Shooting on the Move

hoatzin with WMAfter a few years of bird photography, I have learned that my greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the challenge of capturing those fleeting moments that I see my ‘prey’.  When I am walking or hiking I will usually have my big lens and body attached to the Jobu Jr Gimbal head that is subsequently mounted on a monopod.  I will carry that combo on my shoulder and also have another body and lens combo attached to a Rapid Strap for those times that a subject is close.  For this trip to Peru and the excursion into the Amazon, I packed a travel tripod since there were weight restrictions on practically every conveyance we were on, the aircraft, the trains and even the canoes on Lake Sandoval.  In terms of bird photography, being on this trip provided an even bigger challenge since there would be no do-overs, only brief moments of opportunity and I wasn’t the only one on the trip.  All things considered, I am very pleased with the number of keepers I did get in the Amazon on Lake Sandoval and at the lodge.  In the following galleries you will see the amazing diversity of the Lake Sandoval area that I was able to capture in the two days we were there, in addition to what has already been posted.

We had three tours of Lake Sandoval, one in the early morning during which we saw the Giant River Otters and two at dusk.  The first gallery of images is of birds we saw in the early morning that frequented the lake shore.  I have attached some descriptive notes along with the images in this thumbnail gallery, just click on any of the thumbnails to get started.

Gray-necked Wood-RailCocoi HeronThe beautiful Agami HeronAgami Heron 2Rufescent Tiger HeronStriated HeronStriated HeronSilvered AntbirdBand-tailed AntbirdGreater AniHoatzin 1Hoatzin 2Hoatzin closeupFlock of HoatzinsRed-capped CardinalGreen KingfisherRinged Kingfisher 1Ringed Kingfisher 2Ringed Kingfisher 3Ringed Kingfisher 4

During our downtime in between tours and meals, we had full access to the lodge grounds.  I usually setup for Hummingbirds at a flowering bush hoping to capture those fast moving jewels as they moved amongst the blossoms.  I have found that it is always quite productive to stay in one place and patiently wait for visitors.  At the Sandoval Lake Lodge, I was able to see the following birds simply by waiting.

Fork-tailed Woodnymph 1Fork-tailed Woodnymph 2Blue-crowned Motmot 1Blue-crowned Motmot 2Golden-bellied EuphoniaReddish Hermit 1Reddish Hermit 2Reddish Hermit 3Silver-beaked Tanager 1Silver-beaked Tanager 2Silver-beaked Tanager 3White-chinned Sapphire 1White-chinned Sapphire 2White-chinned Sapphire 3White-shouldered Tanager

The next gallery contains a variety of wildlife images that I was able to capture during our walks and tours including the Common Agouti and the Amazon Racerunner that were easily found around the lodge.  The hornet nest is significant because I was stung along with 2 others as we navigated a trail.  The Pinktoe Tarantula, the rare Peanut-headed Lanternfly and the nocturnal Boat-billed Heron were discovered on one of our night hikes by our guide, Oscar, who seemed to have night vision.  The Peruvian Night Monkey is one of the least known and possibly rarest Neotropical primates.  It is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and endangered under Peruvian Law.

Common Agouti and fliesAmazon Racerunner 1Amazon Racerunner 2Amazon Racerunner 3Hornet NestPinktoe TarantulaPeanut-headed LanternflyAnteaterBoat-billed HeronPeruvian Night Monkey 1Peruvian Night Monkey 2

And finally to end this recording breaking post, I offer up two views of Lake Sandoval.  The first image shows the palm-rimmed calm waters at dusk and the second is a beautiful sunset.

Palm tree reflectionSunset at Lake Sandoval

The next post will be on the Sacred Valley.  See you in a couple of weeks!

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  1. Scott Martin December 21, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    This certainly is a record breaking post Arni as it contains more spectacular images and rich variety of wildlife than I’ve ever seen. There are so many superb pics that its impossible to pick a favourite however a couple of the Herons with their reflections would be right up at the top.

    • Arni December 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you Scott! As I was going through my images, I was contemplating how best to display the variety that we saw and it didn’t seem quite right to have more than 1 post. I am experimenting with the new thumbnail option and it seems to be the perfect way to display a large number of images such as in this post. As for my favourite, you know I am partial to Kingfishers and it was quite an experience trying to give equal time to the Kingfishers and the Giant River Otters.