First week & Attack

Hello, dear friends!

I wanted to make this post fun and colourful, post some pics that Tommy took yesterday and tell you about my first week...

... But this morning we found this guy at the terrace, feathers all over the place, it seems like the work of one of my neighbour's cats!!

We tried to catch it to try to help, but it kept flying and crashing into the walls, it can fly but not high enough to fly away. We couldn't get it, it is VERY small, about 5cm, and we don't know what to do. Over here there are no people to take care of birds or places like the refuges for it to get well.

If we do catch it, then what?? We have no place to leave it and it feels like leaving it in the garden or outside is calling for that cat to come and finish the job. It is currently in the laundry area (we have it outside, it is an open space) and I would really appreciate your ideas and comments on this one, please, keep in mind that we might not have most of the resources you have to take care of hurt birds.

On another note, my first week was exhausting, and I really don't know why, as the 'real work' hasn't begun! I've been reading most of the week: reports, manuals, product details, procedures, etc, etc, etc...

I miss NATURE. I'll keep you posted on the future events. Please, leave a comment on the hurt bird if you have an idea or a story to share.


¡Feliz día de la Tierra! and Update on new job!

First of all, let me wish you a VERY HAPPY EARTH DAY!!! or ¡¡¡MUY FELIZ DIA DE LA TIERRA!!!

I have to thank all my blog friends for the nice comments and the good wishes. It is great to know that someone on the other side of the world or of the continent is thinking about you :)

My new job is an hour and a half away from home. I have to work 48 hours a week. It is a VERY non nature-related job and I have no view :(

It is new to me in many ways, although I know some processes and the lingo of the industry, I'm super nervous and stressed! I have to deal with critical info and many many many reports.

It is an office job, I leave the house at 7am and arrive at around 9pm... Am I going to survive that?? I'm so tired already, and it has been only two days!

I won't have time to go birding as you see. I'll wait for weekends to continue with my thesis and go birding... Tommy and I talked about posting here. If he can go birding or find something interesting I'll post his pictures with my comments (not my ideal, but better than nothing)

I have to apologize in advance for not having enough time to visit you all, I'll try to catch up on weekends, I'm going to miss you!!! It has been so great to read 'you' almost every day :)

Anyway, I believe there is something I need to learn on this job or someone I need to meet for the future. For some reason, even though is not 'the dream job' for a girl longing for nature, I feel like it is something I HAVE to do now. It is hard to explain, hope it doesn't sound too crazy!

Well, my dear friends, I must stop here, I'm soooo tired... Kisses!!!


Flower Roll Call and NEWS!!

No idea what this is! (Following Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein at Monkey Muck and Delia at Beginning to Bird, here is my flower)

I have some news too!! I start my new job TOMORROW!! I'm a little nervous but also excited. I'll let you know more about it later on :)


'Birding' behind Mel's back

Sight of the Pacific Ocean from Miraflores coast

The last couple of weeks I have been going to a series of job interviews. As I'm not able to finish my Thesis just yet, I decided to go back and start getting some money (savings are almost gone!)

So, a few days ago I asked Tommy to go with me to Miraflores, a district by the Pacific Ocean.

I had a couple of hours ahead with tests and interviews so we decided we would meet later on. While I was struggling with tests and questionaries, he went off... TO THE BEACH!!

He's the one responsible for the pics (but the first and last, those are mine, to show you a little about the area)

After my hours of stress I found him across the street lying on a bench with his sun glasses on and the i-pod playing! When he saw me he gave me one of his sexy smiles and showed me the pics he took... My first reaction was... "YOU WENT TO THE BEACH WITHOUT ME??!!??", but then he showed me this handsome guy and I had to smile :)

Gaviota peruana (Larus Belcheri / Band-tailed Gull)

This fellow is known as 'Gaviota peruana', literal translation is 'Peruavian Gull', but the English name is Band-tailed Gull (Larus belcheri)

The first curious thing we noticed was the beak, it is yellow with a black strip and red at the end. This one has a dark head, which means it is not in 'reproductive mode'. The tail starts white, followed by 'approximately' 2cm of black, and finishining with a white trim. The legs are yellow. It gets really aggresive when nesting.

I have to confess I was jealous about Tommy's little trip to the Pacific Ocean while I was in a tiny office with a #2 pencil and a bunch of papers to fill in; but taking a walk after it, the nice company during lunch (with a sight like this!!!) and the sunny day, erased all traces of jealousy, turning it into joy and happiness.

Sight of 'La Rosa Náutica', Miraflores
(my prom party was there, 15 years ago!!)


Birds and flowers

You already know that last Sunday I went to 'La Laguna', where the smart ducks and geese can 'read' signs ;)

Over there we saw this 'Garcita blanca' (White Egret / Egretta thula) walking around, looking for a snack.

This seems to be a juvenile, because the legs were still yellow (going black in the front)

It was nice to just stay there and watch. It is amazing how much beauty you can find when you decide to look with 'nature eyes'.

A Vermilion Flycatcher followed us for a few blocks, our camera is so simple and zoom-less that in over a dozen pictures this is the best :(

Pyrocephalus rubinus (Vermilion Flycatcher)

After the lagoon we went to visit Grandma and her flowers.

And I got my VERY FIRST picture of a hummingbird flying!!! Sorry for the quality, click to enlarge.

Amazilia amazilia (Amazilia Hummingbird)

It was a sunny happy Sunday.


What's happening?

When Tommy and I arrived to "La Laguna" (laguna = lagoon) yesterday, we noticed that something was different...

... all these guys on the shore, only one in the water, we were puzzled about it.
What was happening?

After a while we saw the sign: "PELIGRO, PROHIBIDO NADAR" (Danger, swimming prohibited)...

... and "PROHIBIDO ENTRAR A LA LAGUNA" (Entering the lagoon is prohibited)

That was it!! These smart guys were just following the law ;)


Another lake 'disappeared' in Chile

The planet is getting warmer, and nature is paying too high a price for it.

This morning my mother told me something she heard on the news, a lake in Chile disappeared. PUF!! What horrible nightmare!

Lago Cachet, a lake of glacial origin is not there anymore… AND IT IS NOT THE FIRST TIME something like this has happened!! This Chilean lake is empty: 200 thousand million liters of water gone in a few hours. The filtration also produced big floods on the neighboring glacier, Colonia.

When mom told me such thing this morning I had to read it myself, I searched for it online, and all I could find was news about another lake in Chile that disappeared in May 2007… You can read about that one here, here and here.

This afternoon I finally found information in English here, here, here and here, and this site in Spanish has a video here. If you have any information on other similar things please let me know, I do want to know the reaction and ACTION in other places.

Not much coverage outside of the Internet is given here for this phenomenon - media monsters are just ignoring it or presenting the news as a ‘curiosity’ a ‘fun fact’ or a ‘mystery’ and I believe it is way too serious to just ignore it or treat it like that.

I want to ask you to please try to find more information on this, share it with your friends and family, discuss it and try to get more people to know about it. Education and knowledge is the key for a positive change!

I know that all kind of phenomenon related to Global Warming is happening around the world, and most of them have no press or have some without a big fuss. Ecosystems disappear, entire habitats and their resident species gone, and we keep on damaging the ONLY place we have to live!

Anyway, sorry for the overload of Mel-emotion on this post, but it makes me sooo angry and frustrated! I have faith in my fellow bloggers, especially the ones who visit this blog now and then, and in the small but good efforts they make to try to create cleaner, healthier and safer environments for their families and communities. I know you will understand what I feel; because I’m sure you feel it too.

Thanks for reading this, I just had to tell you.


Hummingbirds, traditions and luxury hotels

I was looking for information about hummingirds in different regions of the country when a friend told me that in a small region in Cusco there were 18 varieties at least.

I guess my face was like one of those cartoon characters with the eyes popping out, because he started laughing... He said he saw only 13 and all within the land of the hotel he has staying at!

He used the services of Inkaterra, a local company that manages luxury hotels and unique experiences.

As I will never be able to afford staying there, I decided to 'travel' around the web and find out more about it.
I checked the online brochures, with info of every hotel and I must say they look BEAUTIFUL!! Maybe when I win the lottery I'll invite my friends from all over ;)

I found a small picture gallery that I thought would be nice to share with you so you could learn more about my country, the only problem is that the pictures don't have captions, so, you won't know exactly where or what it is or represents :(

I love the fact that they have a Wish List, but not just any... At every location of their hotels they do some kind of service for the community: Educational materials, conservation projects, seeds for native communities, conservation of traditions, even teaching English to locals!!
Those of you who know me better will know without a doubt that it is my favourite part of that website ;)

They also promote visits to local families, to learn about their traditions and culture and share experiences beyond the regular parametres.

In the Machu Picchu location, the birdwatching activities they promote are within the hotel area!... "Along the hotel's pathways, be on the lookout for the cock-of-the-rock, the golden-headed quetzal and many of the 18 different hummingbirds identified on the grounds, including the booted racket-tail and the green-and-white hummingbirds, which are native to the area."

YESSSS!!! Found the 18 hummingbirds part!!! So, it was true!!

Turns out that they also have the world's record of the largest number of orchids in natural state!! They have registered 372, and discovered 6 new species in their grounds.

The Amazon location has pretty cool excursions, one of them marked as a 1/4 day excursion reminded me of dear Sherry at Q's Corner and her love for butterflies: the Butterfly House!!

twilight river one made me dream and of course the full day birding experience NOT for begginers like me :(

Anyway, what started as a quest for information on hummingbirds ended up with a lot of dream travels for me!

I hope you enjoyed the cyber-trip as much as I did, hopefully I'll be able to travel there soon, to dream places in my country, so close and so far away at the same time...

Please note: All pictures taken from Inkaterra's website.


Follow your dreams!!


Little beauty


Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay

This afternoon I was sorting out some files and found a folder with pictures from a trip we made last august (yes, I felt cold in august if you wonder about my outfit on that pic!, it was winter on this side of the world) to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. At that time we were living in Buenos Aires, so we took a 55 minute trip to go across the Río de la Plata to the oldest city of Uruguay.

The city was founded in 1680 and both Portugal and Spain fought over it for centuries, until England showed up and joined the party. It is a small city, the old side is full of stone houses and stone brick streets, a reminder of the past.

The seven (yes, seven!) museums can be visited in a couple of hours as some of them are smaller than a shoe box! The one I liked the most was the Portuguese House, it was filled with old maps from the colonies, from pirates and cartographers from centuries ago.

We liked the locals, they were friendly and cute!

Just before leaving, we found this guy, I totally forgot about it until now, and I'm happy I found it, although I don't know what it is... HELP!

We had a great and relaxing time over there, we went up the lighthouse, walked on the streets where pirates walked in the past, touched walls built centuries ago, saw old maps and cannons and visited 7 museums in 1 day - isn't that cool? :)