15 January 2010

Sacha to Napo Wildlife Center: Amazon Day 4 (Part I)...Ecuador: December 29, 2009


This morning we left Sacha (picking up a roosting Great Potoo along the way), hopped into a motorized canoe, and proceeded to the amazing parrot lick within Yasuni National Park. This provided one of the highlights of the trip, and conveniently made a nice stop off on our journey to our next Amazon lodge: Napo Wildlife Center.

On arrival at the purpose built wooden blind, we settled in and immediately noticed shrieks and harsh cries from parrots in the trees high above. We picked out the calls of Orange-cheeked Parrots, and Cobalt-winged Parakeets, although all remained hidden for the time being. We waited and waited and slowly but surely parrots began descending closer to the lick, with a number of the scarce Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet seen among the common Cobalt-winged Parakeets on site. As more of these came into view, the loud harsh cries of a pair of Scarlet Macaws, and even the odd Orange-cheeked began to move into the trees over the blind the excitement mounted as we anticipated their arrival at the lick just out in front of the hide. The tension mounted and then suddenly a falcon whipped into the flock of parrots carrying away a Cobalt-winged in its talons and causing all the parrots to scatter in all directions!

We were back to square one, but we could still hear some parrots still hanging about in the trees overhead, so we decided to stay put and wait for the “second half” of the show. It took another hour to come into effect, although finally hundreds of Cobalt-winged Parakeets dropped down to the lick, with half a dozen or more Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlets also hiding among their ranks. Then several striking Orange-cheeked Parrots joined the ranks, before suddenly and dramatically a Scarlet Macaw dropped down to the lick, causing all the smaller species to scatter in all directions, a very impressive sight. All in all a wonderful morning seeing one of the great sights of the Amazon. After lunch we began snaking our way down a narrow creek towards Napo Wildlife Center...


Lee Dingain said...

The Yasuni parrot lick is an awesome place and your photos are bringing back some great memories! Actually, looking back at my photos, yours are really quite sickening.

Sam Woods said...

Yeah it was exciting hearing the parrot build up in the trees overhead, then they started creeping down lower only to be scuppered by a marauding forest-falcon! We opted to sit it out though and as you can see it was well, well worth it. Awesome Amazon experience.