Monday 30th Nov. A short flight east from Quito to Coca, transfer to a motor canoe for a three hours fast drive down the Napo River, mostly in the rain. A ten minute walk through the forest to another canoe to be hand paddled to Sani Eco-Lodge.
Sani Lodge is delightfully located on a backwater in Amazonia. All wood and thatch, comfortable, relaxing and surrounded by wildlife. I liked it right away.
Just walking around in the grouds revealed a pair of Tropical Screech Owls roosting in a dark nook under the palms.
A Sungrebe swam across the lake close to the Lodge.
Yellow Rumped Caciques flew back and forth to their nests swinging from the trees outside my cabin.
and a Russet Backed Oropendola shared the tree with the Caciques.
and a totally tame Grey Winged Trumpeter wandered around with the guests like a pet, weird! the fieldguide describes this as shy and easily frightened off, well not this baby, you could tickle its chin.
After a late lunch my bird Guide Domingo suggested a paddle around the lake and up the creeks to see what we could find. I was all for it. First up was a nice White Winged Swallow perched conveniently on a dead branch protruding from the water as we paddled by.
It was still raining and the light was poor, but I had my poncho and as usual this weather seemed to bring the birds out so there were a good many in plain view, such as this stunning Masked Crimson Tanager, perhaps the largest Tanager I had seen so far. and what a colour.
These two White Eared Jacamars were definitely enjoying a shower as the rain came down, no seeking shelter for them.
A Striated Heron crept along the bank looking for food in the mud...
...and I caught sight of one of the most interesting Herons I have ever seen, a Boat Billed Heron, standing on a branch under the forest canopy in one of the small creeks. I was lucky to get this shot as I never had another sighting.
Back out in the open there was just enough light to snap these two delightful Crested Guans perched on a bare branch enjoying a shower in the rain.
Last shot of the day in rapidly diminishing light was this Ruddy Pigeon perched on another open branch. It seemed to have a warm rosy glow which made a nice image.
After a superb dinner I retired to my cabin for an early night as Domingo wanted to get going before first light. Good, I awaited the morning with great anticipation, what sights and birds awaited me tomorrow.