulky species we had to work on for quite a while.




It was very hot and humid now, so the benches strategically placed on the way up gave some welcome respite.






Another nice Howler sighting. The Guyanan Red Howler, one of 15 different Howler species, is native to the Guyanas, Trinidad, Venezuela and Brazil. When a number of Howlers let loose their lungs in concert, often early in the morning or at the end of the day, the uproar can be heard up to three miles away. The noise sends a clear message to other monkeys stating that this territory is already occupied by a troop and they need to stay away!




Nice to see a young one. At one month, infants are able to use their tail to cling on to their mother, riding on her back, until they are one year old. Nursing lasts until the young are between eighteen and twenty-four months old.




Finally we had made it to the top and were rewarded with great views of rainforest.




TR_0231_0483_Iwokrama Rainforest - Turtle Hill Trail.jpg




Occassionally a bird of prey would circle around the mountain (really more of a hill), a Greater Yellow-Headed Vulture here.




We could not linger too long, rain was coming again, and Alex urged us to return before the path would get too difficult. We complied, but all in vain, five minutes after we started our descent the heavens opened and we were thoroughly soaked. But not too bad, it was warm, and I actually quite enjoyed it. Mainly used the rainjacket to protect the camera. And it was over as quickly as it had started.




It was about 13:30 when we returned to the boat and then to the lodge to a late lunch.






Ringed Kingfisher




Black Nunbird


Not much time for afternoon rest but @AndMicmade good use of it.




I continued to bird the grounds and found a few nice ones.




Red-Capped Cardinal




Epaulet (previously Moriche) Oriole




Would the weather hold for the afternoon? The plan was to walk the entrance road. We had then paid for an extra activity, a nocturnal drive-around in the hope of seeing some mammals. Well, that was a real bust. It was already very gloomy when we walked and while we did pick up a good number of species it was way too dark for any keeper photos.




Black-Headed Parrot




Back on the main road. Very soon after we started to drive around it started to rain again. Drizzle at first, then heavier, and then a kind of rain I had never experienced. Really scary in its intensity. Needless to say we did not see anything in this, we could barely see anything that was more than two metres away from the car. And it did not stop, it went on like this for a good part of the night, I had trouble falling asleep because the rain clashing on the roof was thunderous loud.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The forest looks beautiful and you had great sightings of the Spider and Howler monkeys.

And you saw why the rainforest got the name:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks Tony - we did indeed and would see it again and again. :)


The rain had not lessened much next morning. Our itinerary said we had a good chance of seeing wildlife passing the road on the transfer to Atta Lodge, our next stop. But the weather made sure chances of that were slim to non-existent. Our driver had to stop every five minutes to clean the windscreen - the amount of mud was quite overwhelming. When the rain finally gave in a bit we tried to find a few birds with limited success. Too dark and grey for any keeper photos.




So all in all, our morning activity was not overly exciting. Also, @AndMicwas feeling quite sick and definitely was feverish. Never a good thing far away from civilisation. Fortunately a bit of rest and some pills did the trick and he´d be ok again the next day.




Atta Rainforest Lodge, our next stop. Quite different surroundings from Iwokrama, no river close by, just a small clearing in the very heart of the rainforest. We said Good Bye to Alex, our fabulous Iwokrama guide.




The rooms at Atta are a lot smaller but ok. Little privacy there though. Since the brick walls don´t actually connect with the roof one can hear everything the neighbours are talking about. Atta was full when we arrived, an US birding group with 12 participants stayed there. The next day we´d be the only guests. Food here was better than at Iwokrama, and we did enjoy the fact that our guide would join us for all meals. A good opportunity to hear more about the life of the locals here, and of course about wildlife sightings.






I was not overly enthusiastic when we were introduced to our guide here at first.




A 19-year-old boy? Really?


I could not have been more wrong. Young John was fantastic, we really enjoyed his company. He had only started to bird and walk as a guide one year earlier but obviously had really put a lot of effort into his new job. He knew almost all calls and was a great spotter. Also very patient with us in pointing out where a bird would sit which really is not easy in the rainforest. (Even with the green laser pointers the guides here generally use, very helpful.) I also appreciated that the few times when he fought with identifying some obscure song or squawk in the thickish he openly admitted not being sure or not knowing.


While Andreas rested a bit John took me around for a first exploratory circle of the trails and we did pick up a lot.




Great Jacamar




A very drab inconspicuous bird but still worth showing here because this is THE voice of Amazon rainforest. Screaming Piha is the name, and they are incredibly loud and omnipresent indeed. Check their song here.




White-Chinned Woodcreepers. A nightmare familiy for birders, there are dozens and dozens of species in the Neotropics, and they all look the same.








I was really delighted to find this one, one of my most-wanted targets. White-Plumed Antbird. Such a wonderfully weird design. One would assume that only the male sports this eclectic special plumed look, but no, both sexes are the same.




Green Oropendola




Grey-Winged Trumpeter. Quite an odd, gregarious species that lives in flocks of up to about 15 birds of all ages.


It had been drizzling on and off the whole morning. During lunch the rain came back in force again, and there was little to do except having siesta. Quite a cool guest showed up during lunch-break though, a King Vulture was perching in the garden high up with all its Black cousins. A very good bird to see, another one high up in my wishlist.




It was still raining when we met with John again for our afternoon activity.




Black-Eared Fairy, the only Hummer we´d see around the lodge. They do have some feeders there and also a lot of nice flowers but the Hummers are blissfully ignoring both.




It´s just half a km or so from the lodge to the quite famous Iwokrama Canopy Walk. Which starts from the top of a hill, so there´s no need to climb up a tower. Still 189 (quite slippery) stairs up to go, then there are four connected platforms enabling an entrance into the upper stratum of the canopy.






Supposedly giving you great opportunities to see a lot of birds and other animals. Well, not for us - it was awfully quiet.






It is quite a cool place but it was of course a letdown hardly seeing anything in the two hours we spent up here. I picked up six species and saw a few distant Howlers. Quite disappointing.




Black-Necked Aracari






Obviuosly the lousy weather was not helping, and canopy stuff is always a matter of luck. Get a birding party wandering through, and this can be terrific. Of course also very much depending if you have fruiting trees nearby or not. No action today, and it would be even quieter when we returned the morning before our departure when we had splendid weather.


TR_0273_0542_Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.jpg

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)



The weather god was a bit more merciful with us the next day - apart from a bit of drizzle now and then there was no rain, and we even enjoyed a bit of sunlight. This morning we walked along the main road.




Blue-Headed Parrot peaking out.




Guianan Streaked Antbird




Green Kingfisher













After breakfast John led us back on one of the tracks.






Green-Backed Trogon - one of the few birds happy enough to pose for us a bit.




Spix´s Guan




Chestnut Woodpecker




Plain-Brown Woodpecker




During lunchbreak a relatively confiding Red-Rumped Agouti stopped by to say Hi. Agoutis are related to Guinea Pigs and look somewhat similar, but they are larger and have longer legs.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)



Atta looked a lot nicer in the sun!




Even the Black Vultures were posing so nicely that I could not resist taking a shot. For the afternoon we ventured out to the main road again.




Toucan time! Channel-Billed Toucan




White-Throated Toucan




And a Black-Collared Aracari




When we had driven down to Atta there had been quite a bit of traffic - not in a city sense of course, but I´d guess 20 cars or more had overturned us. Wonderfully quiet now - I don´t remember a single car passing through.




It was a lovely afternoon, and again we picked up a good number of birds.




Rufescent Tiger-Heron.




We spent most of our time with a pair of Scarlet Macaws. Such colourful and entertaining birds - they had a nest right by the road.






Very similar to the slightly larger Red-and-Green Macaw, which has more distinct red lines in the face and no yellow in the wing.




These birds can live up to 90(!) years in captivity.




They were coming and going a couple of times. Every time when we finally resolved to leave and had walked a bit they would return - as did we. It was hard to leave them for good.




 Monogamous birds, individuals remain with one partner throughout their lives.


TR_0316_0665_Scharlachara (Scarlet Macaw).jpg




We waited until nightfall for some nocturnal birds. It did not take long for Nightjars and Nighthawks to show up, and John also found a (non-photographable) Potoo for us. On our way back to the lodge we also were successful in attracting a Tawny-Bellied Screed-Owl.




Next morning we tried the Canopy Walkway again. Just as we were entering John got a phonecall - and was told a Harpy Eagle was perching right in the middle of the lodge garden!!!! Damn! I ran down the hill and back to the lodge. Completely out of breath I met one of the other guides just before arriving at the clearing. His apologetic look told me everything - the Harpy had left, and they had been unable to re-locate it. How incredibly frustrating! The Harpy is definitely one of the most iconic birds in the world, and being so close at seeing one really hurt. Andreas and John arrived after a while, and ultimately we decided to go op to the walkway again.




LIke I said before it was very, very quiet.




A distant Spider-Monkey was the most exciting living thing around. When I scanned around I noticed a perching bird of prey very, very far out in the canopy though. "What is that John?"


It was the Harpy! Extremely distant but we enjoyed great views of this powerful raptor in the scope. What a relief! And how cool to see this majestic bird in the Wild. :D


The photos are extremely poor (cropped the hell out of them) given the distance but it´s one of the most sought birds in the world to see probably so I´ll include them:




Harpy Eagles possess the largest talons of any living eagle and have been recorded as carrying prey weighing up to roughly half of their own body weight. Sloths and monkeys are their main prey.






A bit closer (a couple of kms!:D) would have been nice of course but still we were elated - a great end to our time at Atta.


Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@michael-ibkYour photographs are just fantastic.  I particularly liked the Scarlet Macaws in flight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


wow! to see a harpy Eagle1 and the scarlet maccaws are wondrfull @michael-ibk

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You got to see the Harpy!  And the Cock-of-the-Rock only because of your persistence. Despite the frequent rain that seemed quite intimidating, your other sightings were excellent and abundant.  Your night photography is great too.The macaws are so brilliant.  Glad Andreas recovered quickly from his bout of illness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geat views of the Macaws and the Toucans. Well done with the Harpy Eagle - what a relief!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zim Girl

Great start to this interesting trip report.  Already lots of excellent sightings and photos, despite the best efforts of the rain.

Stunning Cock of the Rock pictures, good job you stood your ground there.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks a lot @Ginny, @Towlersonsafari, @Atravelynn, @TonyQand @Zim Girl.


A driver-guide combo from Surama Lodge drove us to Rock View, our next stop.




We had a very exciting stop on the way - there´s a known Cock-of-the-Rock lek at a place called Corkwood, just a 10 minutes walk or so from the main road.




They are not called Cocks of the Rocks for nothing - they do like Rocks! There were only two Cocks around, but one of them made up for the lack of quantity with a good performance. He posed very closely, and we could admire his beauty for a good half hour. Such a cool bird! Except during the mating season, these birds are wary animals and difficult to see in the rainforest canopy. On average, the female lays her eggs around March. So our trip was well timed.




"During the height of mating season, males gather in leks with multiple males defending a social display arena of much greater area than that of a lone male. The males each have their own area on the forest floor where they make their courts. The size of each court is about 1 metre (3 ft) in diameter, and the next bird is often about 3 metres (10 ft) away.The females and males live separately; only when it is time to mate do females fly over to observe and choose a male. When this occurs, the females tap the males from behind and insemination quickly follows. When females approach a lek, the males stand firmly and present themselves rigidly." (Wikipedia)




The females are tougher to see - our guide showed us where they often nest.




And indeed, a female was here, perfectly blending in in the dark cave. Much more inconspicous than the males, and also duller than their Andean counterparts.



Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Great Cock of the Rock shots! Only times I've seen them they were in deep dark forest and fairly distant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Those scarlet macaws in flight are exquisite, almost phoenix-like in the first BIF shot. seeing that harpy even in that distance would have thrilled me no end, so I can understand how excited you were. it came back for you!

that cock of the rock is a real other-worldly bird, but mesmerising still.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pedro maia

What a freat trip so far, the falls are beautiful, like all that forest, the Cock of the Rocks is out of this world and the Harpy eagle is surely the trip highlight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This is an excellent trip report @michael-ibk - thank you for the great photos, narrative, and travel details.


Your guides really produced!


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Those cock of the rock birds are unreal!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Thanks a lot @janzin, @Kitsafari, @pedro maia, @offshorebirderand @Atravelynn.


After our very satisfying Cock-of-the-Rock encounter we continued our drive to the South. Another King Vulture popped by on the way - again very distant unfortunately.




Quite fascinatingly suddenly the jungle just stopped and made way for wide grasslands - we had reached the Rupununi savanna. 5000 sqkm of grasslands and marshes, often flooding in the rainy season.




It really seemed like someone had told the jungle trees "That´s it for you guys, not one step further, your journey ends here. You shall not pass!" I asked several people if human influence is to blame for that but apparently not. As far as I was told it´s just a - quite striking - natural habitat change.


Our first accommodation here was Rock View Lodge, nestled between the Amerindian villages of Annai and Rupertee.








They don´t have as such a strong focus on wildlife and birding as Atta or Iwokrama but rather try to attract a wide range of guests. Quite successfully it seems. And they are doing a very good job indeed as a more general, "all-kinds-of-travellers" type lodge. Comfortable rooms, good food, and very, very hospitable hosts and staff who really make you feel at home.


Our room:








They have a pretty tame Wedge-Capped Capuchin on the grounds. We were told he popped in one day and never left again.




Beware - he likes to steal cookies!






The pool was wonderful in the midday heat.


As I´ve mentioned before the way Wilderness had booked this for us we were supposed to have an expert guide at all our different locations. That did not work here, Colin, the owner, told us his guide had injured his leg and was not available. So we would not have a guide here at all. Colin´s son had the task of showing us around the general area. A friendly man but he knew nothing about wildlife in general and birds especially. He could barely tell a Macaw from a Toucan.


Obviously I was not too happy about that but little we could do about it. To give him credit, Colin did hire a replacement guide for our very last morning - one of the guys working for Atta Lodge was on leave and lived nearby. We decided not to get too cranky about the lack of a guide and just enjoy the place. And we did - a lot. The lodge has been around for a long time, and the nicely-organised gardens attract a good range of birds.




White-Tipped Dove




Orange-Backed Troupial




Burnished-Buff Tanager




Brown-Throated Parakeet




Pale-Breasted Thrush - Guyana´s equivalent to our European Blackbird. A very common and bold bird.








Rusty-Margined Flycatcher




Tropical Mockingbird - another very common bird.




Unfortuantely we did not take a photo of owner Colin and his wife (sorry, forgot her name). They are one of the main reasons we enjoyed our stay so much. Colin is a larger-than-life character, with tons of things to tell about his very colourful life. Very entertaining guy, and so good at being charming that I could not really hold it against him when I did not quite believe him. All meals are done communaly which I always enjoy. The other guests (a few siblings and their friend from the UK) were just lovely people, and we got along very well. In the evening before dinner we would always sit upstairs and have censored numbers of Rum Punches.





Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Next afternoon we went for a boat trip to the Rupununi. Not booked with Wilderness, and I have to say they really did a lousy job here. Originally we were supposed to stay at Surama but that was fully booked which is why we switched to Rock View. At Surama a boat trip (on the Burro river) was included. Since I always like being on the river I asked if we could not do that out of Rock View just as well. We could, I was told, but it would cost USD 430,-- per person. Which was just ridicolous. And what they absolutely failed to mention (let alone offer) was that it was perfectly possible to do a boat trip on the Rupununi, just a 20 minute drive from Rock View. So we booked that directly with Colin. Also meant we had to part with most of our Guyana Dollar cash (and we had been told CC would probably not be accepted anywhere in the Rupununi) for that.


Oh well. It was a very enjoyable afternoon. A bit quiet (as most of our boat excursions really) but just very serene and beautiful.






Large-Billed Tern




Neotropic Cormorant






Several times we left the main river and explored some of the smaller channels. At one time we got stuck - our boatman had to jump out to get free again.




Crimson-Crested Woodpecker. I really like all these "Woody Woodpecker" type species.




Our UK friends had found three Otters the day before here - but no luck for us.


We did better on the Monkey front - Howlers and Spiders again but also three more species.




Wedge-Capped (or Guianan Weeper) Capuchin. They live in groups ranging from as few as 5 individuals to more than 30 individuals. The groups generally consist of one reproductively active adult male, several adult females and their offspring, and, in some cases, non-reproductive adult males. Juveniles generally make up about 50% of a groups population.




Guianan Squirrel Monkey. Several now-separate squirrel monkey species were formerly considered a single species, Saimiri sciureus, generally known as the Common Squirrel Monkey. The Guianan species occurs in Venezuela, parts of Brazil and Guyana.




The Red-Backed Bearded Saki was the most interesting for me. I´ve seen Capuchin and Squirrel Monkey "variants" before but Saki was new. There used to be only two Bearded Saki species, but they have been split in six different ones about 20 years ago. They kept their distance - I only realized a baby was in the shot back home.




We were pretty sure the rain would get to us, the dark clouds loomed threateningly, but we were lucky and remained dry.




Ospreys are pretty common on the Rupununi river.






Pied Plover with prey.




Pied Water-Tyrant




Black Caiman


TR_0408_0866_Rupununi River.jpg

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites




Apart from the boat trip we just explored the area surrounding Rock View on foot mostly. Picked up most birds with the guide on the last morning naturally but of course the light was lousy then - rain again! But we did not do too badly ourselves.




Buff-Necked Ibis





The main road to Lethem




A majestic Jabiru, one of South America´s most iconic birds, passing by. The only place we saw them.






Finsch´s Euphonia




Yellow-Crested Caracara




This trail was quite interesting. We could hear a lot of birds inside the forest on the hill but it was not easy getting to see them.




White-Bellied Antbird deep inside the foliage.




Black-Crested Anthshrike. A female here which is not black-crested.




On top of the hill - some nice views up here.










Young Burnished-Buff Tanagers enjoying berries.






Pale-Eyed Pygmy-Tyrant - a pretty rare species.




Green-Tailed Jacamar




Golden-Crowned Warbler


The grasslands produced a whole different set - including the always striking Vermilion Flycatcher:






Crested Caracara, probably the most widespread Caracara, found from Southern Arizona all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, to the Southermost tip of the Americas.




I had really wanted to see this one - mainly because of the name. You don´t get too many birds whose name starts with an "X". Kinda at least - White-Naped Xenopsaris.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Time for our next stop - Karanambu Lodge. A two mode-trip there - first a 30 minute drive to the river at Ginep´s Landing.




A boat from Karanambu picked us up here. This is apparently the much more comfortable way to get there because the road is not in the best state. Not possible all-year, depends on the water levels of the Rupununi. But no problem with that, the river´s water level was (unusually) high.










Wood Stork - not the most handsome bird around.




We arrived just in time for lunch at Karanambu.




Probably the best-known wildlife lodge in Guyana. Mostly because of the work of Diane McTurk, conservationist and world-renowned expert on giant otters. Karanambu used to be a safe haven for Giant Otters, many of them were nurtured back to health here after found in the Wild. But that is a thing of the past. Mrs. McTurk passed away some years ago, and even though we were told the lodge would still take in Otters from time to time the derelict state of the Otter enclosure did not really support that statement.




The rooms are nice enough. Since one would totally roast away inside these brick buildings there are lots of windows, and the roof does not connect to the walls. Which also means bats and all kinds of critters love getting inside and find shelter there. So if you´re nervous about creepy-crawleys this might not be your thing.




We liked it a lot. Perfectly comfortably beds, spacious, and airy enough to help againt the oppressive heat. Apparently there was a time when a special strategy was employed to make sure the bat problem in the rooms would not get overhand: They set snakes loose in the roofs (a common practice in the Rupununi). That certainly helped against bats. But, as management had to find out, it also helped against tourists. At times the snakes gorged on bats and became so fat they plummetted down on the floor. I don´t mind snakes much but that would be a bit too close for comfort admittedly also for me. :D So no more snakes in the roofs.








Great Kiskadee, South America´s most common and widespread bird I think. Of course I almost forgot to take a single photo.




There was not much going on around the lodge during the day bird-wise but at least this very tame Glittering-Throated Emerald often was around close to our room.






Karanambu is still run by the McTurk family. When we arrived it was the young son´s task to take care of us. An interesting character - to put it mildly he was not exactly the most enthusiastic person, apparently going through a "Everything is horrible and pointless and people are just irritating" phase. When we´d return from activites he´d ask about if we had enjoyed it. Yes, we had, and "can you imagine, we saw an Aga...". "I´m so happy to hear that", he interrupted in a tone that would have been more befitting an honest "I really despise you and your stupid babbling about animals", turned around and left. :D


Not that we had an issue with that, his behaviour was more comical than offensive (at least we took it that way), and - well - teenagers! His father and the staff were very nice and hospitable. To our surprise we were the only guests, and were told they only expected the next ones 10 days later.


A shame - Karanambu definitely is the highlight of a Guyana trip, and really deserves more visitors.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Both afternoons in Karanambu we went on the river.




Our main focus was finding Giant Otters. Which unfortunately did not work out. Our guide worked very hard and tried a lot of spots but no success. The high water levels made this more difficult because now there were plenty of (inaccessible) waterbodies next to the river where it was easy for them to find prey. We probably were were a bit unlucky, most people get to see them according to the guest book I flicked through.


Still, the Rupununi is just beautiful, the weather was nice, and I think we only came across two or three fishing boats. And while the river is not exactly pumping with birds there was enough activity to keep us entertained.




White-Winged Swallow




Amazon ...




Green ...




... and Ringed Kingfisher.






Green Iguana. When it noticed us it just moved position to the backside of the branch, becoming almost invisible.




Cocoi Heron




Little Blue Heron






Lineated Woodpecker






Yellow-Crowned Parrot




Lesser Kiskadee












Ospreys were especially common.








Occassionally we would glimpse a Black Caiman. But shy here as well, they always disappeared once they noticed us. When we´d returned after nightfall their eyes were everywhere. Our guide even picked out a baby Caiman.


TR_0456_0975_Rupununi River.jpg




At the end of our second river outing our guide wanted to show us a lily pond. It´s not accessible by boat when the water is lower so at least for this the high levels worked in our favour. And there was an Agami Heron in the access channel! One of my "Most Wanteds", and a nice surprise, since the guide had said they had not seen one for four months!




It was pitch dark here so it really was not the best situation to appreciate the wonderful colours of this gorgeous bird (and very tough to get a photo). But I was still very, very happy to finally see this species.




The lily pond is just lovely. Great sitting here with a (very strong) Rum Punch (or three!) and watch the world go by.




Black-Crowned Night Heron




Black-Collared Hawk







After dusk dozens and dozens of Nighthawks started to hunt.




Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)



The main highlight in Karanambu though is definitely a different animal - the lodge is famous for its Giant Anteater sightings. And since we had missed this fabulous beast in the Pantanal we were very eager to see it. Not seeing the Otters was a bit disappointing but not a big deal - we had seen lots of them in Brazil. But this was a different story, probably the trip´s most important target.


Generally a few Vaqueros (think Cowboys) ride out early morning trying to find one and are then pretty much pushing them towards the eager visitor. We heard it still was not a guaranteed thing, they talked about a 70 percent probability or something like that. So we were quite anxious if we would land in the 30 percent sector. :wacko:


No need to worry though -did not even need a Vaquero, as soon as we left the forest patch next to the lodge and reached the open grasslands an Anteater was spotted quite close to the road:










He soon noticed us though, decided he did not like us and walked the other way. Fast as Anteaters are they are no match for a horse though, and one of the Vaqueros soon nudged it back.






I guess the Anteaters are quite used to this here, they have been subjected to being pushed towards tourists for a long time now. Still, it is not the most "natural" way to see an animal. But to be honest I did not mind that much. Not when one of the most odd-looking creatures of the world is almost running you down!










The Anteater walks on its front knuckles similar to gorillas and chimpanzees.






He was very, very close to us (we were on foot, out of the car), and almost crashed into me! Anteaters don´t see very well.




"The Giant Anteater is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Threats to its survival include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur and bushmeat, although some anteaters inhabit protected areas." (Wiki)


The animal is particularly vulnerable to fires due to its slow movement and flammable coat.




"The Giant Anteater is the most terrestrial of the living anteater species. Its ancestors may originally have been adapted to arboreal life; the transition to life on the ground could have been aided by the expansion of open habitats such as savanna in South America and the availability there of colonial insects, such as termites, that provided a larger potential food source." (Wiki)




"Although they are shy and typically attempt to avoid humans, giant anteaters can inflict severe wounds with their front claws and have been known to seriously injure or kill humans who corner and threaten them. Between 2010 and 2012, two hunters were killed by giant anteaters in Brazil; in both cases, the hunters were agitating and wounding cornered animals and the attacks appeared to be defensive behaviors.  In April 2007, an anteater at the Florencio Varela Zoo mauled and killed a zookeeper with its front claws. The animal in question, a male named Ramon, had a reputation for aggressiveness."


I guess ours here had a more friendly personality. :)




Good Bye my friend!


Think about the way sightings are operated here what you will - despite my brain telling me "this is not quite right" the very broad grin on my face persisting the whole day betrayed those thoughts. It was exhiliarating, and a big trip highlight.




The guys were happy they had given us a good sighting too. Doesn´t always work as excellently as this we were told, sometimes the Anteaters simply refuse to being pushed in one direction and stubbornly keep going, disappearing into the forest.

Edited by michael-ibk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great additions to your report with beautiful photos.

Wonderful views of the Anteater, a magnificent animal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caught up the whole trip so far. Remarkable bird life and whilst not particularly a 'monkey man' I can really take to New World ones with prehensile tails. Loved the Howlers as my only sightings have been very distant ones.

My only problem with your excellent reports is that my Bucket list is needing a bigger page.

Thanks for sharing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy