Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 25, 2018

First Day in Chile

Filed under: Birds,General,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 1:17 am

Mollendo to Arica

I got going from Mollendo about 10am and walked up the hill to get a taxi to Ilo. At Ilo I swapped over and got another collectivo taxi to Tacna.

A point between Ilo and Tacna
A point between Ilo and Tacna

I found my hostel next to the bus terminal in Tacna and settled in for the night. I got all my money changed over to Chilean pesos and so I was set to go. The next morning I walked up the road to the international terminal and jumped straight into a taxi for the border. The border was the easiest and quickest one I have ever been through. I arrived at the terminal in Arica, Chile, got a new chip for my phone, changed the rest of my money and found my way to the next hostel.

Church at Arica
old church at Arica

In the afternoon I blundered around until I found my way to the surf spot at Arica. The wind was wrong but I saw how it broke. There were some guys surfing around the other side.

Mounted police
Mounted police

I am going to go back tomorrow morning early to see if I can get some photos on my real camera.

Blackish Oystercatcher
Blackish Oystercatcher (Haemotopus ater)

These Blackish Oystercatcher were taken on the point and shoot. Hopefully tomorrow I will get some shots on the canon. They are found in Chile, Peru, and Argentina.

Surfing the left
Surfing the left

September 22, 2018

High Sierras to Coastal Peru

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:52 pm

Huancavelica to the Coast

Huancavelica is in the southern Sierras of Peru and is about 3200 meters altitude. I needed to get to the coast in order to get to Paracas where I was going to do a boat ride to the Islas Ballestas.

Going over the mountains from Huancavelica,
Going over the mountains from Huancavelica, 4800 meters.

It was really high going over the Andes. There was snow on the high peaks, which I guessed to be from 5-6000 meters.

llamas
Llamas

there were a few herds of Llamas in the mountains being looked after by shepherds.

Auto collectivo
Auto collectivo

This is my collectivo taxi at the top of the Andes. It cost about 70 soles ($23) from Huancavelica to San Clemente.

Vicunyas
Vicunyas

Vicunyas are wild animals not tame.

Coming down into the coastal valleys
Coming down into the coastal valleys.

The lower mountains close to the coast were so dry. The only place where crops were growing were in the river valleys.

me at paracas
me at paracas.

Road machine laying asphalt
Road machine laying asphalt.

There is always road work going on. Some of the roads are really good and some are just terrible.

Atacama Desert between Nazca and Atico
Atacama Desert between Nazca and Atico.

Surf at the coast
Surf at the coast.

I finally hit the coast where there were plenty of empty beaches.

Taxista
Taxista

This taxi driver happily posed for me at Atico, where I changed autos.

Camana district
Camana district .

This is one of the river valleys on the coast. The rest is desert.

Mollendo
Mollendo

September 18, 2018

Huacachina Morning Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:36 pm

Hucachina Oasis Day Two

This morning I set off at 6:30am from the hostel. Luckily I got a taxi so I did not have to walk to the lagoon at Huacachina. I was wondering where the water came from and the girl at the hostel told me they have to ship it in because about 3 years ago it dried up. I suspect that the water table has dropped because of all the farms using massive amounts of water.

 Cocoi Heron
Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi)

It took me a while to realise this was not a Black-crowned Night-heron. The bill looked too long.

 Long-tailed Mockingbird
Long-tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus)

West Peruvian dove
West Peruvian dove (Zenaida meloda)

“The West Peruvian dove or Pacific dove (Zenaida meloda) was first described in 1843 by the Swiss naturalist Johann Jakob Baron von Tschudi. It is closely related to the North American White-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica), but is now considered a separate species by ornithologists due to genetic and behavioral differences.[2] Specimens are brownish-gray above and gray below, with a bold white wing patch that appears as a brilliant white crescent in flight and is also visible at rest. Adults have a bright blue (almost indigo), featherless patch of skin around each eye. The legs and feet of adults are red, but unlike Z. asiatica, their eyes are brown. Both sexes are similar, but juveniles have a lighter color than adults, they do not have blue eye rings, and their legs and feet are brownish-pink.” (wiki)

Great Egret
Great Egret (Ardea alba)

I only saw one on the water.

House Wren
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

Croaking Ground-dove
Croaking Ground-dove (Columbina cruziana)

Vermilion Flycatcher - male
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus ) – male

Huacachina Oasis bird list

8976 Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi)
8991 Great Egret (Ardea alba)
90145 Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
9141 Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus )
9039 House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Long-tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus)
8965 West Peruvian dove (Zenaida meloda)
9060 Croaking Ground-dove (Columbina cruziana)

Huacachina Oasis Day One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:29 pm

Huacachina Oasis Birding

I got the bus from Paracas about 11am and got dropped off at the hostel. First thing was to have some lunch and then I had a swim in the pool. Later in the afternoon I walked to the oasis at Huacachina to see what was around. It is pretty small – less than a kilometer of a lagoon with a couple of streets surrounding it occupied by mainly hotels and shops.

West Peruvian Dove
West Peruvian Dove (Zenaida meloda)

Long-tailed Mockingbird
Long-tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus)

Long-tailed Mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus) is a species of bird in the Mimidae family. It is found in dry scrubland and woodland

Vermilion Flycatcher  - female
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – female

Common Gallinule
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeataa)

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

House Sparrow dust bath
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

These sparrows were taking a dust bath next to the lagoon. Very humorous.

Huacachina bird list

West Peruvian Dove (Zenaida meloda)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeataa)
Tropical Kingbird
Rufous-collared Sparrow

Shore Birds Paracas First Afternoon

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:39 pm

Paracas Shore Birds

This was the first afternoon along the beach at Paracas. Luckily the tide was fairly low, so there were quite a few shorebirds picking away.

Belcher's Gull
Belcher’s Gull (Larus belcheri)

Belcher’s Gull is a bigger gull. This is an adult with the white head.

Gray-hooded Gull
Gray-hooded Gull (Croicocephalus cirrocephalus)

Gray-hooded Gull has a grey head with red bill, grey wings, black tail, white eyes with red ring around them.
aka Gray-headed Gull. Breeds in South America and south of Sahara in Africa.

kelp Gull
kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)

Kelp Gull has just the red spot on the lower bill and red around the eyes.

Gray Gull
Gray Gull (Larus modestus)

The Gray Gull is an all grey gull with a black bill.

Black-bellied Plover
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) Chorlito Gris

This is the winter plumage of the Black-bellied Plover. It is possible that it might be an American Golden-plover but I do not think so. More white on belly.

Whimbrel
Whimbrel

Peruvian Pelican
Peruvian Pelican

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

The Lesser Yellowlegs has yellow legs, derr, long straight bill.

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)

American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher

Sanderling
Sanderling

Paracas bird list

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Gray Gull (Larus modestus)
kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
Gray-hooded Gull (Croicocephalus cirrocephalus)
Belcher’s Gull (Larus belcheri)
Neotropic Cormorant
Snowy Egret
Ruddy Turnstone
Turkey Vulture
Whimbrel
Peruvian Pelican
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)
American Oystercatcher
Sanderling

Islas Ballestas Birding 2018

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:03 am

Islas Ballestas Boat Ride

53 Soles for a boat ride to the Islas Ballestas from Paracas. I thought that was a pretty good deal. It is less than $20 and is one of the best wildlife experiences in the world. I got picked up by my taxi and 7.45am and let off at the wharf where I waited with the other hundreds of tourists. Most of the tourists were locals but there were a few scattered gringos but not many. We finally got going and ripped through the water with our twin 250 horsepower outbaords.

Humboldt Penguin
Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)

Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African penguin, …
The Humboldt penguin is a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African penguin, the Magellanic penguin and the Galápagos penguin. The penguin is named after the cold water current it swims in, which is itself named after Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer. Wikipedia.

Inca Tern
Inca Tern

Sea Lion - Lobo Marino
Sea Lion – Lobo Marino

Peruvian Booby
Peruvian Booby

100,000 Birds
100,000 Birds

The island was full of birds. Used to be mined for guano.

Islas Ballestas Bird list

Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)
Peruvian Booby
Peruvian Pelican
Inca Tern
Turkey Vulture
Neotropic Cormorant

Sea Lion – Lobo Marino

Paracas Kite Surfing

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 1:22 am

Kite Surfing at Paracas

I was searching for birds this afternoon and came across this crew kite surfing. The wind was blowing really hard so it was great for kite surfing. I took a few shots of the sport.

Carving a backhand.
Carving a backhand.

As you can tell I have no idea of the technical terms for what they are doing. doh!

Instructor getting some speed up.
Instructor getting some speed up.

Getting off
Getting off

Aiming high
Aiming high

Paracas Birding Afternoon 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:02 am

South of Paracas

I hired a bike this afternoon and went south from the main beach at Paracas. This is where all the rich people live. All along the beach. I was searching for some flamencos but when I did find them they were miles away on the beach in a restricted area and I could not get near them.

White-cheeked Pintail
White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) Pato Alablanco

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

Whimbrel
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) Playero Semipalmado

NOt sure
Sanderling

Sanderling mid molt, based on overall shape, bill, white spur, white eyebrow . Thanks Manoli for the id.

Paracas bird list

White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) Pato Alablanco
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) done
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) Playero Semipalmado
Neotropic Cormorant
Black-crowned Night-Heron

September 15, 2018

Peru Sierra Tourist Photos

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 1:26 am

Huanuco to Huanacavelica

From Tingo Maria I wound my way up the mountains to nearly 2000 meters at Huanuco. I only stayed there one night. Then I went to Carrhuamayo where I stayed for three nights.

tunnel
tunnel

This is a tunnel on the way to Huanuco.

Main Plaza Huanuco
Main Plaza Huanuco

From Carrhuanmayo I caught a collectivo taxi to Huancayo where I stayed with a family at a very nice hostel. It is a pretty large city, so I was not inclined to stay for very long.

Huancayo rooftops
Huancayo rooftops

Loading the bus
Loading the bus

This is the bus to Huancavelica. The locals were loading pineapples, huge pumpkins, big stacks of grass and a whole bunch of logs. I was very much amused.

Precarious road
Precarious road

The road from Huancayo went through some very high mountains the road was perched scarily about a thousand meters above the vally below. It was so scary, there were no guard rails and if we went over the edge it would have been curtains.

Dry country
Dry country

It is so dry up here in the altiplano. Everything is brown. Today I made it to Huancavelica, which is at an altitude of around 3000 meters. In the afternoon I walked along the river, had a burger and fruit salad, then hung about at the main square.

Waterfall into the river
Waterfall into the river

The river is so polluted. All the crap from the town just flows straight in. And there is lots of plastic in the river as well. It is not good.

River and hills
River and hills

The river going through town and the surrounding hills.

Main Square
Main Square

This is the main square at Huancavelica. It has a big church and a lot of old buildings surrounding it.

statue
statue

They have these very strange statues in most of the towns in this area. I have no idea what they are about.

Peru South Sierras

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:10 am

Huancavelica Birding.

I got into Huancavelica this afternoon and had a bit of a rest before walking along the river bank that runs through the town. Huancavelica is at 3000 meters approximately of altitude. The area is dry altiplano and the Andean Gulls mainly hang about the streams and creeks here.

Andean Gull
Andean Gull (Chroicocephalus serranus) immature

The Andean Gull lives above 3000 meters in the high Sierras of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is unusual for a gull in that it breeds inland in mountain areas. It may be variously found around rivers, freshwater lakes, saline marshes, and pastureland. (wiki).

Andean Gull
Andean Gull (Chroicocephalus serranus) adult.

The adult Andean Gull has a very pronounced black head.

Puna Ibis
Puna Ibis (Plegadis ridgwayi)

I had seen the Puna Ibis before at Lake Titica at the actual town of Puna, close to the border of Bolivia.

Huancavelica Bird List

Andean Gull (Chroicocephalus serranus)
Puna Ibis (Plegadis ridgwayi)

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