Thursday, 13 March 2014

Peru 2

I'm nearly two weeks into my stay in the Amazon, and it's such an incredible place. From where I'm writing this I can see a huge expanse of green stretching into the distance, and them beyond that, the foothills of the Andes. On clear days I can even see the very tops of them, covered with snow!

In my first week I've seen masses of birds, as well as several species of primate, a Southern Tamandua (unfortunately didn't have a camera for this though!) and 2 White-collared Peccaries. Photography is hard in the forest though, as a lot of the birds are in the canopy which is 30m above the ground, and the light levels are very low when birds do come lower. When I'm in the forest my ISO doesn't fall below 1600 very often!

Fortunately there is a lot of wildlife around the open area where the station buildings are, and that is where I've done quite a lot of photography. It overlooks the river and the forest beyond so can be a good place to see things.

 Cocoi Herons are regular flypasts.
 On my first morning I was up to see this mist over the forest before the sun rose.
One morning I was able to see 3 Capybaras on the beach of the river.

There is also a canopy tower which stretches 60m up into the sky. The view from the top is spectacular, and although when I was up there last week I didn't manage to photograph the macaws this time, there were 2 White-throated Toucans duetting with each other.

Out on the trails one morning I came across a White-collared Peccary. They don't have very good sight or hearing, so I was able to get quite close.
That's all for this time, but I'll try to do another post in a week or so with some more shots!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Peru 1

As some of you will know, I flew to Peru on 19 February, and will be here until 4 May. So far I've been in the Cusco region, seeing various ruins including Machu Picchu. On 28 February I flew to Puerto Maldonado, and reached my destination in the lowland Amazon on 1 March, where I will be staying for 2 months.

Hopefully while I'm away I'll be able to post images, so will do that mostly on my Facebook page. Click here to go straight to it! Here are a few images I've taken in the first week.

This is a Sparkling Violetear, taken on my second day in the gardens of a temple in Cusco.

This was taken the next day, in Ollantaytambo, and is a Green-tailed Trainbearer.

After this I went to Machu Picchu. I had my camera with me and couldn't resist spending some time with these Viscachas which were fairly tame sitting on the rocks around the ruins.
In the town below Machu Picchu I spent some time birding along the train tracks that run into Aguas Calientes, where I was delighted to see Peru's national bird, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Unfortunately no photos, but I did manage to photograph this Roadside Hawk perched on a tree by the river.
The following day I visited a couple of lakes half an hour's drive from Cusco. Unfortunately the sun meant that the light became extremely harsh fairly quickly, but I did manage a few images.

That was my last day in Cusco before heading into the Amazon, where I am now. I'll try and blog fairly regularly while I'm here but the WiFi is certainly not quick; it took me half an hour just to upload these images!