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AMAZONIAN PERU

Sunday 27th November - Saturday 10th December 2016

Eustace Barnes

Collared Puffbird (Eustace Barnes)

Collared Puffbird (Eustace Barnes)

On this tour to the Iquitos region we enjoyed mixed fortunes; some great moments, as demonstrated by the above photograph of Wattled Curassow and some disappointments, most notably with Nocturnal Curassow which we found calling on four consecutive nights but could not see. Apart from this, the wet season had set in and it was noticeable that many species had young and were more discreet than they are earlier in the year. It had been very dry and during the austral winter the cold weather from Patagonia that tracks north along the base of the Andes reached Iquitos wreaking havoc in the tall forests and bringing many trees down. Despite this we still recorded 376 species, including Red-billed Ground Cuckoo and White-bellied Dacnis! In addition, particularly memorable were the spectacular views of Wattled Curassow, Blue-cheeked and Purplish Jacamars, Brown-banded, Rufous-necked and Collared Puffbirds, incredible views of a very responsive Fulvous Antshrike, equally superb views of the shy Black-necked Red Cotinga and retiring Orange-crested Manakin along with many other species. We also found all the river island obligates and nearly all the white-sand specialities which seems at least commendable under the circumstances.

Pasting this in, the Amazon is indeed the most complex and endlessly fascinating ecosystem on the planet. Certainly with each passing year we are discovering ever more about the evolution and development of the Amazon basin and just what we are losing as it is being destroyed or degraded at an ever faster pace. Anyway, we were in my second home and about to begin an Amazonian adventure to unpick the complexity of what is the most diverse of ecosystems.

Wattled Curassow (Eustace Barnes)

Wattled Curassow (Eustace Barnes)