Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A 'Must Visit' Destination!

Leo and I were out again before dawn today, and as published yesterday, in search of the elusive Sungrebe. According to my guide this beautifully marked waterfowl is becoming less and less common, and given its secretive nature chances were slim. We reach the much reduced river at 05-45 and almost immediately added a new bird to the list, a Limpkin. Our walk took us about 3Km into the forest but for much of the time the watercourse was obscured so difficult, if not down right impossible, for Grebe spotting. A second addition came as a diminutive Pygmy Kingfisher settled close by, but there was no sign of the Sungrebe, and by now we had to return to base for breakfast and to pick up the others.

Huto Pinero

Is a 200,000 hectare ranch, given over in the main to wildlife, but because of the vast natural grasslands of the the Yanos cattle play and important part in the economy of the property. It is still owned by the original family, and despite aggressive challenges from the Chaves Government to take over the running of the land (in the name of Socialism) there is strenuous moves afoot to maintain its present status. These days the elders sons of each of the 7 co-owners are responsible for the day to day management of the ranch, which employs 130 workers caring for 20,000 beef cows and 8,000 Buffalo which are kept mainly for milk production used to make a local specialised cheese.

My 3 Amigos - Mario, Thomas and Leo - along with David Ascanio and Thomas's son Danial these people have made this one of the most memorable stays I have had anywhere, Muchous Gracias Amigos!

There is accommodation for about 30 visitors in twin cabins in the well maintained hostel, and the price per day includes all your needs. The food is exquisite and all of ethnic origin, while the bar (beer, rum and various soft drinks) are also included. There are 2 daily safaris 08-00 to mid-day and 15-30 to 19-00 to coincide with dinner. As will be seen from this Blog over the last couple of days there is no shortage of wildlife, and you certainly don't have to be a 'bird watcher' to enjoy this fabulous place. In addition there are dozens of horses which can be hired, and so far I have been able to get an additional tour on request. The staff are all most curteous, nothing be too much trouble, and I would say for any family or dedicated wildlife party this is a Not to be Missed location.

The safari transport - plenty of space for everyone.

The Main Communal Quarters.

Within - the Lounge.

The Bar

The Main Corridor to Dining Room.

Aplomado Falcons (pre-copulation)

Taking off once the deed is done!

Lesser Kiskadee

A better shot of the magnificent Jabiru

Glittering-throated Emerald

Today's Additions


Total Trip List - 658
Total 'Lifers' - 455 Total Endemics - 51

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