Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 28, 2010

Birding in Venezuala Spots

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 12:04 am

Backpacker Birding Venezuela

There are conflicting reports about Venezuela, so check facts carefully. Quite possibly expensive and dangerous.
$1 ~= 4VEF.

Caracas – PN El Avila
Maracay – PN Henri Pittier – Posada El Limon.
Valencia – Tucacas – PN Morrocoy
Chichiriviche – Cuara Wildlife Refuge.
Coro – PN Los Medanos de Coro
Santo Domingo – PN Sierra Nevada
Guayana Region – Orinoco Deltat and Rio Orinoco.
Merida – Tabay – La Mucuy – Humboldt Trail. Posada Mara.
Barinas – Hato Cedral
Puerto Ayacucho – The Gavilan Road in Amazonas State.
La Escalera – Bolivar State, southeastern Venezuela near Santa Elena.

Backpacker Birding in Peru

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Backpacker Birding in Peru

$10 ~= 30 Soles. Get a Yellow Fever Vaccination. No visa needed for most. Air Europa and Iberia fly from Madrid to Lima. Electricity is 220V, 60Hz, both flat and round 2 prong plugs.

List of birding sites in Peru

Paracas National Reserve – 15km from Pisco Puerto. Go for a boat trip to Ballestas Islands from the jetty at el Chaco, the beach and fishing port. Stay at Pisco at Hostal Pisco Playa or Hostal Pisco.
Lomas de Lachay – Camp at Visitors centre, bring all food and water. Near Savan. The Lima to Huacho buses stop at km83. One kilometer north of the southern turn-off to Sayan is a track sign to Lomas de Lachay. It is a 4km walk to park entrance. In Huacho stay at Hostal Carolina.
Huascaran Biosphere Reserve – Ranger posts at Llananuco and Huarascan. Maybe a trek from Caraz to Santa Cruz Valley. Stay at Familia Aguilar or Hostal las Casona at Caraz.
Laquipampa Reserved Zone – 2 hours past Sican on road to Incahuasi. White-winged Turkey.
Sanctuario Nacional los Manglares de Tumbes – north coast mangroves. Near Tumbes.
Parque Nacional Cerros de Amotape, NE of Mancora.
Zona Reservada de Tumbes – NE of Tumbes.
Casa Grillo Centro Ecoturisto Naturista – between Bocapan and Los Pinos. 30km from Tumbes.
Lago Junin National Reserve – fishermen can take you around lake. Near Junin.

Manu N.P. – near Cusco, Huancarane, Atalaya, Salvacion. Must go in with authorized operator and guide. There are many lodges in here. The (unnamed) hotel on the street that runs at the back side of the market in Salvacion, near Pilcopata in the Manu forest.
The road from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado is very rough.
Tampobata National Reserve – get here from Puerto Maldonado. Go up the Tambopata River or down the Madre de Dios River. Posada Amazonas Lodge. Local families have Casas de Hospedaje. You need to pay a fee in Cusco to enter the reserve.

Reserva Nacional Pacaya-Samiria – get permits from Iquitos office. Mainly river tours but can enter via Maipuco. Illegal to enter park itself, only can go around fringes. There are many jungle lodges around Iquitos. Get boats up and down river.
Pucallpa – Lago Yarinacocha – 1000 bird species.
Maranon Valley. Chiclayo – Cajamarca.
Route -> Lima – Huaraz – Chachapoyas – Pedro Ruis – Tarapoto – Yurimaguas (cargo boat – 3 days) -> Rio Maranon – Nauta – Iquitos.
Huaraz – Yungay – Caraz – Huamachuco – Cajabamba – Cajamarca – Chachapoyas.

Pampa Hermosa Reserve
View the Cock-of-the-Rock, the best time is September to November. There is a bus from Lima to San Ramon. ( www.pampashermanoslodge.com ) .

Mollendo and Mejia Bird Sanctuary
The bird sanctuary is just south of town and can be reached by collectivo from top end of Caille Castilla. In Mollendo stay at Hostal Cabana or Hostal Brisas del Mar.

Mirador Cruz del Condor
Start at Pinchollo to see the condors in the Colca Canyons. Stay at Cabanaconde at Hostal Valle del Fuego or Hospedaje Villa Pastor.

Budget Accommodation in Peru

Lima – Hostal Espana, Pension Ibarra.
Cuzco – Las Chosas Lodge, Flying Dog.
Hosteria El Sol, in Coina near Trujillo
Huanchaco – My Friend , Casa Suiza, Hostal Huanchaco, Cherrys, and Chill Out.
Puno and Lake Titicaca – Hostal Europa or Hostal Illampu.
Arequipa – La Reyna, Home Sweet Home.
Huaraz – Jo’s Place, Familia Meza Lodging.
Trujillo – El Conde de Arce, Hostal el Ensueno.
Chiclayo – Hospedaje san Lucas, Katuwira Lodge.
Mancora – Hospedaje Crillon.
Tumbes – Sudamericano, Toloa 1 or 2.
Huamachuco – Castilla 354.
Cajamarca, Hostal Prado, Hostal Plaza.
Chachapoyas – Hotel Karajia, Hotel Plaza.
Tarapoto – Hostal san Antonio, Misti 1.
Junin – Hostal Leo, Glanmarco, Patricia
Tingo Maria – Hostal Cusco.
Pucallpa – Hostal Komby, Hostal Peru.
Lake Yarinacocha – El Pescador, Don Jose’s Alojamiento.
Iquitos is 80km downstream from Pucallpa. Go to Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve which is 22k south. Boats go to Indiana, then walk to Mazan. Pilpintuhasi Butterfly Farm is near the village of Padre Cocha. Hobo Hideout, Hostal Alfert, Isabel, Hospedaje La Pescana.
Puerto Maldonado – Hostal Moderno, Hospedaje Royal Inn.
Pisco – Hostal san Isidro.
Huacachina – Desert Nights, Hostal Salvatierra.
Mancora – surfing – HII La Posada, The Point

Birding Peru Resources

Google Map with pins of North Peru

Surfing
Pimentel, Pico Alto, Chicama, Pacasmayo, Punta Tur, Punta Nonura, El Golf, Cabo Blanco, Los Oreganos.
Punta Hermosa, Punta Rocas, Santa Rosa, Cabo Negro, Sangallan, El Olon, Piedras Negras, Caleta La Cruz.

December 27, 2010

Birding Sites in Paraguay

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:56 pm

Birding in Paraguay

US$1 ~= 5000G. Electricity is 220V, 50Hz, 2 round pins.

Wildlife Reserves in Paraguay

Reserva Naturel del Bosque Mbaracuyu – rain forest
Parque Nacional Serrania San Rafael – forest and wetlands. Stay at Estancia Nueva Gambach(0768-29-5046). To get there, take bus from Encarnacion to Ynambu, 12km outside reserve. Arrange to be picked up before.
PN Tinfunque – on Rio Pilcomayo, 300kms NE of Asuncion.
PN Teniente Agripino Ensiso
PN Defensores del Chaco – difficult access
PN Cerro Cora – camp.
PN Ybycui – camp or Hotel Pytu’u Renda, 151 km SE of Asuncion.
PN Serrania San Luis – subtropical forest. via Concepcion.

Itaipu Ecological Reserves
Refugio Tati Yupi is 26km from Cuidad del Este.
Reserva Itabo – 100k north of Ciudad del Este. Good places to stay here.

Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve
Accommodation at Jejui-Mi, bus from Asuncion.

Budget Paraguay Accommodation

Asuncion – Pension da Silva, Hotel Embajador.
San Bernadino – Hotel Brisas del Mediterraneo.
Villa Florida – Hotel Nacional de Turismo
Cuidad del Este – Hotel Caribe, Hotel Tia Nancy – Salto Monday – Monumento Moises Bertoni.

Northern Paraguay

Concepcion – Hotel Center, Hospedaje Puerta del Sol – “Paraguay Cruise” -> PN Serranio San Luis
Pedro Juan Caballero – Hotel la Siesta – boat ride up Rio Paraguay -> PN Cerro Cora.
Pozo Colorado – Parador Pozo Colorado
Filadelfia – Hotel Florida
Fortin Toledo -> Proyecto Tagua Reserve.

Birding Sites of Colombia

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:54 pm

Backpacker Birding in Colombia

Colombia uses two-pronged US-type plugs that run at 110v, 60Hz.

Turbo – PN Los Katios
Manizales – La Enea – PN Los Nevados.
Popayan – PN Purace – stay at Pilimbala
Santa Marta – PN Tairona – Sanctuario de Flora y Fauna Los Flamencos
Amacayacu National Park – must have a guide.
Bosque Yotoco – Cali to Darien or Lago Calima. Can camp but must get permit from CVC in Buga Efrén Salcedo Pérez, Cra 15 #5-4A, Buga. Telephone 222 78347.

Parque Nacional Santuaris de Iguaque
From Villa de Leyva take bus to Arcabuco, get off at Los Naranjos, walk 3k to visitors centre. Check first at Bogota.
Villa de Leyva – Renacer Guesthouse, Hospederia Colonial.

Parque Nacional del Chicamocha
Located between San Gil and Bogota. Get dropped off at park by bus.

Parque Nacional Tayrona
To get there go Santa Marta to El Zaino, then catch jeep – Stay at Finca Don Pedro

Rio Claro
3 hours east of Medellin, get bus from Terminal del Norte, get dropped at entrance. Stay at open-sided cabins set back from road.

Bogota – budget hotels are in Calles 13-17. Algeria’s Hostal, Hostal Sue II, Platypus.
Taganga – near Santa Marta – La Casa de Felipe, Mora Mar.
Cartagena – Casa Viena, Hotel Familiar.
Mompos – La Casa Amarilla.
Medellin – Palm Tree Hostal, Black Sheep Hostal.
Leticia – Omshanty, Hostal Mahuta.
Puerto Narino – El Alto de Aquilas, Hotel Napu.

Birding Colombia Resources

Birding Colombia Sites Guide

Birding Sites in Ecuador

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:51 pm

Birding Sites in Ecuador

Electricity is 110V, 60Hz, same as USA. Plugs have 2 flat prongs like USA.

EcoRoute – Quito-Nono,Tandayapa-San Tadeo, Mindo road – EcoRoute Sites link.

Milpe Bird Sanctuary – north west of Quito, near Los Bancos. At around 1000 metres at confluence of two rivers. Can stay at Visitor’s Centre.

Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary – Rio Silanche is 3 hours from Quito at kilometer 127 of the Quito-Calacali-Esmeraldas highway, just past the town of Pedro Vicente Maldonaldo.

Puerto Lopez -> Isla de la Plata and Parque Machililla. Stay at Hostal Maxima or Sol Inn.

Quito – Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve and Bosque Protector Pasochoa.

On the road the San Lorenzo – Reserva Cerro Golondrinas.

South from Quito – Lasso – PN Cotopaxi – Laguna Limpio Punga
PN Cotopaxi – admission $10. Quito-Latacunga bus will drop you off at entrance. Make sure you acclimatize properly. Stay at Albergue Cuello de Luna or Albergue de Alta Montana Paja Blanca.
Riobamba – Sangay NP
Cuenca – PN Cajas, stay at Hostal Majestic or Hostal la Escalinata.
Vilcabamba – PN Podocarpus – camping and trails. Cajanuma, Bombascara.
Rio Napo – PN Yosuni and Tiputini Research Station
Manta – PN Machalilla.

Bosque Nublado Santa Lucia
Go 80km north-west from Quito to Nanegal. There is a Santa Lucia Ecolodge – www.santaluciaecuador.com

Quito – Casa Bambu, el Cafecito.

Ecuador Birding Resources

Mindo Cloudforest Foundation
EcoRoute

Birding Sites in Chile

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:49 pm

Birding Sites in Chile

Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay are the most expensive countries in South America while Bolivia Ecuador Colombia and Argentina are the cheapest.
Homestays in Chile ~7000 pesos ~= $15. Chile may be a good place to buy a car or motorcycle. You could aim for a budget of about $25 per day.

Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo – via Pirque.
Arica – beaches.
Putre
PN Lauca – Lago Chungara wetlands.
Salar de Surire
Atacama Desert
Iquique

La Campana NP – entrance at Ocoa and El Cojon.
Coastal Wetlands at Laguna El Peral and Lake Penuelas.
Pelagic trip from Valparaiso or Concon.
Central Chile – Cordillera – El Yeso.

In the Lakes District, go to Concepcion, Los Angeles to Parque Nacional del Laja – stay at Albanico – Hotel Malalcura.
Temuco – Cerro Nielol
PN Conguillio – Laguna Captren.
Concepcion – Nevados de Chillan.
RN Radal-Siete Tazas – east of Curico.
Vilches – RN Altos de Lircay.
Nahuelbuta NP
Rio Cruces Nature Sanctuary
Santa Maria
Puyehue NP
Chiloe Island
Puerto Montt.

Ski – Valle Nevada, Farellones-Colorado, Parva.
Hostel Forrestal in Santiago.

Chile Resources

Chile Backpacking Hostels
Trip Report

Nigel Wheatley, “Where to Find Birds in South America”.
Mark Pearman, “The Essential Guide to Birding in Chile”.

Bolivia Backpacker Birding

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 11:43 pm

Bolivia Backpacker Birding

Electricity is 220V, 50Hz. Two-pin round plugs. Try the Yungas Region. Get a boat ride down Rio Mamore from Puerto Villaroel to Guayamerin or Rio Beni.
Cochabamba – stay at Hostal Mexico or Residencial Familiar.
Rurrenabaque – Stay at La Perla Andina or El Curichal Hostal.
Mecapaca
Coroica Road – La Cumbre
Choquetanga Valley near Pongo.
Cotapata Trail.
Apa Apa Reserve, Chulumani.
Takesi Trek
Lake Titicaca

Bolivia Wildlife Reserves

P.N. Amboro. The village Buena Vista is 2 hours north-west of Santa Cruz. Get permit in town.
Beni Biological Station Reserve – Savannah birds
PN Pilon-Lajas
Reserva Nacional de Fauna Ulla Ulla Biosphere Reserve
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park There are 2 entrances with tourism facilities: Flor de Oro on the North side and Los Fierros on the South side.

Madidi National Park
Entry B$95. The Chalalan Lodge is run by indigenous people. You can go on boat trips on the River Tuichi – www.chalalan.com – 4 days is around $300.

Carrasco National Park
Hire a guide from Kawsay Wasi from local communities of Bateon, San Mateo Alto, El Palmar, etc. ( www.kawsaywasi.com )
15 minutes from the town of Villa Tunari.

La Paz – Residencial Belzur, Residencial Imperial, Hostal Austria.
Coroica – Hostal de la Torre.
Chulumani – Hostal Dion, Country House.
Sorata – Residencial Sorata, Hotel Santa Lucia.
Copacabana – Hostal Emperador.
Uyuni – Andina Eduardo Avaroa reserve – stay at Hotel Avenida, Hostal Marith.
Santa Cruz – Backpackers Santa Cruz Hostel, Alojiemento Santa Barbara.

Birding Bolivia Resources
Bird Bolivia Site
Birders Guide to Bolivia

Birding Sites in Bolivia

To get used to the altitude, only ascend ~1000 feet per day. Watch alcohol consumption, eat healthily. Budget ~= $15-25, $1 ~= 6-8 BOB.
Get a Yellow Fever Vaccination. Ecologies include the altiplano, Chaco, Amazon Basin

National Parks of Bolivia
Amboro – near Santa Cruz, stay at Residencial Nadia.
Apolobamba
Cotapata – in the Yungas, between La Paz and Coroica.
Madidi – has 1100 bird species!
Noel Kempff Mercado – in Santa Cruz dept.
Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve
Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa
Sajama
Torotoro
Tunari – near Cochabamba.

La Paz – SECRET GARDEN Backpackers Oasis, Loki La Paz

Parque Nacional Madidi

Bolivia Budget Accommodation

Santa Cruz – Hostal Cactus, Hostal Maya, Hostal Ambar Backpackers
Coroica – Residencial Coroica, Hostal Kory.
Chulumani – Alojamiento Daniel, Country Guesthouse.
Sorata – Residencial Sorata, Hostal Las Piedras.

The Southwest
————-
Tarija – Alojomiento El Hogar, Residencia el Rosario.
Villazon – Residencia Martinez, Residencia el Cortijo. Border town to Argentina.
Sucre – Casa de Huespedes San Marcos, Alojamiento el Turisto.

SouthEast
——–
Santa Cruz
El Fuerte – Residencial Chelo, Residencial Kim.

Amazon Basin
————-
Rurrenabaque – access to PN Madidi, must take guide.
Trinidad – Hotel Paulista, Hostal Sirari.

December 5, 2010

South America Overview

Filed under: South America — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:20 pm

South America

I flew into Buenos Aries from Sydney after a horrendous 14 hour flight. It took me a few days to readjust my body clock. Meanwhile I was really enjoying going to the Costanera Sur reserve on the shores of the River Plate. It took me a few days to get to Esquel after stopping off at Bahia Blanca and Neuquen.

Grey-necked Wood-rail
Buenos Aries, Costanera Sur, Grey-necked Wood-rail (Aramides cajanea)

Argentina

Talon
Talon skiing at La Hoya

I met up with a few Canadians at La Hoya. That is Talon above. I stayed up the mountain for a couple of weeks and then moved down into Esquel and stayed at a hostel for a couple of months.

c4g-0152
La Hoya fly park, Jean

This is Jean, a ski instructor at La Hoya, getting some air in the Fly Park. They had some great jumps set up and everyone was getting into it.

Me Skiing
Me skiing la hoya

I got this photo taken by local photographer. I was skiing at the Sol piste. After leaving Esquel in late September, I had a marathon 48 hour bus ride to Salta in Northern Argentina. Then up to the border with Bolivia at La Quiaca, where I was strucken down with altitude sickness for about 3 days.

Bolivia

Into Bolivia with a train from Villazon to Oruro, bypassing the Uyuni salt flats. After a couple of days at Oruro, I hopped on a bus to Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Puna Teal
Puna Teal (Anas puna)

Copacabana was a really nice place if you avoided the tourist ripoff joints. I did manage to get sucked into a boat ride to the Isla del Sol which was a great disappointment.

Peru

I got a bus across the border to Puno, where we changed buses to get to Arequipa. From Arequipa, I hopped on the Lima bus and got off at the Paracas National Park. Paracas was fantastic. I got lots of photos of new birds along the shores, went on a tour into the desert on the edge of the ocean and had my first taste of cerbiche.

Inca Tern
Inca Tern or Zarcillo (Larosterna inca). Islas Ballestas, paracas , peru.

The boat ride to the Islas Ballestas was fantastic. We saw heaps of cormorants, boobies, sea lions and my favourite, the Inca Tern. After that, it was off to Lima where I stayed next to the beach at Barranco. There were lots of Black Vultures circling about the city, which gave an eerie feel to the place. I rented a surfboard up the coast at Huanchaco, then it was off to Chicama.

chicama
Chicama

Chicama is the longest left-hander in the world. It goes for more than a kilometre. You have to jump off the wave down the beach and walk back out. The water is very cold so you have to wear a long john wetsuit and the current is very strong.

Oasis hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird, Lobitos

Mancora is in the far north of Peru and is very hot. The water here is warm, so you can surf without a wetsuit which is a welcome change. Further south is the break of Lobitos which has some great surf. The locals really charged it and I got some great photos.

c4h-0726
Lobitos

From Lobitos, it was down to Lima for a few days, flew to Puno, then back into Bolivia to La Paz, Cochabamba, Villa Tunari, Buena Vista, and the capital Santa Cruz. Back into Argentina to Salta, Rosario, Parana, Gualeguaychu and Buenos Aires, where I caught the plane back home.

November 27, 2010

Entre Rios Birds

Filed under: South America — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:05 pm

Gualeguaychu Birds

Last evening I went for a walk over to the other side of the river at Gualeguaychu in Entre Rios, Argentina. I was not intending to take any photos of birds, but happened to walk past this duck pond where there some birds that came close enough to get a shot on my point and shoot camera.

The Black-necked Swan is closely related to the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) of Australasia. It is found in southern South America, in Chile and Argentina and is partly migratory with some birds wintering in Paraguay and southern Brazil.

Black-necked Swan
Black- necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus)

There were a few of these little ducks swimming around quite close to the shore, so I managed to get off a pretty dirty photo. I had a good look on Arthur Grossets website but I could not identify this one. Do you know what it is¿ I have a feeling that it might be some kind of hybrid/domestic variation.

ID required
Unidentified Duck

This tree was on an island in the middle of the pond and it was absolutely full of what looked like egrets and some kind of cormorant. I could not see close enough to tell what they were exactly.

Tree full of Cormorants and Egrets
A tree full of Cormorants and Egrets

Thanks to arthurgrosset.com.

November 26, 2010

Parana to Gualeguaychu

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 1:44 pm

Entre Rios, Argentina

After the river adventures of Rosario I moved further into the Entre Rios region of Argentina. This area is called Mesopotamia because of the similarity to the area between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in Irag. I hopped on a bus from Rosario to Gualeguaychu which is close to the Rio Uruguay which is on the other side of the Entre Rios area. The Uruguay River serves as the border with Uruguay. Gualeguaychu is actually on the Rio Gualeguaychu which flows into the Rio Uruguay. The next photo is from a river cruise that I took at Parana. People actually swim in these rivers. They are muddy and dirty.

parana river beach
A Beach on the Parana River

I went for a swim at Gualeguaychu yesterday and was not impressed. The water was filthy. yuk! But it was nice and cool at least. The weather here in Argentina is getting pretty hot, so a cool swim was welcome.

parana river
Parana River Ship

I am hanging out here in the sticks because I do not want to go to Buenos Aires yet. I will probably head there after the weekend for a few days. Less than a week to go on my South American Adventures.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress