Monday, August 24, 2009

Tarapoto & Río Shilcayo - day 4

We had hoped to climb into the Sierra Escalera today, but as you’d expect in the rainforest, the wet stuff often comes down in torrents, even in the dry season. Steep slopes become muddy and difficult to ascend. The sun finally broke through intermittently after midday which left time only for another local trip up the Río Shilcayo. Sunshine was scarce in the afternoon as were Heliconius butterflies. Ithomiines were much more abundant and a Ceratinia tutia, with its mimetic yellow/orange/black colour pattern, posed well for the photograph below (the other is of an Owl Butterfly Caligo sp.). A scorpion which had been hiding in my wellington boot only became apparent when I later crossed a deeper stretch of the river, filled my boots with water, and emptied them on the far bank. The scorpion came out with the flushed water no worse the wear for its ordeal. Uptream of the Boca Toma I added a couple of new birds to my Shilcayo patch list in the form of a tiny Double-barred Pygmy-Tyrant in the understory and a pair of White-shouldered Tanagers in the midstory. Squirrel Cuckoo and White-flanked Antwren were also seen close by. A tall flowering tree emerging above the canopy had several species of hummingbirds buzzing around. More leisurely feeders on the tree were the stunning Purple Honeycreeper and Blue Dacnis. The rain closed in again from late afternoon progressing to a heavy thunderstorm lasting for several hours.


Neil said...

Nice - some great shots there. I would say macros but Im not sure they count when the inverts are that big!

Dale Forbes said...

that scorpion - pathetic pincers and fat tail; all the hallmarks of a really mean one. looks like one of the wood scorpions that sting like hell. and make your tongue go numb.

Fraser Simpson said...

Thanks Neil, yeh even the Skippers are huge here. Dale, glad I didn't know that at the time - it seemed quite calm sitting on my palm!