San Lorenzo trail
Our guide just looked back and casually mentioned that we will be walking for two hours on this rough stone path. OK.
It's always uphill.
Pretty up there though.
Maybe we are almost there.
Nope, not yet.
A little over an hour later, we have reached our first destination.
Now we are going to go a few meters down this little path on the right, see it?
Our quest here is to see a Pale-billed Antpitta, an uncommon and hard-to-find Peruvian endemic discovered only in the 1970s.
We sat quietly and played recordings of its song. Very quickly, the bird appeared
and provided close views through the bamboo tangles.
What the heck, let's keep walking another hour uphill.
Ever more in the clouds.
This is how we should have traveled.
Farmstead far across the valley.
Laguna (Lake) Pomacochas in the distance. We went there later.
Another view of Laguna Pomacochas.
We topped out right around 10000′, the highest elevation of the trip.
Some other things that we saw on this hike:
Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant. Yeah, I can't explain the name either.
Orchids in bloom
Sword-billed Hummingbird, one bird that is actually aptly named.
They always seem to perch with the bill tipped up; I suppose it helps with balance.
A waterfall several miles away
After leaving San Lorenzo, we went to Huembo, whose hummingbird feeders are reknowned for
attracting the Marvelous Spatuletail, a marvelous hummingbird species.
Unfortunately it began raining shortly after we arrived, so between the rain and dark lighting
I wasn't able to get photos that do the bird justice. But here's what I got.
Marvelous Spatuletail. Below the hummingbird there is a green leaf, oriented nearly horizontally.
To the left and right of that leaf you can see purplish blobs.
Those blobs are the "spatules"; they are actually the tips of the bird's tail, attached at the end of a long wiry shaft.
Marvelous Spatuletail and Sparkling Violetear. Here the spatuletail is on the left;
you can see the two wiry tail feathers and you can kind of make out the spatules at the tips.
Marvelous Spatuletail and Sparkling Violetear. Here the spatuletail is on the right;
again you can just make out the wiry tail features and the spatulate tips.
Finally we went to Laguna Pomacochas, which we had seen from afar.
This Plumbeous Rail did not exhibit the shyness of most rails.
A very similar species, Common Gallinule, was nearby.
The same species that we see in the US.
Striated Heron, the species that was once lumped to give us Green-backed Heron.
This Torrent Tyrannulet was lakeside, far from any torrent.
Far out on the lake we saw this Andean Gull,
one gull species that has very distinctive markings.
Back home at Owlet Lodge, this rather tame Tayra,
a mink-like mammal about the size of a very large cat, was patrolling the grounds.