La Selva Amazon Eco Lodge September 2016

View of Lake Garzacocha from La Selva

From Sani Lodge we traveled by motor-launch about one hour upriver before arriving at La Selva. This lodge was very familiar to me as I had been here on two previous occasions during which time we had had incredible success in finding and photographing very rare exotic insects and other creatures. Of course, I was hoping that we would continue to have such good fortune on this trip. However, global climate change manifested itself and unseasonable torrential rains were frequent. Cristian had a difficult time finding insects due to the damp conditions but he persisted like the trooper he is and he always managed to find something, not in the abundance of previous years but enough to keep us occupied.

I was not concerned about the fewer number of insects we had to photograph because at Sani Lodge I had discovered the joy of bird photography and I was quite content to continue this pursuit. After waiting 100 years (almost) to be able to buy a Canon 600mm lens, I was the definition of a happy camper and I was eager to practice as much as I could. I set off to observe the bird life and to locate the best vantage points for taking photos. At first, I tried out the lodge's second floor views of the trees that were at the edge of the lagoon. They were filled with a matured, small yellow fruit that were attracting some colorful, tiny birds but that fruit was consumed in two days and the birds went elsewhere.

I received a tip about a possibly good location which was on the third floor of the lodge. This was accessed by a spiral staircase which led to a small circular space that provided 360 degree views of the lagoon, the lodge dwellings, and best of all a large number and variety of trees. The floor space was limited and barely contained the feet of my tripod when it was open but I could function well within the space and I had at my disposal fantastic bird-spotting areas on all sides. I followed a routine in which I would wake up at 5:30 and be ready to photograph at 6 and then I would return at 4:30 in the afternoon. Alone in my crow's nest above Lake Garzacocha, my eyes developed more and more bird-spotting capacity and I waited, made endless camera adjustments, focused, and clicked away. A week passed in this way.