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.

1 comment:

  1. Remember that we had to wait for ages for the sit-down lunch - we got severely delayed. I had a tip for a locality for Rufous Flycather which was on the way to the Guan that we should check out. But we got terribly late due to the time missed during the lunch.

    In hind-sight we should prepare pic-nic lunch, and have Julio prepare dinner to be ready as we come back from the Guan.

    Previously we have always done morning visits for the Guan, but this shows that it should be possible to see it in the afternoon, and this way gain a morning at Abra Porculla (and hence a somewhat later start).

    It was the first time this strategy was tried on a fully guided group (there was an independant group in July, that were successful with this strategy) and it certainly needs some tweaking in the way as I suggested.
    The advantage of course is that if you do miss the Guan, it can still be tried for the following day (as we did)...
    although it does steal hours of sleep. Of course we did not have to go back for the Guan the next day, and there was the option of a sleep in!