Saturday 5 May 2018

20th of April. Ebirding at Barba Blanco.

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April 20th, 2018

Hot, hazy and sunny day

Up at 5:30 a.m. In order to spend a few hours exploring and counting all birds seen to put a report onto eBirds later. A Golden-bellied Grosbeak is a bright starting bird for the day and with a resplendent male Vermilion Flycatcher one can only appreciate the vibrant colours of many Peruvian birds. Two Black-necked Woodpeckers are in the tall Eucalyptus trees in the hotel gardens but despite hearing them with their chattering call, I cannot get good views of them in the trees and I watch both leave with undulating flights away onto the adjacent orchards.
I take the dusty road towards the Hydro-electric power station a kilometre or so to the north. A new bird for both me and therefore for the Green Birding list is a White-tipped Dove

Just one is sitting on the branch and I listen as it gives a two note, deep coo. It's throat extends, emphasising the grey-blue head of this rather large dove.
Through a security gate with Holas to the guards and past the station, I take the steep road up through the village. Passing over the river where a dam has surging water, two Peruvian Sheartails are hovering and chasing each other over the water. The road splits at the top of the only street in the village; to the left the road goes to Callahuanca and to the right to some ruins called Caskashoko. I turn right.

A little way along the road the force of a flash flood here is demonstrated by the side of a house having disappeared revealing a now unused bathroom. Through a small village of around twenty shack house with a few dogs I walk steadily in the strong and hot sunshine and photograph five different butterfly species before reaching the ruins. Interesting to note that most butterflies here have equivalent species and families in Europe, be they skippers, whites, or blues.

The ruins are contained over a small area at the end of the road and consist of walls and a couple of small ruined houses. A few birds are here, mostly Band-tailed Sierra Finches and Collared Warbling Finches. There are also a few Cinereous Conebills and an entertaining Purple-collared Woodstar that keeps returning to the top twig of a near by dead bush. 

A couple of attractive lizards are sunbathing and watch me carefully as I pass. They don't seem too bothered by me though.

After returning to the hotel for a snack and a quick shower, I walk along the road and then back along the edge of the river plain. New birds seen include seven White-crested Eleanias, Drab Seedeaters, a couple of Chiguanca Thrushes and a single Blue & Yellow Tanager.

The evening meal at the hotel is delicious; a pasta concoction that I am not too sure of the contents. The staff here are delightful and my waitress, Jessica, laughs as I clear the table on my conclusion.

Green Year list : 104 birds average new birds to list per day : 5.20 birds

Distance walked : 5.61 miles elevation up and down : 1468 feet altitude : 4445 feet

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