It was 7:45am.
Gunnar Engblom's Kolibri Expeditions, organized an excursion to La Arenilla, in La Punta, Callao. We were going to meet at 8:00am to learn about some birds at Parque Mariscal Castilla in Miraflores.
I've followed Gunnar for a while. At first, on INCASPIZA yahoo groups, and later on through Facebook and Twitter. It was via Facebook that I learned of today's trip.
To be honest, I was a little nervous. For me it was the first actual 'birding excursion' with a guide (person) - an expert - and not just my field guide, my camera, and my dear Tommy to enjoy the birds with me. I was a little nervous about the other people too, 'will I be THE ONE not knowing a thing???'... But after that, the excitement took over and after sleeping just two hours thanks to a neighbour's party, I woke up with the biggest smile I'd had for a couple of months.
Gunnar was great, fun and patient! He showed us some birds, explained about them, helped us find key facts to id them faster and let us borrow binoculars. Yes, it was my first experience with binoculars too. I'm 31, and I finally got to see the world through them!
This is the list of the first part of the excursion:
- Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
- Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)
- West Peruvian Dove (Zenaida meloda)
- Croaking Ground Dove (Columbina cruziana)
- Red-Masked Parakeet (Aratinga erythrogenys)
- Canary-Winged Parakeet (Brotogeris Versicolurus)
- Scrub Blackbird (Dives warszewiczi)
- Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)
- Blue and Gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
- Long-Tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus)
- Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia)
- Harris' Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
The last one we were hoping to find, but we didn't expect it! It was awesome!! Gunnar took the next picture with my camera using his scope, not perfect as there were no adaptors or whatsoever, but it's much better than me trying to do it with my zoomless little camera.
After the park, Gunnar drove for about an hour to get to 'La Arenilla', where it has been changed in the past couple of years. Part of the beach has been recovered for birds! Now you can find big signs with details of the resident and visiting birds.
Yes, this next one is me, I haven't posted many pictures of myself here. But I had such a great morning, I just had to!
Once again, Gunnar used his scope. This Black Skimmer is a migrant from the Amazon! GREAT!! Never seen it before - cool!!
The list for the second part of the excursion:
- Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus)
- Peruvian Boobie (Sula variegata)
- Neotropical Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
- Little White Egret (Egretta thula)
- American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
- Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)
- Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
- Sanderling (Calidris alba)
- Band-tailed Gull (Larus belcheri)
- Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
- Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan)
- Elegant Tern (Sterna elegans)
- Grey-hooded Gull (Larus cirrocephalus)
- Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)
- And a stunning Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
A group photo before leaving: Marly, Zarela, Milagros, Gunnar and Mel.
I sooooooo want to do it again!!