Thursday, September 20, 2018

Manu National Park Day 3

Peru Day 8: The highlight of Day 3 and arguably the whole Manu trip was the early morning bird watching. We woke in the dark and made our way down the steps into the boat. As we were on the water, the first rays of light began to creep across the sky.

You would think we would be alone in that quiet world, but we were actually part of a crowd. Many tours brought their visitors down river to a spot known for birdwatching. We disembarked on a rocky shore and climbed a small embankment to a viewing spot. We spent about 30 minutes looking around, but Abraham noticed a hawk in the distance, altering the parrots’ path.

We shifted a bit upstream, approximately 300 yards. We looked back towards the shore, where a wall of brownish-reddish clay stood along the banks, partially hidden behind the trees. Soon, a crescendo of mostly green parrots arrived, feeding on the clay itself. If you looked carefully, you could see their vibrant underbellies as they flapped their wings, revealing a full spectrum from bright reds to dark blues. The birds seemingly took turns, hopping on and off the wall. Abraham said this was likely to scout for predators, as the birds were completely unprotected when they were feeding and facing the wall.

The real treat came as the boats headed back, because the view from the boat was actually even closer to the wall, albeit less steady. The surprise caught me a bit off guard, as I had already packed up my camera. Luckily, there was enough time to still capture a few shots of the birds fully in flight.

The rest of the day was spent packing up and heading back to Cusco, unwinding our journey into the heart of Manu. Even the ride back though held surprises, such as this pair of toucans!

Two toucans

We reached back to Cusco at night and looked forward to sleeping in before our flight to Lima the next morning.


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