This morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise on the Ucayali River. Today’s explorations will take us to three wonderful tributaries: Belluda Creek, Iricahua Creek, and the Yarapa River.
Before breakfast, right after sunrise, amongst the dawn chorus of many boisterous birds, we left the swift waters and debris-laden Ucayali and headed up Belluda Creek. These small tributaries are currently flooded all over the region and provide wonderful access deep into the forest.
Just at the mouth of Belluda Creek, we spotted a ladder-tailed nightjar, which seemed to be sleeping on a branch. Then, without moving the skiff, we spotted a ringed woodpecker tapping away at a cecropia tree and eating insects. The rest of the morning was full of numerous sightings and lovely temperatures.
After a wonderful breakfast onboard, we set out again to explore via skiff, this time at Iricahua Creek. Almost immediately after heading up the creek, we spotted a black-tailed trogon, a beautiful bird with a red belly and a yellow bill. The heat was building but luckily this creek has towering trees above and we were almost exclusively in the shade.
As we continued upriver our natural history team and skiff drivers continued to spot beautiful and surprising creatures including a yellow-crowned brush trail rat. We also took some time to observe a tree with many fruits and leaves like sandpaper that we plan to look up this evening. We then encountered an Amazon squirrel hiding near some bromeliads in the canopy of a tree. Our perspective to have these vantage points is aided greatly by the high water in this season, which gives us an additional 30 feet or so of elevation.
In the afternoon, we set out again in our skiffs and headed deep into the forest on the Yarapa River, where we observed four species of primates including the saddle-backed tamarin, brown capuchin, monk saki, and in the afternoon, the yellow wooly monkey.
Each of today’s three skiff excursions have culminated with a pile of smiles, and cold beverages. It has been a day to remember for sure! Many of us have taken hundreds if not thousands of photographs which I gather will aid our memory of this wonderful day explore here in the Upper Amazon of Peru.