After breakfast at 6.00 a.m. we were ready to leave for our morning boat safari, hoping for more Jaguars Fortunately our clothing and shoes had dried overnight. However, a downpour of rain prevented the departure and we left at 7.00 a.m.
Under cloudy skies we headed out, it wasn’t long before our first Jaguar encounter. On a sandbank we saw one of the Jaguar brothers. Tore was sitting and appeared to be eating the grassy reed stems. As we watched he heaved and was sick. It was very like watching a domestic pet cat eating grass to bring up a hair ball. After being sick he walked off into the trees along the shore.
Further along the river a few boats were huddled together watching the shore. Through the dense folliage the now familiar Jaguar markings could be seen. Our driver manoeuvred the boat to get a better view. There appeared to be two Jaguars, a male and female. It was obvious that the two were mating as there was a lot of roaring. They were later identified as Balam and Hunter.
The Jaguar count had now risen to seven individuals in three days and was about to reach eight.
Geoff makes an entrance
We left the two Jaguars and headed back along the river where to our surprise we encountered another Jaguar. This was a large male called Geoff. He looked quite old and battle scarred. Geoff walked along the bank and then swam across the river towards the boats and then on to the other shore.
Geoff making his way across the river
Birds seen on the River
A Green Barred Woodpecker flew high up into the branches of a nearby tree. Further along a Chestnut Eared Aracari, a smaller member of the toucan family, sat showing off his patterned bill and white eye. Nearby a pair of Black Capped Donacobius displayed to each other, giving us an excellent opportunity for photographs.
An elegant Capped Heron stood on the shoreline, whilst a Striated Heron crouched low on a branch searching the water for fish. Numerous Tiger Herons, including juveniles in their distinctive tiger-striped plumage lurked amongst the bank vegetation. Overhead a Long Winged Harrier flew across the river as the sky started to darken.
The rainstorm returned causing us to head back early to the Flotel arriving back at 11.00 a.m. Our lunch was at 12.00 and the afternoon boat trip was scheduled for 2.30 p.m.
Afternoon Boat Trip
With the sky still cloudy we boarded the boat after the seats had been dried and set off for our afternoon boat trip. In the distance the, thunder was rumbling and obviously there was more rain on its way. This was because of us visiting the area at the start of the wet season. The Osprey was still on the top of the same tree and flew across to the other shore as we turned into the main channel.
A Striated Heron and Common Tody Flycatcher sat low on a branch above the water and a Tiger Heron walked through the vegetation. An Anhinga sat with outstretched wings on a dead branch as Black Vultures flew high overhead looking for carrion. They detect the carrion by sight, unlike the Lesser Yellow Headed Vulture who use their sense of smell. We often saw these flying low above the tree tops.
One of the Pantanal’s commonest hawks, the Black-collared Hawk perched on a dead snag. It was looking down at the water ready to use its long claws and spiny underside toes to expertly catch fish.
Another Jaguar Encounter
There was movement in the vegetation along the shore line as we drove past a sandbank . It was another Jaguar. Silently we watched as he walked out of the vegetation, along the sandbank and into the water. We had seen this male Jaguar in the morning. It was Geoff. He swam across beside the boat to a sandbank on the other side of the river where there was Capybara. The Capybara noisily disappeared into the reeds. Geoff was obviously hunting. He crouched down into stalking mode and silently entered the reeds.
Patiently we waited watching the movement of the reeds. Loud rumbles of thunder heralded the storm and it started to rain. Suddenly Geoff reappeared and sat down for a short time, before re-entering the reeds.
Another Rain Strom
As the rain became heavier we decided to turn the boat around. Before we had time to leave Geoff reappeared. He walked along the sandbank, giving us an excellent view of a jaguar in the rain, before disappearing again into the reeds.
We headed back to the Flotel as it was now monsoon rain, arriving back at 4.00 p.m. There was time to dry off before the lecture at 6.00 p.m. and the evening meal.
Tomorrow we were leaving the Flotel and transferring to the South Wild Pantanal Lodge.
What a fantastic stay at the Southwild flotel on the Cuiaba River
14 sightings of 8 individual Jaguars
More images from day four at the Flotel
Day Six :- Checklist
|Giant River Otter x 5||Capybara||Jaguar x 4|
|Reptiles & Amphibians|
|Neotropic Cormorant||Anhinga||Cocoi Heron||Great Egret|
|Striated Heron||Black-crowned Night Heron||Rufescent Tiger-Heron||Capped Heron|
|Wood Stork||Jabiru||Black Vulture||Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture|
|Great Black Hawk||Black-collared Hawk||Southern Caracara||Yellow-headed Caracara|
|Osprey||Long-winged Harrier||Chaco Chachalaca||Blue–throated Piping Guan|
|Limpkin||Pied Lapwing||Wattled Jacana|
|Collared Plover||Black Skimmer||Yellow -billed Tern||Large -billed Tern|
|White-tipped Dove||Monk Parakeet||Yellow-chevroned Parakeet||Blue-fronted Parrot|
|Squirrel Cuckoo||Greater Ani||Smooth-billed Ani||Ringed Kingfisher|
|Amazon Kingfisher||Green Kingfisher||Chestnut-eared Aracari||Toco Toucan|
|Little Woodpecker||Green-barred Woodpecker||Pale-legged Hornero||Rufous Hornero|
|Yellow-chinned Spinetail||Short-crested Flycatcher||Tropical Kingbird||Fork-tailed Flycatcher|
|Great Kiskadee||White-winged Swallow||Brown-chested Martin||Southern Rough-winged Swallow|
|Black-capped Donacobius||Yellow-billed Cardinal||Crested Oropendola||Yellow-rumped Cacique|
|Unicoloured Blackbird||Spotted Sandpiper||Golden Green Woodpecker|