Cristalino Lodge and the observation tower : (2) Amazonia
When: November 2019 Weather: Hot 30C
Leica M10P 35mm Summilux, Nikon P900
One of the things we had been looking forward to on our trip to Amazonia was the National Geographic type view of the Amazonian forest from above the forest canopy. Cristalino Lodge has two observation towers, one of which is 50m high or about a 15 storey building. We visited it on two occasions, on the first and last mornings of our visit especially to catch the sunrise and to see the early morning birds. Be warned, 50m is quite a climb if you are weighed down by camera gear and binoculars as we were…..each flight has 8 steps and I counted about 27 or 28 flights….
The brilliant 50.4m high observation tower at Cristalino Lodge….
We set off the first morning at about 5am and by the time we arrived at the top, the sun was already peeping over the horizon, illuminating the clouds and the forest canopy….a truly NatGeo moment if ever there was one….
First glow of sunrise over the horizon
the sun begins to show, lighting up the mist over the forest
view from the top of the 50m observation deck at Cristalino Lodge
As the sun rose and the light changed, the forest took on a totally different hue
the rainforest at daybreak is no less delightful in black and white
and as the sun came up, the forest began to light up
the first birds appeared…..a couple of colourful aracaris ….
a pair of beautiful Curl Crested Aracaris….distinctive red in the male and colourful beaks
Of course the name comes from that amazing curly hairdo…the curl crested aracari
a blue headed parrot from afar
Brilliantly coloured Spangled Cotinga
Spangled cotinga with its red throat
Few things beat the thrill of seeing a pair of scarlet macaws flying over the canopy
another pair of Chestnut fronted macaws winging it
mist covered canopy
Hummingbird from afar
Just gorgeous Paradise Tanager
White bellied parrot
Yellow backed tanager
Yellow backed tanager
spectacular yellow tufter woodpecker
yellow tufted woodpecker
By mid morning, the mist was lifting and the canopy lightened up…it was also getting pretty hot so we descended….
We headed into the adjacent forest on the way back to the lodge to hunt for one of the birds I had been hoping to see…the scarlet manakin,,,
the stunning scarlet horned manakin soon appeared…
Here, two males presented themselves…alas they did not do the mate attracting dance that had been featured by David Attenborough on TV….but still a stunning bird….
So our first foray up above the forest canopy delivered everything we had hoped for…a stunning sunrise over mist draped trees….many super bird sightings…..highly recommended!