Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nov 3 - Talara pelagic

We did a morning 6 hour Pelagic on an old fishing boat out of Talara.

There were plastic stools to sit on and it was like riding a combo of a horse or an elephant depending on the waves. The birding was very good and we got lots of life birds, but Paul fell off his stool and hurt his back and got a wave over his head and I got hit with numerous waves that ended up soaking me from the waist down! I did win the stool contest as I was the only one to survive never falling off my stool… All that Yoga and leg muscle conditioning paid off.

The highlight bird was the Pomarine Jaeger which was so close over our heads and almost took food from someone’s hand – but it was smart in that there really wasn’t any food. But it had taken the fish that one of the crew had caught while it was still on his line and we saw the line flying in the sky along with the attached bottle. We were also saddened to hear that the fishermen catch and eat waved albatrosses and that Peru does not offer any protection for this species since it does not breed here! We had great looks at Sabine’s Gulls, White vented Storm Petrels, Black storm petrels, and White chinned petrels. We returned to the hotel to change out of our soaken clothes, packed up the van and headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch of a tuna salad and beef with rice.

On the drive to Piura we stopped in Sullana for the Tumbes Swallow spotted on a wire and then to St. Pedro de Vice to look for Chillean Flamingos in the marshes, of which there were none, but I found a male Least Seedsnipe and Paul found the female –very cute shorebird type of birds. Gunnar thinks this may be the northern most record for this species.

We said goodbye to Jeannie and dropped her at the Piura airport and continued on to our hotel – Algarrobos in Piura. The room is basic, but the interesting thing is that there is no toilet seat. We are now waiting for our dinner at the restaurant and it is almost 10 PM! With only 10 hours of sleep in the last 2 days, we are beat…

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