For this trip, we started in Lima, flew to Cusco, took the
train to Aguas Calientes, travelled by van along the Manu
Road (through Manu National Park, a world heritage site),
went by boat along the Alto Madre de Dios River and,
finally, took a taxi to Puerto Maldonado
Our trip started with a tour of Lima, and the Plaza Mayor.
The main square is the the oldest public place in the city...
...while the Cathedral de Lima has been rebuilt several
times as a result of damage from earthquakes
One of the historical sites that we visited was Huaca
Pucllana, a huge pyramidal structure, located close
to the centre of Lima
The complex is pre-Incan and made up of hundreds
of thousands of adobe bricks
It is believed to have been used as an administrative
centre, for ceremonial functions and burials
A side trip to the nearby fishing port of Pucusana found...
...that the local fishermen were joined in handling their
catch by other locals!
Other sightings included Blue-footed Booby...
...and at least one species of Canadian birder!
Evidently, Peruvians love a parade
They use elaborate costumes...
...and, they always have a band...
Our next excursion was to Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and,
of course, Machu Picchu!
The complex is quite extensive
There are many individual rooms and walkways
Even though many of the stone blocks are massive,
some are carefully shaped to fit the contours of
the natural rock
Back to the task in hand and the search for some
Our journey down the Manu Road took us from the high
mountain passes in the Andes...
...down through the Sacred Valley (with steep drop offs
along the side of the very narrow road!)...
...with frequent birding stops...
and, finally travelling by boat along the Alto Madre
de Dios River into the Amazon basin
Not all of our sightings were of birds. There were,
for example, monkeys, including...
Purus red howler
There were also lizards - this is a
Spiny Whorltail Iguana
Here is a (small) Tree Boa constrictor
And, one night, a Tapir visited our lodge
There were also some examples of Homo Sapiens in our
"Faces of Peru" series
Our accommodation ranged from the somewhat luxurious...
...to rather more basic
However, the porters at the lodges were well always equipped...
...and the chefs determined to serve quinoa in spectacular form!
Meanwhile, the search for birds continues, yielding...
Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan
In addition to colourful birds, there were also some
Some plants didn't get the chance to be colourful..
...but the cause certainly was!
Amongst 600+ species over three weeks, one might expect
some of the bird sightings to have a bit of an odd look or
wild plumage! For example there's the...
Horned Screamer - note the fine "horn"
(You missed the screaming - lucky you!)
Some of the birders looked a bit odd too!
In addition to birds, there were also some colourful butterflies
We came across a research group from the University of
British Columbia who were banding in the jungle
This gave us great looks at some birds "in the hand",
including a Band-tailed Manakin...
...and a Rufous-headed Woodpecker
Carol was conscripted to help release one of the study subjects
A successful release calls for a treat - Granadilla!
We saw 47 species of hummingbirds (!)
including Sparkling Violetear...
...and Many-spotted Hummingbird
While hummingbirds frequent feeders at the lodges,
some canopy species may be best seen by climbing
a tower to a platform mounted on a Kapok tree
We're not sure if the initial round of enthusiasm lasts all
the way up - about 60 m - to the top!
View from the top
Now, where are those birds?
Here's a Golden-headed Quetzal
A more down to earth view of birds can be obtained by
visiting a clay lick where, each morning, a variety
of parrots and macaws arrive to eat the clay on the
exposed bank in order to supplement their diet with
First to arrive were the parrots. Here
we see Blue-headed Parrots (at the top)
and Orange-cheeked Parrots (below)
Then, the Red and Green Macaws arrive
Finally, here's Omar Diaz, our Peruvian birding guide
And, here are two happy Canadian birders!