Birding Peru 2004 video clips – part 2

The first part of these clips can be found here. Here is the second delivery of Keith Blomerly’s videos from the trip he did with Kolibri Expeditions in 2004 together with Simon Wotton, Richard Winspear and Guy Shorrock. These videos cover principally the Manu road and the lowlands. The birds species seen are mentioned in order. There are quite a few butterflies filmed as well if someone want to have a go identifying them.

Manu road, Pillahuata, Rocotal and Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge

Spectacular birding on the Manu road to Cock-of-the Rock Lodge with birds showing in this order Saffron-crowned Tanager, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Golden-headed Quetzal, Woolly Monkey, Highland Motmot, Blue-banded Toucanet and Versicolored Barbet, Brown Capuchin, female Wire-crested Thorntail, Russet-backed Oropendola, Andean cock-of-the-rock, Dusky-green Oropendola, White-bellied woodstar, Wire-crested Thorntail,  White-bellied Woodstar, Variable Antshrike and Hooded Tinamou.

Cock of the Rock Lodge and Manu Amazon Lodge. Blanquillo Macwa lick.

Starting at Cock-of-the-rock Lodge on the Manu Road via Quitacalzones Bridge to Atalaya.  Here a boat took us to Pantiacolla Lodge. From Pantiacolla the trip went on to Manu Amazon Lodge (formerly known as Manu Camping Lodge). A visit to the famous Macawlick is the final highlight of this section.

Species in chronological order Violaceous Jay, Lanceolated Monklet and Plumbeous Kite, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Red Howler Monkey, White-browed Antbird, Squirrel Monkey, a brief view of a probable Yellow-breasted Warbling Antbird (collinsi form), White-winged Trumpeter, Wood Stork, Horned Screamer, Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Scarlet Macaw, Blue-headed Parrot, Orange-cheeked Parrots Mealy Parrot and Red-and-Green Macaw.

Manu Amazon Lodge, canopy Tower at Cocha Camungo and Cocha Camungo catamaran canoe trip.

First some birding near the lodge and then on to the Cocha Camungo area with canopy tower and lake. In the afternoon birding is near Manu Amazon Lodge.

Saddle-backed Tamarin, Striolated puffbird, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Squirrel cuckoo, Purus Jacamar, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Neotropic cormorant, Sungrebe in flight, Greater Ani, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Striated Heron, Black-capped Donacobius, Squirrel, Llesser Kiskadee, Hoatzin, Amazon kingfisher, Blue-and-yellow macaw, Crested Owl, Razor-billed Curassow and female Plumbeous Antbird duetting with a male.

Cocha Blanco Lake Catamaran Canoes.

Mainly Cocha Blanco and Manu Amazon Lodge.

Birds filmed are Wattled Jacana, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Black-collared Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, Muscovy Duck, Least Grebe, Horned Screamer, Limpkin, Squirrel Monkey, Giant Otter, Amazonian Antwren, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Red-necked Woodpecker, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin and Undulated Tinamou, Black-fronted Nunbird, White-flanked Antwren,  Spectacled Owl and Southern Chestnut-tailed Antbird.

The remaining 5 video clips by Keith Blomerley from the Kolibri Expeditions Manu trip in 2004 will be posted shortly on this blog. Stay tuned. Want to visit Manu. Check out our Manu page and the calendar. There are many different trip options at different prices depending on comfort level, time available and specific interest.

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The camera never lies

In spite that a description of a bird seen by a beginner is no better than this out of focus photograph, I seem to have a hard time to get my mind across to the experienced birder with my recent blog post “How to become birdwatcher in the 21st century“, in which I promote beginner birders to choose a camera and internet connection before binoculars, pad and field guide.

– Nah, nothing beats binoculars – I would not trade them for a camera. You’re not really a birdwatcher unless you have binoculars!

That is the voice of the veterans, while several birding neophytes have admited on this blog that it was exactly the possiblity to photograph the birds and then find out what they were, that got them into birding in the first place. Digital photography is revolutionizing for nature studies. Three years ago, I set up a butterfly-watching trip for Kim Garret and her friends in Central Peru. I was imagining that I was in for a group of geeks running around with butterfly nets and cold-boxes to get them into study position. Much to my surprise, no geeks at all! They used digital cameras with large aperture lenses and good macro funtions and tried to photograph as many as they possibly could during their nature watching holiday in Peru. They sometimes did not have clue what they were looking at, but had ways to identify the butterflies back home going through all sort of literature and sending pictures to museums and collectors that maybe could help out with the identification. This way they could be re-living the trip for several months. This was my first exposure to this technique. I was fascinated, even though I did not think for a moment that the same technique could be applied to birding and new birders.
In many senses these quite experienced butterfly-watchers went through the same stage as a beginner birder. Many of the butterflies they photographed were completely new to them and there is no representative field guide to the butterflies of Peru. So they were almost as neophytes in Peruvian butterflies as a beginner birder would period. Since then I have recently come to realize that the photos in birding makes the difference.

Can you identify this bird:

Three weeks ago, I went to a park in La Molina in Lima in search

for a White-crested Elaenia, which had been reported earlier in the week, but unfortunately could not be found again. Instead we saw a mystery bird!

Had a beginner birdwatcher tried to explain what he had seen very well in the city park – he would have said.
It was a small all black bird with lots of white in the wings.

The only bird in Lima that is completely black with with in the wings would be a Blue-black Grasquit, except that the white is only the under wing-coverts and only obvious in flight if you catch glimpses of the underwing. Furthermore, the local ssp of Blue-black Grassquit seems never to become completely black, but retains some brown feathers in the plumage even as adults.

Partially albinistic melanistic form of Vermilion Flycatcher

Partially albinistic melanistic form of Vermilion Flycatcher

Partially albinistic melanistic form of Vermilion Flycatcher

Partially albinistic melanistic morf of Vermilion Flycatcher - note the symetrical white primaries on both wings!

Partially albinistic melanistic morf of Vermilion Flycatcher - note the symetrical white primaries on both wings!

The melanistic form of Vermilion Flycatcher is very common in Lima city. I have sometimes seen individuals with one or two white feathers in the plumage, but this it the first time I have seen something this symmetrical.

So hand on the heart experienced birders, would you have identified this bird only on the description? Pretty hopeless for the beginner birders, when birds like this occur in a Lima park – surely he would not find it in the book.
Photos all taken with Fuji Finepix S2000 10 MP 15x zoom, which costs less than 200 US$. Now you tell me. Camera or binoculars for the beginner birder?

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You have to embrace technology, to make someone into a birder!

Birders, how do you promote your hobby among non-birders? Do you tell them: “It is very easy. All you need are three things. Binoculars, notebook and field-guide”?

WRONG!  That is sooo 1900s!

You have not understood the power of technology! As of this day and age – the 21st century – all a non-birder needs to become a birdwatcher are two things.

  1. A 10-20x optical zoom “point and shoot” camera. Forget about binoculars, at least for the time being. Of course anyone sees the birds better with binoculars, but bring nothing home at the end of the day if only binocs are used. A camera is what makes the difference
  2. Internet connection. To share with friends on Facebook, post the pictures on blogs and direct more experienced birders to these pictures for a positive ID.

A superzoom point and shoot cost between 100-400 dollars. With the free google picassa program the “new birders” can edit the pictures. And with a good photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, he/she can even reduce noice and grain, improve the colors and delete features that disturbs the picture.

The best feature with a camera vs binoculars is that the camera can be used also for other things than birds. They usually have decent macro and wideangle that makes them great to document loads of things on the naturewalk. Additionally, they have a film function making quite poor quality film in small format, but which is perfect to upload straight away to You-tube.
Ask your kid or just anyone what he/she prefers. Binoculars or a 15x P&S camera? I think you already know the answer!

Here are some examples to illustrate my points.

  • A series of photographs taken by Donna Basset with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28S. To show what one can do for starters.
  • Steve Ingraham’s blog on the topic is helpful. Steve uses a Sony DSC H9. Also check Steve’s other blogposts, becuase there is much to learn about point and shoot photography. Steve, quite obviously has a lot of knowledge about photography and uses the camera’s many functions with perfection. When it comes to shooting at extreme magnification you need to know what you are doing for best results. Having said this, these cameras are quite inexpensive, so anyone can learn a lot just from trial and error. And in case you missed this: You don’t have to pay for film anymore!!
  • A large number of incipient birders in Peru post pictures on the pics and files ID-section of my web-page project Birding Peru. Many of them don’t even own binoculars. Scroll through the lists and and you will find many Peruvian ringing names.
  • I have the privilage knowing Guto Carvalho, who organizes AVISTAR birding festival in Brazil to almost entirely to a Brazilian public. Birdwatching was practically unknown to most Brazilians just a half a decade ago. During the 3rd year of organizing AVISTAR 2008 in Sao Paolo, there were over thirty thousand visitors to the fair. Last year was the second edition of the bird photo competition and over 7000 photos were submitted by close to 5000 photographers of 650 species.
  • Birders and naturalists must start embracing technology rather than shun it. It is the only way, to get nature’s voice heard and to recruit the new generation of nature lovers in this day and age. Below are some examples of cameras available from Amazon. The cheapest one is only 103 dollars! How much binoculars do you get for that, I wonder? The kid would be stuck with something, with absolutely no use – except for birding!

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    A reasonable Life List

    Who has not heard of the book “1000 places to see before you die“? That is a bucket list for world travellers. Soon there shall be such a bucket list with 1000 birds for birders. I mean let’s face it. Most of us will not be able to see all the 10,000 birds in the world anyway, so we might as well keep the list somewhat realistic.  Even so, 1000 species is still a darn challenge that will be very hard, because some of the most wanted birds are either very rare, very hard to get to with strenuous walks and climbs, or extremely costly to get to.
    But that is alright. Most of the people that bought the book “1000 places” book, will not fill their list either. It is living the dream and to always set a new goal that matters.

    I cracked the idea, and now I decided I shall write a book! Nobody gets rich on writing birdbooks, so this will be a hobby project in which you can take part by helping selecting the 1000 species. When the book is done, you will be able to download it for free on our web-site.

    Choose 100 birds now!

    Which are your top 100 birds in the world that you have seen and want to see. Just download this zip excel file – Birds of the World and mark your 100 favorites from the almost 10000 species in the world. Mark them giving your absolute most wanted bird 100 points, your second most wanted bird 99 points, etc.

    I shall be doing the same exercise the coming days. To help me there are a couple of books that have been extremely important to me when dreaming about exotic birds that I may one day see. I just took them off the bookshelf and piled them on my desk. They are:

    • BIrds of the World. A survey of the twenty-seven Orders and the one hundred and fifty-five Families by Oliver J. Austin Jr and fantastic illustrations by Arthur Singer. This is a true masterpiece when it comes to bird paintings. The book was first published in 1961. I have had this book since I started birding in 1983 and the a new print was published in Swedish. I am pretty sure that most of my favorites will be coming from this book. Also, I shall make sure that at least one species of each family will be on the final list of 1000 species
    • The Encyclopedia of Birds. A similar  work put together chiefly by Christoffer Perrins and C. J. O. Harrison first published in 1976 and later published by Reader’s Digest. It is beautifully illustrated by Ad Cameron.
    • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds. A publication that again Christoffer Perrins was involved in. This book first published in 1990 was a collective work between Marshall Editions and ICBP (the precursor to BirdLife International). The illustrations again are very good from a number of artists,
    • Threatened Birds of the World. Published by Lynx editions and BirdLife International in 2000. All threatened bird species are illustrated.
    • Rare Birds Yearbook. This book is published by Erik Hirschfeldt, a Swede I know since many years back. Erik’s project has been very inspiring to launch my project. I will think of ways to also be able to get some revenue to BirdLife in spite that the book will be free. In the final list with 1000 birds the majority of the critically threatened birds will be included, except for those that have no recent records. It is a bit pointless to list Ivory-billed Woodpecker and Eskimo Curlew in final list, even if these would be very desirable birds to see.

    Additionally, inspiration for participants can be found in David Attenboroughs serie “Life of Birds”. It must be stressed that it is not only the bird it self that is represented in the final lifelist, but also a specific action. It could be a lek or display, a particular behaviour, or a mass-movement of one species. It may even be a particular spot on Earth where birds concentrate – and that the species chosen should be seen there. For instance, who would not want to see a warbler fall-out on High Island? What would be a representative species that could illustrate a fall-out? Please comment below!

    Send your checklists to me when you are done. Best if you strip the list to just the 100 birds so the file does not become too bulky. I can help you if you have problems doing this selection. Just let me know. I need around 50 lists to have a good number spreading out the points. All participants in the early stage will be acknowledged in the book.
    As I said above, this will be a free e-book. However, once the final product is done, I hope to liase with Birdlife International so that money can be raised – maybe through a Facebook cause – for species in peril. Please comment below – and send me your list!

    Finally, a plug for a fine web-site that provides printable checklists – and that provided the world checklist you can download above.

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    Two lifers and one Peru-tick on Tumbes pelagic.

    No disease, but I knew I was going to see something good on this pelagic, as it was only the second one ever organized. The last trip organized in July 2008 has several good species that I have accounted for in a previous blog-post.

    This trip was completely different. The sea was completely calm. In fact. it was quiet and birdless at times since there was no wind, but when we saw birds they were very good ones.  And we saw both Blue Whale (see picture above) and Bryde’s Whales, as well as some 15 Green Turtles. And my lifers? Parkinson’s Petrel and Flesh-footed Shearwater. The Sooty Tern, which I had previously seen on Tobago, was my Peru tick.

    Birds included:

    Black Storm-Petrel 1
    Least Storm-Petrel 2
    White-chinned Petrel 12
    Parkinson’s Petrel 80
    Flesh-footed Shearwater 5
    Pink-footed Shearwater 1
    Blue-footed Booby 100s
    Peruvian Booby 100s
    Peruvian Pelican 20
    Brown Pelican 30
    Swallow-tailed Gull 3
    Elegant Tern 3
    Gull-bill Tern 1
    Sooty Tern 3 (Peru-tick)
    Phalarope sp.

    Flesh-footed Shearwater. Note slender bill. First time photographed in Peru.

    Parkinson’s Petrel. We saw 80 of this species. Noticing they were about the same size as Flesh-footed Shearwater but much smaller than White-chinned Petrel which was also seen on the trip.

    Finally, in spite that my pictures are rather poor (taken with a cheap Fuji 15x camera), they illustrate well the differences between Flesh-footed Shearwater and Parkinson’s Petrel (aka Black Petrel). But not as well as this extrordinary photo by Stever Arlow. Do visit his fine site Birders Playground and especially his photos of birds from New Zeeland.

    Next pelagic organized by Kolibri Expeditions run on April 18 from Callao, Lima. The next pelagic in Tumbes is scheduled for Nov 8. More surprises then?

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    Summer green “dry” Forest

    I am in Tumbes together with Brian and Maripat Allen from Michigan who are doing a special trip that includes both birding and non birding elements. They are beating the odds of birding in dry forests in Tumbes in the middle of the rainy season. Nothing dry about the forest reserve near Tumbes now. This area is the border area to Cerro Amotape National Park. Right now we are in the middle of the summer and it is beautifully green and the access road is horrible conditions. Nevertheless we got several good birds, such as Elegant Crescentchest, Blackish-headed Spinetail and Ecuadorian Trogon. Best bird for myself was Gray-capped Cuckoo which was a lifer. This Cuckoo is a seasonal migrant and virtually impossible to get any other time of year except for now. It was long awaited, I can tell you.

    I am still waiting for my camera to be repaired so please have patience that I am only showing some landscape pictures here.

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    Wild scenery in Lauca National Park

    Here are some scenic photos from Lauca National Park, in Northern Chile, accessible from Arica,  where I past the last couple of days. Unfortunately, my camera for bird photos is not working….but believe me we saw many nice birds as well.

    Volcano Parinacota

    Roadside Vicuña


    Lauca view

    More views of Lauca National Park

    More views in Lauca National Park

    Yours Truly!

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    What a bird!

    This was one of my most wanted birds on my recent Brazil trip. We had a pair and a hatchling at a nest at Fazenda Intervales. Got two good pictures of some 30 digiscoped!……

    Here it is! Enjoy!

    Swallow-tailed Cotinga in Intervales, Brazil. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

    Swallow-tailed Cotinga in Intervales, Brazil. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

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    Twitter, hashtags and RSS feeds.

    Last post in the Twitter for birders crash course was about the traditional uses of Twitter. It may still be a bit difficult for birders to really understand the potential here, but make sure you read the previous article first and sign up for a twitter account prior to trying to understand what this post is all about.
    In the present post, I will concentrate on the functions that shall become a revolutionary tool for birders. Hashtags and RSS feeds. These terms will be explained later in the text below.
    First of all I must mention that I am having a few problems in different platforms. What worked best for me is using Mozilla Firefox web-browser and with Power Twitter plug-in. Therefore, do consider to download Mozilla Firefox. While, you may read through this manual and test for hashtags without a Twitter account, it is highly recommended that you do sign up for a Twitter account before doing any testing and also download the Mozilla Firefox Power Twitter plugin for Twitter. This is a great plug-in, making the interface more user-friendly and adding a series of features such as short url and the ability to demask the links sent in a tweet so you see what they contain. I also noted that it is the fastest of the available hashtag readers. More on that later.

    Twitter on your cell phone

    As I mentioned in my earlier post you can twitter from your phone. To do so you have best to upload a  Twitter client. There are different apps for different phones, such as Twitterberry (for Blackberry Phones) or Twitterific or similar for Iphones. For other phones check for applications on the twitter app page for mobile phones. With such an application you will be able to use your phone to tweet out a message when you are actually in the field birding at the same instance you are doing the observation, providing you have coverage where you are.

    Hashtags for birders.

    I think by now you are slowly grasping the idea that real time birding information like this can be very useful. But what if you are 2000 birders in your state or 10s of thousand birders in a country that are tweeting out real-time birding observations? If you would be following all these people, apart from the bird observations you would also get some 5-10 times more general messages that relates to things like “I am having cofffee“, “I am going to the dentist” and “I just ran 5K and feel totally exhausted“…

    So how to just recieve the messages you are interested in? Can you select what you want to get information about? Yes, you can! With hashtags – words that are marked with # – can be searched for by automatic RSS feeders. (I don’t know what RSS is either, but it works! RSS means Real Simple Syndicate – which is just as difficult to understand, so let us content with that RSS catch web-page updates and have them transfered to another location such as a blog or an RSS reader)

    With hashtags you can get messages from all people on Twitter that use the same hashtag. You don’t need to follow any of them, but can still get all their messages that are related to the thing you are interested in.
    Test this:
    1. Enter
    2. In the search box type #birding and press enter.

    How about that…? Pretty powerful, huh?

    So say that all the people in birdclub or the list server joins Twitter and promise to put a specific #hashtagword that is identified with for specific purpose.

    I intend to send a link to this blog to some chosen list-servers to test the functionability of this idea. To make it easier for you to see how it can work for you, I have already created some hashtags for birders that you can use.

    Testing Hashtags for birders.

    First of all, some credit is due. Dan Thalmann, sent a message to KSBird-L – Kansas birding listserver – mentioning how Twitter can become useful to birders and that hashtags should be used to mark specific regions. He suggests #ksbrd for birding in Kansas.
    Maybe we should seperate between actual birding news in general and rare bird alerts in Kansas. Therefore let’s create two codes.
    #ksbrd – for general birding, as well as activities that are birding related such as lectures or announcements for field trips.
    #ksrba – for Kansas Rare Bird Alerts. If one particular bird at a location generate a lot of tweets, one may just drop the #ksrba tag, by simply replace it with #RossGull or any #ringing-code.

    Here is my list of other test areas.

    #ILbrd – for Illinois Birders
    #ILrba – for Illinois rare bird alert
    #CALbrd – california bird news
    #CALrba- California rare bird alert
    #TEXbrd – Texas birding news
    #TEXrba – Texas rare bird alert
    #Masbrd – Massachussets bird news
    #Masrba  – Massachussets rare bird alert
    #FLbrd – Florida bird news
    #FLrba – Florida rare bird alert
    #CARrba – N & S Carolina rba – for some areas it may be useful to join two states into one rare bird alert hashtag.
    #ABArba – ABA birding area rare bird alert
    #Rarevine – uncommon birds sighted in the UK – similar to what is reported by Birdguides
    #UKrba – United Kingdom rare bird alert – the hashtag is reserved for Mega-birds
    #C300x – Sweden rare bird alert

    UPDATE: I have added #rarevine to the list above …..which existed before the preperation of this article without my knowing it…

    I follow all these lists, so I will make sure that a few tweets are being sent out with the corresponding #tags. Meanwhile, I hope as many as possible will follow the below instructions below to make sure the messages reach your cell phones or set up more hashtag bird alerts for other areas (let me know if you need assistance). After a week of testing, I will make a summery for your list and  give the result of the excersize. Then it is up to you to keep it up. I shall set up these systems for Peru if it looks as if it works elsewhere (too few birders in Peru, to start it here….and even fewer who have smart-phones!)

    How much does the Twitter based Rare Bird Alert cost?

    Rare bird alert systems in the UK can cost as much as over 400 US$/year including the rent of the pager. “This system sounds as it may be expensive! So what does all this cost?”
    IT COSTS NOTHING!!! Well, that is apart from your regular cell phone service. There may be older phone-models that will not work. I believe you need a smart-phone, iphone or Blackberry to make it work. Let me know if you are able to set it up for older phones. It is preferable to have free data transfer to your cell phone account, so that is not a limiting factor. You may still join with phones where you pay for data services per byte, but note that in spite that the tweets don’t cost much at all (due to their small size), it is the other stuff that is available to you through your mobile RSS reader and the links that people send through Twitter that makes reading web-pages on your phone very costly if you don’t have a plan with unlimited data.  The only thing that I ask of you is that you follow me on as a gesture. You shall be getting updates and lots of interesting birding links in my tweets – and get to know me a little bit…..only to find that I am very ordinary…. (sorry to disappoint you if you had any grander thoughts…). Why I ask you to follow me? It makes me look more popular than I really am! I am sure you understand this is just pure vanity!

    Step by Step: How to create a Rare Bird Alert system for cell phones through Twitter, hashtags and RSS

    1. Create a hashtags for your birding area. I have created a few for you already ready to use.  I created these by just sending a tweet containing the word.  Previously, you had to follow in order for your hashtag to register, but I believe this is not necessary now. Anyway, I sent my hash-tags through Tweetdeck. Make sure the hashtag is both short and descriptive at the same time – and it has to be unique. There is no limit, you may set up a hashtag for any particular area you think needs singling out, the key issue is that all user use the same hashtag for the same purpose. Therefore, it is likely that list administrators or bird-club boards decide which hashtag to use.

    2. I presume you already have a smart-phone, Blackberry or an iPhone. You need a phone that can recieve and transfer data.

    3. Install a Twitter client on your phone so you can tweet and recieve tweets from your phone. There are Twitter clients also available for more basic phones. I use Twitterberry for my Blackberry (see above).

    4. Install an RSS reader on your phone. While you could use the mobile version of for instance Google reader, for which you have to make sure you have data connection every time you want to look at the hashtag feed, it is much more useful to have an RSS reader that download the feed to your phone, so you can read the message containing the hashtag at any time even on a plane or in the subway where you have no connection. I have found a great such application for smart phones and Blackberry called FreeRange Reader. Download it to your phone by directing the phone’s web-browser to and set up an account (it is free!).
    If you use iPhone, you may try Net Use Wire for iPhones from Newsgator. Please comment below how it works.

    5. Create the RSS feed for your hash-tag. This is best done in Mozilla Firefox browser and Power Twitter (see above). For some reason in Internet Explorer with it does not work.  You create the feed by searching for your hash-tag like in the example above for #birding. In the right column at the bottom, there is an orange button – saying “RSS feed for this query“. Click right and chose “copy link route“. Login to your RSS Feeder account, you created in the previous step. In FreeRange reader open “manage feeds” and paste this route where you are creating a new feed. You have to put your newly created feeds into a folder. You may want to create a folder specifically for your birding feeds if you subscribe to many. You may even set the RSS feeder so it checks for updates every so often and makes a little beep if there is a new feed. If you only use the RSS feeder as a bird alert gadget – it will be just as any bird alert device. Congratulations! You have just joined a rare bird alert system that will not cost you a penny. The members of the network through the listservers or forums they use, would together set up the guidelines what shall be included in the tweets.

    To make the rare bird alert even more efficient, you could include a map and directions from Google maps.
    This long Google map link indicates where a Glaucous Gull was seen in California the other day,+CA&daddr=38.253542,-122.629116&hl=en&geocode=CV07wYblTw7IFdiVRwIdbdWw-A%3B&mra=mi&mrsp=1&sz=18&sll=38.253608,-122.629459&sspn=0.001643,0.003181&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=18

    and it becomes when using Tweetdeck to shorten the url. This short url fits with the message. This shows that the 140 character limit can be expanded this way to include links, fotos and other useful information.  Very useful!

    Last, but not least. It is likely that you will find, just as I have found, that the FreeRange Feeder is such a fantastic RSS reader that you will want to load it with interesting magazines and news you want to follow.  Now is when you need that plan that includes unlimited data!!
    Check this FreeRange Feeder page for two tutorials that explain how the possibilities of this mobile RSS reader. It doesn’t mention the bird alert system of course!

    Follow me on twitter and let me know how this is working for you.

    Twitter button by Mark Panell – Creative Commons license

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    Birdwatching in Peru – videos.

    Keith Blomerley just posted some videos he put together from the trip he did with Kolibri Expeditions in 2004 together with Simon Wotton, Richard Winspear and Guy Shorrock. The birdwatching included the area around Lima, pelagic and some birding around Pisco and Ayacucho. The majority however is filmed along Manu Road and down the Madre de Dios river to Manu Amazon Lodge (formerly know as Manu Camping Lodge). The final parts contain Machu Picchu and Ticlio/Marcopomacocha.

    The film is split into 13 parts, each around 6 or 7 minutes long. Clicking the “more info” link at the top right of the page gives more details and a mention of all the species filmed. The clips are best watched in high quality by hitting the HQ button at the bottom of the video screen. I shall present the videos in 3 posts with the first four presented here.

    Birding Pucusana and Puerto Viejo

    In Pucusana the main birds were Peruvian Seaside Cinclodes, Inca Tern and Humboldt Penguin. The birdwatching at Puerto Viejo included Many-coloured Rush Tyrant, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Wren-like Rushbird, Peruvian Meadowlark, Pied-billed Grebe and Great Grebe.

    Or click this page to come to the You Tube page Birdwatching Pucusana and Puerto Viejo, Peru

    Birdwatching at Paracas and Ayacucho

    First minutes covers the desert near Pucusana. The birding here gives Coastal Miner, Vermilion Flycatcher, Peruvian Thick-knee, Mountain Parakeet with a Hooded Siskin, and Croaking Ground-Dove. At Cañete valley there were Black-necked Woodpecker and Tropical Kingbird.
    At Paracas National Reserve the filmed Turkey Vulture, Peruvian Booby, Humboldt penguin, South American Fur Seal, Sanderling and Western Sandpiper.

    Finally, the areas around Ayacucho covers Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, female White-winged Black-Tyrant, Pale-tailed Canastero (huancavelicae ssp of creamy-breasted), Bar-winged Cinclodes, Taczanowski’s Ground-Tyrant, Bearded Mountaineer, Andean flicker, Shining Sunbeam, Black-tailed Trainbearer and White-tailed canastero (usheri ssp of Creamy-breasted Canastero). There is also two skippers included. If anyone knows the names of these let me know.

    Here is the link directly to the You Tube page for part two. Birdwatching at Paracas and Ayacucho

    Birdwatching at Lomas de Lachay, Paraiso and a Lima birding Pelagic

    The birding at Lomas de Lachay gave Burrowing Owl, Least Seedsnipe, Croaking Ground-Dove, Mountain Parakeet, Oasis Hummingbird, Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch and Tawny-throated Dotterel.
    Paraiso lagoon some 30km to the North commence with an Elegant Tern and Guy’s rescue of an immature Guanay Cormorant caught in fishing net, Chilean Flamingo and Snowy Plover.
    Finally, the pelagic, one of the trip highlights, of the trip brings footage of Franklin’s gull, Grey Gull, White-chinned petrel, South American Tern, Sabine’s gull, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, White-vented Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Markham’s Storm-Petrel and White-vented Storm-Petrel. Finally as we reach waters near shore on the way back Peruvian Pelican, Dusky Dolphins with a mix of Peruvian Boobies and Sooty Shearwaters.

    For the direct You Tube link click Birding Lomas de Lachay, Paraiso and Lima Pelagic

    Birding Palomino islands near Callao and Huacarpay lake in Cusco

    The last part of this post contains the final stretch of the Pelagic trip, Huacarpay Lake and first bit of Manu road.
    There is a large colony of Peruvian boobies South American Sea Lions at Palomino islands. Chucking the last bit of chum on the way back to port brings a Red-legged Cormorant and a mix of Peruvian Pelicans Kelp Gulls and Inca Terns.
    At Huacarpay Lake there are Andean Coot and Common Gallinule, and a Greenish Yellow-Finch. Starting at the dry areas on the Manu road around Paucartambo with Creamy-crested Spinetail, Golden-billed Saltator, Chiguanco Thrush and White-winged Black-Tyrant. Once in the more humid temperate forest there are Great sapphirewing, Calling Diademed Tapaculo and Hooded Mountain-Tanager. In the elfin forest around Pillahuata, there are Broad-winged Hawk and Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Plush-capped Finch and Barred Fruiteater. Finally a very brief Red-and-White antpitta, Blackburnian Warbler and Masked Trogon.

    The direct link to You Tube and this video by clicking Birdwatching Islas Palomino and Huarcapay, Cusco

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