Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Peru Birding Rally Challenge Day 1 – The Dry NW Andes of Peru

Today was the first of eight straight days of big-day competitions between four international birding teams on the northern Peruvian NorAmazonica birding route for the fourth Peru Birding Rally Challenge. I'm one of the four members of the Sunbird/WINGS team along with Steve Howell, Jake Mohlmann, and Paul French, and we were lucky to be assigned Gustavo Bautista as our local Peruvian guide.

But since we've now been up for nearly 19 hours and have only five hours of sleep to look forward to before tomorrow's challenge, here are just a few photos. Much of our morning was spent hiking a gorgeous canyon above the village of Laquipampa, to the northwest of Chiclayo. My favorite bird from here was my long-wanted Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner (the only bird with "henna" in its name). We also saw the very rare White-winged Guan on a distant hillside.

We ended in the lowlands near Chiclayo where we discovered these Peruvian Thick-knees next to the road.

Here are my teammates out our two drivers at the end of a great day and 132 species. We're in first place now, with the Field Guides team right on our heels.

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