Monday, 28 May 2012

The Red Throated Macaw Lodge, Bolivia

The Red-Fronted Macaw Lodge

At the Red-Fronted Macaw Lodge we were met by Ronaldo, the administrator. The three local villages benefit from the lodge, in order to promote the conservation of the Red-Fronted Macaw, of which there are only 750 birds left, all in this area. It is great what they have managed to do here to conserve this bird.
The next morning was a late start with breakfast on the balcony at 6.15 am, watching the endemic Red-Fronted Macaw, Bolivian Blackbird and soon to be split Cliff Parakeet.  The Macaws and Parakeets nest, roost and feed on a cliff fact directly opposite the lodge, giving amazing views.  The rest of the day was spent birding the dry, desert surroundings.  It looked liked somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico, with giant cactus everywhere.  Although the lodge is at 2100m,  it is still normally very hot here, but we were fortunate that it was an unusually cloudy morning, making birding very pleasant.  I even managed to fit in a three hour siesta after lunch!  In the afternoon, we birded above the lodge, getting great views straight onto the cliff and wondered around some pre-Inca ruins, where Birdgirl picked up a few pieces of pottery.   Back at the lodge, Ronaldo showed us some tools that were 4,000 years old and told Birdgirl that her painted pottery pieces were about 1,000 years old.  He also showed us some fossils and explained that the whole area around there was one of the best in the world for dinosaurs, dating back to 4 million years ago.  A full size dinosaur had been found at Sucre and north of there was a valley famous for dinosaur footprints that now climbed vertically up the mountainside (the ground had been pushed up to a vertical over the years).

After two nights at the lodge, we left heading for the Central Andes.  After Saipina, we made a successful Bolivian Earthcreeper stop for me. 

Breakfast looking for Macaws

That was an easy lifer!
Catching up on the bird lists

A relaxing afternoon birding in the heat

Or there's another way of spending your afternoon...

Birdgirl at a pre-inca site

Birdgirl with a giant cactus

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