First lifer of 2011!!

2010 was a tough year, too many changes, sacrifices and sadness, but 2011 WILL BE different, it will bring blessings and new opportunities.

I have neglected my poor blog for too long, and with it, some of the activities I enjoyed the most.

On Monday I start a new job, so a whole new chance to start over begins on the first weekday day of 2011!

Tommy and I decided to start the year with a short hike, going up to the mountains. We started late so we didn't expect to see too many birds, and as it seemed that some rain clouds were coming our way, we didn't really keep our hopes too high.

Hooded Siskin - Carduelis magellanica

I kept blowing to the sky, following a local tradition to prevent the rain from coming... According to the Andean tradition as I was born in August, a windy and a dry season month, it should work (note to readers: if ever in the Andes during rainy season and you were born in any of the rainy season months - November to March - avoid it, as it is believed that the action will actually bring the rains instead of sending them away)

It was a great feeling to be out again, green all over and no people around. And it got even better when we found some nice birds including a lifer for me!!!

Golden-billed Saltator - Saltator aurantiirostris

It was a nice afternoon, with unexpected surprises, amazing views and lovely birds and insects.

The bird list is short, but we certainly enjoyed finding each one of these, especially after so long! Here it is:

- Hooded Siskin
- Golden-billed Saltator (lifer!)
- Common Moorhen
- American Kestrel
- Andean Flicker
- Giant Hummimgbird (AWESOME as usual - it performed an aerial dance for us!!)
- Unidentified Hummingbird (sadly no pics to try and id!)
- Great Thrush
- Rufus-collared Sparrow
- Black-throated Flowerpiercer
- Band-tailed Seedeater

American Kestrel - Falco sparverius

This was a great start for a year that so far seems to actually be an opportunity to start over, this time knowing the city, with new friends and jobs for both of us. I know that my angel in heaven is pushing for some great things to happen (thanks Dad! miss you and love you!!) for me and the rest of the family.

Band-tailed Seedeater - Catamenia analis

So, one of this year's resolutions is to go out more, post more often and catch up with the posts of my dear friend's blogs.

A great 2011 for you all, I've missed you a lot!

(All pics by Tommy)