Thursday, 2 August 2012

Tower to Lodge

Wednesday August 1
Woken at 4.15 by the Spanish family of parents and daughter who arrived yesterday. Both women are inappropriately dressed for the place – tight fancy trousers and high heeled boots. Imagine the latter stomping about that early, loud talking, doors banging and a general uproar. Pam was cross.
As arranged yesterday, we met Michael on the top deck at 6. The sloth was hanging like a wet dishcloth from a nearby cecropia, Keel-billed Toucans flew into their favourite tree, Red-lored Amazon Parrots squawked their rushing way across the valley – and it was very dull and dark, the tops of the trees mist enshrouded. A typical morning experience. Lovely though. I was able to photograph Scarlet-rumped Caciques as they preened this morning, therefore showing their scarlet rumps, the female’s a lighter shade than the male’s.

17 Plumbeous Kites on migration was the big surprise, Michael was delighted.
After breakfast, we packed, had our luggage collected and walked down four flights of stairs for the last time. We’ve loved it here, it’s quite an experience.

The Car didn’t come until 10.30 – 30 mins late. They’d had to take someone to hospital en route. The journey to the Lodge took two hours through increasingly pleasant countryside, leaving the KFC, McDonalds and modern town trappings behind. Crossing the Centennary Bridge, which was viewable from the Tower, en route. Pam managed a pic. We arrived at the comparatively luxurious Canopy Lodge at 12.30, greeted by David, Kate and Ron, in from their morning birding.

Our very large bedroom - number 5
After an Intro by Tino, chief guide, we had lunch, sorted a few clothes and were out at 3 with Ron, David and Eliecer.
We birded the Ridge down millionaire’s row – whopping houses in extensive wooded grounds. The Ridge is a rough uphill track where many workers on their way home toiled past us. Eliecer reckons that they have nearly 2 hours walk every day, each way.
Good birds seen included  a delightful Tody Motmot, and the migrant western Wood-Peewee.

Tody Motmot. One of THE birds to see in this area. The guides wear Tshirts picturing it
We’d asked Eliecer if there was a chance of seeing Night Monkeys, David was keen too having also missed them at the Tower. He said that there was a chance at the Waterfalls. David quietly told us that it was across rope bridges, which is when Pam blanched. She doesn’t do rope bridges….

David, on what turned out to be a very reasonable bridge. Pam's photo
Anyway, she was incredibly brave and we crossed both bridges and climbed stone steps to the waterfall area. The falls were quite spectacular for such a small enclosed area.
The size of the people at the bottom gives an indication of the falls' height. There's a zipwire for the adventurous. Pam's photo
The delight was a White-tipped Sicklebill (another wonderful Hummingbird name), perched on a vine. Eliecer set up his scope for great views and digi possibilities.

White-tipped Sicklebill
As we left, Eliecer placed us on a certain step and told us to watch a series of holes in a large tree across the river. He said he would tap the trunk and if the animals were there, they would pop their heads out. Tap ? !! It sounded as though he was hitting it with a sledgehammer. No monkeys………
Returning to the road, one of the magnificent Diabl Rosso (Red Devil) service buses passed by.

Pam's photo

Back for shower, bird log, dinner and a good catch-up with the other three. Kate had a massage whilst we were out which she said was the best she’d ever had.

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