Macaw Claw Lick

May 24, 2010 (Day 6)

Early in the morning, we traveled downriver to the big macaw clay lick in Blanquillo. Quite honestly, this was the day I was really looking forward to and it definitely did not disappoint!

While eating breakfast in the blind, we first observed flocks of parakeets and parrots congregate to eat the clay of the lick, which is essential for their digestion. A hawk soaring overhead spooked the birds, and they flew away decisively after about 10 minutes of clay licking action. The macaws appeared soon thereafter to put on their own show.

During this show, we also witnessed a monkey showdown and some massive bugs cleaning up our breakfast leftovers like this "little" guy...

After 2 or 3 hours of birdwatching (which seemed to pass in no time flat), we traveled upstream to return to Maquisapayoj. After a walk in the jungle, we took a break at the lodge where parrots, monkeys, and lizards were lounging nearby.  

Interestingly enough, my camera didn't seem to like the humidity or something in the jungle as on several occasions, it would indicate a camera lens error, demand a restart, just turn off, or simply not focus properly. This occurred at least once a day during the Amazon portion of the trip so some things just weren't captured or came out fuzzy but I digress.

As dusk drew near, we were off to try our luck again that evening at the mammal salt lick. 

It was a clear night and the moon illuminated the lick, which apparently scares the tapir so it sounded like our guide was preparing us for another disappointing night on the elevated platform yet a tapir appeared for a few tentative minutes before running off into the jungle. Deeming the evening a success, we headed back to the lodge for a good night's sleep.

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