I actually had the miss the last day of the QBNA meeting to arrive in time for my first of two Southeastern Peru tours for WINGS. In our current itinerary, we start with a visit to the incomparable Machu Picchu. The crowds of tourists entering the ruins was worse than I’ve ever seen, but once you’re inside, there’s room enough to spread around, and you don’t really notice that many. It’s even possible to get photos with few people in the background.
We next visit Wayqecha in the high elevation cloud forests above the Kosñipata Valley. One of my favorite sightings from here was this Telipogon sp. orchid, a genus I’ve seen once before in the Cerro de la Muerte highlands of Costa Rica.
In the middle elevations of San Pedro, we had excellent views of Andean Cock-of-the-rock at their lek.
Not far down the road was my lifer Taeniophallus brevirostris, a small, harmless litter snake that is rarely encountered.
Finally, we ended at ACCA’s Villa Carmen Birding Lodge, which was truly amazing. For the first time, I watched Black-capped Tinamou coming to a feeding station.
We then had the first local record of a Crested Eagle, perched super far away on a distant hillside.
Amazingly, we spotted it again about a 1/4 mile away on the nearby hilltops, and while we were watching it, one of the participants spotted a soaring Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, which eventually performed an astounding backwards roll dive display (incredibly, as I was trying to get photos).
I really enjoyed the moths on the dining hall walls this year. This geometrid Cyclophora hieroglyphica was one of my favorites.