I managed to convince the two five year old on board to see the "pajaritos" (birdies). Bins were the coolest "toy" ever and I'm pretty sure I got them curious about birds..."that bird has something yellow on its face!", "the water looks close as if it was on my knees", "I like birds better than boats"... YES!! thank you girls!
Photo: Turkey Vulture waiting for sea lion snack by Melissa Gold
We were around a few islands, like "El Camotal", once part of the old port-city of El Callao, currently covered by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, as a result of the 1746 Earthquake. On low-tide days people say you can see some remains of the old city.
"San Lorenzo Island", is 8 km long by 2,5 km wide. It had many uses in time: religious centers in pre-Columbian times, cemetery for pirates and corsairs during the Colony, research place for men of science (including Charles Darwin!!) and it is currently a military zone.
"El Fronton Island" was an old Penitentiary, like Alcatraz...
"Cavinzas Islands" are a group of islands and islets with plenty of natural caves and caverns; it is the last guano harvesting site. The next pic shows the "facilities" where the "guardian" of the island lives. If you click to enlarge, you maybe able to see him on the window to the left.
"Palomino Islands" have turned into a refugee for sea lions. There are 3 main islets with defined areas: the family area, the maternity and the hospital (as the captain explains to us), family area is where the strong male live with their 13 or so female party; maternity, where the male with no females live (some of them castrated on fights for power) and then the hospital, where they retire to die (if you saw the pic of the Turkey Vulture few paragraphs up here, by now you should know where it was taken...)
The rocky formations are stunning, too bad that my camera's zoom is not good enough to show you all the beauty. Here you can see Peruvian Pelicans, Guanay Cormorants, Inca Terns, and some Gulls that were too far for me to id properly.
It was fun to be close to the sea lions, most of the group jumped into the ocean to swim with them. No, I didn't, I'm waiting for my sidekick to go together ;)
It was fun both on the Pacific Ocean and on shore. I found lots of beautiful birds that made me forget about the weeks of not being able to do some birding.
A few days ago, Birdfreak posted about a product sold by Birdorable, they have some fun t-shits, and the next pic made me think of one for my lovely non Peruvian fiancee to wear in honour of her Peruvian girl... Is the phrase "I love Peruvian Boobies" too much to wear at a family meeting?? LOL
Also a few days ago, I got a comment by Laurent, who suggested trying some "digi-binning". Well, I did, couldn't try more because the rest of the group were not birders or birder wanna-bes like me, and they were busy walking away!
Anyway, here's my try: first one, regular shot with no zoom...
And the second one thru bins, as you can see with the shadow to the right. To be my first try ever, I think it came up pretty good. I will practice, it wasn't easy to get an image with my shaky pulse!
This Franklin's gull was waiting for us when we arrived. It was great to get a shot where I could see the tail.
And the Inca Terns were all lined up to say hello. I like the way they look, so elegant and proud.
I like these two, I wonder what they are chatting about... ("these humans never get tired of us... ah, well, beauties we are...")
The last birds I'm not sure about. I have no idea if this is some sort of Turnstone or Sandpiper. Can anyone help id?? My bird guide shows WAY too many possibilities.
It was a fun and different morning, and I hope to be able to do it again soon!
Thanks to Patrick and Gunnar for making a definite id for the last birds: Ruddy Turnstone... LIFER!! yippiiiiee!!