Wednesday 10 October 2018

Back In Britain!

Back in The U.K.

So after a day travelling I am back at my parent's house, alone with their cat. Mum and Dad are on holiday! Mind you I have seen my superb Son, Joshua and brilliant to have a catch up meal with him.

I am excited about the coming months as I have a lot of travelling around Britain ahead with evening talks to RSPB local groups, starting at Truro, Cornwall on the 26th of October.

Before then I will be buying a small car, writing the book of my Peruvian adventure and sending masses of THANK YOU emails and Facebook messages to all of the wonderful people who made the whole experience so fabulous.

Let's get on with another day updated from back in July. . .

For those who may be new to my blog I know that today is October the ninth but due to a number of factors, mostly a lack of internet within The Manu National Park, I could not keep up the daily blog describing my adventures.

You now know I survived the six month Biking Birder Peruvian adventure over The Andes by bicycle and along the Madre de Dios river by packraft!

What follows over the next 70 days, well to Christmas anyway, will be a daily update as though we are back together in July of this year. Day by day I will post my diary as though it is still happening. Together we will share the thrills, the splendour of nature and the terrors. Oh yes, there were days of terror but those few moments were outshone by days of such magnificence that dark clouds were obliterated by nature's beauty.

So please read and imagine . . . .

Oh, and please, PLEASE if you could make a donation to Birdlife International as you read I would be more over the Moon than I already am! Neil, I am coming to see you.

Thank you and love to you all,

Be Green.

Gary xxx

5th July, 2018

Cloud from the start and cooler, double jumper day!

The conch is heard and everyone gathers for breakfast. A final date with a wonderful group of people, my visit has been lovely and new friends made. Thanks to be given to John, Habir, Blanca, Claudio and to all of 'The Lads,' those fabulous Peruvian Columbia supporters!
Weyqecha Biological Research Station is a fabulous place. The location is perfect with, when out of the cloud, amazing views. It is quiet and secreted away from the dirt track Manu Road. The bird life is varied and colourful. Butterflies, dragonflies and, oh boy, the number of moth species attracted to the lights at night, such variety of size and colour. Incredible.

Time to bump! The road at this height is reasonably wide and not too bad at first but as I descend, by standing on the left peddle and holding onto the handlebars, the quality of the road gets worse. To sit on the saddle as normal would be dangerous on this surface.
Knowing that the distance to the next lodge location, the famous Cock of The Rock lodge, is too far away to get there in one day, well it is if I want to bird as I descend this fabulous birding road. I stop at Pillhuata. Here there are a number of derelict wooden buildings and a beautiful field with a few small fruit trees and tremendous views over the cloud forest-covered, very steep sided valley. With long grass to cushion me, I set up the tent mid afternoon. I find a stool at a shower and toilet building near the road and sit beside my tent and watch as small flocks of birds pass through the trees and bushes nearby. Mostly birds I have seen before; White-throated Tyrannulets, Black-throated Brush-finches and Spectacled Redstarts but a superb Andean Tyrant sitting on a telegraph wire is new.
I walk along the road both uphill and down. Birds are sporadically seen but after a couple of hours I have seen Montane Woodcreeper and White-banded Tyrannulet well. Birding is not as easy one is lead to believe along here as birds move in flocks and quickly move on. My tactic is to concentrate on each new species in turn and write down as many features as I can in my notebook. If happy with the identification, I then move onto another bird. Difficult as around here the birds are mostly high above my head. My greatest thrill though is when a couple of Black-throated Brush-finches come onto a berry carrying bush and feed unconcerned just a few feet from me. Such intimacy is beautiful.
The afternoon proceed leisurely and I sit on my stool and watch as the cloud layers descend and fill the valley before me. Such The sun sets and the temperature drops. I get into my sleeping bag and am soon asleep.

Green Year list : 299 birds

average new birds to list per day : 3.11 birds

Mileage : 5.09

altitude : 8.372 feet

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