I forgot to mention some of the non-bird things I saw on the way to the salt lick. There was a capybara that scurried up the bank of the river before anyone could photograph it. We also saw a few river dolphins, but they were underwater most of the time, so there are no photos of them either. When we first "parked" the boat, there was a super deadly snake swimming in the water near us. Fun times in the Amazon!
After we were done at the salt lick, we floated down the river. Out of the boat. In swimsuits. And lifejackets. And really not much else. The water was heavily sedimented and reminded me a lot of the rivers and lakes in Georgia. Swimming here, however, was much more frightening because it's the Amazon. And yes, the parasitic catfish that swims up your urethra was in the water. How exciting!
Birding Part 2:
After lunch, we had free time. To some of the students, free time meant playing soccer with our professors and some of the staff; to others it meant relaxing in a hammock or swimming. However, when I am given free time in the Amazon (in the daylight of course), the only reasonable thing to do is go birding. Equipped with bug spray, sunscreen, a notebook, my camera, binoculars, and a bird book, I headed back to the tower trail and spent my afternoon 50+ m in the Amazonian canopy.
It was quite hot outside, but I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to go birding in the Amazon by myself. How many other people get such an amazing opportunity!? It was absolutely serene in the treetops. Because I was no longer in the NW US, I was quite unfamiliar with all of the species I saw and had to look them up. When I had to learn the 30+ orders of birds for Ornithology last Spring semester, I never thought that knowledge would be so valuable so soon.
It was quite hot outside, so the birds weren't as active as they could have been. There were other species to keep me photographically entertained when there weren't any birds--flies, ants, butterflies, lizards, and the skyline were almost as beautiful as the Amazonian avifauna.
|hiding behind the leaves|
|some sort of grosbeak/finch bird? I don't have my ID book anymore, so this one is questionable until i have access to a quality field guide.|
|two of the birds that wanted to hang out with me the most: paradise tanager and white-necked puffbird|
|looking at me :]|
|we were bffs|
|lizard-like (gecko?) guy in the treetops|
|common piping guan|
|i also saw this fly through the treetops--super large and chicken-like|
|the vegetation was really dense so there was a lot of bokeh in my photos|