Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 26, 2018

Paseo Lancha Puerto Arica

Filed under: Birds,South America — Tags: — admin @ 9:25 pm

Arica Harbour Boat Tour

After I took some surfing photos at El Gringo, I wandered down to the fishing harbour to see about a boat tour “Paseo Lancha”. The guy said I was the only taker and to come back at 12:30. I went and got a cup of coffee and some lunch and then went back to the wharf.

big fat Sea Lions - lobos Marinos
big fat Sea Lions – lobos Marinos

There were still no people so I wandered around the fishing harbour checking out all the cleaning of fish and the birds and sea lions fighting over the fish scraps.

Black-crowned Night-heron waiting for some fish
Black-crowned Night-heron waiting for some fish

Cleaning Fish
Cleaning Fish

Peruvian Pelicans want their share too
Peruvian Pelicans want their share too

Fish cleaning wharf
Fish cleaning wharf

Finally there were enough people so we set off on out boat tour. The boat ride cost 3000 pesos, about $5.

Panoramic view of the  harbour
Panoramic view of the harbour

We went along the wharves and then out to sea a bit to the buoys where a bunch of seals were sunbaking.

Seals on a buoy
Seals on a buoy

Then back into the harbour and back to dock. Short and sweet. But I think we saw enough.

American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher

Red-legged Cormorant
Red-legged Cormorant

immature Inca Tern
immature Inca Tern

adult Inca Tern
adult Inca Tern

Peruvian Booby
Peruvian Booby

Street wiring
Street wiring

And last but not least the sight outside my hotel room window. The wiring in the street is very chaotic. But not as mad as India.

Arica bird list

American Oystercatcher
Red-legged Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Inca Tern
Peruvian Booby
Black-crowned Night-heron
Peruvian Pelican

El Gringo Day Two

Filed under: South America,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 7:47 pm

El Gringo – Arica – Day 2

This morning I went to El Gringo again. It was a bit smaller but there were a few more guys out. The wind was blowing off-shore nicely and there were shifting peaks to be had.

maxi
maxi

Diego in the tube
Diego in the tube

Maxi in the barrel
Maxi in the barrel

maxi in tube
maxi in tube

getting bounced around
getting bounced around

and getting launched
and getting launched

Nice turn Alberto
Nice turn Alberto

Upside down
Upside down

going right
going right

September 25, 2018

Birds of Arica

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:33 pm

Arica Birding

This morning I went to the Isla del Alacran to take some photos of the surfing. Most of the photos I took were birds, which was good because I got a new bird and a decent photo of a Blackish Oystercatcher.

Red-legged Cormorant
Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi)

The yellow bill on this Red-legged Cormorant had me confused for a while. Thanks to the crew on the Facebook bird id group for sorting me out.

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

The black and red spots on this Belcher’s Gull are quite distinctive.

Blackish Oystercatcher
Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater)

I got a shot of some Blackish Oystercatcher yesterday on my point and shoot camera, so I needed some decent photos and here one is.

Peruvian Pelican
Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus)

Peruvian Booby
Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata)

grey gull
grey gull (Leucophaeus modestus)

Arica bird list

Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi)
Belcher’s gull (Larus belcheri)
Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater)
West Peruvian Dove
Neotropic Cormorant
Whimbrel
Peruvian Pelican
Peruvian Booby
grey gull (Leucophaeus modestus)
Ruddy Turnstone

El Gringo

Filed under: South America,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 5:38 pm

Surfing El Gringo – Arica, Chile

I got out of bed about 7:30am because that is when the sun comes up. Chile is two hours ahead of Peru. Do not ask me to work that one out. I walked down the end of the street and caught a bus to La Isla del Alacran. There was nobody out when I went surfing but I bumped into a couple of dudes named Max and Diego who allowed me to tag along when they went for a surf out at El Gringo.

Diego's First Wave
Diego’s First Wave

El Gringo is really scary. It breaks onto rocks. There is no easy way out or in. You have to jump off the rocks and force your way out through the very powerful breaking waves.

Maxi taking the drop
Maxi taking the drop

After this wave Maxi lost his boogie board and had to swim in. It was a major struggle with waves breaking all over him and the rip dragging him out again.

Maxi in the barrel
Maxi in the barrel

Maxi eventually got in and retrieved his boogie board and then paddled straight out again!

Maxi take off
Maxi take off

Maxi hit a bump on the take-off and got launched.

Diego going right
Diego going right

There were some good right-handers coming in as well. Some of them were lining up and tubing massively.

Maxi drop
Maxi drop

The wind starting blowing onshore about ten o’clock so the waves were still glassy.

Diego in the tube
Diego in the tube

Diego made sure that his last wave was a good one. Thank you to Maxi and Diego for the opportunity to take some photos at this famous surf spot. Woot!

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

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