Cristalino and the journey back (4)
When: November 2019 Weather: Hot 30C
Leica M10P 35mm Summilux and 15mm Voigtlander. Nikon P900
Our three night stay in Cristalino Lodge came to an end all too soon but we had one last morning…so we used it to pay one more visit to the 50m observation tower followed by an exploration of the nearby areas to look for the snowy browed manakin and trumpeter….before our boat trip back to civilisation and Alta Floresta….
Heading up to the observation tower again at 5am to catch the sunrise…
Daybreak over the canopy on our last morning
the morning colours tried to rival the setting sun from the previous evening…
and the mist settled over the forest…such a serene scene
a pair of macaws flew above the canopy
first bird of the morning….paradise tanager
In the distance a pair of swallow winged puffbirds
One of the more spectacular parrots perched on a distant tree…the orange cheeked parrot
orange cheeked parrot
mid morning …
and a new toucan appeared…the red necked toucan
beautiful red necked toucan
far away two bright blue birds….
and then in the nearby trees, a beautiful black girdled barbet
Male black girdled barbet
the less spectacular but no less attractive female black girdled barbet
Bare necked fruitcrow
from a long way off Jess heard this raptor calling
A white browed hawk
dusky chested flycatcher
a spider monkey looked up at us
whilst mum made a bridge with her body for junior to cross the gap between trees
so we headed down as the sun came up….Jess wanted to look for a trumpeter, antpitta and the elusive snow capped manikin….
a skulking shadow in the undergrowth heralded the trumpeter!
several of them appeared and strutted down the path
a brown winged trumpeter
and as they walkd, one of them displayed…
the tail feathers fanned out in a spectacular display….picture by Nik
we then sought the antpitta and caught a glimpse of a large eye…
It was indeed an Alta Floresta Antpitta..very very shy and skittish
Alta Floresta Antpitta
Even though it was nigh our departure time, we went seeking the snow capped manikin….alas it was so skittish that although we found it all we got was a glimpse but no photographic record….
So back to the lodge to pack and get ready to leave…we still had time to see..
Tapajos hermit was just outside our lodge
Departing the lodge on the boat, Jess and Christian piloted us one last time down the Rio Cristalino and Rio Teles Pires……here’s a tip…bring your camera on the boat….
another spider monkey performed for us
then Jess yelled Tapir! and there she was at the water’s edge
but she also had her calf with her!
A so-called watermelon baby tapir
This final sighting on the banks was the icing on the cake for us as we departed…
As we departed the river by car, there were several other sightings but unfortunately our driver this time was not so minded to stop for us to shoot….and just when we thought we were done with shooting, we arrived at the Amazonica Floresta Hotel to settle our outstanding Cristalino Lodge bills and have lunch….this is an oldish hotel with a small garden but backed by some forest…..
in the forested area, I shot this lovely lettered aracari
A blue gray tanager posed willingly near our dining table
Blue gray tanager which can be distinguished from the similarly coloured Sayaca tanager by the white shoulder on the wing
as if to end our amazonian adventure with a bang…this colourful bird landed right in front of us whilst we were having lunch…
a spectacularly coloured Turquoise tanager
Turquoise tanager bade us farewell
So our grand Pantanal/Amazon adventure ended after 6 nights with nearly 200 species sighted/photographed….truly a birdwatchers’ paradise. It is an extremely long trek for birders from Asia; reckon on 24-30 hours getting to Sao Paulo and then another half a day’s travelling to get to the Pantanal and Amazonia. Both were worth going to..the Pantanal for easier sightings but more basic accommodation and food…Cristalino for more scenic surroundings, better food and arguably more spectacular bird sightings. I’d wait for Cristalino Lodge to install air conditioning before going…it was otherwise just the perfect location. Highly recommended!