Gone for a week

I will be back in a week, hopefully with good news :)


A walk before lunch

If you have been following this blog for a while, you are well aware of my lack of posting due to working on my thesis.

In less than a week I will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to defend my investigation in front of a room filled with people. I can't deny I'm a bit nervous.

And last Friday it was too much. I found out that I can't get my degree unless I do the paperwork to become a resident all over again. Even if I don't live or plan to live there anymore. The university told me that even though I had the go-ahead for defending the thesis, they couldn't register me for it.

EXCUSE ME??? I've been asking since last March about costs, papers, etc. and one week before I find out that I wasn't going to be able to defend and get my degree??? After e-mails, phone calls, conversations, arguments, etc. I had authorization to defend it on November 30 as I was told before. But I can't get my degree unless I become a resident again. Ok. No comments on that one, as I've been pretty upset due to that.

This morning I decided to just leave the bad news behind and move forward. I decided to go for some birding-healing.

Vermilion Flycatcher - Sooty Morph

Tommy and I took a walk before lunch. I have to confess I was still a bit grumpy, but my lovely hubbie did a great job cheering me up. He even let me use his camera for a few shots :)

I can't believe how good for the heart that was. It was sunny and a bit too hot, but we had a nice time and an ice cream to take care of the heat.

We found this Croaking Ground-Dove just relaxing in the sun. I'll do the same. Just close my eyes and relax in the sun.

Then it will be time to go back to work again. The thesis era is almost over, even though massive bureaucracy is ahead.

Nature is healing. I came back in a totally different mood. The brightness, the colours, the sounds. It is all good for the heart.

Tommy saw this Tropical Kingbird perched high on a tree. I managed to take a pic of it. It looks so proud! I like it! Will I be after defending the thesis?? Maybe.

It's amazing how much you can learn from birds. But you knew that already.



New lifer yesterday! And not just any lifer.

I met my first blogger/birder friend!

Paul, The Wandering Tattler, and the lovely Sonja were visiting Peru for a few weeks. I'm waiting for their photo of our lunch together to post it here. (UPDATE: Paul sent me the pic the waiter took of us, here it is!)

It was sooo much fun to meet them. Too bad that I had to go back to work after a few hours and that we couldn't go birding together.

They were in Lima only for a day, after a trip that covered places such as Cusco, Arequipa, Madre de Dios, Ica...

They were just a few birds away from hitting the 200 birds mark for the trip (I hope they managed to find a few or id the ones they couldn't yet!)

We spent a few hours together, but it was so nice! It must be because birders rock ;)

I wish that we could meet again soon, and I'll wait for Paul's posts on my country. This place is full of contrasts, and I'm sure there are plenty of stories to come (Stop by and read!)

Thank you Paul and Sonja for a wonderful time, hope to see you soon!



This is the highest on a tree I've seen a Vermilion Flycatcher.

I went to visit grandma and on her garden, tall trees and palm trees make it difficult for the Vermilion to catch some food. They usually perch on small bushes or trees, waiting for the moment to fly and catch a fine meal.

This bird was much higher than any other of its kind I've ever seen. The tree is around 10 meters tall, and this fellow was on top of it. It dived for flies and bugs and didn't seem to get any. I'm not sure if it managed to get some, I didn't have my binoculars with me to see.

After a while, it just stopped diving to the ground. It stood there, on top of the tree, its bright feathers shinning in the sun. It was a beautiful thing to watch, even from the distance I was. It looked so proud and beautiful!

I'm also going to stop diving for things I won't get anyway, I'll start focusing on the future and the wonders to come.

Many changes ahead, that I will share with you in the near future :)


Vermilion Flycatchers and Life changes

If you've been following this blog for a while, then you will know that I've been posting off and on for months now.

I've been working on my thesis for quite a while, and I finally finished it! I have to defend my work in front of a "jury" of professors and other students by the end of this month in Buenos Aires. This blog was born in Buenos Aires, and I hope that the trip marks a new beginning for it, with more learning and sharing, more pics and birds, birds, birds!!

I plan to reinvent myself in the following months, a change of life for the better. I want to learn new things and visit new places.

It is a bit confusing still, as everything is "under construction" right now - plans, dreams, hopes, future!

And speaking of confusion... Something that has me a bit confused too are these Vermilion Flycatchers:

The male is usually bright red with black when adult, like the one above.

Lima has a sooty morth population of these birds, the dark brown ones like the one in the next photo (I love these cute "chocolate" ones!):

But, what I don't understand, is what exactly is the bird that follows...

Tommy found it in his walks in Parque El Olivar and it is a complete mystery to me: It has the brown body like the sooty morph and a red crown like a "regular" Vermilion, although the red is not as bright. (Thanks for the pics babe!)

Do you know what could be happening?? The bird has been seen on many occasions for a few months now and no molting has been observed. Please, feel free to leave your ideas on what you think or share what you KNOW.

... I wonder if the new Mel will end up like this bird, a mixture of the old Mel but with brighter, happier, unique feathers ;)