Unexpected Birding for Lifers!

A couple of weeks ago, Tommy and I got an invitation for a family gathering in Mala, south of Lima.

At first we didn't want to go, as I had some writing to do and Tommy needed to study for his classes.

Finally, we decided to go, and take the binoculars and the camera with us, just in case we managed to escape for a moment and explore around the area before the meal was ready.

It ended up being a great decision. We found some birds there, including a few lifers!

Now, pardon my excitement, but my favourite were by far the owls (lifers!) we found just a few metres from were we were going to have lunch! We counted five Burrowing Owls, so close to us that we couldn't believe it!

We found them by total chance. We had already found some common birds there, and were about to head back to the house when I asked Tommy to take a picture of the flowers of the peach tree in front of me.

While he was taking the pic, I felt movement to my left and decided to look around with the binoculars. I found two owls staring at me! And after a moment we could see three, four, five!!

This was the third time I spotted owls. The first and second time were Peruvian Pygmy-Owls (VERY cute lifer!) and this time a Burrowing Owl. Tommy started calling me 'Owl Spotter', lol.

I'm still hypnotized by the owl's eyes, you must forgive me, but all the bird images I took that day were of these guys.

The list for that day:

- Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
- Amazilia Hummingbird
- Croaking Ground Dove
- Hooded Siskin
- Vermilion Flycatcher
- Blue-black Grassquit
- West Peruvian Dove
- Long-tailed Mockingbird
- Blue-and-white Swallow
- Blue-grey Tanager
- House Sparrow
- Groove-billed Ani (lifer)
- Drab Seedeater (lifer)
- Chestnut-throated Seedeater (lifer)
- Collared Warbling Finch (lifer)
- Burrowing Owl (lifer!!!)
+ a couple that we haven't been able to id, and don't have great images.

I'm looking foward to another unexpected birding-lunch-date!


Susan Gets Native said...

Aren't owls startling when you find them? Like they have just materialized out of thin air?
Wonderful photos, Mel!

Tommy said...

Hola esposa hermosa :)

Been a while since I commented! The last photo is fantastic!

@Susan: great definition of owls! Maybe that's why I never see them without my 'Owl Spotter'...

Amy said...

Awesome photos! Will you come here and point some owls out to me? I can never find any! :P

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Wow! Congratulations on all those lifers, Mel! Especially the owls! I didn't even realize Burrowing Owls perch on trees. Here in California they are always on teh ground.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Yahoo! Congratulations on the new lifers! So cool that you spotted those owls.

S.C.E. said...

Nice Owl shots..............

Some pretty cool bird names in that list. Croaking Ground Dove! Not so sure about Drab Seedeater though.......

Mel said...

Hola a todos :)

You are sooooooo right! I could have sworn they were not there a minute before!

Thanks for stopping by (finally, lol) your pics are better.

I would love to, even though I've only found them 3 times, and my guess is they were there forever! lol

Dear Kaufmans,
I didn't know they perched on trees either. Our guide says they like the ground, so, it was a surprise for us too!

Thanks!! We hope to spot much more than that soon :)

Well, yes, sometimes the names are cool... even more than the actual bird, lol

Anonymous said...

Hola Mel! I understand your excitement just too well! I've only seen owls a couple of times in my life and I know its soooo awesome! The way they look, the way they stare at you oh my! My congratulations to you!

Sekhar said...

Great shots of that little wonder. Keep it up Mel :)

José Ramón said...

Un Blog muy interesante.

Un Cordial Saludo desdé Creatividad e imaginación fotos de José Ramón

anecdote said...

I never knew that Owls were such interesting creatures until I saw a cool video on Youtube. They are absolutely stunning to look at and so cool. They're my favorite too.

Gallicissa said...

Whoa! That is a very beautiful Owl, Mel.

Laurent said...

I love burrowing owls!!!

You posted a comment on my blog, expressing your interest for peruvian bird songs

did you look at



dAwN said...

Howdee Mel,
trying to catch up on blog reading..I have been out of the loop for several weeks now without internet.
What a way to be greeted by your blog..those owl photos are wonderful!
Congrats on your lifers!
And I want to say your facebook profile picture with Tommy is so beautiful..you both look very happy!

Lenora said...

Owls certainly do have a wisdom about them, don't they? Great photos!

We've got lots of bird-sightings in my neck of the woods... http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/BirdWatching/Default.aspx

dguzman said...

I need you to spot some owls for me too! When you're done with all this school stuff, you have a long list of places to visit to help us all find owls!

Hee hee--"owl spotter." I always manage to spot stuff like House Sparrows or Starlings....

I noticed Vermillion Flycatcher on your incredibly fabulous list -- I have been trying to see one of those every time I go to Texas. Maybe soon.

Anonymous said...

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RuthieJ said...

Wow, you saw so many birds. They would all be lifers for me except the burrowing owl and house sparrow.
I love your owl pictures--I would have been fascinated with seeing them so close too.