|Road to Cuspe - Cajamarca Provence|
|Chaparri- its beauty changes with the hour|
Jeremy got me up at 4 A.M. one morning so we could hit the highway (dirt-rock road) up the mountain, in the dark. Owls and night-jars flew at us as we disturbed their feeding. It was a three hour trek to where we were going. After two hours we stopped at a tiny hamlet where we had a break for the bano. I was able to see the local sheep and dairy cows which were being led to milking. One of the best conversations I had with a native who spoke no English, to my almost non- existent Spanish, was with Senora Nina.
As we climbed up the mountain on foot, with Fernando our driver following at a distance with the car, we encountered many children going to school: some walked, some on bikes or donkeys, and a few on the handle bars of father's bike. All seemed happy waving at us! Of course I am sure I was a sight in my habit with binoculars. At 7 we had a wonderful tail-gate breakfast.
|Children on the way to school|
Some of the 30+ birds we spotted were rare hummingbirds, including the tiny little woodstar (the size of a bumble-bee), the long-billed starthroat, the fab green-tailed trainbearer, and the grey-chinned hermit.
I love the names of these tiny jewels of the mountains, as if they are giants carrying more than just their colors!
Foliage-gleaners that I had missed on my last trip were there for us. Another gem in its splendor was the grey and gold warbler. We could hear the rarely spotted Ochre-bellied dove and the Ecuadorian trogon, but never got sightings.
|Our guide Tomas with his son|
On this trip, half the length of the last trip to Peru, I added 32 new species to my life-list giving me a total of 246 species for Peru and 1349 total world-wide. Next stop???? who knows!
|Grey and gold warbler|