Just got back from Tahuayo Lodge in the Iquitos area. Got some new birds such as Purple-cheeked Jacamar, Amazonian Antshrike and Band-tailed Nighthawk. The Lodge was great for birding in spite of it being extremely dry when we visited between Sep 10-13.
I am too tired to be nice right now (1.30 AM) , so I'd like to rant a bit. In spite of the great birding, Iquitos gives somewhat a bad aftertaste. One would think that the heart of the Peruvian Amazonon with zilions of eco-lodges (well at least 40-50) that the people here would care about conserving biodiversity. But NOT.
The first impression one gets of the town is a noicy, chaotic and immensly un-attractive town. The moto-taxis are each noicer than the five combies in Lima - the word silencer does not work in Iquitos.
When one tells the street vendors that we are "ecologistas" and do not want to buy a glass-cabinet of mounted Morpho and Swallow-wing butterflies, less are allowed to bring them through customs, the vendor tucks the cabinet away and takes out a roll of a hide that he starts folding out to a skin of a 16 ft Anaconda.
Going five hours by speed boat one would think one would arrvie in some pristince jungle, but there are countless of villages up the Tahuayo river. One does not see any larger animals. There must been a lot of hunting here.
Along the river bank as we flow down the Tahuayo river the people have stacked up huge 100 liter bags filled with charcoal. This charcoal is to be taken to Iquitos to be sold as fuel to the local Chicken placesand the wildmeat restaurants in Iquitos. The circle is closed.