Hi, it’s me Marimonda. Continuing to the previous post <Medellín to Camarones>, today I’d like to share my first flamingo watching experience.
I saw flamingos before in zoos. However, it was the first time that I see them in nature, thus I was super excited. I booked a guided-tour via the taxi driver from the previous day. Well, I would say he slightly overcharged me a bit, but it was good choice in the end because everything went so smoothly and he was super helpful. He organized a guide, and the guide came to the hostel later to tell me he would meet me at 6 a.m. on the following day.
According to him, most tourists stay in Riohacha or Camarones to come to see the birds, but they usually depart between 6:30 ~7 a.m. Thus, it took them about 30 mins to arrive to the habitat of Flamingos. Since flamingos tend to fly away if they notice people, he told us we should go and see before a group of tourists arrive. Also, since they are group of people, usually they ride a boat with motor engine which is loud so that flamingos fly away when they hear the sound.
When he arrived on the following day, we headed to the lake to watch flamingos.
When I saw the boat for the first time, I was very surprised because I’ve only seen this type of boat in movies. We had to paddle to move on. With gentle breeze, we could sail.
Sailing for about 20 mins, I finally started to see some flamingos far away. We tried to get close as much as possible but not scare the birds. We could reach really close, but I couldn’t take pictures because the shutter sound might scare them. To my surprise, baby flamingos were dark rather gray ashy color. They become pink as growing up, due to the food they eat which is shrimp.
Flamingos lined up before they fly away. And the leader flew the first and the rest of the flock followed the leader. It was very interesting to see it.
On the way, I could see other birds. I also saw storks and scarlet ibises, the red bird in the picture below. According to the guide, it’s really hard to see this bird and I was so lucky to see it.
I could see so many birds but couldn’t get close shots since I have a normal camera. Those were the best shots that I could get. Still, I was very happy to see them.
The whole journey took us about 1 hour and half. And I think I was very lucky because on the way back, I saw two motor boats with full of people (about 15 people in each). And the motor sounded quite loud to be honest.
Why are there so many birds in camarones?
In Spanish, camarones mean shrimps. In this area, there are plenty of shrimps and crabs. Also, it’s less developed and located far away from big cities, so not many people live there nor visit. Thus, all the birds come here to eat in peace.
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Enjoy your travel with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂
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