Lima's Coastal Marshes and Humboldt Seabird Colonies Jul 08—10, 2017

Posted by Andrew Whittaker


Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughout Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Europe,...

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Wonderful birds along with the most perfect weather greeted us for an exciting action-packed day of birding around Lima. We began at the marvelous migrant trap that is Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge, first an excursion to the beach. Here we were greeted by a fantastic family group of 3 graceful, big-eyed Peruvian Thick-knees, a very local and sought after species. A constant flurry of activity from the marshes along the seafront rewarded us with a gull feast, enjoying scope studies of Gray (unique amongst gulls as they nest way inland in the desert), Andean, Gray-hooded, Kelp, and Belchers showing off their distinctive field marks. We also enjoyed stunning close studies of Great Grebes (with chick), striking Cinnamon Teal, Slate-colored (Andean) Coot, flocks of Black Skimmers, and Puna Ibis. An American Oystercatcher pair had a tiny, cute 2-day-old chick, and to my surprise there were a few early returning (Hudsonian) Whimbrels. Entering the marsh trail, we enjoyed a flock of foraging Many-colored Rush-Tyrants that gave exceptional views, and we had good studies of Wren-like Rushbirds.

Many-colored Rush-Tyrant

Many-colored Rush-Tyrant— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


Traveling south, we passed through the bleak Atacama Desert to the delightful seaside resort and harbor of Pucusana. Our super boat trip out of the harbor was a huge success and a highlight, as usual. We were very privileged to find several Blue-footed Boobies (a first for the tour) amongst the commoner Peruvian, and we gloated over masses of stunning Inca Terns, grabbed superb close looks at two stunning Red-Legged and Guanay cormorants—all with a backdrop of massive Peruvian Pelicans. Searching off the rocky shores, we at last found the endemic Surf Cinclodes, as well as the cute Humboldt Penguin. 

Read Andrew’s full report in his Field  Report.