Monday, 3 September 2012

Lomas de Lachay, Peru

Our last full day in Peru, with another 5.00 am start.  These really are getting harder and harder.  This time though we have a two hour drive, so can be waking up at a reasonable time.

Our Guide for the day was Alejandro Torres, who had been with us at the start of the trip, which now seemed such a long time ago (almost 9 weeks).

The first stop is the Lomas National Park, a dry baron desert.  Here we saw Grayish Miner, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant and the endemic Coastal Miner without much searching.  Both of these were new birds and so this was a great start before breakfast.  We also heard Cactus Canestero, but we had seen these on the trip before so we didn’t spend time trying to locate it.

We then drove to the entrance of Lachay National Park where we trip ticked loads of Least Seedsnipe, Yellowish Pipit, Baird Sandpiper and saw a flock of 18 endemic Raimondi’s Yellow Finch, which we saw in two places and 5 Tawny-Throated Dotterel.  As we carried on driving along the dry road we also some burrowing owls and had a Short-Eared Owl flush from the side of the road, which the first one that Alejandro had seen at this site.

Inside the National Park we saw no less than 9 different Andean Tinamou, as Birdgirl commented “The are like chickens!”. This was a new bird for myself and Birdgirl and particularly significant as we had missed one running across the road at Apurimac (which I had not taken very well).  I had now caught up all three birds that I had missed.  Birdgirl has still missed two, one that she opted not to climb back up a mountainside for a second time at altitude and one that she worked really, really hard for but missed a split second view, which we don’t talk about (and which she thinks it is only right that we don’t tick either - yeah, right!).

With 9 new birds off our target list, this was a brilliant morning of birding on which be finishing the trip.

On the way back to Lima, our stop was Laguna de Ventanilla.  The plan was to catch up with one or two new waders for Birdgirl and maybe get some trip ticks.  Here we bumped into the French speaking group that we met on the pelagic the day before.  It was lovely to see them again and say goodbye.  They had been at the Laguna all morning and were able to give us a long list of American waders that they had seen which made our visit far more targeting, which was good given our short time.   New birds for the afternoon were Grassland Yellow-Finch, Killdeer (for Birdgirl), Husonian Godwit and Great Grebe as well has a whole host of trip ticks.  It was a really enjoyable birding day and was the best way to end a trip.  It was much better than driving around for one new species or worse dipping on a one new species.

From here we were dropped off at the airport with plenty of time to catch our 12.40 am flight to Atlanta. 

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