Peru - October, 2016


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


Map of Peru


Our trip started with a tour of Lima, and the Plaza Mayor.
The main square is the the oldest public place in the city...


Main Square, Lima


...while the Cathedral de Lima has been rebuilt several
times as a result of damage from earthquakes


Cathedral de Lima


One of the historical sites that we visited was Huaca
Pucllana, a huge pyramidal structure, located close
to the centre of Lima


Huaca Pucllana


The complex is pre-Incan and made up of hundreds
of thousands of adobe bricks


Huaca Pucllana


It is believed to have been used as an administrative
centre, for ceremonial functions and burials


Huaca Pucllana


A side trip to the nearby fishing port of Pucusana found...




...that the local fishermen were joined in handling their
catch by other locals!


Catch of the day


Peruvian Pelican


Peruvian Pelican


Other sightings included Blue-footed Booby...


Blue Booby


...Guanay Cormorants...


Guanay Cormoraunt


...and at least one species of Canadian birder!


Canadian birder


Evidently, Peruvians love a parade




Little girls


They use elaborate costumes...


Elaborate costumes




...and, they always have a band...




...or two!


Another band!


Our next excursion was to Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and,
of course, Machu Picchu!


Machu Picchu


The complex is quite extensive


More of the complex


There are many individual rooms and walkways


Individual rooms


Even though many of the stone blocks are massive,
some are carefully shaped to fit the contours of
the natural rock


Intricately shaped


Back to the task in hand and the search for some
colourful species


Back to birding


Slate-throated Redstart


Slate-throated Redstart


Blue-necked Tanager


Blue-necked Tanager






Our journey down the Manu Road took us from the high
mountain passes in the Andes...


High mountain passess


...down through the Sacred Valley (with steep drop offs
along the side of the very narrow road!)...


Manu Road


...with frequent birding stops...


Roadway birding


and, finally travelling by boat along the Alto Madre
de Dios River into the Amazon basin


Boat trip


Alto Madre de Dios River


Not all of our sightings were of birds. There were,
for example, monkeys, including...


Purus red howler


Red Howler Monkey


Brown-mantled Tamarin


Brown-mantled Tamarin


There were also lizards - this is a
Spiny Whorltail Iguana


Spiny Whorltail Iguana


Here is a (small) Tree Boa constrictor


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


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Faces of Peru


Our accommodation ranged from the somewhat luxurious...


Luxury rather more basic




However, the porters at the lodges were well always equipped...




...and the chefs determined to serve quinoa in spectacular form!


Quinoa at its finest


Meanwhile, the search for birds continues, yielding...


Manu Road birding


Andean Guan


Andean Guan


Andean Guan


Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan


Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan


Andean Cock-of-the-Rock


Andean Cock-of-the-Rock


In addition to colourful birds, there were also some
colourful plants






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...






Inca Tern


Inca Tern


Horned Screamer - note the fine "horn"
(You missed the screaming - lucky you!)


Horned Screamer


Yellow-tufted Woodpecker


Yellow-tufted Woodpecker


Some of the birders looked a bit odd too!


Odd birder?


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


UBC banders


This gave us great looks at some birds "in the hand",
including a Band-tailed Manakin...


Band-tailed Manakin


...and a Rufous-headed Woodpecker


Rufous-headed Woodpecker


Carol was conscripted to help release one of the study subjects




All gone!


All gone!


A successful release calls for a treat - Granadilla!




We saw 47 species of hummingbirds (!)
including Sparkling Violetear...


Sparkling Violetear


...and Many-spotted Hummingbird


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


Canopy Tower


We're not sure if the initial round of enthusiasm lasts all
the way up - about 60 m - to the top!


Tower climb


View from the top


View from the top


Now, where are those birds?


Where are those birds?


Here's a Golden-headed Quetzal


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


Clay lick


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


Red and Green Macaws


Red and Green Macaw


Finally, here's Omar Diaz, our Peruvian birding guide


Omar Diaz


And, here are two happy Canadian birders!


Canadian birders


El fin