August 8, 2015
This morning we did the steep climb up to the overlook on the Serra, a dome of granite rock that rises above the rainforest. We were lucky to be there when a small fig was in fruit right next to the overlook – several tanagers including Opal-rumped and Bay-headed gave us extended views. The view of the forest below is also stunnning, and we had a hard time tearing ourselves away from it.
The local guides discovered this Common Potoo along the trail, apparently on a nest, as it has been here for several days.
We finally departed for the cooler rainforest trails when we began to see the first soaring raptors, such as this Hook-billed Kite.
Before we got back on the boats to return to the lodge, I decided to try to show my group what a larval antlion looks like. Everyone knows the little sand pit traps they make, but few have actually seen the creature. You have to scoop up all the sand and let it sift between your fingers while looking for the one thing that isn’t a grain of sand.
My daily check of the wet sand by the boats was productive.
This tiny wasp was guarding her small paper nest built atop a leaf on a small tree (a Moluccan Roseapple) by the dorm. She kept turning to face the camera, ready to sting at a moment’s notice, so I had to take a lot of photos and maneuver slowly to get this profile. Only after I took the photo did I realize that eggs and pupae were visible in open cells.
We took an afternoon boat ride down the Cristalino River to the Manakin Trail, here the group gathering in the shade before loading into the boat.
Bird highlights on the short Manakin Trail were Bronzy Jacamar and Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, and we then boarded our boat for our last return to the lodge.
This evening after dinner, there were only a few insects on the moth sheet a short ways down the trail, lit by a weak fluorescent bulb.