Saturday, March 17, 2018

South America, Day 6 - 22 Feb 2018

22 Feb 2018 - Cusco, Peru

Another rainy night brouht overcast skies and cool temps for our flight to Lima. At 4 am I woke to the sounds of Chiguanco Thrushes outside our window in the garden ruins. They were soon followed by the sweet calls of Rufous-collared Sparrows. Just before leaving for the airport I spotted a Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch feeding on the lawn. It reminds one of an Oregon Junco that has an orange back and breast, and pink feet. Its call is towhee-like with a “chureee!” 

22 Feb 2018 – Callao, Peru

We returned to the ship late in the afternoon and had time for a much-deserved Guinness before leaving the port. Robin and I were exhausted, but I wanted to do a quick survey of the birds in port before we left.

There was not much to the bird life that was possible to survey. We were inside a pair of breakwalls and sharing the port with several large cargo ships. The late afternoon sun produced a haze that made birds next to impossible to identify. I could see dozens of Franklin’s Gulls flying around, as well as a few Kelp Gulls and Peruvian Pelicans and Peruvian Boobies. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few Belcher’s Gulls (Band-tailed Gulls in Chile) that were identified by their brown backs, and brown heads that distinguished them from the Kelp Gulls. Their white tails also show a thick, black terminal band that is difficult to see in flight, but I lucky enough to get a few picks of the birds in air and on the breakwalls.

Belcher's Gull

Peruvian Pelican

Neotropic Cormorant

We had dinner reservations at La Cucina Restaurant at 6:30 pm, so I could not attempt to ID the hundreds of seabirds that were appearing as we continued on along the Peruvian shoreline and heading into Ecuador. Flocks of dark brown shearwaters make me believe that they are Sooty Shearwaters, but the rest of the birds would go unidentified as darkness set in.

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