Thursday, 19 September 2013

Peru - the sum up

Red-and-green Macaw
What is a jungle? Jungles are steamy hot places filled with impenetrable vegetation, danger and invisible but very vocal animals that tease you with their apparent closeness. Now I've been in jungles before. For instance, there was the feral scrubby wilderness near my home in Wembley, north London that I explored as a kid. I crossed the raging torrent that was the concrete bedded River Brent to wend my way across the unexplored wasteland that lay on the other side. I hacked my way with a blunt penknife through the thick virgin fields of brambles in search of new areas to make camps and of course, to find birds. All this before getting back home for tea.

Since then I have dipped my toes into the fringes of jungles in Thailand and Mexico - but always within earshot of a road or within sight of a visitor centre. In those instances, I was on my own and besides there was a wealth of bird life just within the entrance gates to keep me occupied for hours. Last year, I accepted an invitation from an NGO called the Crees Foundation to visit Peru some research centres within the Amazon dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and the promotion of sustainable living amongst the local people. Crees Foundation are an NGO dedicted to the conservation of the Amazon rainforests and its wildlife, plus promoting sustainability and coexistence with nature amongst the peoples of the region. They manage some 1,500 acres of rainforest within the Manu Reserve - an area roughly the size of Wales.

The plan was for me to go on a whistletop tour of the highland cloud forests eventually dropping elevations ending up within the lowland jungle visiting several of the Crees Foundation's lodges. So after landing in Lima for a spot of very productive urban birding, I took a short flight to Cusco where my journey into the Amazon would truly begin. I'm preparing a piece for Bird Watching Magazine so I won't repeat my adventures here. All I will say is that Peru was everything I expected and everything I didn't expect. Peru has jumped straight into my top five favourite countries in the world. 

My bird list

Peru 23 August – 5 September 2013

White-tufted Grebe
Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Grebe
Puna Teal
Chilean Pelican
Peruvian Booby
Neotropic Cormorant
Guanay Cormorant
Cocoi Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Little Blue Heron
Striated Heron
Capped Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Fasciated Tiger-heron
Rufescent Tiger-heron
Horned Screamer
Wood Stork
Puna Ibis
Green Ibis
Orinoco Goose
Yellow-billed Pintail
White-cheeked Pintail
Andean Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Ruddy Duck
Torrent Duck
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
King Vulture
American Swallow-tailed Kite
Plumbeous Kite
Cinereous Harrier
Guiana Crested Eagle
Black-chested Buzzard-eagle
Black-and-chestnut Eagle
Great Black Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
White-rumped Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Variable Hawk
Harris’ Hawk
Red-throated Caracara
Black Caracara
Mountain Caracara
Southern Caracara
Barred Forest Falcon
American Kestrel
Bat Falcon
Speckled Chachalaca
Andean Guan
Spix’s Guan
Blue-throated Piping Guan
Razor-billed Curassow
Plumbeous Rail
Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule
Andean Coot
American Oystercatcher
Black-necked Stilt
Andean Lapwing
Pied Lapwing
Collared Plover
Hudsonian Whimbrel
Lesser Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs
Stilt Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Wilson’s Phalarope
Kelp Gull
Belcher’s Gull
Grey Gull
Franklin’s Gull
Grey-headed Gull
Andean Gull
Inca Tern
Large-billed Tern
Yellow-billed Tern
Black Skimmer
Feral Pigeon
Ruddy Pigeon
Plumbeous Pigeon
Spot-winged Pigeon
Eared Dove
West Peruvian (Pacific) Dove
Bare-faced Ground Pigeon
White-tipped Dove
Blue-and-yellow Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
Chestnut-fronted Macaw
Red-and-green Macaw
Mitred Parakeet
Tui Parakeet
Orange-cheeked Parrot
Blue-headed Parrot
Speckle-faced Parrot
Mealy (Amazon)Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Barn Owl
Burrowing Owl
Great Potoo
Sand-coloured Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk
White-collared Swift
Andean Swift
White-tipped Swift
Chestnut-collared Swift
New World Palm Swift
Giant Hummingbird
White-browed Hermit
Long-tailed Hermit
Fork-tailed Woodnymph
Blue-tailed Emerald
Sparkling (Gould’s) Violetear
Rufous-crested Coquette
Golden-tailed Sapphire
Green-and-white Hummingbird
Peruvian Piedtail
Many-spotted Hummingbird
Violet-fronted Brilliant
Chestnut-breasted Coronet
Collared Inca
Long-tailed Sylph
Booted Racket-tail
Bearded Mountaineer
Black-tailed Trainbearer
Blue-tailed Emerald
Black-tailed Trogon
Blue-crowned Trogon
Crested Quetzel
Highland Motmot
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Bluish-fronted Jacamar
Lanceolated Monklet
Black-fronted Nunbird
Versicoloured Barbet
Curly-crested Aracari
White-throated Toucan
Channel-billed Toucan
Andean Flicker
Golden Olive Woodpecker
Red-necked Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
Blue-and-white Swallow
White-winged Swallow
White-banded Swallow
Grey-breasted Wood Wren
Southern House Wren
White-capped Dipper
Long-tailed Mockingbird
Black-capped Donacobius
Wren-like Rushbird
Bar-winged Cinclodes
Ash-browed Spinetail
Rusty-fronted Canastero
White-browed Antbird
Ash-throated Gnateater
Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet
Marble-faced Bristle-tyrant
Slaty-capped Flycatcher
Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet
Torrent Tyrannulet
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Many-coloured Rush Tyrant
Olive-striped Flycatcher
Streak-necked Flycatcher
Common Tody-flycatcher
Cinnamon Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Smoke-coloured Pewee
Black Phoebe
Drab Water Tyrant
Andean Negrito
Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Chiguanco Thrush
Glossy-black Thrush
Black-billed Thrush
Black-faced Cotinga
((Screaming Piha))
Masked Fruiteater
Bare-necked Fruitcrow
Andean Cock-of-the-rock
Yungas Manakin
Red-eyed Vireo
Violaceous Jay
Purplish Jay
Green Jay
Silver-beaked Tanager
Blue–and-yellow Tanager
Blue-grey Tanager
Silver-backed Tanager
Golden Tanager
Yellow-throated Bush Tanager
Beryl-spangled Tanager
Golden-naped Tanager
Saffron-crowned Tanager
Golden-eared Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager
Paradise Tanager
Swallow Tanager
Orange-eared Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Purple Honeycreeper
Black-throated Flowerpiercer
Yellow-browed Sparrow
Peruvian Sierra-finch
Hooded Siskin
Orange-bellied Euphonia
Thick-billed Euphonia
Band-tailed Seedeater
Blue-black Grassquit
Black-and-white Seedeater
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater
Red-capped Cardinal
Chestnut-capped Brush-finch
Golden-bellied Grosbeak
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Buff-throated Saltator
Golden-billed Saltator
Slate-throated Redstart
Spectacled Redstart
Golden-bellied Warbler
Three-striped Warbler
Russet-crowned Warbler
Crested Oropendola
Olive Oropendola
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Giant Cowbird
Scrub Blackbird
Orange-backed Troupial
Yellow-winged Blackbird

254 species

192 lifers

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