Friday 13 April 2018

Waders . . . Waders on my Green Birding List and . . . Wader Quest

Massive thank you …. THANK YOU! . . . to everyone who has made a donation either to birdlife international or to Chaskwasi-Manu. It is a real thrill to see donations given. THANK YOU.

A special thank you to John from Tesco's online banking service. His anonymous donation, 'notarobot' is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

With donations to Birdlife International, I can see names via the JustGiving page. So many thanks to . . . .

Mark and
Vivianne who started the ball rolling

An honours board of donors . . . now there's an idea! Thanks everyone. xx

So hello again! That is hello if you have been here before. If you are new to my blog then please take your time to read and hopefully enjoy it. Please follow me using the box to the right.

I am still in Lima awaiting having the stitches removed from my lower jaw. Lima is in chaos today with many roads closed for security. Dentists is closed too and all because a few World leaders are in town. At least Trump isn't here.

I do so hope that you will enjoy following my adventures. You can do so via this blog and also by my Biking Birder Facebook page and Twitter feed. Also if you want to see all of the photographs I have taken then please go to the Facebook pages linked below.

or via my personal Facebook page :

I am trying to raise money for two charities and obviously I would love you to donate to them.


Birdlife International

Please use this link to make a donation . . . and get yourself on the Honours Board!

Chaskwasi-Manu Children's Project

Waders and Wader Quest

Having Spent five days birding at Los Pantanos de Villa Nature Reserve, south of Lima in Chorrillos, I really have an appreciation for that fabulous group of birds one calls waders. So far there are eighteen species of wader on my Green Birding – Peru 2018 list and only one specie, Blackish Oystercatcher, has not been seen at Los Pantanos! Seventeen species of wader at one reserve is just wonderful and so helpful in my quest to see more birds than anyone ever by Green means.

The seventeen . . .

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus

Back-necked Stilts Himantopus mexicanus

Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris

American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Willet Tringa semipalmata

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

and a comparison of both side by side . . . 

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Least sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos

Sanderling Calidris alba

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
(Almost forgot to get a photograph of that one for evidence!)

Amazing to think that a few weeks ago, maybe fifty or so kilometres out at sea, there would have been Red-necked Phalaropes from Shetland! Now that would have been an incredible bird to see and to know that these same birds that breed on Fetlar, Shetland, UK or on the Outer Hebrides, will have been out at sea in Peru after such a long migration is a great reason why one can love birds. They are amazing!

Wader seen elsewhere, Blackish Oystercatcher, was seen both at Miraflores pier, Lima and on the beach about a kilometre north of Los Pantanos de Villa.

So the list has some unexpected and perfectly welcome additions thanks to Los Pantanos de Villa. All of this wader focus makes me think of the wonderful charity that works tirelessly in helping waders . . .

Rick and Elis Simpson run this fabulous charity and would appreciate any donations or maybe for a fantastically low price one can become a member. Their enamel badges are worth collecting too!

So thanks everyone. Please message me if you have any suggestions, comments or thoughts. Also PLEASE make a donation to either Chaskawasi_manu or Birdlife International.

Love to you all,   Gary xx

Thursday 12 April 2018

Day 9 and Day 10, Los Pantanos de Villa with Target Birds to Get

Hello again! That is hello if you have been here before. If you are new to my blog then pleased to meet you and please, take your time to read and hopefully enjoy it. Please follow me using the box to the right. If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions then please do get in touch either by email, by my Facebook pages or via the comments section below. It would be wonderful to hear from you.

I do so hope that you will enjoy following my adventures. You can do so via this blog and also by my Biking Birder Facebook page and Twitter feed. Also if you want to see all of the photographs I have taken then please go to the Facebook pages linked below.

or via my personal Facebook page :

I am trying to raise money for two charities and obviously I would love you to donate to them.


Birdlife International

Chaskwasi-Manu Children's Project

April 9th, 2018

Los Pantanos de Villa

28 Celsius, sunny with very little wind. Northerly on Monday, South-west on Tuesday.

Off to Los Pantanos de Villa nature reserve once more with target birds to consider. Rob Williams mentioned hearing a Peruvian Pipit yesterday, the bird having been split recently from Yellowish Pipit. So finding one is a priority. Rob had identified a likely place but first I want to spend some time looking for another target bird, Least Bittern.

Dragonflies, herons and Pied-billed Grebes are on Laguna Genesis, the smallest lagoon and closest to the reception but no sign of any Least Bittern. I am joined on the circular walk by two young girl volunteers, Bear(Beatrix) and Leslie. Both are good company and together we search for birds.

Leaving the girls at the reception after an hour or so walk, unsuccessful in the hunt for the tiny bittern, I head off for the dry, salting vegetation areas in search of the pipit. Under the barbed wire fence near to the iconic white water tower, I search yet the only real creature of note is a four centimetre long fly of some sort. 

I manage to photograph it's fearsome front but it has gone when I try to sneak around to it's other side.

The usual assortment of waders are in what remains of some small pools that were excellent and much larger back in 2013 and 2014. Back then this area had large, shallow pools but now most of these have dried up and have been replaced by a number of horses. Back then there was only one small wooden house. Well a house of sorts, more like a large shed but now there is a whole compound with fences for horses. I remember that back in 2014 the owner chased me off with vitriolic Spanish abuse and the threat of a dozen or so dogs. The dozens of Puna Ibis and Black-necked Stilts have gone. Instead there's Lesser and Greater yellowlegs, a few Spotted, Least and Semi-palmated sandpipers and a lone American Golden Plover. A Great Egret and a Little Blue Heron wade through the verdant marshy vegetation whilst Killdeers stand on drier areas.

Across to the driest part of the reserve that still has a stunted, dry looking, low shrubby sort of vegetation, I search for the pipit despite the hum from a billion small flies. At least there is plenty of food here for the pipit, as well as for the thousands of small, orange spiders.

A small bird flies away from me calling a single 'tup' like call. Pipit! I walk carefully forward hoping to get a view of it on the ground. No chance. The bird stays hidden. Yet as I walk slowly forward at least three more come out. They do the same; call and then dive for cover. Sometimes the call seems to consist of a triplet of notes. Unbelievably I manage to get a flight shot of this elusive little brown job! Peruvian Pipit Anthus lutescens peruvianus.

Whilst trying to see the pipit and with hundreds of Blue & White Swallows gorging on the small flies, I see two pairs of nearby Burrowing owls atop rubble waste. Fabulous to get such wonderful views of these stunning birds.

After photographing the owls and some perched up Blue & White Swallows, I stroll along the beach and view the long, Snettisham-like lagoon. Snettisham is an excellent RSPB (Royal Society for The Protection Of Birds) nature reserve on The Wash, Norfolk, UK. All the usual suspects are here in the usual masses.

On the beach a few terns, mostly Elegant Terns, are roosting amongst masses of Franklin's Gulls.

Back to the reception for another attempt at Least Bittern. The Green Jay is in his usual tree.

The girls are in a boat and as they disappear off around the small lagoon, I sit and wait and watch. Pied-billed grebe family has three noisy – feed me juveniles. Striated and Black-crowned Night Herons come and roost in full view and a few Many-coloured Rush Tyrants come close.

As the light fades large numbers of Cattle Egrets fly over, arriving from the south, to roost for the night. Most flocks, comprising of fifty or so birds, head off for the largest lagoon. A few stop at this small one, joining the other herons already sitting there.

A few Guinea Pigs see me out as I leave the reserve after yet another wonderful day.

April 10th , 2018

I cycle through the condominium area north of Los Pantanos and stop to look at some parakeets high in the tall palm trees. Can I count White-winged Parakeets when they are obviously a self-sustaining feral population? For that matter can I count Red-masked Parakeets?

Back early doors to the smallest lagoon, I arrive at 7:30 a.m. To find a small door open. The internet states open at eight. I am lucky. A group of Egrets greet me!

No luck with the Least Bittern though. After over an hour waiting, I walk around the lagoon and then head for the largest. Wonderful to see school parties arrive to enjoy the reserve. Los Pantanos de Villa is so vital and important for the area. Is there another nature reserve so large near to Lima for schoolchildren to go to?

A Black Vulture has a large yellow wing tag, 03. I must look this up when I can access the internet.

I feed the fish some small stale bits of bread, for which they go boilingly crazy. I always enjoy watching fish. Indeed when I was a teenager a few years ago, I would sit on branches overhanging pools and rivers just to be able to watch fish! I always remember watching shoals of Bream moving around a large pond in my home town of then, Redditch in Worcestershire, UK.

A small seedeater species seems to be Chestnut-throated SeedeaterSporophila telasco

Up and down both Observation towers with the heat becoming oppressively hot, three large birds fly in and land at the far end of the lagoon. What on earth are Comb Ducks doing here?!

Off to the sea lagoon with a small group of volunteers, one girl, Lilliane, wants to do a scholarship in Japan and is learning the language ready to do so. They all have ambition and drive, quite inspiring to an old man.

Leaving them I collect plastic off the beach and then sit beneath a fixed, reed roofed parasol to seawatch. I have found a large, helium-filled Pokemon balloon and I sit on it comfortably. I fall asleep!

Upon waking in only a few minutes, I seawatch but the incredible lack of birds is noteworthy compared to all of my previous visits here. This year the birds, other than Franklin's Gulls, number in the tens. Previously Guanay Cormorants had been in the tens of thousands, as had the Peruvian Boobies. No sign of Humboldt's Penguin today. Had them before. No sign either of Peruvian Petrel. Had those here too in the past.

Back at reception I am interviewed by the boss of the reserve, Aldo F. Solimano Lopez Aliaga. It is a privilege to be welcomed by him, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Aldo's English is very good and he is obviously proud of the reserve and staff.

Back to the small lagoon to try once more for the bittern, I take a boat, with permission and while away an hour and a half gently rowing around. By stopping every so often and just keeping still and watching, birds come incredibly close to me.

Five o'clock, time to be going, a Many-coloured Rush Tyrant is near to the path, as is a Plumbeous rail.

BB 2010 Oops, crash and a motorway Abominable Snowman in Hemel Hempstead January 5th

5 th January                                                            Tragedy                                              The Bee Gees   ...