Peru Album Overflow

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Snapshot of Ellie & Stauffer on the canopy walkway. Snapshot of a group of Peruvian children. [Snapshot of Stauffer, Herman and Lucio] Snapshot of 2 figures by a big boulder on the shore.
Respective sizes in bytes: 28k, 28k, 53k & 25k

The maximum height of the many-segmented canopy-walkway was 120 feet.

We met the children while birding the mountains around San Mateo. Peru, several hours drive East of Lima.

Stauffer, Herman, and our wonderful Guide at ACEER and Explorama Lodge, Lucio.

After finding the first Seaside Cinclodes, Ellie walked down the beach 50 yards to the next likely habitat and, lo and behold, there was another Cinclodes! That's Herman with her.

Snapshot of 2 figures against the classic Machui Picchu background. 31k A herd of cows without a blade of grass in sight. 17k Snapshot of Herman shaking hands with the local kids. 78k [Snapshot of Herman updating his birdlist] 44k

"Pinch me. Am I really here?" --Ellie to Stauffer at Machu Picchu

The entire coast of Peru is a 30-mile wide desert. I photographed these cows just North of Lima. We had pulled off the Pan American Highway to look at some birds.

Ellie gave a child in red poncho, Andras, a dinosaur sticker. He was not familiar with dinausaurs so I said "Jurassic Park". Total blank. How refreshing!

Herman is updating his trip list. His final total was 242. Peru has more bird species than any other country in the world (About 1700!), so the checklist is a veritable book. Ted Parker (R.I.P.) is one of the compilers. He's a legend in Peru. Our Paracas boat captain, Julian, proudly showed us Ted's autographed business card. No one in our party ever had the privilege of meeting Ted, but our Amazon guide Lucio learned to bird from Ted, so we are only once removed. I gave Lucio a cassette of Peruvian birdsong recorded by T.P. as a parting gift. Because of that tape I had the thrill of recognizing the calls of the Great Potoo and the Common Potoo before dawn every morning in Amazonia. Also the Russet-backed Oropendola's liquid sound was familiar to me.

I recommend the book "A Parrot Without a Name, The Search for the Last Unknown Birds on Earth" by Don Stap (1990). It's about birding fieldwork in Peru in the late 1980's. The author accompanied Ted Parker's and John O'Neill's expeditions in order to document them.

Here's an amazing fact I read in that book: The Amazon has 1000 tributaries, 10 of which are bigger than the Mississippi.

We got torrent duck and dipper from the train to Machu Picchu. Birders will want to sit on the left side, for that's where the river is . Stauffer found a pair of Guans in the undergrowth along the Inca trail just above Machu Picchu. From the nearby bamboo we heard the Inca Wren singing.
I enjoyed swimming in the Hot Springs in Machu Picchu Pueblo. Just ask "Donde esta la Agua Caliente?" The pools are very low-key, and un-sign-posted. You can rent "ropa de bano" in a shop enroute, and rudimentary cabanas are provided for changing. We tipped the desk clerk at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel to keep our bags in the store room while we birded the Urubamba river shore from 7 a.m until lunchtime. We had spent the night 400 meters above at the Hotel de las Ruinas. I can recommend the soup at the friendly vegetarian restaurant near the Pueblo hotel.
Peruvian birds we would have loved to get but, alas, missed: Condor, Umbrellabird, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, and Fasciated Tiger-heron.
Ones that DIDN'T get away:
Amazon rainforest: We got a Dark-billed Cuckoo while strolling on the wide path leading past the doctor's house on the grounds of Explorama Lodge about 5pm. It was a life-bird for all four of us; Walking from Explorama Camp to ACEER at mid-day Lucio pointed out a Teed-up rusty-breasted Nunlet. Everybody but me got the Black-spotted Bare-eye; Early one morning, Lucio took us to the Black-faced Red Cotinga; Other memorable sightings on walks from ACEER: We had nesting Purple-throated Fruitcrows, and, most thrilling of all to Ellie, we had an ant-swarm, replete with White-plumed Antbirds, Sooty Antbirds, Bicolored Antbirds & Hairy-crested Antbirds.

Andes: Giant Hummingbird, (country road near Urumbamba); We all enjoyed an Andean Flicker; Walking the road that passes through the highest cloud forest in the world -a long drive from Urumbamba to the Eastern Slope of the Andes- Eva found a Pearled Treerunner, proving even a non-birder can spot nice things; One afternoon on a lake (long name beginning with "H") near Cuzco we had good looks at Rails. Eva & our driver Pepi enjoyed the Slate-colored Coot, which is like the American Coot but with a yellow frontal plate, because it's beautiful & easy to see. Eva could also identify the Yellow-winged Blackbirds at that lake. On the grounds of the lovely Alhambra Hotel in Urubamba we got terrific looks at the Sparkling Violetear. Stauffer pointed out an Alpomando Falcon perched during our long drive back to Urumbamba from the cloud forest.

Marooned on a desert! or How we didn't visit the Lomas of Lachay.
For those who find these trip notes to be birding-lite, I offer this compensation:
Wonderful birding trip notes about Bolivia by Rolf A. de By
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Herman's Birding Page

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Last revised: May 24, 2002