PERU 2010 – Part 1: Coastal Lima

Peruvian Pelicans drift quietly in the afternoon light.

Arriving in Peru a day early allowed a day of rest and an opportunity for the possibility of delayed luggage to catch up with us. No luggage was lost on this trip, but the extra time was used well with four of us going birding along the coast while three others went on a Lima city tour. All had a great time!

Belcher’s (Band-tailed) Gulls were quite common along the coast.

 The fish market and docks, full of boats for perching birds, offered close views of gulls and terns, but the coastal overlook was where the fun action was happening!

The beautiful Inca Terns were busily feeding chicks.

 Along the dramatic, volcanic coast line, Inca Terns, wearing their wonderful yellow and white masks, flew in and out of the rocky crags as they searched for meals for their chicks.

Red-legged Cormorant

 Cormorants were everywhere. Neotropic comorants were the mosy numerous as they perched along the roadways and beaches on wires, signs and street lights. A few Red-legged Cormorants (above) swam close to shore while the Guanay Cormorants with their black-and-white plumage stayed further away for scope views only… along with the Humbolt Penguins that we watched for quite a while through our scopes.

Blackish Oystercatcher

We had very brief views of a couple of Blackish Oystercatchers as they flew in to the rocks below our vantage point and disappeared.

Peruvian Thick-knee

In the fields along the coastal highway south of Lima we were able to spot a well hidden Peruvian Thick-knee.

Gray-hooded Gull

 Along with the many other highlights. we concluded a fun afternoon of relaxed birding at the marshes along the coast where we found Andean Coots and the elegant Gray Hooded Gull.

Great Grebe

A wonderful surprise in the marshes was a pair of Great Grebes feeding young still nestled on the back of the female! The light was low and the action fast as the sun set over the Pacific…

photos and text © Kevin Loughlin

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