A 5:45 AM start today – nice to sleep in a bit for a change – but I think I still only got 5 hours…A taxi picked us up and brought us to nearby Quebrada Mishkyacu to bird a humid forest. The trails were steep, muddy, narrow and jungle like. The birding was tough as we were mostly in Antbird type of habitat. We spent a lot of time calling in White browed Antbirds successfully, but the highlight was really the pair of Saddleback Tamarin monkeys that we hopefully got good photos of. They were very small with a white face and a flat head. They clung to a side of 2 trees and kept hopping between each as they watched us. It started to rain just as it was about time to head back. So we carefully made our way back down the muddy steep trail. Back at the hotel by 9:30 for breakfast and packing up. We left there about 11:00, but to our shock in the same taxi. This time it had to fit luggage for 5 of us for a 2 hour ride! It was not very comfortable and here I must add that I have been very disappointed in the transportation end of this trip, among other things. Julio stayed back to fix the van and plans to drive to Abra Patricia tomorrow. We have 3 nights here. The regular van has no air conditioning and in 90 degree temps with little ventilation in the back, it can be quite unbearable. There is not one comfortable seat in the van either – most seats you feel the springs in.
When we arrived at AP it was still raining, which was not very lucky on our part as far as luggage goes. It is about ¼ mile walk up a steep muddy path to the lodge. The lodge staff came down and carried our bags up for us – trying to keep them covered, but apparently failed because when I went to put on my rain pants I was shocked to find they were already soaked along with a half of my clothes and all of my magazines! Good thing we are here for a few days so they can dry out, though it is much cooler here since we are at about 2500 meters. When the rain ended, we had 2-3 nice flocks of birds pass through around the lodge and trails. We got great looks at the florescent Green Grass Tanager which was the bird of the day for me. After dinner and doing the bird list (which is always very painful and takes hours because not everyone has the same list since it was not provided to us from the start, and we need to look up birds because our new guide has a tendency not to tell us what the birds are when we see them, probably because he needs to look them up first), we walked down to the main road to try to call in some nightjars with no luck, but the night sky was amazing as there was no light pollution. I wish I could see this many stars at home. Paul continued with the group to try for Owls, but I wanted to write today’s report before bed because by tomorrow I will forget everything… The rooms here are very nice, quiet and homey. They are separate cabanas which is almost like being home, but the place is run by generator so I am writing this using my headlamp since they turn the generator off by 10:00 PM.