Monday, November 2, 2009

Peru: Day 10 – Amazonia Lodge’s Jeep Track

The wonderful thing about staying at a lodge is that the birding begins right outside your room — no extra-early departure to drive to some distant location. And that’s how we started today. In fact, it was difficult to tear ourselves away from the clearing right around the lodge. Chestnut-fronted Macaws and Blue-headed Parrots seemed to be nesting in the same dead palm trunk, while Lemon-throated Barbets and Cinnamon-throated Woodcreepers were in the trees by the lodge buildings.

One of the better birding trails here is the old Jeep Track. It’s a bit overgrown now, but still wide enough to making birding with a group possible without having to go single file.

Along the first part, the dense understory hosted some great birds such as Goeldi’s and White-lined Antbirds. One wetter swampy spot had a pair of what used to be Spot-winged Antbird, recently split and now called Brownish-headed Antbird.

A short walk down a side trail leads to a small oxbow lake where a couple dozen Hoatzins live and have become quite used to people.

Other birds we had along the jeep track were a very close Cinereous Tinamou, a group of very noisy Red-throated Caracaras, Fine-barred Piculet, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, and Orange-backed Troupial.

Since I was here only to learn the route (and in part the several birds that I didn’t know already from my travels to Ecuador, Brazil, and Bolivia) — and not to assist Gary Rosenberg as an assistant leader — I was free to linger back, explore trails, and record bird sounds. And of course, photograph the many butterflies and other critters around. Here are a few from the Jeep track and side trails:

A metalmark, Mesosemia philocles.

A leafwing, Memphis glauce.

The same individual with its wings open, not often seen.

The satyr, Caeruleuptychia pilata. Most satyrs are brown.

A metalmark, Crocozona coecias.

A longwing, Heliconius xanthocles.

A metalmark, Euselasia orfita. This genus is known for habitually perching on the underside of leaves. This one has a distinct resemblance to a satyr, but there is much mimicry involved in metalmarks.

This is a broad-winged damselfly, Mnesarete cupraea. Thanks to Jim Johnson and Dennis Paulson for pointing me in the right direction on this and the next damselfly.

This rubyspot, in the same family, is a little more subdued, Hetaerina rosea.

An unusually colored opilion, or daddy long-legs.

A caterpillar with pink spikes up and down the body. The horns on the head capsule could indicate that this is a brushfoot butterfly, rather than a moth.

I saw several of these oddly shaped grasshoppers.

More traditionally shaped but strikingly patterned mating grasshoppers.

We spent much of the afternoon relaxing around the lodge, and I finally managed a shot of this stunning Leprieur’s Spotwing, Asterope leprieuri.

An Aeilus Beauty, Baeotus aeilus.

In addition to the hummingbirds I mentioned yesterday, sitting by our rooms and watching the Porterweed hedge and the feeders resulted in Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Emerald, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Rufous-webbed Brilliant (a good rarity), and a few Rufous-crested Coquettes.

This male Rufous-crested Coquette was The Boss.


  1. Wow, what an outstanding blog. I found you because you linked to a posting on my blog about Leuronotina ritensis. Your picture of the unusual grasshopper reminds me of one that I saw a couple of months ago a half a world away. I saw Erianthus dohrni in several spots on a trip to Malaysia. It's in the family Chorotypidae, as I suspect your individual also may be.

  2. Thanks, Doug. The link to your Erianthus didn't work (missing an "l" on the end of "htm," it turns out). So I enjoyed the delightful task of reading your blog posts backwards until I got to your Malaysia photos. It ate up my entire morning, but the avoidance behavior was going to rear its ugly head in one way or another. I also enjoyed getting to know you through your posts.

    I spent some time looking up Chorotypidae, which I'd never heard of. And I rather think that my weird Peruvian thing is actually in the Eumastacidae, a closely related family. Speaking of which, did you hear about the find of the Huachuca Mountains Eumastacid this past summer? Photo up at Bugguide. Wish I had been there.

    You must look me up on your next trip to SE Arizona.

  3. Hi Richard, Glad you enjoyed my blog. I've now linked in to yours. I had not heard about the Eumastacid in Sawmill Canyon. I just peeked at BugGuide and saw it. Very cool. I will definitely look you up next time I'm in AZ. I'll almost certainly be out there in late July for the SASI conference.