I've been meaning to post for a while.

Dad has been extremely bad, I had to fly back for a week as it seemed like he was not going to make it. Being away makes me very nervous. It is frustrating not to be able to help, all I can do for now is wait and keep up the hope. I send letters to mom and she reads them to him when she manages to sneak into the Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital.

A couple of Sundays ago, Tommy and I decided to find out how to get to Huacarpay, a birding spot that we were told we couldn't miss. It was way too late for proper birding, but we decided to go anyway, just to find out exactly how to get there on our own.

Huacarpay was recently hit by nature, heavy rains and floodings left a lot of people homeless, and the town is slowly recovering.

It felt strange to know that and see large patches of soil like this:

The Andean marshes of Huacarpay were beautiful, we didn't manage to spend a lot of time there, but the time we were there was worth it! We couldn't find the endemic hummingbird of the area, the Bearded Mountaineer or the Giant Hummingbird (I wished so much to find it that maybe I scared it away with my obsessive thoughts! hehe)

The next pic doesn't really show what we saw, can you see the horizontal rainbow in front of the mountain? It was a first for me, and it was espectacular!

After a while we found some sort of observation cabin, too bad that we were so far away of most birds, even with the binoculars it wasn't easy, it was raining earlier and at first it seemed that we were not going to find much.

But after a while, all sorts of beauties started to appear. We managed to photograph only the ones that were closer to us.

Speckled Teal / Yellow-billed Teal

It was one of those totally unplanned trips, and we found so many new birds! We expected to see a couple of new birds, as we did not prepare in advance (remember we just wanted to figure out how to get there and get familiar with the area)

Andean Gull

We went back home when it started to get dark, with new birds to talk and learn about, super tired and hungry (we never had lunch!) but sooo excited about our unexpected adventure.

This is the list of what we managed to id so far, I guess that following trips will help us id a couple of birds that were too elusive even to let us take a few notes:

Yellow-billed Pintail
Hooded Siskin
Yellow-winged Blackbird
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Blue-and-yellow Tanager (lifer!)
Cinereous Ground Tyrant (lifer!)
Western Great Egret (lifer!)
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (lifer!)
Plumbeous Rail (lifer!)
Cinnamon Teal (lifer!)
Andean Coot (lifer!)
Sparkling Violet-ear (lifer!)
Band-tailed Seedeater
Andean Gull (lifer!)
Puna Yellow Finch (lifer!)
Puna Teal (lifer!)
Plumbeous Pigeon (lifer!)
Puna Ibis (lifer!)
Speckled Teal / Yellow-billed Teal (lifer!)


Bob Kaufman said...

Wow! Congratulations on getting a lot of lifers, Mel!

Regarding your Dad, keep your hopes up and always pray. Cynthia and I will be praying for him and you and your family, too.

Mel said...

Hi Bob!
Thank you for your good wishes.
It is always fun to get lifers, considering that my list is tiny, I have a expect a lot of fun ahead!
Hugs for you and Cynthia,

Q said...

Dear Mel,
You and your Dad are in my thoughts and prayers. It is so very hard to see our loved ones suffer. I hold you near.
The birds are so beautiful. I love the way Mother Nature takes us away from our sadness and gives freely of her beauty. May you find joy in your worry...it is because we love so deeply we hurt so so much.

Mel said...

Dearest Sherry,
Thank you for you kind words, they are wise.
I always find comfort in nature, it's been healing for me to be able to go out.

Stu said...

Sorry to hear about your father.........

Sparkling Violet-ear is a cool name for a bird!

Mel said...

Hi Stu,
It is a cool name, and a very cool hummingbird!

Tor Egil Høgsås said...

It was Interesting to hear that you are living in Cusco. We were also remembering your father in our prayer today. I wish you and your family all the best.

I also had a look at your list from Huarcapay. I think you should have another look at the Plumbeous Pigeon, it is a bird from the rainforest (mostly below 2000 m), and probably not a bird you expect to find at this locality. What about Eared Dove (very common and not at your list) or Spot-winged Pigeon?

Hope you find the Bearded Mountaineer the next time. It is often seen in the yellow tobacco flowers close to the houses. My pictures from the locality here:


dAwN said...

its been a while since you posted..is your dad ok?

the area is beautiful that u birded..take care..

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Sorry your dad is not well. Thanks for the always great pictures. Someday I will come down to your beautiful country and you can show me around. ;o)

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