I never thought I’d say this but I am turning into an avid bird watcher. True, when I booked this trip to the Pantanal, I was promised jaguars, cougars, and all kinds of mammals but, as if often my luck, it would appear that I am not quite at the right place at the right time for any of these. This however, is not really worrying me as I am completely blown away by the sheer number and incredible variety of the birds here. From the minute we hit the Transpantaneira road – a dirt track that cuts through the wetlands and runs for miles through the region – there were birds everywhere. Egrets, storks, cormorants and herons wading through the water, kingfishers on every telegraph wire, all kinds of birds of prey sat on random posts. I have really never seen anything quite like it before.
An evenings turn around the grounds of the lodge introduced me to Blue Fronted Parrots, Tiger Herons, Yellow Billed Cardinals, Greater Rheas and White Woodpeckers.
But the highlight of the day for me was the incredible sunset spectacle of hundreds of Cormorants, Ibis and Egrets arriving at one particular tree in order to spend the night. Bathed in the reddest of lights, the tree literally ‘boiled’ with these birds and the pre-bedtime sound that they made was completely deafening. And then, just as suddenly as the sun dropped, they stopped their screeching and all was calm. What a peaceful end to a very long day.
Coming tomorrow….it’s not all about the birds, embarrassing plumbing, and why safaris are a great option for the solo female traveller.