Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 31, 2010

Best Bird of the Year 2010

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:04 am

Best Bird of 2010

I saw a post on 10,000 birds about the best bird of 2010 so I was curious as to what defines the “best” bird of the year. I still do not understand it, mainly because I am not an obsessed twitcher, and I probably have a personal idea about what I like about birds and photographing them. I still do not know what is meant by best so I am looking through my photos of the year to see which one I liked best. The first ones that took my fancy were the photos of the Rainbow Bee-eaters at Bribie Island.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater, Bribie Island

I love Rainbow Bee-eaters. Mainly because of their exotic and beautiful colouring and also the way they flitter around like supermodels who have no idea how wonderful they really are. The other bird at Bribie was the fantastic shots I got of the Scarlet Honeyeater. Maybe I just like pretty colours – the brighter the better.

Scarlet Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater, Bribie Island

They were my Australian birds for the first half of the year. So then I went through my Argentina birds. My favourites were the Brown-hooded Gull, Tero and the American Kestrel I saw at Esquel.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel, Esquel, Argentina

Then I went through my Bolivian birds. There was not much in that lot, but I was stoked to get a photo of another lapwing, the Andean one. I had got photos of the Tero in Argentina. I seem to like getting a full set of families. I wanted to get photos of all the ibises as well, but missed the Black-necked [sic] one in Argentina.

Andean Lapwing
Andean Lapwing, Copacabana, Bolivia

My set of photos from Peru was going to be a difficult task as I had heaps of great birds in that collection. The Inca Tern is a stand-out in terms of beauty and exoticity.

Inca Tern
Inca Tern, Paracas, Peru

I loved seeing the American Oystercatcher as well as a Snowy Egret on the beach at Chicama. The Frigatebirds at Mancora rocked as well. But the stand-out performer for sheer excitement and the winner of the Best Bird of 2010 would have to be the Oasis Hummingbird. This one loved the flowers on the Aloe Vera plants near our hostel at Lobitos, just south of Mancora. I was hanging out to see some hummingbirds and this one did not disappoint. So, drum roll please.

Oasis hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird, Lobitos, Peru

December 30, 2010

2010 Birding Photography Retrospective

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 4:53 am

2010 Looking Back

Well here we go again. Another year bites the dust. I can remember doing my Overview of 2009 just like it was yesterday. The new year of 2010 started off heading towards the Goulburn River west of Newcastle, NSW, then Munghorn Gap on the Way to Glen Davis in the Cappertee Valley, just the other side of the Blue Mountains. Then west to Rhylstone, Ferntree Gully where I saw my first Gang-gang Cockatoos.

Gang-gang Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo(Callecephalon fimbriatum), Ferntree Gully

Then it was off to Mudgee to check out the Avisford Reserve, and the creeks around the Mudgee area towards Gulgong. Then I headed back towards the Goulburn River and back to Newcastle for the wetlands and the water birds.

Nankeen Night Heron
Nankeen Night-heron at Hunter Wetlands Centre

Then in late January I am off to the Riverina on the way to the Murray River via Narranderah, Hay and Robinvale.

Brown Goshawk
Brown Goshawk, Euston Weir, Murray River

More travelling down to Melbourne, then up to Shepparton looking for fruit picking work. Then in February it is down to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria where I spotted my first Pacific Gulls. Victoria was very dry. Most of the wetlands were dry.

Pacific Gull
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus), Flinders, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Then I was off to the other side of Melbourne – Barwon Heads, Torquay, inland to Winchelsea where I spotted a Purple-crowned Lorikeet and a feral Muscovy Duck.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet
Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Winchelsea, Victoria

Geelong, Melbourne, Gippsland, along the South Coast of NSW to Nowra, one of my favourite birding places. Finally I arrived back in Newcastle in March for a short time before scarpering out west to Dubbo and Warren where I suffered from dehydration and had to head back to Dubbo. Northwest to Manilla and into the hills for the Easter camp at Borah Creek with the HBOC, then north to the Border Ranges National Park where we saw the Paradise Riflebird.

Turquoise Parrot
Turquoise Parrot, Borah Creek

Down the mountain to Lismore where I saw my first Comb-crested Jacanas.

Comb-crested Jacana
Comb-crested Jacana, Lismore Lake

Then up the coast past Kingscliff where I got great shots of Ospreys and saw my first Spectacled Monarch. I got some great waves around Tweed Heads on the border of NSW and Queensland, then up the hills to Lamington where I photographed Yellow-throated Scrubwrens and Logrunners. Caloundra, Noosa Heads, back south to Caloundra where I got some great shots of both morphs of the Eastern Reef Egret, Ospreys feeding and some Wandering Tattlers.

Wandering Tattler
Wandering Tattler, Caloundra, Queensland

Going south still I saw Black-necked Storks, Wandering Whistling-ducks, and Rainbow Bee-eaters at Bribie Island. Then west through Woodford and around behind Brisbane to the Brisband Forest Park, where I saw Pale-headed Rosellas and a Pheasant Coucal.

Pheasant Coucal
Pheasant Coucal, Somerset Dam, Queensland

Back down the coast to Kingscliff and Ballina where I had some great waves at Byron Bay. By the middle of June I was back in Newcastle again, trying to sell my campervan in preparation for my trip to South America. The highlight of Newcastle was a Red-whiskered Bulbul on the coast at Caves Beach.

Red-whiskered Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul, Caves Beach, Newcastle

In mid-July I headed off to South America – Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. Here is my summary of that trip. I got back to Australia in early December and went to Melbourne, where I spent the rest of the year. Next year I am going to Japan in early January, then possibly the Australian ski fields or New Zealand. I do not know yet. I have a video camera now so will be mainly taking videos, hopefully of some fully sik powder skiing, and some Hokkaido birds.

December 28, 2010

Skiing in the USA and Canada

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:35 am

Skiing in the USA and Canada.

U.S.A.

For a visa to the USA you may need a Visa Waver which you have to do online. Or get a visa from an embassy.
Border officials may require evidence of $400 per week, onward ticket, obligations at home(children, jobs etc).
http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Skiing_USA_on_a_Budget
Greyhound go from Las Vegas to Reno. $77 – greyhound.com
autotourusa.com
rentawreck.com
carrentalexpress.com
http://www.hostelhandbook.com/usa/index.htm

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley Season Pass before May 9th = $369
http://www.squaw.com/season-pass

Tahoe Accommodation
Spirit Air fly to Las Vegas.
http://www.aboutlaketahoe.com/lodging.htm
http://reno.craigslist.org/
http://tahoeinfo.com/
http://southtahoetourism.com/South_Lake_Tahoe_Lodging.html

+ Doug’s Mellow Mountain Retreat.
3787 Forest Avenue
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 544-8065

http://www.motel6.com/
http://www.super8tahoe.com
Driftwood Lodge
Lampliter Inn
Seven Seas Inn
Lone Pine Lodge
Monaco Inn Hostel –

Heavenly
$339 season pass – http://www.skiheavenly.com/tickets-and-passes/season%20passes.aspx
Epic Pass – $599 – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone or Heavenly.
Shuttle area – http://www.skiheavenly.com/lake-tahoe/resort-map.aspx

Taos

Season Pass is $799 before October 1st, and for $999 thereafter. The Millennium Pass can be purchased for $575 before October 1, 2010. It is good for 70 days of skiing at Taos.
Abominable Snowmansion Skiers Hostel – Taos Ski Valley Road, Arroyo Seco. http://www.snowmansion.com/winterrates.html

Schweitzer Ski Resort

http://www.schweitzer.com/ – Season pass $699 until end of october.
Sandpoint is the town nearby.
http://www2.cdapress.com/classifieds/rentals_furnished/apartments/

Montana

Montana International Backpackers Hostel, Bozeman
Yellowstone Yurt Hostel, Cooke City.
West Yellowstone Hostel

Whitefish
Patti
Mountain Apartments
430 Colorado Ave.
Whitefish, MT 59937
406-862-7817

Big Mountain season pass ~$550.

Non-hostile Hostel
+ Bunkhouse Travelers Inn and Hostel
217 Railway Street
Whitefish 59937
406-862-3377

Utah
Salt Lake City
The Avenues HOstel, 107 F Street, Salt Lake City
The Ute Hostel, 21 East Kelsey Avenue, Salt Lake City

Wyoming

Jackson Holes
+ The Bunkhouse, 215 North Cache, Jackson
+ The Hostel X , Box 546, Teton Village, WY 83025

Los Angeles

Acess to internet may be found at free public libraries.
In Holloywood try:
+ Orange Drive Manor Hostel – 1764 N. Orange Drive.
+ USA Hostels-Hollywood – 1624 Schrader Blvd.
West:
Orbit Hotel and Hostel – 7950 Melrose Ave.

Miami

FLL to Tri-rail – to Miami or Super Shuttle
+ South Bank Hostel – 235 Washington Ave.
+ Floyd’s Hostel and Crew House – http://www.floridahostel.com/
445 SE 16th St., Fort Lauderdale 33316
Deauville Hostel & Crewhouse – 2916 N Ocean Blvd. deauvillehostel.com

Las Vegas
There are shuttles (Bell Trans) or taxis from airport. Greyhound bus station is downtown.
Las Vegas International Hostel, 1208 S Las Vegas Blvd. ??
Sin City Hostel
USA Hostels – Las Vegas , 1322 Fremont St. usahostels.com – ~$20
Imperial Palace.

Reno
Silver Legacy. Wildflower Village. Buses from Las Vegas to Reno take about 20 hours.
Shuttle to South Lake Tahoe – southtahoeexpress.com have a shuttle to Stateline from Reno Airport.

Canada

WestJet.com fly from Mazatlan to Vancouver 7 Jan – April -$750+ total.
Australians get 6 months without a visa.

Vancouver
HI Vancouver Central

Kamloops
HI Kamloops

Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks International Hostel ( http://www.sunpeakshostel.com/ ) ~$29
The resort is 45 minutes from Kamloops. You can share house for $500-600 per month.

Penticton
HI Penticton Hostel, 37km to Apex Mountain Ski Resort.
Apex Mountain is near Nelson, Cranbrook and Fernie.

Kelowna
Kelowna International Hostel, SameSun.
Share houses from $450-600 per month.

Big White Ski Resort
Season Pass >$1000.
Check with Central Reservations at bigwhite.com
The Urban Retreat Hostel.
45 minutes from Kelowna.

Crystal Mountain
30 minutes from Kelowna. Season pass is around 450. 3 lifts only.

Revelstoke
The town is 6 kilometers away.
Season Pass is $612 before June 25th, $699 till October 1.
SameSun – $25
Poppi’s ~$35
http://secure.bcclassified.com/bluefin.cmp?cPath=16000&cstr=Rental&sfid=1055 (Revelstoke Times Review)
http://www.thestoke.ca/list
http://vernon.kijiji.ca/f-housing-W0QQCatIdZ34
Craigslist Kamloops. http://kamloops.en.craigslist.ca/
place a “seeking accomodation” ad on TheStoke website, as well as in Kijiji Vernon and Craigslist Kamloops.

Fernie
HI Fernie Raging Elk Hostel – http://www.ragingelk.com/ – $25
FernieCentralReservations.com
SKI AND SEE ADVENTURE LODGE
www.fernierealestate.com
Fernie Season pass is $839 until June 4.
Fernie, Kimberley, Nakisa Pass is $899 until June 4.

Silver Star
12 Lifts.
SameSun ~$35

Nelson
HI Dancing Bear Inn, Backcountry Hostel

Rossland
Mountain Shadow Hostel (mshostel.com) ~$20
http://cranbrook.en.craigslist.ca/
Is near Red Mountain Ski Resort. http://www.redresort.com/ – Season pass $832 until october 30th.
Other nearby towns are 3K, Trail. Rossland is a small town so there is not much accommodation for season.
Maybe Rossland is a small town and there is not much accommodation. ??

Castle Mountain, Alberta.
Nearby towns – pincher creek , beaver mines. crowsnest pass.

USA and Canada Ski Resources

Pat’s Ski Mad World

Skiing Eastern Europe

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , — admin @ 12:18 am

Skiing in Eastern Europe.

Slovakia.

In the High Tatras you have ski resorts such as Strbsky Pleso, Stary Smokovec and Tatranska Lominka. Popograd is the nearest city. Ski Passes cost around 30EUR per day. A season pass is around 300-500EUR. Park Snow season pass is about 250EUR. Link to Chatas in the High Tatras – http://www.spisz.iq.pl/tour/slhuts/ . In the Low Tatras at Jasna a 6 day pass is about 145EUR

Tatranska Lomninka is 5km from Smokovec and 11k from Strbske Pleso. Trains connect the ski resorts. Look for Private rooms(privat or zimmer frei) signs on back streets south and east of the train station. Penzion Encian is around $15.

Strbske Pleso – try Chata Pod Soliskom ( http://www.chatasolisko.sk/en/vitajte-u-nas ) with dorms for around 10EUR. Also try http://www.popradskepleso.sk/ . To get here hop on an electric train in Poprad. In Poprad stay at Pension Aqualand ~$20 or Hotel Cafe Razy.

Vratna Valley – Chata na Gruni ( http://www.chatanagruni.sk/en/index.html ) for around 10EUR, there are two ski lifts near this chata and others going up nearby mountains. Nearby town is Terchova.

Zdiar – Pension Vasko is situated near Strednica ski center ~$20. Hostel Furmanec ~$15.

Jasna The village of Jasna is at the head of the Demanova Valley in the Low Tatras. Slovakotour and Liptour can help with private rooms. Chata MR Stefanika. Mikulaska Chata, near Otupne lift station.

Poland

Zakopane – There are 4 ski areas but the system is complex with many different owners of ski lifts. Day passes are about $20-30. But you can stay in some of the mountain hostels. Zakopane is in the Carpathian Mountains. Stay at the Flamingo Hostel Zakopane for about $10 or Guesthouse Benita.

Mount Kasprowy Wierch has a cable car which goes from Kuznice, 3k from Zakopane.
Mount Gubalowka has a funicular.
Harenda has a chair lift.

Szklarska Poreba is in the Sudeten Mountains in Silesia at 1362m. Stay at Fantazja for about $40.

Karpacz – the tourist office can arrange beds. Hotel Karolinka.

Miedzygorze – PTTK Hostel, Recepja FWP ($10-20).

Szczyrk is in Silesia.

Romania

Poiana Brasov
Poiana Brasov is 14 kilometers from Brasov and there is a regular bus service. In Brasov stay at the Gabriel Hostel ~$15. or Phoenix Villa ~$10. One day ski pass is around $40 and a ten day pass is about $300.

Sinaia – Hotel Economat.

Borsa – the ski resort is 10k away in the Rodna Mountains. Try Hotel Cerbul.

Ukraine

Try the website skiukraine.info. For homestays contact Green Tours ( http://www.greentour.co.uk/about.html ).

Bukovel – in the Ukranian Carpathians, a Day Pass is around $30. (Bukovel.com) Bukovel is close to Tatriv and buses go from Yaremcha(Mriya, $20-30) and Kolomyya(Good Morning B&B, ~$18, Hotel Kolomiya ~$15.).

Slavsko is 120 kilometers from Lviv (Lviv Live ~$15)on the Kiev-Uzhhorod railroad line. The lift system is chaotic.

Drahobat at 1300m, 18k from Yasinya, is difficult to get to, isolated, but with excellent off-piste skiing.

Podobovets and Pylypets is 12k from Volovets.

Tysovets is 32k from Skole.

Belarus

Logoisk is 30k from Minsk

Silichy Minsk – stay at 40 Let Pobedy or Hotel Turist.

Bulgaria

Borovets is in the Rila Mountains, 8 kilometers from Samokov (Istrum Park ~$15), which is cheaper to stay at than Borovets. Get there from Sofia. Try the Relax Hotel. A day pass is ~$30 and a season pass is ~$1000!

Bansko is in the Rodopi Mountains, 83 kilometers from Plovdiv. Hotel Tipik or Hotel Avalon are around 20-30EUR.

Pamporovo is also in the Rodopi Mts.

Vitosha is near Sofia. Try the Sofia Guesthouse or the Kervan Hotel.

Slovenia

Slovenia has cheap skiing and tourist offices will arrange private rooms in local homes. Look for “sobe” or “zimmer frei” signs.

Kranjska Gora is in the Julian Alps at 1291m. It is 40k from Bled. Lift prices range roughly from about 30EUR for a day pass to 800EUR for a season pass. The tourist office can arrange private rooms or apartments. Also try Hotel Pr’ Tatko, Pension Borka or Hostel Nika (11-20EUR) ( www.slovenia.info )

Maribor is in Eastern Slovenia. Stay – Alibi C2. The resort is Mariborsko Pohorje at 1347m. Stay at Camp Pohorje (10EUR) or Hotel Arah(30EUR).

Bled – try Vila Gorenka (~20EUR) or Bled Hostel ~$20. For private rooms see Kompas or Globtour Bled.

Bovec is at 2200m.

Central Pohorje – Zrece is 16k away from the Rogla ski resort at 1517m.

Cerkno ski resort is 10k from town at 1291m. Stay at Gacnk v Logu (~20EUR)

Krvavec is 17k from Kranj. The cheapest private rooms are in Naklo. Drinovec (20EUR)

Velika Planina is at 1666m. Kamniska Bistrica is 3k away. Dom v Kamnisik Bistrici has dorms.

From ski.com.au – “Slovenia is not really for great skiing. Unless you like all slow-speed doubles. It has the novelty factor of skiing in the Julian Alps, superb, inexpensive. All the transport precision of Austria, with the value of east europe. Like the dolomites, also good via ferrata. I wouldn’t ski at Kransja Gora (because it is a resort with tennis courts, spas, casino, and could be anywhere really).

I reckon the real Slovenian experience is to go to somewhere like Lake Bohinj and stay at a little village there such as Ribcev Laz or Stara Fuzina and head down the road to the Vogel gondola. Day trips to Bled, or maybe base yourself in Bled if you want apres.

I found car hire out of Slovenia inexpensive as an easy quick way to get to and from Ljubiana to places like Bleb and Bohinja Bistrica area. Other wise they have perfectly reliable train and bus combinations, just not very frequent services. The best resort is Bovec-Kanin, the highest and the most likely to get snow in the country. Since 2009 it has been interconnected with Selle Nevea, which is a resort in the other side of the mountain called Mount Canin. ”

Bosnia

Around Sarajevo there are many resorts. In Sarajevo town try Sartour Hotel or Hostel City Center.

Jahorina has cheaper pensions in the village such as Pension Sport. There is a bus to Pale.

Bjelasnica

Vlasic is near Babanovac village. Stay at Hotel Central. Buses from Travnik (Motel Aba) take 40 minutes.

Montenegro

Savin Kuk at 2010m is 5 kilometers from Zabljak in Dormitor National Park. A weekly ski pass is about 70EUR. Try the Summit Travel Agency, Autokamp Mlinski Potok Mina (10EUR), Hotel Javor, or MB Hotel.

Kolasin – the Jezerine ski center is 10k from Kolasin, stay at Eco Katun Vranjak (15EUR).

Rozaje has two ski hills for about 10EUR per day. Lovke is 15k away and
Turjak is 9k from Rozaje. Try the Motel Grand (12EUR) or Hotel Duga (15EUR).

Vucje has a day pass for about ten Euros and is 21 kilometers from Niksic. Stay at Hotel Onogost (40EUR)

Serbia

Kapaonik is 14k from Brzece and 6 hours from Belgrade. Try JAT apartments, Hostel Montana(~$25) or Hotel Junior.

Zlatibor is in the Dinaric Alps in Western Serbia. There are 3 lifts. Zlatibor is 40km from Uzica and 230km from Belgrade. Zlatibor Hotel ~$40.

Macedonia

Mavrovo – Hotel Srna

Popova Sapka is 35 kilometers from Skopje(City hostel ~$15) and has 1400m of vertical skiing.

Zare Lazarevski for the more advanced skier.

Photo attribution to Jonathanawhite.

Skiing in Iran

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , — admin @ 12:09 am

Ski Resorts in Iran.

Near Tehran.

These resorts are in the Alborz Mountains.

Shemshak
There are 6 lifts with the highest at about 1450m. It is about 40 kilometers from Tehran and takes about 55 minutes to drive there. The elevation is around 3000 meters.

Dizin
Dizin has a vertical drop of around 900 meters. The highest ski-lift is about 3600 meters. There is a gondola, a couple of chair-lifts, and surface lifts. It is 2.5 hours from Tehran.

Tochal
You can access Tochal from the Tochal Telecabin which is easy to get to from Tehran. You take the gondola up the mountain and on top of the mountain are some surface lifts. You can also ski down to the 5th cable car station.

Darbansar
Darbansar has 3 slopes and is good for beginners.

near Tabriz
Excursions can be organized to ski on Mount Sahand. There may be one ski lift.

Ganjnameh
You can ski on the Tarik Dare ski slopes on Thursday and Friday. You may be able to stay in Hamadan at Farshchi Guest House or the Hamadan Guest House.

Zagros Mountains
Sepidan is 15 kilometers from the ski slope of Poolad Kaf, which has four lifts, the highest elevation being 3400m.
Chelgerd has a single T-bar.

Featured Image Photo by Ali Majdfar. Thank you.

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

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