You won’t believe what we saw on today’s boat ride!

After lunch Tuesday, we headed out for a boat ride on the river.  It seemed there were a lot more birds at Jaguar Camp at Port Jofre but here we’ve seen some of them fishing and were able to photograph them making the catch.

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This hawk swooped down and picked up a piranha and hurried off to a nearby tree for lunch.  Yesterday on our trip from Jaguar Camp to Posada Rio Claro, we stopped at another fazenda (farm/resort) for a bathroom and drink break.  There our guide used a cane pole to catch a piranha.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting this and my camera was in the van but when we looked at the piranha teeth, they looked like a saw blade.

We also saw a family of capuchin monkeys moving along a vine from one tree to another.

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We were about 20 feet from this fella.  They all walked the same vine one at a time.  We also saw a tree with bats attached to the bark.  You have to look closely because they really blend in.

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Tuesday evening we had a safari truck ride looking for anteaters and were unsuccessful.  We went went out again about dusk on Wednesday and still didn’t see anteaters but we picked up one screeching owl.  Saw a few marsh deer and a few raccoons but unless you are relatively close, it’s hard to focus and shoot at a high enough shutter speed to get a sharp image.  That, and I think we all know what a raccoon looks like.  Our guide, stood and ran a high powered light around the fields looking for eye shine.  On the front with him are Shawn and Willma. (yes there are two “l’s”) She said her parents wanted a son and he was going to be called William so she became Willma.

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Thursday morning, our last day here, we took another boat ride.  We took along some piranha to use for bait to try and photograph some other birds catching them.  Tito would spot a hawk, I’d tell him how to have the boatsman position the boat and he’d whistle to get the hawk’s attention, throw the fish and we’d hope it would come flying by to pick it up.  Got a few and missed a few and a few didn’t seem to care.

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A few, like this cormarant, got his own by diving into the water.  We were nearby and he’d just surfaced with his catch.

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Here’s a series of photos of a Jakiru Stork with his piranha.  He spears it in the water and then proceeds to crush it in his beak until it is soft enough to swallow.  Eventually, he brought it into the water hyacinth near shore to finish the job. In the last image, you should be able to see the outline of it in his throat in the red part.

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I believe I’ve mentioned that during the rainy season the water level rises tremendously.  The water pushes so far into the trees that there’s no shoreline and therefore it is nearly impossible to see jaguar.  Here’s a photo that illustrates how high the water gets.  Look at the water line on the trees.

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That’s about 8-10 feet about the current shoreline.

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Lastly, here’s one of my better shots of a toco toucan.  I’ve seen several but they never turned out very good.

I flew out of Cuiaba last night about 5pm.  The plane was loaded with a lot of people who I couldn’t understand.  Half of them was a German tour group headed to Iguacu Falls.

We arrived just before midnight local time.  It’s two hours later here.  Midnight is 10pm in the Central Time Zone.  I had a driver waiting to pick me up and deliver me to my hotel.  I got a good night’s sleep, had breakfast and will be changing hotels inside the Iguacu National Park.

More to follow.

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