Sunday, January 22, 2006

START AT BOTTOM (Entry #1)
for chronological account.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Trip List (Part II)

Peru Trip - The Maranon Endemics


TYPICAL ANTBIRDS

Great Antshrike (Taraba major)
Collared Antshrike (Tumbes Endemic) (Sakesphorus bernard)
Chapman's Antshrike (Tumbes Endemic) (Thamnophilius zarumae)
Lined Antshrike (T. tenuepunctatus)
Plain-winged Antshrike (T. schistaceus)
Northern Slaty Antshrike (T. punctatus)
Variable Antshrike (T. caerulescens)
Rufous-capped Antshrike (T. ruficapicapillus)
Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis)
Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyura)
Stripe-chested Antwren (M. longicauda)
Gray Antwren (M. menetriesii)
White-flanked Antwren (M. axillaris)
Ash-throated Antwren (Peruvian Endemic; ENDANGERED) (heard only) (Herpsilochmus parkeri)
Long-tailed Antbird (Drymophila caudate)
Blackish Antbird (Cercomacra nigrescens)
Black Antbird (heard only) (C. serva)
White-backed Fire-eye (Pyriglena leuconota)
White-browed Antbird (Myrmoborus leucophrys)
Black-faced Antbird (heard only) (M. myotherinus)
Warbling Antbird (Hypocnemis cantator)
White-shouldered Antbird (Myrmeciza melanoceps)

GROUND ANTBIRDS

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla)
Stripe-headed Antpitta (heard only) (G. andicolus)
Rusty-tinged Antpitta (Peruvian Endemic) (heard only) (G. przewalskii)
Rufous (Cajamarca) Antpitta (Peruvian Endemic) (G. (rufa) cajamarcae)
Chestnut Antpitta (heard only) (G. blakei)
Thrush-like Antpitta (heard only) (Myrmothera campanisona)
Rusty-breasted Antpitta (heard only) (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus)

CRESCENTCHESTS and TAPACULOS

Elegant Crescent-chest (Tumbes Endemic) (Melanopareia elegans)
Maranon Crescent-chest (Peruvian Endemic) (M. maronica)
Unicolored Tapaculo (Peruvian Endemic) (Scytalopus unicolor)
White-crowned Tapaculo (S. atratus)
Rufous-vented (Peruvian) Tapaculo (Peruvian Endemic) (S. femoralis)
Blackish Tapaculo (S. latrans)

COTINGAS

Red-crested Cotinga (Ampelion rubrocristatus)
Peruvian Plantcutter (Peruvian Endemic) (Phytotoma raimondii)
Green-and-black Fruiteater (Pipreola reifferi)
White-browed Purpletuft (Iodopleura isabellae)
Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana)
Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Peruvian National Bird) (Rupicola peruviana)

MANAKINS

Golden-headed Manakin (Pipra erythrocephala)
Blue-crowned Manakin (P. coronata)
White-bearded Manakin (Manacus manacus)
Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS

Streak-necked Flycatcher (Mionectes straticollis)
Olive-striped Flycatcher (M. olivacea)
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (M. oleaginous)
Johnson's (Lulu's) Tody-Tyrant (Poecilotriccus luluae)
Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant (Near Endemic) (heard only) (Hemitriccus striaticollis)
Stripe-necked Tody-Flycatcher (M. striaticollis)
Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum latirostre)
Common Tody-Flycatcher (T. maculatum)
Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher (T. calopterus)
Slender-f00ted Tyrannulet (heard only) (Zimmerius gracilipes)
Peruvian Tyrannulet (Peruvian Endemic) (Z. viridiflavus)
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum)
Tumbesian Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic) (Phaeomyias tumbezana)
Gray-and-white Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic) (Pseudelaenia leucospodia)
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (Tyrannulus elatu)
Pacific Elaenia (Tumbes Endemic) (Myiopagis subplacens)
Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flovogaster)
White-crested Elaenia (E. albiceps)
Lesser Elaenia (E. chiriquensis)
Highland Elaenia (E. obscura)
Sierran Elaenia (E. pallatangae)
White-throated Elaenia (Mecocerculus leucophrys)
Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet (M. minor)
Torrent Tyrannulet (Sepophaga cinerea)
Maranon (Black-crested) Tit-Tyrant (Near Endemic) (Anairetes nigrocristatus)
Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant (A. flavirostris)
Tufted Tit-Tyrant (A. parulus)
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant (Euscarthmus meloryphus)
Variegated Bristle-Tyrant (Phylloscartes poecilotis)
Ecuadorian Tyrannulet (P. gualaquizae)
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)
Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant (L. vitiosus)
Yellow-bellied Tolmomias (Tolmomyias viridiceps)
Flavescent Flycatcher (Myiophobus flavicans)
Bran-colored Flycatcher (M. fasciatus)
Cinnamon Flycatcher (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea)
Cliff Flycatcher (Hirundinea ferruginea)
Gray-breasted Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic; VULNERABLE) (Lathotriccus griseipectus)
Smoke-colored Pewee (Contopus fumigatus)
Tumbes Pewee (Tumbes Endemic) (C. punensis)
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
Jelski's Chat-Tyrant (Ochthoeca jelskii)
Crowned Chat-Tyrant (Ochthoeca frontalis)
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant (O. rufipectoralis)
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant (O. fumicolor)
White-browed Chat-Tyrant (O. leucophrys)
Piura Chat-Tyrant (Peruvian Endemic) (O. piura)
Tumbes Tyrant (Peruvian Endemic) (Tumbezia salvini)
Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant (Myiotheretes straticolis)
Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant (Agriornis montana)
White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant (VULNERABLE) (A. andicola)
Rufous-webbed Tyrant (Polioxolmis rufipennis)
Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant (Muscisaxicola capistrata)
Short-tailed Field-Tyrant (Muscigralla brevicauda)
Rufous-tailed Tyrant (Knipolegus poecilurus)
White-winged Black-Tyrant (K. aterrimus)
Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus)
Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus)
Sirystes (Sirystes sibilator)
Rufous Flycatcher (Peruvian Endemic) (Myiarchus semirufus)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher (M. tuberculifer)
Sooty-crowned Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic) (M. cepahlotes)
Brown-crested Flycatcher (M. tyrannulus)
Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarhynchus pitangua)
Baird's Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic) (Myiodynastes bairdii)
Streaked Flycatcher (M. maculatus)
Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis)
Dusky-chested Flycatcher (M. luteiventris)
Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius)
Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
Yellow-cheeked Becard (Pachyramphus xanthogenys)
Barred Becard (P. versicolor)
White-winged Becard (P. polychopterus)
Black-capped Becard (P. marginatus)
Pink-throated Becard (P. minor)
Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata)

PASSERINES

JAYS

White-tailed Jay (Tumbes Endemic) (Cyanocorax mysticallis)
Violaceous Jay (heard only) (C. violaceus)
Inca (Green) Jay (C. yncas)

VIREOS and GREENLETS

Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujansis)
Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo (heard only) (Vireolanius leucotis)
Red-eyed (Chivi) Vireo (Vireo (chivi) olivaceous)
Yellow-green Vireo (V. flavoviridis)
Olivaceous Greenlet (Hylophilus olivacens)

DIPPERS

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus)

THRUSHES and SOLITAIRES

Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush (heard only) (Catharus fuscater)
Chiguanco Thrush (Turdus chiguanco)
Great Thrush (T. fuscater)
Andean Slaty-Thrush (T. nigriceps)
Plumbeous-backed Thrush (Tumbes Endemic) (T. reevei)
Maranon Thrush (Near Endemic) (T. maranonicus)
Black-billed Thrush (T. ignobilis)

MOCKINGBIRDS and ALLIES

Long-tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus)

WRENS

Thrush-like Wren (heard only) (Campylorhynchus turdinus)
Fasciated Wren (C. fasciatus)
Sharpe's Wren (Cinnycerthia olivascens)
Grass (Sedge) Wren (Cistothorus platensis)
Coraya Wren (heard only) (Thryothorus coraya)
Maranon (Speckle-breasted) Wren (Thryothorus sclateri sclateri)
Speckle-breasted Wren (T. s. paucimaculatus)
Superciliated Wren (Tumbes Endemic) (T. superciliatus)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Mountain Wren (T. solstitialis)
White-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucosticta)
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (H. leucophrys)
Bar-winged Wood-Wren (Peruvian Endemic) (H. leucoptera)

GNATWRENS and ALLIES

Tropical Gnatcatcher (Polioptila plumbea)
Maranon Gnatcatcher (Peruvian Endemic) (P. minor)

SWALLOWS and MARTINS

Peruvian Martin (Peruvian Endemic) (Progne murphyi)
Gray-breasted Martin (P. chalybea)
Brown-bellied Swallow (Notiochelidon murina)
Blue-and-White Swallow (N. cyanoleuca)
Southern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Andean Swallow (Pterochelidon andicola)
White-winged Swallow (Tachycineta albiventer)

WEAVER FINCHES

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

PIPITS

Paramo Pipit (Anthus bogotensis)
Yellowish Pipit (A. lutescens)

SISKINS and GOLDFINCHES

Hooded Siskin (Carduelis magallenica)
Lesser Goldfinch (C. psaltria)

WARBLERS

Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi)
Black-lored Yellowthroat (Tumbes Endemic) (Geothlypis auricularis)
Slate-throated Whitestart (Redstart) (Myioborus miniatus)
Spectacled Whitestart (Redstart) (M. melanocephalus)
Citrine Warbler (Basileuterus luteoviridis)
Black-crested Warbler (B. nigrocristatus)
Buff-rumped Warbler (B. fulvicauda)
Russet-crowned Warbler (B. coronatus)
Three-banded Warbler (Tumbes Endemic) (B. trifasciatus)
Three-striped Warbler (B. tristriatus)

FINCHES

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
Yellow-browed Sparrow (Ammodramus aurifrons)
Tumbes Sparrow (Tumbes Endemic) (Aimophila stolzmanni)
Black-capped (Maranon) Sparrow (Arremon abeillei nigriceps)
Black-capped Sparrow (A. a. abeillei)
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch (Atalaptes latinucha latinucha)
Rufous-naped (Barons) Brush-Finch (A. l. baroni)
Bay-crowned Brush-Finch (A. seebohmi)
White-winged Brush-Finch (A. leucopterus)
White-headed Brush-Finch (Tumbes Endemic) (A. albiceps)

BANANAQUIT

Bananaquit (Coerba flaveola)

CONEBILLS

Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinerea)
Blue-backed Conebill (C. sitticolor)

TANAGERS

Black-faced Tanager (Schistochlamys melanopis)
Magpie Tanager (Cissops leveriana)
White-capped Tanager (Sericossypha albocristata)
Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus opthalmicus)
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (C. flavigularis)
Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager (C. canigularis)
Black-capped (White-browed) Hemispingus (Hemispingus auricularis)
Superciliaried Hemispingus (H. superciliaris)
Drab Hemispingus (H. xanthopthalmus)
Rufous-chested Tanager (Thypopsis ornata)
Buff-bellied Tanager (Near Endemic) (T. inornata)
Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)
Yellow-crested Tanager (Tachyphonus rufiventer)
Flame-crested Tanager (T. cristatus)
Fulvous-crested Tanager (T. surinamus)
White-shouldered Tanager (T. luctuosus)
White-lined Tanager (T. rufus)
Highland Hepatic Tanager (Piranga lutea)
Huallaga Tanager (Peruvian Endemic) (Ramphocelus melanogaster)
Silver-beaked Tanager (R. carbo)
Masked Crimson Tanager (R. nigrocularis)
Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
Palm Tanager (T. palmerum)
Blue-capped Tanager (T. cyanocephala)
Blue-and-yellow Tanager (T. bonariensis)
Hooded Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis montana)
Orange-throated Tanager (Near Endemic; VULNERABLE) (Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron)
Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager (Anisognathus lacrymosus)
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager (A. igniventris)
Yellow-throated Tanager (Iridosornis analis)
Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager (Dubusia taeniata)
Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica)
Thick-billed Euphonia (E. laniirostris)
Golden-rumped Euphonia (E. cynocephala)
White-lored Euphonia (E. chrysopasta)
Bronze-green Euphonia (E. mesochrysa)
Orange-bellied Euphonia (E. xanthogaster)
Rufous-bellied Euphonia (E. rufiventris)
Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys)
Orange-eared Tanager (Chlorochrysa caliparaea)
Turquoise Tanager (Tangara mexicana)
Paradise Tanager (T. chilensis)
Green-and-gold Tanager (T. schrankii)
Golden Tanager (T. arthu)
Saffron-crowned Tanager (T. xanthocephala)
Golden-eared Tanager (T. chrysotis)
Flame-faced Tanager (T. parzudaki)
Yellow-bellied Tanager (T. xanthogastra)
Spotted Tanager (T. punctata)
Bay-headed Tanager (T. gyrola)
Blue-necked Tanager (T. cyanicollis)
Masked Tanager (T. nigrocincta)
Beryl-spangled Tanager (T. nigroviridis)
Blue-and-black Tanager (T. vassorii)
Silver-backed Tanager (T. viridicollis)
Straw-backed Tanager (T. argyrofenges)
Opal-rumped Tanager (T. velia)
Opal-crowned Tanager (T. callophrys)
Golden-collared Honeycreeper (Iridophanes pulcherrima)
Black-faced Dacnis (Dacnis lineata)
Yellow-bellied Dacnis (D. flaviventer)
Blue Dacnis (D. cayana)
Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza)
Short-billed Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes nitidus)
Purple Honeycreeper (C. caerulus)
Swall0w-Tanager (Tersina viridis)

FINCHES

Red-crested Finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus)
Peruvian Sierra-Finch (Near Endemic) (Phrygilus punensis)
Mourning Sierra-Finch (P. fruticeti)
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch (P. plebejus)
Plumbeous Sierr-Finch (P. unicolor)
Cinereous Finch (Near Endemic) (Piezorhina cinerea)
Rufous-backed Inca-Finch (Peruvian Endemic) (Incapsiza personata)
Gray-winged Inca-Finch (Peruvian Endemic; VULNERABLE) (I. ortizi)
Buff-bridled Inca-Finch (Peruvian Endemic) (I. laeta)
Little Inca-Finch (Peruvian Endemic) (I. watkinsi)
Collared Warbling-Finch (Poopiza hispaniolensis)
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)
Grassland Yellow-Finch (S. luteola)
Sulphur-throated Finch (Tumbes Endemic) (S. taczanowski)
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)
Parrot-billed Seedeater (Sporophila peruviana)
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (S. castaneiventris)
Chestnut-throated Seedeater(S. telasco)
Lesser Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus angolensis)
Blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza concolor)
Band-tailed Seedeater (Catamenia analis)
Plain-colored Seedeater (C. inornata)
Dull-colored Grassquit (Tiaris obscura)
Rusty Flower-piercer (Diglossa sittoides)
White-sided Flower-piercer (D. albilatera)
Moustached Flower-piercer (D. mystacalis)
Black-throated Flower-piercer (D. brunneiventris)
Bluish Flower-piercer (D. caerulescens)
Masked Flower-piercer (D. cyanea)

GROSBEAKS and SALTATORS

Golden-bellied Grosbeak (Phuecticus chrysogaster)
Slate-colored Grosbeak (Saltator grossus)
Buff-throated Saltator (S. maximus)
Grayish Saltator (heard only) (S. coerulescens)
Black-cowled Saltator (Tumbes Endemic) (S. nigriceps)
Golden-billed Saltator (S. aurantirostris)
Streaked Saltator (S. albicolis)

AMERICAN ORIOLES

Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus)
Russet-backed Oropendola (P. angustifrons)
Yellow-rumped Cacique (Cacicus celea)
Subtropical Cacique (C. uropygialis)
Mountain Cacique (heard only) (C. leucorhamphus)
Moriche Oriole (Icterus chrysocephalus)
Yellow-tailed Oriole (I. mesomelas)
White-edged Oriole (Tumbes Endemic) (I. graceannae)
Peruvian Meadowlark (Sturnella bellicose)
Scrub Blackbird (Dives warszewiczi)
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Trip List (Part I)

Northern Peru - the Maranon Endemics


NOTE: This list includes all species seen or heard by SOMEONE in the group. If there are no caveats (heard only) noted behind the name, it means that the species was seen by someone. Separate lists are provided within the chronological entries for sections of the trip.

Peruvian Endemic (E) = found only in Peru

Near Endemic (NE) = mostly a Peruvian species but whose range includes some part of a neighboring country (usually Ecuador)

Tumbes Endemic (TE) = birds whose range is restricted to dry and semi-humid areas in NW Peru and SW/W Ecuador

Critically Endangered/Endangered/Vulnerable = as defined by Birdlife International's "Threatened Birds of the World"

TINAMOUS

Hooded Tinamou (heard only) (Nothocercus nigricapillus)
Cinereous Tinamou (heard only) (Crypturellus cinereus)
Little Tinamou (heard only) (C. soui)
Tataupa Tinamou (heard only) (C. tataupa)
Bartlett's Tinamou (heard only) (C. bartletti)

GREBES

Great Grebe (Podiceps major)
White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

SHEARWATERS and PETRELS

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus)

BOOBIES

Peruvian Booby (Sula variagata)

CORMORANTS

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Guanay Cormorant (P. bougainvillii)
Red-legged Cormorant (P. gaimardi)

PELICANS

Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus)

DUCKS and GEESE

Andean Duck (Oxyura ferruginea)
Torrent Duck (Mergenetta armata)
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)

HERONS

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)
Snowy Egret (E. thula)
Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)

IBIS

Puna Ibis (Plegadis ridgwayi)

AMERICAN VULTURES

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (C. melanbrotus)
King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

OSPREYS

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

HAWKS and EAGLES

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)
Double-toothed Kite (Harpagus bidentatus)
Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea)
Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga)
Savanna Hawk (B. meridionalis)
Bay-winged (Harris's) Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)
Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris)
Short-tailed Hawk (B. brachyurus)
Variable Hawk
- Red-backed Hawk (B. poylosoma)
- Puna Hawk (B. poecilochrous)
Zone-tailed Hawk (B. albonotatus)
Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrranus)

FALCONS

Black Caracara (Daptrius ater)
Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus)
Northern Crested Caracara (Polyborus cheriway)
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
Bat Falcon (F. rufigularis)

GUANS, CURASSOWS, and ALLIES

Speckled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata)
White-winged Guan (Peruvian Endemic; CRITICALLY ENDANGERED) (Penelope albipennis)

PARTRIDGES and QUAIL

Marbled Wood-Quail (heard only) (Odontophorus gujanensis)

RAILS

Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chlorops)
Andean Coot (Fulica ardesiaca)

SANDPIPERS and SNIPES

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
Lesser Yellowlegs (T. flavipes)
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Surfbird (Aphrisa virgata)
Sanderling (Calidris albus)
Least Sandpiper (C. minutilla)
Baird's Sandpiper (C. bardii)
Pectoral Sandpiper (C. melanotus)
Stilt Sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus)

PHALAROPES

Wilson's Phalarope (Steganopus tricolor)

THICK-KNEES

Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris)

OYSTERCATCHERS

American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates)
Blackish Oystercatcher (H. ater)

AVOCETS and STILTS

Black-necked Stilt (Himanotopus mexicanus)

PLOVERS

Gray (Black-bellied) Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Snowy Plover (C. alexandrinus)
Collared Plover (C. collaris)
Andean Lapwing (Vanellus resplendens)

GULLS and TERNS

Belcher's Gull (Larus belcheri)
Gray Gull (L. modestus)
Kelp Gull (L. dominicanus)
Gray-headed (Gray-hooded) Gull (L. cirrocephalus)
Franklin's Gull (L. pipixcan)
Elegant Tern (Sterna elegans)
Yellow-billed Tern (S. superciliarus)
Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

PIGEONS and DOVES

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Scaled Pigeon (Patagioenas speciosa)
Band-tailed Pigeon (P. fasciata)
Peruvian Pigeon (Near Endemic; VULNERABLE) (P. oenops)
Plumbeous Pigeon (P. plumbea)
Ruddy Pigeon (P. subvinacea)
Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)
Pacific Dove (Z. meloda)
Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpocoti)
Ecuadorian Ground-Dove (Tumbes Endemic) (C. buckleyi)
Croaking Ground-Dove (C. cruziana)
Blue Ground-Dove (C. pretiosa)
Bare-faced Ground-Dove (Metriopelia cecilae)
Black-winged Ground-Dove (M. melanoptera)
White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
Gray-fronted Dove (heard only) (L. rufaxilla)

PARROTS

Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga wagleri)
Mitred Parakeet (A. mitrata)
White-eyed Parakeet (A. leucopthalmus)
Red-masked Parakeet (Tumbes Endemic) (A. erythrogenys)
Pacific Parrotlet (Forpus coelestis)
Yellow-faced Parrotlet (Peruvian Endemic; VULNERABLE) (F. xanthops)
Cobalt-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris cyanoptera)
Spot-winged Parrotlet (VULNERABLE) (Touit stictoptera)
Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus)
Red-billed Parrot (P. sordidus)
Speckle-faced Parrot (P. tumultuosus)
Scaly-naped Parrot (Amazonas mercenaria)

CUCKOOS and ANIS

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)
Groove-billed Ani (C. sulcirostris)
Striped Cuckoo (Tapera naevia)

BARN OWLS

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

TYPICAL OWLS

Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba)
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl (heard only) (M. watsoni)
Peruvian Screech-Owl (Tumbes Endemic) (M. roboratus)
Crested Owl (heard only) (Lephostrix cristata)
Spectacled Owl (heard only) (Pulsatrix perspicillata)
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium peruanum)
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (heard only) (G. brasilianum)
Andean Pygmy-Owl (G. jardinii)
Striped Owl (Asio clamator)
Burrowing Owl (Athene cuncularia)

NIGHTHAWKS and NIGHTJARS

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis)
Pauraque (heard only) (Nyctidromus albicollis)
Swallow-tailed Nightjar (heard only) (Uropsalis segmentata)
Rufous Nightjar (Caprimulgus rufus)

SWIFTS

White-chested Swift (Cypseloides lemosi)
Chestnut-collared Swift (C. rutilus)
White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris)
Gray-rumped Swift (Chaetura cineiventris)
White-tipped Swift (Aeronautes montivagus)
Andean Swift (A. andecolus)
Neotropical Palm-Swift (Tachornis squamata)
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift (Panyptila cayennensis)

HUMMINGBIRDS

Green Hermit (Phaethornis guy)
Tawny-bellied Hermit (P. syrmatophorus)
Gray-chinned Hermit (P. griseogularis)
Green-fronted Lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae)
Napo Sabrewing (Campylopterus villaviscensio)
White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
Green Violet-ear (heard only) (Colibri thalassinus)
Sparkling Violet-ear (C. coruscans)
Wire-crested Thorntail (Popelairia popelairii)
Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)
Fork-tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata)
Blue-chinned Sapphire (Chlorestes notatus)
Tumbes Hummingbird (Tumbes Endemic) (Leucippus baeri)
Spot-throated Hummingbird (Peruvian Endemic) (L. taczanowski)
Many-spotted Hummingbird (L. hypostictus)
White-bellied Hummingbird (L. chionogaster)
Andean Emerald (Agyrtria franciae)
Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia)
Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Polyerata lacteal)
Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)
Eduadorian Piedtail (Phlogophilus hemileucurus)
Giant Hummingbird (Patagonia gigas)
Shining Sunbeam (Aglaeactis cupripennis)
Mountain Velvetbreast (Lafresnaya lafresnaya)
Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus)
Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)
Rainbow Starfrontlet (C. iris)
Purple-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola)
Emerald-bellied Puffleg (Eriocnemis alinae)
Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)
Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae)
Green-tailed Trainbearer (L. nuna)
Purple-backed Thornbill (Tamphomicron microrhynchum)
Coppery Metaltail (Peruvian Endemic) (Metallura theresiae)
Black Metaltail (Peruvian Endemic) (M. phoebe)
Tyrian Metaltail (M. tyrianthina)
Gray-bellied Comet (Peruvian Endemic; ENDANGERED) (Taphrolesbia griseiventris)
Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi)
Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Schistes geoffroyi)
Marvelous Spatuletail (Peruvian Endemic; ENDANGERED) (Loddigesia mirabilis)
Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris)
Oasis Hummingbird (Rhodopsis vesper)
Peruvian Sheartail (Near Endemic) (Thaumastura cora)
Purple-collared Woodstar (Myrtis fanny)
Short-tailed Woodstar (Myrmia micura)
White-bellied Woodstar (Acestrura mulsant)

TROGONS and QUETZALS

Crested Quetzal (heard only) (Pharomachrus antisianus)
Golden-headed Quetzal (heard only) (P. auriceps)
Blue-crowned Trogon (heard only) (Trogon curucui)
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon (T. viridis)

KINGFISHERS

Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata)

MOTMOTS

Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota)

PUFFBIRDS and NUNBIRDS

Chestnut-capped Puffbird (Bucco macrodactylus)
Lanceolated Monklet (Micromonacha lanceolata)
Black-fronted Nunbird (heard only) (Monasa nigrifrons)
White-fronted Nunbird (M. morphoeus)
Swallow-wing (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)


BARBETS

Gilded Barbet (Capito auratus)
Lemon-throated Barbet (Eubucco richardsoni)
Versicolored Barbet (E. versicolor)

TOUCANS and ARACARIS

Andean Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus cyanolaemus)
Ivory-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus azara)
Chestnut-eared Aracari (P. castanotis)
Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan (heard only) (Andigena hypoglauca)
Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Black-mandibled Toucan (R. ambiguous)
Golden-collared Toucanet (heard only) (Selenidera reinwardtii)

WOODPECKERS and PICULETS

Lafresnaye's Piculet (Picumnus lafresnayi)
Ecuadorian Piculte (Tumbes Endemic) (P. sclateri)
Speckle-chested Piculet (Peruvian Endemic/VULNERABLE) (P. steindachner)
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic) (Venilornis callonotus)
Smoky-brown Woodpecker (V. fumigatus)
Little Woodpecker (V. passerinus)
Golden-olive Woodpecker (Piculus rubiginosus)
Black-necked Woodpecker (Peruvian Endemic) (Colaptes atricolisl)
Andean Flicker (C. rupicola)
Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
Red-necked Woodpecker (Campephilus rubricollis)
Crimson-crested Woodpecker (C. melanoleucas)
Guayaquil Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic) (C. gataquilensis)

WOODCREEPERS

Tyrannine Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla tyrannina)
Plain-brown Woodcreeper (D. fuliginosa)
Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus)
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper (heard only) (Dendrexetastes rufigula)
Buff-throated (Lafresnaye's) Woodcreeper (heard only) (Xiphorhynchus guttatoides)
Streak-headed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes souleyetti)
Montane Woodcreeper (L. lacrymiger)
Lineated Woodcreeper (L. albolineatus)

FURNARIDS or OVENBIRDS

Coastal Miner (Peruvian Endemic) (Geositta peruviana)
Striated Earthcreeper (Peruvian Endemic) (Upucerthia serrana)
Bar-winged Cinclodes (Cinclodes fuscus)
Peruvian Seaside (Surf) Cinclodes (Peruvian Endemic) (C. taczanowskii)
White-winged Cinclodes (C. atacamensis)
Pacific Hornero (Tumbes Endemic) (Furnarius cinnamomeus)
Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic) (Leptasthenura pileata)
White-chinned Thistletail (heard only) (Peruvian Endemic) (Schizoeaca fulginosa peruviana)
Azara's Spinetail (Synallaxis azarae)
Dark-breasted Spinetail (S. albigularis)
Dusky Spinetail (heard only) (S. moesta)
Maranon Spinetail (Near Endemic; VULNERABLE) (S. maranonica)
Rufous Spinetail (S. unirufa)
Necklaced Spinetail (Tumbes Endemic) (S. stictothora)
Chinchipe Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic) (S. chinchipensis)
Line-cheeked Spinetail (Cranioleuca antisiensis)
Barons Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic) (C. baroni)
Streak-throated Canastero (Asthenes humilis)
Many-striped Canastero (A. flammulata)
Great Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic) (Siptornopsis hypocondriacus)
Rufous-fronted (Maranon) Thornbird (Phacellodomus rufifrons)
Chestnut-backed Thornbird (Peruvian Endemic; VULNERABLE) (P. dorsalis)
Russet-mantled Softtail (Peruvian Endemic; ENDANGERED) (Thripophaga berlepschi)
Equatorial Graytail (Xenerpestes singularis)
Pearled Treerunner (Maragrornis squamiger)
Streaked Tuftedcheek (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii)
Buff-browed Foliage-Gleaner (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata)
Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner (Tumbes Endemic; VULNERABLE) (S. ruficollis)
Montane Foliage-gleaner (Anabacerthia striaticollis)
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner (Philydor rufus)
Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner (Tumbes Endemic; VULNERABLE) (Hylocryptes erythrocephalus)
Rufous-tailed Xenops (Xenops milleri)

Northern Peru - the Maranon Endemics


Entry #7


29 September

We got up at 4:45 a.m. and left the hotel at 5:15. Between last night and this morning, we collected the group's contributions for the driver and cooks - $120 from each participant to be divided three ways between Jose, Raul, and Ivan. We gave the money to Barry to present to them tomorrow morning when we go to the airport.

We drove out of town, arriving at 6:15 at the Bosque de Pomac Historical Sanctuary (INRENA) - another protected area where we heard machetes chopping trees all morning :( This was more VERY dry dusty scrub. We had our last field breakfast - "Eggie Bread" (French toast). We birded in the scrub along the track where we had breakfast and then moved around along the dusty tracks through the sanctuary, stopping to bird at various places. We got GREAT looks at a few more target species - Peruvian Plantcutter and Rufous Flycatcher (see photo). We failed to find a White-throated Kingbird, but had some nice looks at a few "repeat" species. We then drove back to town slowly, looking for birds in the fields along the way, and arrived back at the hotel at 11:30 a.m. I did some catching up on my journal-writing. Then had lunch in the hotel - Sopa Criolla and platanos fritos, and then more journalling during the "siesta" time.

We met in the lobby at 2:30 for a final, relaxed drive to the coast and some birding. We drove to Santa Rosa at the ocean (a fishing village). We stopped along the road on the way to look for swallows. It was sunny (sort of), WINDY, and dusty. We actually walked out through some old fallow fields with some sort of wierd salt grass-like vegetation and some scrubby forbs growing in the sandy soil, looking for seedsnipes ... to no avail. Then we continued down to the beach where we checked out the sandy beaches and the marshes just behind the sand and breakers. It was pretty cold and windy and I didn't work very hard at seeing things .... I was feeling some "end of trip blues" I guess. We did see a Snowy Plover and a Coastal Miner; otherwise it was the familiar gulls, etc. from the first day of the trip near Lima.

We drove back along the coast through the fishing town where we saw numerous boats in various stages of construction - some with only the basic wooden skeletons of the hull and some receiving a final paint job. There were lots of fishing boats pulled up on the shore and there were a few of the traditional reed canoes. They reminded me of the larger reed sailboat (Kon Tiki?) that Thor Heyerdahl built to test whether it was actually possible to make it all the way to Polynesia from Peru (or was it FROM Polynesia? I can't remember).

We returned to the hotel where we spent some time repacking our luggage for the return flights. Then we met in the hotel restaurant for our final bird list. However we were destined for a greater treat for dinner. We took taxis (here the mototaxis were replaced by "the miniature yellow taxi box cars") to Restaurant el Huaralina - a fabulous higher-end place than we'd been frequenting. Appetizers - fried yucca with a great yellow chile dipping sauce. A Pisco Sour followed by a bottle of Concha y Torro (Chilean) wine - Casillero del Diablo - Cabernet Sauvignon & Sauvignon Blanc. There was delicious seafood - a mixed ceviche (raw fish "cooked" with lime juice) of white fish, shrimp, octopus, and scallops. Main course for me - Mero (a type of white fish) a la Pescadora - with a sauce of mixed seafood. Dessert - chocolate ice cream! Being fully sated with this feast, we took our taxis back to the hotel. Barry and Erick went upstairs to their rooms. The rest of us sat around on sofas in the lobby discussing some scheme hatched by Bill and the woman at the hotel desk to get Dan together with one of her friends. She'd given Bill directions to some disco where everyone who was anyone was to meet. Figuring that the disco would be a noisy, smoky, and late night, Dave and I left the "rest of the boys" to their fun and retired. Apparently Dan's "blind date" never showed up but those "dancin' fools" closed out the disco at 4:00 a.m.! They looked a little rough around the edges at breakfast the next morning, but they all showed up.

Birds Observed around Chiclayo
September 29

Neotropic Cormorant
Cinnamon Teal
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Savanna Hawk
Northern Crested Caracara
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen
Whimbrel
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Surfbird
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Gray (Black-bellied) Plover
Killdeer
Snowy Plover
Belcher's Gull
Kelp Gull
Gray-headed Gull
Franklin's Gull
Elegant Tern
Eared Dove
Pacific Dove
Croaking Ground-Dove
Groove-billed Ani
Burrowing Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
Amazilia Hummingbird
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic)
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Coastal Miner (Peruvian Endemic)
Pacific Hornero (Tumbes Endemic)
Necklaced Spinetail (Tumbes Endemic)
Collared Antshrike
Peruvian Plantcutter (Peruvian Endemic)
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Gray-and-White Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic)
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant
Vermilion Flycatcher
Rufous Flycatcher (Peruvian Endemic)
Tropical Kingbird
Baird's Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic)
White-collared Jay (Tumbes Endemic)
Long-tailed Mockingbird
Fasciated Wren
Superciliated Wren (Tumbes Endemic)
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Peruvian Martin (Peruvian Endemic)
Blue-and-White Swallow
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
House Sparrow
Bananaquit
Cinereous Conebill
Blue-gray Tanager
Collared Warbling-Finch
Saffron Finch
Streaked Saltator
White-edged Oriole (Tumbes Endemic)
Peruvian Meadowlark
Scrub Blackbird
Shiny Cowbird

30 September

Today is Dave and my anniversary (#4) .... what a way to spend it .... jet-lagged on a travel day towards the U.S. - BUT also the end of a fabulous trip! We got up at 6:30 a.m. because we were so used to getting up early that we got up before the alarm! We took a shower to last the next day and a half and put on our last set of clean traveling clothes. Breakfast at the hotel was at 8:00 a.m. - scrambled egges with ham, orange juice, coffee and rolls. We then loaded the luggage into the bus one last time and drove just a few minutes to the airport.

A potentially difficult event with a great relief of a resolution: Terry discovered this morning that he'd lost his passport and after spending a bunch of time with Barry checking with the U.S. Embassy about all the hassles he'd have to go through tomorrow to get a replacement (he and Erick were not leaving Lima for the U.S. for 2 more days), we got on the bus and there was Jose with Terry's passport - he'd found it on the steps of the bus! What a relief!

One last image: Once again the bus goes down a narrow city alley that passes for a street and can't get past some vehicle parked haphazardly in the middle of everything. From the bus we see ... the policeman down the street and some guy who apparently climbed out of a nearby taxi ... all standing in the street in front of the bus giving Jose unwanted and relatively useless hand signals and directions. As usual, Jose maneuvered us out of another "pickle".

At the airport we got pictures of our group with the support crew, Barry presented them with our tips, and we said our goodbyes. Barry got us all checked in for our flight from Chiclayo to Lima. Having had limited opportunities to buy souvenirs in a part of Peru that gets few tourists, several of us bought souvenirs at the airport (I managed a very nice embroidered blouse for 40 Soles). The flight was uneventful - I read a little in my book, dozed, and (as on our previous trip) were entertained by some kind of Canadian "Candid Camera"-type show that had almost everyone on the plane laughing.

In Lima we met up with the Manu Expeditions contact and then said our goodbyes to Barry and Bill, who were going directly on to Cuzco - Barry to go home, and Bill for the Macchu Picchu extension that Dave and I had taken on our previous trip. The rest of us were driven back across Lima to the Hotel Jose Antonio in Miraflores where four of us had "day use" rooms - Dave, Dan, Sam, and I - and Terry and Erick had an overnight (they weren't leaving for another two days. We dumped our stuff in the rooms and went across the street to a coffee shop where we had a light lunch - a lomo saltado empanada and a Cafe Mocha. Then we all walked 6-8 blocks to the mercado, which turned out to be very similar to the multiple, related stalls in Nogales, Mexico that we'd visit from Arizona - you get harangued by shop keepers and bargain for the best price. We did stop at the high end Alpaca III store up the street that had beautiful sweaters, but I couldn't find one that just jumped out at me. My acquired treasures from the market included: an embroidered purse; some printed fabric to make into what???? I don't know yet; a pair of those gathered pants from locally woven fabric you get throughout much of Latin America; and two jackets .... bought the first one and THEN found the one that I really wanted. So now I have two and will have to find some lucky friend to receive the first one! Got back to the hotel and found a beautiful ceramic figure of a traditionally-dressed Andean woman that I bought and had carefully wrapped for carrying onto the plane.

We then went back out at 5:15 p.m. to a restaurant called of all things "Las Tejas" that Erick had eaten at when he was in Peru with his sons a couple years ago. More great seafood - for me a mix of seafoods, a mixed salad and two Pisco Sours. Then it was back to the hotel with barely time to repack our luggage with our new acquisitions before our ride arrived at 7:30 to take us back to the airport. It was Friday night rush hour and this guy, who was a different fellow, did not take the "usual" route down off the bluffs and along the ocean before crossing Lima. We had no idea where we were but it seemed to take much longer than before. We must have gotten there at about 8:30 p.m. This time we were on our own. Dan, Dave and I had no real problems checking in with American Airlines - the lines weren't long at all. But Sam got really hung up in the Continental lines. We finally went through security without him since our plane left first. I wandered around trying to figure out how to spend my last few Soles but I had "hit the wall" and started to get grumpy and couldn't decide on anything. We said goodbye to Dan, who was on a later AA flight back to California and finally to Sam who made it through security and had a flight at about 1:00 a.m. back to New Mexico.

Our flight took off on time at about 11:20 p.m. I slept almost the entire time, waking when the pilot announced the final approach to Miami. We went through customs without a hitch (after a short panic when Dave's luggage didn't appear - turned out that some bozo pulled it off the carousel, realized it wasn't his, and left it sitting off to the side! PHEW!). We rechecked our luggage for the rest of the U.S. trip. We had time for an unexceptional breakfast of orange juice, scrambled eggs, home fries, and toast at some fast food place specializing in Chinese food! We sat in blurred silence until we loaded onto the next flight to Dallas/Fort Worth. There we had a nice big American burger with mushrooms and Swiss cheese, fries, and my "long dreamed of" iced tea ... it was not all I'd dreamed of, but it did have ice and lemons. Again we sat rather uncomfortably at the gate - my body was rebelling at sitting so long in cramped spaces and I couldn't get comfortable. Another uneventful flight to Albuquerque. This time our luggage was sitting on the side even though the carousel was not off-loading yet - apparently it came in on an earlier flight, which I thought was illegal. Then it was a quick shuttle ride to the parking lot where the truck started up right away, we paid a $60.00 parking fee (still cheaper than a round trip taxi ride to our house) and headed home.

Until next time ... the next exotic location ... the next bird!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Northern Peru - the Maranon Endemics



Entry #6


26 September

We got up at 4:00 a.m. Knowing how nice the pool and palm tree area looked here at the hotel, I was tempted to "stay in", but a sparrow - Black-capped (Maranon) Sparrow - beckoned. So I got up and was on the bus with the others at 4:30. It turned out that Erick responded to the same temptation and decided to sleep in this morning. We had breakfast along a side road about 22 km above Tamborapa (800-900 m) - the wonderful granola that Raul makes with yogurt, and coffee concentrate that was as thick as motor oil this morning, and a mixed fruit salad. We then birded up along the side road for a whole series of arid land Maranon endemics. We had beautiful looks at the Maranon Black-capped Sparrow - quite the dapper fellow. We also saw the Chinchipe Spinetail, not-so-good looks at the Maranon Spinetail (only glimpses for me) and FINALLY I got a nice look at the Speckle-breasted Wren! Then we climbed back on the bus, drove up the road only a short distance, where we stopped and almost immediately had crippling (good) looks at the Maranon Crescentchest. Another bird that could be one of the "birds of the trip" - really a gorgeous, sharp-looking bird.

We were "done" by 10:30 a.m. - we'd seen all the target species - and headed back to the hotel, arriving at 11:45. We met for lunch by the pool at 12:30 - lomo saltado with papas fritas and Coca Cola "regular". We then dispersed to our rooms for a siesta. Dave and I slept until 2:45; then he got up and joined some of the guys for some afternoon birding; I slept until 3:30. I then got up and spent some time by the pool catching up on my journal.

I reflected some more on our experience with the Aguaruna Indians. Historically they have been an extremely aggressive, violent people and are still so on occasions today. We heard stories about recent events from various Aguaruna villages. They got angry with some of the non-Indian settlers who had moved up along the river, so they killed all of them - men, women, and children. They have killed missionaries in the near past when they didn't like what the missionaries did or said. Nuevo Salem, where we stayed, was a new village that Barry had not been to before, although other of his guides (Manu Expeditions) and other partner tours (Richard and Rosanne) had. This new village was being visited because some other tour groups had disobeyed the rules about how to arrange visits to the previous Aguaruna village (as arranged by the village and partner groups such as Manu Expeditions). As a result, the men of the village showed up in war paint with spears and told them to leave and never come back. We were reminded that although they appear "civilized" in European-style clothing, they are still a very violent people. In fact, Jorge (the chief) talked about how he still had to work with some of the more traditional individuals to convince them not to respond to someone who made them angry by killing them. The chief said that he now understands that this (violence) is not a good way, presumably due to the influence of the missionaries.

It was a very interesting situation to know that it was within the realm of possibility, no matter how unlikely, that these wiry, diminutive peopole could have taken exception to our presence for some reason and, as we were unarmed, could have chosen to kill us in our sleep. They showed us their spears (and sold some to us) and appeared quite comfortable in handling them; I don't know whether they still use bows and arrows although we did see a "poison arrow frog"; and the did have ancient-looking rifles of some sort.

Barry (Manu Expeditions) and several other tour group leaders have worked very hard to establish a respectful, cooperative arrangement with this village. Anyone who wants to visit and bird there is asked to make the arrangements through one of the partners. We hope that everyone respects this arrangement rather than flouting the rules, which would spoil it for everyone AND could be dangerous in light the the Aguaruna's volatile nature. It is a fabulous opportunity to learn from them. They probably don't need to learn from us - it is primarily a monetary arrangement to them.

After some nice relaxing time around the pool, the guys returned and we met and did our bird list for the day. We then had another pell mell mototaxi ride across town to the same restaurant on the plaza for dinner, only to discover that it was closed on Mondays! So, pell mell back to the hotel and an quick dinner of lomo saltado for everyone to expedite the ordering/preparation. Dan continued to fight what we'd come to call "the malais" that he and Dave had had in Nuevo Salem, so we gave him our Cipro in the hopes that this would bring back the spring to his steps.

27 September

We got up at 3:15 a.m., packed up everything, and were on the bus before 4:00. By 3:50, Erick still wasn't there; Terry went and checked his room and he was still in bed! Ooops. Either he misunderstood the departure time or overslept. Amazingly he was climbing onto the bus at 4:05 - not something that I could have pulled off. With that we left El Bosque Hotel in Jaen. I awoke on the bus at about 6:00 a.m. We were still traveling up toward Abra Porculla (the lowest pass in the Andes - 2050 m). This has ecological significance because the pass provides a barrier to movement north and south of montane species along the spine of the Andes (resulting in speciation and differentiation in the northern and southern Andes), BUT because the pass is so low, it has permitted movement east and west across the Andes between the Pacific coast and the interior/Atlantic drainage for lowland species. We traveled most of the way to the pass along the Rio Chamaya, which empties into the Rio Maranon at the town of Chamaya, which we'd passed through on our way to and from Jaen.

The contrasts were striking between the incredibly dry, desert-like and over-grazed rocky mountains supporting nothing but a few scraggly, thorny trees/shrubs and the relatively fertile, narrow river valley where green rice fields could still be seen. It's amazing that the goats and sheep we saw could find a single tidbit to eat, but the characteristic criss-crossed, diamond-patterned goat tracks all over the mountainsides testified to their historical if not current presence.

Image: As usual, all the big trucks traveling this main highway had bunches of thorny branches tied to the back ends, apparently to prevent people from climbing up on top to "hitch a ride".

We reached the pass at about 7:00 a.m. and drove over into the Pacific drainage. A short distance down from the pass, we stopped in a small town called Limon de Porcuya and drove up on a dirt track above town that was almost too narrow for the bus. It required Raul to jump out and direct Jose with hand motions and concerned looks on his face. The rest of us held our breath. We drove up quite a way into what supported some remaining scrubby habitat and had a great morning birding up the track after breakfast - granola and yogurt, rolls, and peanut butter and jam. We saw Black-cowled Saltator, Chinchipe and Rufous-necked spinetails, Elegant Crescentchest, and Three-banded Warblers to name a few species.

Image: Way up the canyon and above our heads on a ridge, a kid (child, not goat) started yelling, apparently to someone else beyond our view in a tedious, sing song voice, over and over! We couldn't figure out what she was saying or to whom she was calling, but we soon wished that whoever it was, would answer so that she would be quiet. The only response was from the goats who seemed to bleat some equally unintelligible answers.

We spent the whole morning there (dubbed "Barry's road") and had lunch at the same breakfast location when we returned to the bus - some kind of rice dish with beans and bacon in a sauce.

From there we drove on southwest to Olmos and beyond to the tiny town of Limon at the mouth of Quebrada Frijolito. The latter leg of the trip required a bone-and-teeth-jarring, slow ride down dusty tracks that twisted and turned and scrabbled across large-cobbled, dry riverbeds. If it ever rained here (I'm sure it does but it sure didn't look like it), we'd probably never get out!

We finally arrived at Limon (230 m) at about 3:45 p.m. - little more than a few adobe houses and a cemetery. As we piled off the bus, we were greeted by curious children and hundreds of perched Black and Turkey vultures along with one regal-looking King Vulture that tolerated the binocular and photographic attention of the whole group for only so long before it flapped slowly off through the scrub. After selecting the sites for our tents - one patch of bare dirt and thorny shrubs looked pretty much like every other one - we walked a ways up the trail to the quebrada. We managed a some nice looks at the local Collared Antshrike (see photo).

Clouds and lightning were playing off of the mountains in the distance as we returned to camp and just after we'd settled in at the tables with a beer and popcorn, it started to rain. So we all scuttled onto the bus to wait out the insubstantial shower. But when our return to the table was again interrupted by rain, we repaired to the bus while the crew, with the "help" of the local children, erected the dining tent for the first time on the trip. We completed our bird list to the giggles of the kids outside the tent peering in at the tent windows. Dinner - soup; spaghetti with tomato sauce; and peaches with whipped cream for dessert.

Image: (perhaps skewed in my mind by it being near the end of three weeks of travel) Bano (toilet) tent - shared by Janet and 8+ guys - NOT fun. But for the rain and the darkness, I'd have made for the surrounding desert scrub.

I crawled into the tent with Dave to the sound of a few raindrops still hitting the canvas and dropping temperatures that made me glad for a fleece jacket and willing to zip up my sleeping bag with me inside for a change.

Birds Observed around Jaen and from Jaen to Limon
September 26 - 27

Tataupa Tinamou (heard only)
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
King Vulture
Bay-winged (Harris') Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Variable (Red-backed) Hawk
American Kestrel
Band-tailed Pigeon
Peruvian Pigeon (Near Endemic)
Eared Dove
Pacific Dove
Croaking Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Scarlet-fronted Parakeet
Red-masked Parakeet (Tumbes Endemic) (Heard only)
Pacific Parrotlet
Squirrel Cuckoo
Groove-billed Ani
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
Tawny-bellied Hermit
Gray-chinned Hermit
Sparkling Violet-ear
Spot-throated Hummingbird (Peruvian Endemic)
Andean Emerald
Amazilia Hummingbird
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic)
Lineated Woodpecker (heard)
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Pacific Hornero (Tumbes Endemic)
Maranon Spinetail (Near Endemic)
Necklaced Spinetail (Tumbes Endemic)
Chinchipe Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic)
Line-cheeked Spinetail
Rufous-fronted (Maranon) Thornbird
Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner (Tumbes Endemic)
Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner (Tumbes Endemic)
Collared Antshrike
Maranon Collared Antshrike (subspecies) (Tumbes Endemic)
Chapman's Antshrike (Tumbes Endemic)
Northern Slaty Antshrike
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta
Elegant Crescent-chest (Tumbes Endemic)
Maranon Crescent-chest (Peruvian Endemic)
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Tumbesian Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic)
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant
Tumbes Pewee (Tumbes Endemic)
Vermilion Flycatcher
Piura Chat-Tyrant (Peruvian Endemic)
Tumbes Tyrant (Peruvian Endemic)
Short-tailed Field-Tyrant
Sooty-crowned Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher (heard only)
Tropical Kingbird
Baird's Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic)
Inca (Green) Jay
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
Yellow-green Vireo
Chiguanco Thrush
Great Thrush
Long-tailed Mockingbird
Fasciated Wren
Maranon (Speckle-breasted) Wren
Speckle-breasted Wren (different subspecies) (heard only)
Superciliated Wren (Tumbes Endemic)
House Wren
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Maranon Gnatcatcher (Peruvian Endemic) (heard only)
Gray-breasted Martin
Blue-and-White Swallow
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
House Sparrow
Hooded Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
Slate-throated Whitestart (Redstart)
Three-banded Warbler (Tumbes Endemic)
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Black-capped (Maranon) Sparrow
Bay-crowned Brush-Finch
White-winged Brush-Finch
Bananaquit
Buff-bellied Tanager (Near Endemic)
Highland Hepatic Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Purple-throated Euphonia (heard only)
Red-crested Finch
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch
Collared Warbling-Finch
Saffron Finch
Blue-black Grassquit (heard only)
Chestnut-throated Seedeater
Band-tailed Seedeater
Blue Seedeater
Dull-colored Grassquit
Rusty Flower-piercer
Golden-bellied Grosbeak
Black-cowled Saltator (Tumbes Endemic)
Streaked Saltator
Yellow-tailed Oriole
White-edged Oriole (Tumbes Endemic)
Peruvian Meadowlark
Scrub Blackbird

28 September

The alarm went off in the tent at 3:30 a.m. for 4:00 owling - Dave decided to go and I decided to "sleep in". I put that in parentheses because my bladder had turned me into the human water balloon and I couldn't go back to sleep. I just tossed and turned, trying to find a comfortable position so I wouldn't have to get up .... but "mind over bladder" did not work. I got up at 4:15 and waited less than patiently for my turn in the Bano Tent. The owlers got back at about 5:15, having seen a Peruvian Screech-Owl but no Scrub Nightjars. They also experienced some surveillance from a Coastal Gray Fox that followed them along the edge of the trail as they birded and played tapes. Breakfast was pancakes.

At 6:00 a.m. we met Lino, the fellow who lives at the mouth of the quebrada and protects the White-winged Guans - an extremely range-limited and endangered species and our target bird for the day. He gets paid to provide this protection. He also led us on our birding walk all morning. When asked, he said we didn't have to hurry up to the canyon to see the birds early ... "just a normal pace". Well, I'd hate to see a fast pace if he called this regular! I was almost immediately lagging behind with Barry, who'd picked up some stomach bug and wasn't feeling too chipper. Lino took us immediately to a place along the trail where he knew that a pair of White-winged Guan had their territory and by the time that we laggards arrived, the birds had been flushed and only briefly glimpsed by a few. Lino took off up the slope to try to flush them into view. The guans obliged wonderfully, flushing up into the trees to be admired by all - huge black turkey-like birds with white primary feathers and some red on the face. We had quite a few other good birds on this trek, which continued most of the morning. Now that we'd seen the target species early and didn't have to worry about them anymore, we could bird the rest of the quebrada in a more leisurely fashion. We saw Blue-crowned Motmot, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Guayaquil Woodpecker, White-tailed Jays, 2 Striped Owls flushed from a group of 4 that Lino found (a real bonus) (see photo), Pacific Parrotlets (see photo), AND at the end of the trek, a small flock of Tumbes Sparrows (another Aimophila to add to my world list!). The Tumbes Sparrow is quite nicely marked on the face - more like the Rufous-winged Sparrow than the bland Cassin's and Botteri's sparrows. We also saw a Guayaquil Squirrel. Arrived back at Limon at 11:10 a.m.

Sad Note: When I got up this morning and got ready for the morning hike, I couldn't find my camera. It wasn't in my fanny pack and it wasn't on my bus seat where I often left it if I wasn't using it. I made a quick search but didn't find it. So, deciding that I didn't need to make everyone wait while I panicked and searched before the hike, I took the hike without my camera, missing some beautiful photos of the quebrada - pretty spectacular, with sheer rock faces, broad cobbled river bottom, and dry deciduous forests which reminded me of autumn with dry, yellow leaves drifting down from the trees. When I got back to Limon, I had the crew pull my duffel bag from the back of the bus, thinking that I might have absent-mindedly put it in there while in the tent - no luck. The group was getting ready to leave Limon, so I waited, still holding out hope that since Dave's duffel bag had been at the front of the tent, perhaps the camera had slid into it. Unfortunately, when we checked upon arrival in Chiclayo, there was no sign of it. I'd been preparing myself for the possibility of its loss all day (I had not downloaded any digital images during the trip), but it was still a crushing blow. All the great photos I had - frame-filling shots of the Peruvian Seaside Cinclodes, photos of Roberto and the group at Abra Patricia, photos of Abra Patricia habitat for American Bird Conservancy (they've helped Roberto's group purchase land for conservation there), the chief at Nuevo Salem, photos of Dave throughout the trip, and all the "artistic" shots I'd taken as ideas for dreamed of bird paintings - all gone, probably over 200 photos. I will never completely reject the possibility that I mislaid it or dropped it somewhere, although after racking my brain, it seems unlikely. I had it at lunch the previous day and after lunch we immediately got on the bus and drove to Limon. It would have been in my field vest or sun-shirt pocket and if it had fallen out, would have made a very noticeable noise. I totally trust the Manu Expedition crew, leaving only one possibility. I had gotten used to leaving my camera on the bus seat because the crew was always there to watch things. However, in Limon there was lots of commotion, especially surrounding the time of "in and out of the bus" during the rain and setting up of the dining tent, and any of the kids from the village might have climbed onto the bus and not been able to resist the temptation of a shiny camera. I find my self feeling that I wouldn't even mind if they kept my camera if the thief would just give me the chip inside .... one of the downsides of digital cameras is that if you don't carry extra chips and trade them out (or download them during the trip), everything is inside the camera (no used film stored elsewhere). It will teach me to come up with a solution for the next trip. I was determined not to allow this to ruin the end of the trip - I will have fabulous memories with pictures in my head, and the rest of the group felt terrible and promised to share their photos. After all, a camera is just another of the "things" one hangs onto isn't it? But it is disappointing and I keep seeing things I want to take pictures of.

When we left Limon, we drove to a place called El Tocto (translated "pork cracklins") at Km 105 on the old Pan American Highway, where we birded while lunch was prepared and afterwards. It was extremely hot and dry. We walked through thick dust on the roads and out into the thorn scrub. I kept expecting a wildebeest to come around the corner, but saw only scruffy goats and sheep, cows and horses - no wonder there's no vegetation left AND what do they eat anyway?! We were also beset by a plague of small wasps that first looked like sweat bee-types but were incredibly persistent and at arbitrary times would either take nips OR would sting. I got it once on the arm and Terry and Erick each "got it" several times. It made my really jumpy (and a little grumpy), not really wanting multiple stings even though the one I got didn't seem to elicit any major reaction.

Image: We saw a beautiful, fairly large lizard that we later identified as a Golden Tegu (or something in that family) - almost 2 feet long, long pointy/angular head (kind of shaped like a monitor lizard head), black and white/cream splotches best defined on the back legs, and a banded tail. It was pretty fierce-looking. When we approached, it went down a hole in the bank.

We saw another funny lizard - small and of pale shades of brown; it would stop moving and lift one foot and shake it, put that one down and lift another and shake it. Was it some kind of "display"?

We left this spot at 3:45 p.m., stopping at one of the propagation sites for the White-winged Guan which was right along the road. It was like a little zoo - cages of White-winged and Gray-winged trumpeters, various guans, Speckled Chachalacas, a toucan, etc. There were two macaws - a Blue-and-Yellow and a Scarlet digging around on the ground outside the cages. We left there at 4:20 and drove to Chiclayo, arriving at the Inca Hotel at about 6:30 p.m.

This was quite an upscale hotel compared to most if not all our accomodations during the trip. (perhaps we were being reintroduced to "civilization"! :) We showered and cleaned up, and then met downstairs for a bird list and dinner - for me, fish in a sauce of ajillo (peppers) and mushrooms with rice. We enjoyed a complimentary pre-dinner drink called algorabino, made from the fruit of the algorobo (or algarrobo?) tree, a Prosopis species (same as mesquite). It was very delicious - sweet and caramelly - seemed more like an after-dinner drink to me. Apparently it was very traditional in this area. However, I think the consensus of the group was that the drink of choice for Peru is Pisco, either in a Pisco Sour or straight up.

Birds Observed at Limon and on road from Limon to Chiclayo
September 28

Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
King Vulture
Savanna Hawk
Northern Crested Caracara
American Kestrel
White-winged Guan (Peruvian Endemic)
Black-necked Stilt
Eared Dove
Pacific Dove
Croaking Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Red-masked Parakeet (Tumbes Endemic)
Pacific Parrotlet
Groove-billed Ani
Barn Owl (heard only)
Peruvian Screech-Owl (Tumbes Endemic)
Striped Owl
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl
Tumbes Hummingbird (Tumbes Endemic)
Amazilia Hummingbird
Long-billed Starthroat
Short-tailed Woodstar
Ringed Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Ecuadorian Piculet (Tumbes Endemic)
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic)
Golden-olive Woodpecker
Guayaquil Woodpecker (Tumbes Endemic)
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Pacific Hornero (Tumbes Endemic)
Necklaced Spinetail (Tumbes Endemic)
Collared Antshrike
Maranon Crescent-chest (Peruvian Endemic)
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Tumbesian Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic)
Gray-and-white Tyrannulet (Tumbes Endemic)
Pacific Elaenia (Tumbes Endemic)
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant
Gray-breasted Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic/Vulnerable)
Tumbes Pewee (Tumbes Endemic)
Vermilion Flycatcher
Tumbes Tyrant (Peruvian Endemic)
Short-tailed Field-Tyrant
Tropical Kingbird (heard only)
Baird's Flycatcher (Tumbes Endemic)
White-tailed Jay (Tumbes Endemic)
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
Plumbeous-backed Thrush (Tumbes Endemic)
Long-tailed Mockingbird
Fasciated Wren
Speckle-breasted Wren
Superciliated Wren (Tumbes Endemic)
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Peruvian Martin (Peruvian Endemic)
Blue-and-White Swallow
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Hooded Siskin
Tropical Parula
Tumbes Sparrow (Tumbes Endemic)
Black-capped Sparrow
White-winged Brush-Finch
White-headed Brush-Finch (Tumbes Endemic)
Bananaquit
Cinereous Conebill
Highland Hepatic Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Cinereous Finch (Near Endemic)
Collared Warbling-Finch
Saffron Finch
Sulphur-throated Finch (Tumbes Endemic)
Parrot-billed Seedeater
Golden-bellied Grosbeak
White-edged Oriole (Tumbes Endemic)
Peruvian Meadowlark
Scrub Blackbird

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Northern Peru - the Maranon Endemics Entry #5




22 September

We "slept in" this morning .... we didn't get up until 4:45 a.m.! :) AND we had a "hotel breakfast"! Fried eggs with bacon and platanos fritos (mmm!). At the sight of the first plate, Dave immediately responded and ensured that he could have huevos revueltos (scrambled) instead.... a long story but suffice it to say that looking at fried eggs, even on my plate, brings back some bad childhood memories. We birded around the Puerto Puma hotel and finally spied the Rufous-capped Antshrike that had been skulking and calling in the bushes. It was a male that was irritated enough that he came out of his nest (which we could see below us in a gully full of deep grass). No sign of the female.

We then climbed onto the bus and drove to the same trailhead where we'd looked for the Marvelous Spatuletail several days previously. And there we implemented Barry's "cunning plan". Instead of hiking down the trail, based on Richard and Rosanne's "scoping", we hung out at the guard rail along the road by the trailhead (no ... really), staking out a flowering tree in the "back yard" of a very poor farm family. We sat there chatting along the guard rail and they stood in their door way, apparently dumbfounded by the sight of a SECOND group of crazy gringos standing around on the road with binoculars! Richard and Rosanne and their group had seen an immature male "spat" there a few days before, coming in sporadically. It was quite the entertaining wait. The woman from the farm apparently decided that no group of crazy gringos was going to prevent her from fulfilling her usual chores, so she carried two buckets of pig slop (mostly potato peelings in a most disgusting "broth") up to the half of a tractor tire lieing right in front of us and dumped them in. Then she led the family pig by a piece of twine over to the tire for her breakfast. She was quite a tame pig who snorted and snuffled through the slops, oblivious to the bunch of crazy gringos hanging around her breakfast table. She did stop long enough to investigate the palatability of Dave's hiking boots, but as he discouraged this behavior and they probably weren't very tasty, she moved on. I dubbed her "Portia" and we got several good pictures although I wished for a video camera when Bill began conversing with her. Portia finally finished the slops and "skinnied" herself under the guard rail and began foraging along the road, eating dust and gravel to all appearances. Eventually the woman returned and led Portia down the road and around the bend .... I guess so the pig could graze (if pigs graze) for the day.

We watched a Sparkling Violetear and a Purple-throated Sunangel in the flowering tree and the shrubs along the bank. We had to wait quite a while but did get two quick (1 minute) views of the immature male Marvelous Spatuletail (not all that marvelous since he was too young to have developed the long spatulate tail feathers .... just a long regular-looking tail). He snuck in, foraged rather serruptitiously and then left. The Sparkling Violetear is notoriously dominant over "spats" and on the second appearance, the violetear did chase the spat away rather aggressively.

We then piled back onto the bus at about 8:45 a.m. for about 5 hours of driving back south to Pedro Ruiz Gallo (I slept much of the way) and then west on a new road toward Bagua Grande. We stopped several times at rice fields near Naranjillos and birded from the road. We saw a collection of different shorebirds taking advantage of the flooded fields and our first Saffron Finches (a lovely yellow bird). We drove on through Bagua Grande, turning off onto a dirt road and stopping in the desert for lunch. It was HOT, humid and smoggy and we were in the middle of desertscrub-type habitat with columnar and barrel cacti (I don't think that's really the correct life zone term). It was quite oppressive; the table and chairs had been set up without the benefit of any shade ... pretty insane. Although there was the usual delicious fare, I fear it was lost on us as we sat there with our brains baking in the heat. We then walked along the road (dragged is probably more like it) and did get two "lifers" - Little Inca-Finch and the local Collared Antshrike, which may be split to become the Maranon (Collared) Antshrike. Mercifully we then clambered back onto the bus where at least the speed and open windows created a hot wind. We drove a little further and stopped one more time, looking for the Elegant (Maranon) Crescentchest, but we were unsuccessful - it was too hot and quite windy (therefore dusty).

We continued the short distance to Baguas Chicas where we checked into The Wilson Hotel. Baguas Chicas was another dusty, frontier town with mototaxis blaring horns. We checked into a room with air conditioning (!) which was vaguely cooler (it did get cooler with time), a bad small of kerosene (we learned this was a traditional form of "disinfectant" used to wipe down the floors .... I think I preferred unsanitary conditions), AND the information that there was NO water until 5:30 p.m. anywhere in town. It being "Peruvian time", at 6:45 there was still no water in the pipes .... just a bucket of water brought to our room for "necessities". SIGH. So I had dinner in my dirty clothes and held out hope for water later in the night or tomorrow morning early. Dinner was quite good - shared a bowl of Sopa de Criolla with Dave and a Chife (Peruvian Chinese) dish - fried rice with pork. When we got upstairs there was a trickle of water coming into the sink and the toilet but not the shower. So we took what my Mom calls a "spit bath" with a dampened towel, quickly used the toilet and flushed for fear of the water going off again. We then climbed into bed where it felt quite luxurious to have a basic air conditioner ..... it also served as "white noise" to block the noise of traffic on the street below.

Birds Observed around Pomacochas and on the travel day from there to Baguas Chicas (September 22)

Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Striated Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Savanna Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen (heard only)
Greater Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Yellow-billed Tern
Eared Dove
Ecuadorian Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Scarlet-fronted Parakeet
Smooth-billed Ani
Groove-billed Ani
Lesser Nighthawk
White-tipped Swift
Sparkling Violet-ear
Spot-throated Hummingbird (Peruvian Endemic)
White-bellied Hummingbird
Purple-throated Sunangel
Marvelous Spatuletail (Peruvian Endemic)
Emerald (Andean) Toucanet
Pacific Hornero (Tumbes Endemic)
Rufous-fronted (Maranon) Thornbird
Collared (Maranon) Antshrike (Tumbes Endemic)
Rufous-capped Antshrike
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Highland Elaenia
Vermilion Flycatcher
Rufous-tailed Tyrant
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Social Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Inca (Green) Jay (heard only)
Rufous-browed Peppershrike (heard only)
Great Thrush
Long-tailed Mockingbird (heard only)
Fasciated Wren
Maranon (Speckle-breasted) Wren
House Wren
Maranon Gnatcatcher (heard only)
Gray-breasted Martin
Blue-and-white Swallow
House Sparrow
Hooded Siskin
Citrine Warbler
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch
Bananaquit
White-lined Tanager
Blue-capped Tanager
Purple-throated Euphonia (heard only)
Little Inca-Finch (Peruvian Endemic)
Saffron Finch
Chestnut-throated Seedeater
Russet-backed Oropendola
Peruvian Meadowlark

23 September

We got up at 3:15 a.m. this morning and finished repacking our stuff so that we had only one large duffle (for both of us) to take across the river to our camping site today. We were on the bus by 4:00. We drove for over 2 and 3/4 hours and stopped for breakfast at a spot along the road past Montenegro - French toast with maple syrup - and birded along the road while it was being prepared. This road from Bagua Chica to Imaza runs along the Rio Maranon. We drove further along the road and stopped at a place near Chiriaco (650 m)and birded again. We continued on our way until we reached Imaza where we drove through town and right down to the sandy beach along the river. There we met our local organizer (Jose), the father of Tercero (means third son I think). Jose greeted us all like any local politician (I think he was running for mayor of Imaza if I understood correctly). The crew loaded all of our needed luggage and the cooking and camping supplies AND all of us including Barry, Tercero, Raul, and Ivan into an aluminum boat (about 22 ft long) that seated 3-4 across on several benches. It took us about 20 minutes going down river and across to Nuevo Salem (450 m) (see photo). We were greeted there by Jorge, the chief or president of the Aguaruna village, which was founded about 10 years ago. We walked through the village under the stares of many villagers. The older children seemed intrigued, the teenagers appeared distrustful, and some very young children cried. We must have looked frightening and foreign to them, both because of our white skin and our strange equipment .... cameras and binoculars around our necks, etc.

The camp set up, provided by the Aguaruna, was incredible. For an extremely primitive village (just a few generations out of the stone age), they've done a fabulous job providing for eco-tourists. They have built a large thatched hut with a rammed earth floor; a "shower hut" with three shower stalls with cold, running water; two "bano huts" (the squatting kind with a key-hole shaped hole in the cement), and an outdoor sink with running water! Amazing - this was much more luxurious that any of us (including Barry - this was his first time in this village also) had expected. Unfortunately the welcome at a previous Aguaruna village had been revoked due to some visitors who did not follow the arrangements made between the village and several ecotourist/birding tour leaders like Barry (Expediciones Manu). So this set up was completely new. In fact, it occurred to me that the accomodations here were better than at the Hotel Wilson where there'd been no water and rooms that smelled like kerosene! :)

Dave and I, and Dan, set up our tents under the thatched roof hut in the hopes of avoiding the chiggers that Rosanne had warned us about and to whose bites Dave and Dan were particularly susceptible. The others pitched their tents in the open clearing surrounding the huts. The large thatched hut we stayed under was also used for the dining tables and chairs, set up at the open front, and the cook tent was set up right outside.

After getting somewhat organized and having a late (2:00 p.m.) lunch of tuna salad, and crackers, ham and cheese, we headed out up the one available trail to the soon-to-be dubbed "magic tree" - a huge fruiting fig tree where the target bird - Orange-throated Tanager - has been regularly seen. This turned out to be the "tanager death march". The trail was quite steep at places and I struggled to continue ... steep steps cut into the clay soil and reenforced with small logs ... each step of a different height and width. On two occasions there was some shouting ahead that there might be "the tanager", which elicited rushing on everyone's part (some faster than others) and a great deal of huffing and puffing on my part (I continue to blame my allergy-induced asthma instead of the possibility that I'm just an out-of-shape weenie). These proved to be false alarms, much to my chagrin. However, we FINALLY made it to the top of the hill and the target tree (soon to be dubbed "the Magic Tree").

The tree stands in a partial opening in the forest canopy and slightly downhill from the ridge, although the tree canopy itself towers far above the ridge top. On the ridge there is a very basic "bench" consisting of two logs placed side by side, and it is covered by a narrow thatched roof. It was a well-placed resting spot but you had to get off the bench and out from under the thatch to actually watch the birds in the tree. We were there for quite a while, watching multiple mixed feeding flocks and individuals moving through the tree when, suddenly ... there they were! Orange-throated Tanagers (see photo) I saw two individuals, their orange throats illuminated and glowing in the late afternoon sun. They were truly fabulous birds ... everyone proclaimed them the "bird of the trip" and one of the best birds they'd ever seen. Of course, knowing that we were likely among an elite group of less than 200 people who have ever seen this bird made it particularly special. The chief had accompanied us to this location and was clearly very proud of being able to show us these magnificent birds, as well as all the others that we saw there. I was grateful for his observant nature as well. He noticed that I was having a difficult time getting a good view of several birds and on two occasions called to me to come over to where he was standing so that I could get a better look. I believe that it was at this point that someone in the group offered him his binoculars so that he could look at the birds. His delight suggested that perhaps he'd never seen them through binoculars before.

After enjoying the views and the birds for a while longer, we dragged ourselves back down the trail. Dave was not feeling well, so we went down a little earlier than the others. On the way down we saw a beautiful frog of brilliant lime green with black strips on its back and black blotches on its thighs ... must have been some species of "poison dart frog" advertising its dangerous nature. I took a wonderful shower that felt better than any I'd taken in a long time. It was very "brisk" but welcome in contrast to the heat and humidity of the day combined with constant sweat trickling down my back. It was also a little tricky balancing on my Tevas while pulling my clothes on in the semi-dark of the hut amidst jokes from the guys sitting around outside drinking beers (iced beers in point of fact) and claiming to be able to see into the hut! :)

We had one of the most interesting evenings of the trip. We were just getting ready to do our evening bird list when the chief showed up wearing an amazing traditional feathered headdress - Cock-of-the-Rock, toucan, and other feathers - a sort of yellow and red headband with four dangling strands made with huge (2 inch+) beetle carrapaces and feather tufts at the ends. It seemed to be appropriate to be sitting around in the candle/lantern light listening to him talk. He spoke Spanish, although their traditional language is Aguaruna, and Barry translated (I understood some but his accent was quite different). He spoke of quite varied experiences. He has traveled to the U.S. (somewhere in Texas), courtesy of the missionaries, where he took some training in theology. By contrast, I don't think most of the people of the village have traveled much farther than up river to Imaza and probably can't imagine much about the outside world. He explained about his headdress - it is not passed down from one chief to the next; rather, a new one had to be made for a new chief. He talked about the tribes having only a few older people who had the "vision del Tigre" (the vision of the jaguar). With the help of hallucinogenic plants, these people can go to an alternative universe where they learn more about the the forests around them and become "one with the jungle". This village (Nuevo Salem) has only one very old man with the vision. We talked also about curanderas who know all about plants with medicinal properties. I was curious to know whether there were any attempts to teach younger people to carry on the knowledge from the curanderas and those with the vision del tigre, but somehow someone raised the question of brujos (witches or witch doctors) and it became clear that he did NOT want to talk about these bad people and so that subject was dropped. He talked about how he was trying to lead the villagers, since he had seen some of the world and "knew how things should be". However, some of the padres de familia (household heads) are much more traditional and are not even all that pleased about the current arrangements to permit access to outsiders. We learned later from Barry that these tribes can still be violent at times, killing people who have tried to rob them or who infringe on their territories and try to settle there. We were grateful for their hospitality and very conscious that we were there at their pleasure. Most of the villagers ran away at the mere sight of a camera and it was made clear to us that we should not take pictures of them unless permission was granted. However, the chief did want to have his picture taken and so both Erick and I took pictures with flash that night (one of the pictures I most regret losing).

Dave had to excuse himself during this conversation with the chief and go to bed because he was feeling so badly (no dinner ... feverish, weak and ache-y). When the chief left, we finished our bird list and then had dinner - good soup as usual, and yummy curried chicken with peppers, onions and prunes. I crawled into my sleeping bag while the rest of the guys continued talking and drinking Pisco for a while in the candle light, their shadows flickering on the sides of our tent.
24 September

I got up at 5:00 a.m.; Dave said he was going to sleep in a little longer, but he was up by breakfast at 5:30 - omelette with potatoes, ricotto peppers, and cheese. We got started slowly in the morning since we didn't have to drive anywhere. We birded a little around the camp and then headed slowly up the same trail toward the "magic tree", taking more than twice the time on the trail as yesterday. We finally arrived at the ridge and the "magic tree" where we again saw many species of tanagers, as well as other birds. In early afternoon, Raul and Tercero and another fellow carried lunch up to a flat area just one ridge short of the "magic tree" where the Aguaruna had built some narrow, long tables with attached benches out of planed logs tied together. There we had chicken, baked/fried yucca and plaintains, tomatoes and cucumbers. Dan and Dave were not feeling well and so the three of us headed back to camp, leaving the others to bird for a little while longer. They were really beat when we got back to camp and it was very hot and humid. I played Florence Nightengale, with wet hankies for heads and making sure they drank lots of water; they were both quite feverish with headaches. We all rested for a while (I was pretty exhausted as well, although not feeling sick). Then we took showers to cool off. We then sat around and caught up with our journals and hung around camp, being joined by the others who didn't hold out much longer than we did.

Late in the afternoon the chief (Jorge) (see photo) and many of the people from the village - men, women and children - came down to the camp with some local crafts. We were encouraged to buy these crafts so that the people could see how they could benefit from making these crafts and selling them. I bought a beautiful necklace made with beads, shells and seeds. Sam bought another necklace and Terry bought a sort of hanging mobile of similar materials. The guys bought spears, although we had no idea how we might get them on the airplane and/or through customs. (NOTE: Sam did manage to get his home, Erick's was "confiscated", and the rest of us donated ours to Barry for display at his British pub in Cuzco - The Cross Keys Pub.). (For any of you who end up in Cuzco, you have to check out this authentic British pub One elderly fellow kept trying to sell us a monkey skull. We knew that it was illegal to collect such things, there was no way we could bring it through customs, and it would only encourage the collection of more skulls if they thought they could sell them. Because he knew that they would not understand about such laws and ways of thinking, Barry explained to them that it was against our religion to keep such things. This elicited quite a bit of laughter, as they undoubtedly thought we were pretty silly for such beliefs since the monkey was already dead (and had probably been pretty good food), but they did stop offering it to us. It probably confirmed their opinions that we were pretty strange folks.

The villagers hung around the edges of camp for much of the time we were there. I really wished on several occasions that we could communicate with them in some way and try for some common ground. However, they were very wary of us, and I suspect that many of them only spoke Aguaruna. Thinking that perhaps communicating with a child was an easier way, I squatted down in front of one child standing with her mother, and although the mother did not move away, the child clung to her and appeared uncertain of whether to be afraid, so I didn't pursue it. I had brought a bag full of small boxes of crayons and small tablets for the children, but Barry said that we should present these to the chief for distribution rather than handing them out ourselves. I was disappointed because we didn't get to see the children receive them, but when I presented them to the chief he expressed thanks and it was clear that he was the one to distribute resources to the village. In the same way, Barry said that the money we paid for staying there (I think it was $5 per person per day) went to the chief; the money was designated for education and health needs - the chief and the treasurer distributed this money as it was needed in the village.

After the villagers left, we did our bird list for the day and had another great dinner - a delicious creamed "mystery" soup (couldn't figure out what was in it), beef steak with mashed potatoes and a tomatoe-y gravy, and canned, mixed fruit for dessert.

Here are some images from our time in the Aguaruna village: (1) Seeing garden patches of yucca (also called manioc or cassava at different places in the world) - slender plants with compound or palmate leaves (three leaflets). The plants seemed so small that I wondered whether they get much larger before they would produce those thick tubers for harvest. (2) The chief (Jorge) offering us slices of fresh pineapple that he had cut and sliced right in the field along the trail to the "magic tree". (3) A huge butterfly (or moth?) that the chief showed me, sitting at the base of a huge tree - brown with a huge "owl's eye" on the underside (outside) of the folded wing. It was as big as my palm. (4) Waking up in the middle of the night to hear a pair of Spectacled Owls calling to each other, sounding like someone drumming on a large, hollow log - WUH' wuh wuh wuh wuh wuh" (5) Multiple kinds of cicadas calling - (a) the British police car siren type; (b) the steam locomotive type; and(c) the dental drill type, etc. (6) The caecilians - we found several individuals. Actually the chickens found them and we rescued them from the outraged chickens. It was so interested in these wierd creatures that I looked them up in my herpetology book when I returned. Caecilians are limbless, tropical amphibians, of the taxonomic group Gymnophiona, which contains 6 different taxonomic Families! They are quite diverse but are very poorly understood. Most are fossorial, living and burrowing in the soil. These individuals were almost 2 feet long; they looked like large earthworms, with segments. They were a steel gray-black color, with no obvious eyes, and stubby non-tapered tails. They were not very agressive or wriggly when we picked them up; they tried to get away but they were sort of like limp noodles. When we put them on the ground, they tried to bury themselves in the dirt.

25 September

We got up at 5:30 a.m. and had breakfast in camp at 6:00. Since the boat was coming to pick us up at about 10:30 a.m., we did not hike up to the "magic tree" again. Instead we packed up our gear and birded around camp. As usual, the gnats were up before we were, burying themselves into any available skin or orifice, but they were not as bad as in some places we'd been. Dave and I did not manage to escape unscathed from the chigger paradise, although Dave "got it" worse than I did. Bites were mostly around our ankles in spite of ALWAYS wearing our pants tucked into our socks and never wearing shorts. The chiggers either got us going in/out of the shower, or while stripped down in the tent at night in response to the heat, OR through our clothes! We wandered around camp birding, mostly up an additional short trail that went as far as their water supply on the side of the hill (a small cement building surrounded by a fence). We managed a look at another one of the best birds of the trip (most dapper) - Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher. I managed to "dip" on the fourth manakin of the trip - White-bearded Manakin - that was snapping and displaying in thick vegetation at several places along the trail. I give up! Me, the one whose biggest wish is to see all the possible manakins on a trip (it's my favorite family of New World tropical birds), did not see one manakin. (NOTE: this is not a good trip to see manakins, but three species were seen and I missed them all .... oh well).

We had another visit from a big group of villagers, mostly women and children, who came down to stand or squat on the edge of camp and watch us. It was somewhat uncomfortable due to our inability to communicate and their reticence to talk. Some smile but many do not (I have to remember that smiling can be quite a cultural thing and can even mean different things in different places, not all of them friendly). The children continue to appear curious at times but often cautious if not afraid. Their only response to my squatting down to their level was to either cling to their mothers or each other, or not respond at all. In the back of my mind was the concern that I would inadvertently do or say something that would insult them or make them angry, causing problems for us and future visiting groups. Suddenly they appeared to be called away, and soon after we heard the singing of hymns and someone speaking - it was Sunday morning and it appeared that most of the villagers were attending church. We assumed that someone in the village, presumably the chief who had traveled to the U.S. thanks to the missionaries, was in charge of the service.

We sat in something of a heat-induced stupor under the thatched roof hut once it got too hot and quiet to bird, waiting for the sound of the approaching boat motor. All our camping equipment and luggage had already been carried to the beach, so we squatted on the makeshift benches along the inside wall of the hut, admiring the HUGE spider hanging from the ceiling (see photo). We'd discovered it after Dave noted that something had pooped on the shirt he'd been drying on the top of our tent. Just about on time, we heard the boat coming up the river and headed for the beach. Again the boat was piled high with supplies and equipment and then we piled aboard, with an audience of silently watching children who didn't really even respond to our goodbye waves, although one of the older women who had been present at many of their visits and appeared to smile on occasions, did say goodbye. Some of the young people (typical of all teenagers) seemed to have their own jokes and would say things to each other and laugh loudly. I'm assuming that we were the butt of their jokes.

The boat was a more comfortable one than the previous one - we even had back rests on the seats! We had a basically uneventful return up river to Imaza - we did see a Short-tailed Hawk and Dave saw a Great Black-Hawk. We were glad to see Jose waiting with the bus, along with the other Jose (Barry's contact with the Aguaruna). After reloading the bus and taking some pictures of the group, were back on the bus and headed out of Imaza at 11:45 a.m.

We had a LONG drive ahead of us, back up the bumpy, winding road to Bagua Chica and then on to Jaen for the night. We ate a quick lunch standing up along the road at about 1:30 p.m. - delicious chicken salad on rolls with mayonnaise and mustard, a long spicy "slim jim" type jerky, and a tangerine. We then got immediately back on the road. On the way back along this road, since we were now traveling it all during the daylight, I was struck by the rapid transition from the tropical vegetation near Imaza and the river back to the arid, desertscrub type habitat as we climbed higher and closer to Bagua Chica. Just before Bagua Chica, we saw the huge confluence of the Utcubamba and Maranon rivers around some large sand bars - something we'd missed while sleeping in the dark on the way down. We stopped in Bagua Chica at the Hotel Wilson just before 5:00 p.m. to dropp off the "personal flotation devices" from the boat for the next trip Barry is outfitting. After some quick pit stops and purchases, we left at 5:15. We took a slightly different route to Jaen than Dave had guessed at on our map. We came across the major bridge over the Maranon - a big orange suspension bridge - and then stayed on the road along the river all the way to Chamaya and then turned north-northeast to Jaen, arriving at the Hotel El Bosque at about 6:45.

Jaen is a largish town/smallish city and the Hotel El Bosque was located on a busy city street but was quite calm and relaxed, with a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and rooms with air conditioning and ceiling fans. We met again at 7:30 and learned that, rather than eating next door, which was crowded and noisy, we were going to take mototaxis (1 Sole to go anywhere in town) to the central plaza and eat at a restaurant there. What a trip! jouncing and swerving our way through traffic with the benefit of frequent horn-blowing. Our taxi on the way to the restaurant was quite stable and the driver proficient; on the way back to the hotel we were glad that Barry had not offered 50 Soles to the driver who got there first as he'd threatened. Our taxi was much more rickety and the driver an apparent rookie - we wobbled and jounced quite a bit more and if we'd been in a race, might have ended up in a ditch somewhere. We ate at a restaurant that was a sort of Peruvian fast food or fried chicken joint. I had a great traditional salad with corn, onions, peppers, etc. with lime sprinkled on top - apparently eaten regularly by the "peasants". Then I had the lomo pimienta (steak with a black pepper sauce) - delicious! and the hugest pile of papas fritas I've ever seen - they do, however, know how to make good fries! As we were finishing up our meal, we were interrupted by an earthquake! A sort of slow, but rather extended (Dave thought 45 seconds) back and forth, up and down. At first people didn't respond, but then as it continued, everyone stood up (we were on the second floor), and filed pretty calmly downstairs and out onto the sidewalk. Dave noted that this kind of quake, which is not as dangerous in the States where buildings are built to withstand them, is probably more dangerous in Latin America, where old buildings can be shaken loose and tumbled down by the back and forth. (NOTE: this was quite a big quake that was centered not too far from Rioja where we'd been a few days before; in fact, due to related landslides, Richard and Rosanne's group was delayed for a couple days while the roads were cleared.) It was Sunday night and the plaza was crammed with people - there was a modern (futuristic style) church on the plaza and it had some kind of event going on with people overflowing onto the steps outside. We settled up with the restaurant and then mototaxied our way back to the hotel, where we did our bird list - it was too noisy in the restaurant.

Birds Observed from Bagua Chica down to Imaza, around Nuevo Salem, and back through Bagua Chica to Jaen
September 23 - 25

Cinereous Tinamou (heard only)
Little Tinamou (heard only)
Bartlett's Tinamou (heard only)
Cattle Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
King Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Plumbeous Kite
Great Black-Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Black Hawk-Eagle
Black Caracara
Speckled Chachalaca
Spotted Sandpiper
Collared Plover
Plumbeous Pigeon (heard only)
Ruddy Pigeon (heard only)
Eared Dove
Croaking Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Gray-fronted Dove (heard only)
Cobalt-winged Parakeet (heard only)
Blue-headed Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Groove-billed Ani
Spectacled Owl (heard only)
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl (heard only)
Crested Owl (heard only)
Lesser Nighthawk
Pauraque (heard only)
White-chested Swift
Chestnut-collared Swift
White-collared Swift
Blue-chinned Sapphire
Sapphire-Spangled Emerald
Blue-crowned Trogon (heard only)
Chestnut-capped Puffbird
Lanceolated Monklet
Black-fronted Nunbird (heard only)
Gilded Barbet
Lemon-throated Barbet
Ivory-billed Aracari
Channel-billed Toucan
Golden-collared Toucanet (heard only)
Lafresnaye's Piculet
Lineated Woodpecker
Crimson-crested Woodpecker
Plain-brown Woodcreeper
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper (heard only)
Buff-throated (Lefresnaye's) Woodcreeper (heard only)
Lineated Woodcreeper
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Great Antshrike (heard only)
Plain-winged Antshrike
Pygmy Antwren
Gray Antwren
Black Antbird (heard only)
Black-faced Antbird (heard only)
Warbling Antbird
White-shouldered Antbird
Thrush-like Antpitta (heard only)
White-browed Purpletuft
Spangled Cotinga
Golden-headed Manakin
Blue-crowned Manakin
White-bearded Manakin
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher
Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher
Slender-footed Tyrannulet (heard only)
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet
Torrent Tyrannulet
Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant
Black Phoebe
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
Bright-rumped Attila
Tropical Kingbird
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Dusky-chested Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher
Sirystes
Great Kiskadee
Masked Tityra
Black-capped Becard
Violaceous Jay (heard only)
Red-eyed (Chivi) Vireo
Long-tailed Mockingbird
Thrush-like Wren (heard only)
Coraya Wren (heard only)
White-breasted Wood-Wren
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
House Sparrow
Buff-rumped Warbler
Magpie Tanager
Guira Tanager
Fulvous-crested Tanager
White-shouldered Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Orange-throated Tanager (Near Endemic; VULNERABLE)
Masked Crimson Tanager
Flame-crested Tanager
White-lored Euphonia
Orange-bellied Euphonia
Rufous-bellied Euphonia
Turquoise Tanager
Paradise Tanager
Green-and-gold Tanager
Yellow-bellied Tanager
Opal-rumped Tanager
Opal-crowned Tanager
Masked Tanager
Black-faced Dacnis
Yellow-bellied Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Short-billed Honeycreeper
Purple Honeycreeper
Swallow-Tanager
Lesser Seed-Finch
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater
Slate-colored Grosbeak
Buff-throated Saltator
Grayish Saltator
Russet-backed Oropendola
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Moriche Oriole
Peruvian Meadowlark