Description: Pelagic off Callao, Lima w Letta some
30 nm from La Punta
Species Seen: 33
We arranged the first ever full day whale-watching trip
in Peru off Callao. The weather was overcast until 2.30 or 3 PM and then
the sun came out. Though we did not see any true whales but Common Dolphin
(around 20-30) 12º14.360S, 77º35.007 and Dusky Dolphin (around 100) at 12º18.492S,
This was not a pelagic trip for birders primarily, most
had joined to have the chance to spot some whales. We saw no big whales but
dusky and common dolphin. The dusky dolphins put up quite a show as there were
about 100 of them all together and they were making high leaps up in the air.
The "whale-watchers" were very happy with this experience.
We were to start at 5.30 but actually set off at 6.30.
I wanted to reach some 50 nm to reach waters that were 2000m deep. However,
we only got to 30 nm off the coast, and depth here was about 1000 meters 12º17.100S
77º38.100W. A lot of seabirds where seen here including Black-browed Albatross
and White-chinned Petrel
We were back in Callao at 16.30. A bit too short.
The birding was great though with
a lot of variety of birds. The air-temperature was quite pleasant.
The sea was a bit shaky but not too bad. Since both Mikko
Pyhälä and I were quite novice to sea birding we felt
like amateurs trying to straighten out some of the birds. We have included our
reasoning for identification in the account below.
1 individual This species breeds on the Galapagos islands and a small
island off the Ecuadorian coast (Isla La Plata)
2 at 1000 m depth.
2 at 1000m depth
10-20 mostly at 1000m depth
300 more or less
common, the first storm-petrels we saw with very forceful flight and some
near the boat going out was this species
Eventually we could distinguish White-vented smaller size, being a more
fragile bird, tripping on the water and more erratic flight. On birds close
to the boat we could see white bellies on at least 10-15 individuals
1 seen as we were leaving the harbor. Clearly a very large white area,
makes this observation 100% even though short. I have seen this species often
All in all 20 individual seen. This is the highest number I have ever
seen of this threatened species and may be the most note-worthy record of our
trip. On the Ballestas circuit close to Paracas I some times see 1-2 individuals
when San Gallan island is included.
We saw 30-40 individuals of this species. They were all immatures. A bit
surprising that they are still in these water being a more Northern Breeder
(Ecuador). Clearly larger than Peruvian Booby and very dark heads and plain
upper wings. White spot on the back and upper tail coverts usually easily seen.
2 near port
3 surprisingly low numbers
some 10 seen near Callao (Isla Palomino and Isla San Lorenzo)
some 50 of this giant with almost prehistoric looks.
One small flock of 5 birds seen
About a hundred seen total. This were seen as fast flying waders with
clear white wing bands. Birds giving clear gray appearance and head and neck
whitish gray with a clear black mask.
The most common gull
30 We were a bit confused with this species and Swallow-tailed Gull, but
we are sure that most of the birds we saw was this species (we saw many brown-backed
immatures which are not confusable), except a flock of immature Swallow-tails
that laid on the water and lifted as we were going out. It was mostly the adult
bird in winter plumage I had problems with, but considering that I see adult
birds in Galapagos this time of year that have black hoods, the adult birds
here in winter plumage ought to be Sabine´s Gull.
At least a flock of 10 immatures seen in the beginning of the trip. Great
confusion in the later part of the trip. I believe most birds we saw later were
Sabine´s Gull, as adult Swallow-tails should have black hoods this time
1 seen by Mikko Pyhälä
South American Tern
Several inshore. Especially when arriving to the yacht club where they
were perching in big numbers on the yachts. At see I feel most of the terns
seen where. Personally I found the midsize Sterna terns difficult on long distance
and on shaky boats. These individuals in the port were seen very close and the
blood-red rather heavy and somewhat down-curved bill gives it away.
1 seen for sure. But difficult to identify at sea (confusion with South
American and Arctic Tern)
3 seen sufficiently well to 100 % id. Many unidentified Sternas at sea
were probably this species. Wing pattern and buoyant flight (and one birds with
long tail) were the details that identified the species. Need to study up on
the midsize Terns though.
3 were seen. This small tern is similar to Least Tern. Small size, agile
and grey underparts makes it fairly easy to identify. Also noted the white forehead.
8 seen as far as I could see all adults. They looked very dark brown,
but the light was not good enough to see any rufous tone.
3 seen well to identify to species. We noted the heaviness of these birds.
Heavy-bellied and powerful Most Jaegers seen where without the central elongated
tail-feathers which made id difficult
we identified 2 for certain on slimness and lack of white crescents in
the wings. There were other jaegers which probably also were this species or
Parasitic Jaeger but we could not tell for sure.
some 10 on Isla Palomino
On the shore as we arrived to the harbor
1 30 nm from shore at the 1000 m depth and big gathering of Seabirds