Sunday, December 6, 2009
Nov 4th - Piura to El Limon
We had another early breakfast (5:30) on the outdoor patio at the hotel in Piura and then we checked the Sechura Desert scrublands for Peruvian Plantcutter. After a few stops we had success! This was the best stop as far as having trees – the other stops had been cleared of most trees.
The other highlight target birds were Necklaced Spinetail, Tumbes Hummingbird and Supercilliated Wren. We did see a very cool lizard by the side of the road that was about 2 feet long, spotted body and striped legs. Hopefully we’ll get a copy of Jane’s photo as our camera was in the car. We headed to Olmos and had a very good lunch of flat fish and rice at a local restaurant and then continued our search for Rufous Flycatcher with no luck. We had a hard time finding the road to look for the flycatcher. It was very hot and incredibly dry and dusty and sitting in the van was almost suffocating at points.
Our final very late stop (very bad planning on Gunnar’s part) was El Limon to look for the White Winged Guan. The areas was surrounded by mountains and continued to be very scrubby habitat at what seemed like a higher elevation.
Along the road Paul spotted 3 Peruvian Thick-knees. Hiking was tough as far as oxygen and Gunnar tends to walk incredibly fast, well ahead of most of the group. We ran into 2 local men along the way that mentioned they had seen a mountain lion. We had some nice views of King Vultures soaring.
The participants were getting nervous as it was getting late and we didn’t realize that we should have brought flashlights and water. We met up with a local guide who tried to find us the guans, but the sun was setting so 3 of us decided to slowly turn back. Of course as soon as we left the group, a Harris’s hawk flushed the guans for the other group, but the 3 of us never got to see them – although we did hear them making a racket. So he guided us to where they rest for the night and flushed 2 of them, but it was too dark to see. Now it was dark and we still had about a 30 minute walk in the dark. Somehow we managed to make it back to the car with only Jane slipping off the path. Checked into a nice clean hotel in Olmos, Valle Grande, that even had a toilet seat! Once again we are eating dinner at 9:30 from an outdoor chicken stand, but were able to sit in a nearby room. It was another long day with a 4:50 AM departure scheduled for tomorrow to try for the Guan again.