I’ve been residence simply two days from my two great excursions to southeastern Peru, and I whereas I used to be excited to see how my backyard has progressed (or aged, because the case could also be) as fall approaches, I used to be additionally not fairly prepared to go away Peru. I want I had had only a few extra days to discover extra trails and squeeze out a couple of extra species. The wet season was simply barely beginning, and vegetation have been starting bloom, birds have been nesting, and extra bugs have been rising.
My second tour visits two rainforest lodges of the division Madre de Dios. It was an abrupt however pleasant change of tempo from the primary Peru tour, the place we had been principally in mountains of the neighboring division of Cusco. For one, it was heat and humid, although on two days we have been underneath the affect of a late chilly entrance, when the overcast skies and cooler temperatures have been fairly welcome.
The tour ended with a formidable complete of about 375 species of birds. And although nobody took half in each excursions, my 20-day complete got here to about 650 species. This second tour was speculated to have six contributors, identical to the primary one, however for numerous causes, 4 of the contributors canceled, leaving simply two – my pals Dana Gardner and Michael Chinn from Berkeley, California. So this was way more like a personal tour with pals than a daily WINGS tour, and I believe all of us benefitted from the flexibleness that entailed.
In contrast to the primary tour, which concerned a good quantity of driving, we walked each day, piling on the miles, however some of the pleasing points of this tour is having the ability to chook proper outdoors our rooms. A shock for me right here was that two of the cabins had been utterly dismantled. A couple of ft of the overlook had sloughed off in June, and it was deemed that these two cabins have been too near edge within the occasion that a fair bigger chunk of earth would possibly collapse.
We have been strolling by our cabins one morning after we heard a ruckus from inside a useless, hollowed-out palm trunk, and we seemed as much as see this Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl indignantly poking its head out of the highest.
One other deal with was strolling the identical trails on a number of days – and discovering how completely different they are often from someday to the subsequent. On our first cross by a big tree dropping crimson fruits to the bottom, a bunch of Pale-winged Trumpeters approached and placed on fairly a present. The following time we handed there, a surprising Plum-throated Cotinga sat slightly below the cover for prolonged views. That is the fruit of Pseudolmedia laevis in Moraceae that attracted so many birds.
And on a 3rd go to we flushed a Ruddy Quail-Dove off its nest with two eggs, proper subsequent to a surprising cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis) that was dropping its flowers throughout the tree.
And but on one other cross on the identical path, this feminine Cream-colored Woodpecker perched at eye-level very near the path and sat there for an prolonged time, seemingly unafraid of our presence.
We birded one of many nearer trails to the lodge a number of instances searching for its bamboo specialties, and we have been stunned on one morning by a pair of very quiet Rufous-capped Nunlets low within the vegetation proper off the path.
Then once more there have been some dependable birds, such because the lek of Band-tailed Manakins which confirmed effectively after we stood nonetheless close to their favourite show space, and on our second cease they have been much more cooperative. Or the pair of Nice Jacamars that we discovered alongside the identical stretch of 1 path on a number of days. We suspected they could have had a nest close by.
One shock at Los Amigos was a uncommon Brown-banded Puffbird that flew in quietly whereas we have been scanning the cover for a singing Western Striolated-Puffbird (which we ended up seeing on one other day). This was my first for Peru.
One other was the scarce and really unpredictable Amazonian Parrotlet, which if discovered is often only a quick-flying flock by the cover. This yr we noticed pairs and a number of small flocks on 5 days, perched in timber and feeding proper over the paths, providing nice views of this chook that Don Stap wrote about in his fashionable guide A Parrot With out a Identify. Listed here are two in a fruting Guazuma crinita tree, apparently one in all their most popular meals.
The final days of birding at Tambo Blanquillo Lodge have been a pleasant change of tempo, beginning with a protracted boat trip to get there on the Madre de Dios river. We spent most of a morning at their well-known clay lick. It was a thrill to see a flock of a couple of hundred Purple-and-green Macaws take off in a deafening flight. They by no means did come all the way down to feed on the filth, however many different species did, together with this assortment of Blue-headed, Orange-cheeked, and Mealy parrots.
We had a pleasant paddle round one of many oxbow lakes, the place a Pale-eyed Blackbird lastly appeared.
We additionally noticed dozens of Hoatzins, Larger Anis, and a Sungrebe, and lots of different species introduced themselves. A favourite chook of the tour and a really fortunate discover was this lone Inexperienced-and-rufous Kingfisher, perched sometimes within the deep shade of the overhanging vegetation.
We additionally noticed a implausible number of butterflies and different bugs, frogs, and mammals, together with 9 species of monkey, many in abundance. Alongside one path we seemed up right into a tree cavity solely to see this sac-winged bat scramble out and perch in plain sight on the trunk.
The station science coordinator at Los Amigos was very beneficiant along with his time, and he confirmed us this White-lined Leaf Frog that had been roosting on the identical leaf for a couple of days proper by the workplace; right here it’s within the night setting off to forage.
Of the numerous bugs I photographed, this long-horned beetle Discopus spectabilis (recognized for me by iNaturalist person chickenparmesan24) was one in all my favorites.