Friday, 29 November 2019

Peru - Machu Picchu

After my jaunt around the northeast of the USA I dropped down to Peru for a couple of weeks resting and birding with my colleague and friend Eduardo Ormaeche, Peruvian bird guide extraordinaire (check him out!) and our friend and driver Omar.

Eduardo, Omar, and AWBirder trying our best to block the view of Machu Picchu! 

I wanted to see Machu Picchu and there were plenty of lifers for me in the Cusco region having never been there before so we formed a plan. I really enjoyed the city, great for some R&R (great Pisco Sours) and we had some excellent birding in the mountainous terrain. Plenty of lifers were had, and lots of other great birds that were year ticks etc.. some of the highlights included Bearded Mountaineer, Inca Wren, Cusco Brushfinch, Masked Fruiteater, Giant Conebill, and Marcapata Spinetail and usual species like Andean Cock-of-the-rock and Torrent Duck. 

It was fun, and also challenging with the new camera setup, but got some ok results. Here are a few of them...

Andean Goose

Bearded Mountaineer

Chiguanco Thrush 

Cusco Brushfinch

Fasciated Tiger Heron

Giant Conebill

Golden-crowned Flycatcher 

Inca Wren 

Marcapata Spinetail

Masked Fruiteater

Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant

Pearled Treerunner

Puna Ground Tyrant 

Red-crested Cotinga

Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager

Slaty Tanager

Sparkling Violetear

Spectacled Whitestart

Tawny Tit-Spinetail

Tufted Tit-Tyrant

Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant

White-throated Tyrannulet 

Yellow-billed Teal

Andy at Machu Picchu

Thursday, 28 November 2019

New Camera & US Spring Birding


Seems like a good time to get this blog post out! This May I was once again at The Biggest Week in American Birding (BWIAB) representing Birding Ecotours. It's a great event and I'd highly recommended it, and the general birding to be had in northern Ohio in May is totally incredible. I had great fun birding with lots of friends and clients and meeting lots of new people. Of course there was a great deal of birdwatching going on all around the area and I managed a couple of Ohio ticks, which was pleasing! Kirtland's Warbler was a great one, as was Townsend's Warbler.

After the BWIAB I traveled north into Michigan once again, this time to check out the Tawas Bird Festival. It was a poor-weather weekend which meant there was an excellent fall out of spring migrants and it turned out to be great fun. I managed to twitch a Whooping Crane which was a cool lifer.

After the festivals I twitched a few Ohio ticks (e.g. Little Blue Heron) and got a lifer Dickcissel and Swainson's Warbler.

I also took a road trip down to Nashville to check out the music scene there, which was totally incredible, especially the 50,000 people packed into the Nissan Stadium for the Eric Church concert, which was amazing! Also picked up Ross' Goose along the way!

I took lots of photos as time permitted while I was trying to get used to my new camera - Canon 7D Mark II with their 100-400 lens. I've also got a final few with my Lumix (it had served me well for a few years). The step up between my old and new camera was immense (as was the editing process). But, although it turned out to be a bit on an impulse buy (I blame Bill, Dylan and Mollee! A huge thank you to you for all your help and gear loans) I certainly don't regret it!

Here's some photos from the US this spring...

American Redstart - male

Baltimore Oriole

Barred Owl - found on one of the field trips I led

Bay-breasted Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Blue Jay

Cape May Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler


Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Whip-poor-will

Eastern Wood Pewee

Golden-winged Warbler

Great Blue Heron

Green Heron

Grey Catbird

Kentucky Warbler - a rarity from the Tawas Festival

Kirkland's Warbler - from BWIAB

Least Bittern - I think this was the last photo I took on my lumix, was pleased to find this myself! 

Least Flycatcher

Lincoln's Sparrow

Little Blue Heron - twitched this in southern Ohio!

Magnolia Warbler

Mourning Dove

Nashville Warbler

Northern Parula

Orange-crowned Warbler

Philadelphia Vireo

Pine Warbler

Prairie Warbler - self-found scarcity

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scarlet Tanager

Swainson's Warbler - twitched in southern Ohio

Upland Sandpiper


Warbling Vireo

White-crowned Sparrow

Wilson's Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler