Last November I was fortunate enough to visit Peru at the invitation of PROMPERU, the country’s tourism authority. The plan was that I might at some later date, as a result of that trip, take a group of birdwatchers to Peru for Avian Adventures. Well, last month that plan came together and I led an Avian Adventures tour to the north of Peru and to the Andes and Machu Picchu.
The tour began with an early morning KLM flight from Birmingham to Amsterdam followed by a 12-hour flight to Lima. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds with comfortable seats, plenty of legroom and in-flight food and entertainment both of a good standard. I managed to watch three movies!
We arrived at Jorge Chávez International Airport more or less on time at around 6:00 pm, passed quickly through immigration formalities and picked up our bags without fuss. Unfortunately, traffic in Lima was dreadful and it then took about an hour to get to our hotel in Miraflores, which is described as “an exclusive residential and upscale shopping district south of downtown Lima”. However, it had been a long day and by the time we had checked in there was no appetite for anything other than sleep!
To enable us to acclimatise and recover from the long flight we spent our first day in Peru birding in areas close to Lima. Our local guide was Gunnar Engblom, owner of Kolibri Expeditions. I had been birding with Gunnar on the last day of the November trip and had met him again recently at the Birdfair at Rutland Water.
We began by driving to a wetland area, Humedales Puerto Viejo. This provided some easy birding to get us started – ducks, herons, cormorants, shorebirds and just a few passerines. Highlights were the colourful Peruvian Meadowlark and Many-colored Rush Tyrant, a dozen or so Grassland Yellow Finches and numerous Black-necked Stilts and Wilson’s Phalaropes.
Many-colored Rush Tyrant
Band-tailed Sierra Finch
Grassland Yellow Finch
Collared Warbling Finch
All in all it was an excellent start to our tour; during the day we visited several other sites and recorded about 70 bird species.
More to follow…