Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Posted by Bill of the Birds at 4:02 PM
In part 3 of my series of posts about birding in Guyana, I promised to show you some of the birds we saw on our six-hour drive along the road from Rock View Lodge to the Iwokrama Forest Reserve and Ecolodge.
My mind is back on Guyana for a couple of reasons. First of all there is just so much to share about my trip there. Secondly, the upcoming issue (July/August 2010) of Bird Watcher's Digest features Guyana in our regular travel column "Far Afield." Julie Zickefoose writes about her trip to Guyana in an article entitled "Journey to the Lungs of the Earth."
Thirdly, I've just finished the rough edits on a podcast about Guyana for "This Birding Life." That should be ready for listening within a few days.
In our last Guyana blog post, we left off just after a flight from Georgetown to the Annai airstrip in the interior. We lunched at Rock View Lodge and climbed aboard three 4 x 4 trucks for transport along the lone road in the interior of Guyana to Iwokrama. The road bed was red clay and very dusty. I felt lucky to be in the lead vehicle, which was also the lone truck with air conditioning. The day was as hot as the hinges of Hades, but even the delicious comfort of the cool truck cab could not keep us from leaping out each time we spotted a new bird.
Swallow-winged puffbirds sallied forth from snags. Macaws and parakeets whirred across the roadway opening. Roadside hawks lived up to their names.
We'd get out, optics swinging onto targets and shout out names, or more likely families of birds, or even MORE likely things like "I have a large dark raptor with a long tail." Or "I've got some sort of jacamar on that snag on the left."
The farther along the road we we, the deeper and older the forest got. Soon we passed through the gate into the Iwokrama Forest Reserve and it was here that we entered the true rain forest.
We continued driving and stopping for birds for the next few hours. When all the trucks in our convoy finally got together, our tour leaders told us we were running really behind schedule. Since we still had a long way to drive before reaching the Iwokrama River Lodge, we had to swear that we'd only stop for the rarest of the rare. Suggestions were made for what would qualify as a stop-worthy sighting: Jaguar, harpy eagle, and anaconda were all mentioned. I threw in "A Pittsburgh Pirates' World Championship" knowing full well that we'd be more likely to find the other three creatures together, playing poker in the middle of the road before I'd see the Pirates hoist the World Champion flag over their stadium.
We made better time the rest of the way, but still stopped a few times. Once for a long, bright green snake that had been killed in the road.
And a few times for new bird species. We arrived at Iwokrama well after dusk, dusty, hot, hungry, and tired—but happy for a great day of birding along the only read road in Guyana's interior.
Here are a few of the bird images I captured that day.
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