The month of October started with my second of three Peru tours, this one beginning with a flight to Puerto Maldonado and a week at Los Amigos Birding Lodge/Biological Station. I’ve blogged about this place before, and it’s really an amazing hotspot of diversity. It’s also the only place I know where Undulated Tinamou walks out in the open every day.
The monkey diversity is quite high here, and they’re mostly easy to see. The Brown Titi Monkeys, Plecturocebus toppini, are particularly tame here.
After this tour, we flew back to Lima, and there began tour number three, a private tour with my single client Skyler. This itinerary covered mostly the same areas as the first tour, including a visit right away to Machu Picchu. We had some very good birds there, including an out-of-place Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, but the most amazing sighting was of an Orange-breasted Falcon diving on a passing by Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle. This went on for several minutes at eye level.
The rest of the tour saw us visiting Villa Carmen, Cock-of-the Rock Lodge, and Wayqecha, but in a different order and more abbreviated stays than on the regular WINGS tour. The moths and butterflies continued to be amazing here, but the butterflies were better, thanks to the lack of a cold front. The Andean Cock-of-the-rock show at the lek was different too – more intense, earlier, and stopping sooner, and since it was a sunny day the photo opportunities were much better.
I then had just one full day at home before I flew north to Seattle for another private tour – this one with my client Susanne who wanted to focus on mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest. But I had time to check the feeders, and there was a very tardy Rufous Hummingbird at them.
Susanne and I started the tour at the Puget Sound Mycological Society’s huge annual mushroom show, which was a very impressive event. I think you can see more species of wild mushroom on display in one room here than at any other similar event in the world.
The first part of the tour took us to several sites at Olympic National Park. Our first stop there was Hurricane Ridge, which in late October was already too cold for mushrooms, but it was worth it for the views and this most cooperative Northern Pygmy-Owl.
Our tour bled into November, so I’ll post a couple photos from the Oregon part of our itinerary in the next blog.