We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 weeks of birding in Peru in the company of birder extraordinaire Henry and driver par excellence Elvis. They really looked after us over the 2 weeks – Henry ensured that we sighted some really great birds, while Elvis ensured that we travelled safely, and our accommodation bills were paid. And they introduced us to some of the food and culture of Peru.
There were probably quite a few highlights during the 2 weeks, but I guess one of them was hearing the Andean cock of the rock making their lekking calls – it was hard to believe birds could make such a noise! And such spectacular looking birds! Being able to take time at the hummingbird feeders to sit and watch the hummingbirds, and listen to them buzzing past, was fabulous. With so many different kind, we thought we would never be able to identify them ourselves but, by the end of the two weeks, we had the confidence to identify the ones that turned up in Brazil during the conference – excellent training from Henry! I think we were third time lucky with seeing the Short-tailed pygmy-tyrant, then it co-operated by coming close to us and posing for photos! And that is where you spotted us by the roadside. Having the Burrowing owls pose for photos in the garden at Los Horcones de Tucume was special. And there were so many birds with amazingly coloured plumage!
The choice of lodges to stay was very good. Our room at Pumarinri gave us great views up and down river, and we were able to watch birds from our balcony. The humidity there played havoc with my camera for a couple of days, fortunately the camera did “wake up” each morning as the day warmed (we realised the battery connection was affected by the humidity) but once we moved to the Tucan Suites where we had the air conditioning, it was no longer affected by humidity. And the Tucan Suites gave us an opportunity to experience a bit of city life in Tarapoto.
Los Horcones de Tucume was a great spot with a range of birds visiting the garden – again we could sit on our balcony and watch a number of species up close. And we were successful with seeing the Peruvian plantcutter in Bosque de Pomac, along with a number of other species appearing while we were patiently waiting for the plantcutter to make its appearance. Although Chaparri Lodge was basic accommodation, we were able to sit on the porch and enjoy watching the little birds come into the trees during the heat of the afternoon. A pair of Fasciated wrens was nesting in the tree cactus at the front of our room, so we were able to watch them come and go and get some great photos. Chaparri was the only place where we saw an Andean condor, along with a King vulture riding the same thermal, so that was exciting to see both of those wonderful birds.