Cetaceans and seabirds
Done a few more trips to search for Cetaceans and seabirds the last two months.
On February 18 we had great observations of a Bryde’s/Sei Whale.
On February 23 we saw large numbers of Dusky Dolphins. The Inca Terns and Peruvian Boobies follow the moving schools of hunting dolphins is an good way to detect dolphin activity.
Recently Kolibri Expeditions started more specialized whale and dolphin safaris from Callao. We have since 2000 arranged full day pelagic trips to look for birds and during these trips we have often encountered Cetaceans (whales and doplhins collectively). However, 11-12 hours at sea is a bit too much for those that have the chief interest in watching mammals. Therefore since November 2006 we are arranging these shorter 5 hours trips with a speed boat.
Humpback Whale breaching sequence during migration south. Lima, Nov 10,
2006. Photo: Gunnar Engblom
However, details about the ocurance of other whales in other seasons are still very little known. It is hoped, with these five hours trips on a regular basis, on which we will record position, numbers, species and activities of all cetaceans, that we will learn more about the movements of cetaceans off the coast of Callao.
During the month of January, we have seen many other cetaceans in the past including Sei, Fin and Bryde’s Whale – and the usual three species of dolphins (Common, Bottle-nosed and Dusky Dolphins). During January we be operating 5 hours whale and dolphin watching trips on January 6 and 14. On January 19 there will be a full day pelagic for birdwatchers, but the chance of seeing whales and dolphins on this trip is also a very good since we cover much more ground.
On Nov 30, 2006 we made our last trip.
Once again, we went out to sea trying to spot cetaceans. It was a fine day with good views. The cloud cover soon broke up and we saw the sun. Passing the guano Palomino island of Island we continue straigth out into the deep ocean.
In a distance we see a huge flock of birds. We decide to approach. There are Peruvian Boobies making kamikaze dives from some 30 meters up, lots of Inca Terns and Sooty Shearwaters, as well as a couple of Pelicans and many Gray Gulls.
This close-up of Dusky Dolphin shows the caracteristic absence of bottle-shape beak, the contrasting body pattern, and the falcate dorsal fin that is slightly paler towards the trailing edge.
Here is the localized White-vented Storm-Petrel. Other Storm-Petrels seen during the trip were Wedge-rumped and Wilson’s Storm-Petrels.
There were many Pomerine Jaegers about. They are the true pirates of the sea, chasing after other birds, bothering them in all ways possible like grabbing their feathers, untill the victim has to give up that recently caught anchoveta.
Everyone on board were amazed by the large numbers of Waved Albatross that we were seeing. Well over 30 individuals through-out the day. The Waved Albatross basically only breeds on one island in the Galapagos archipelago. There is a small insignificant numbers on La Plata island off the Ecuadorian coast.
Birding Peru with Kolibri Expeditions
There will be no pelagic this weekend. There is a high wave warning. Click here if you don’t believe me.
We shall try to see Waved Albatross from the port of Pucusana instead while doing some land-based seabirding for a change.
Alejandro Tello reports of both Marbled and Hudsonian Godwit from Laguna Paraiso lagoon yesterday. This is very late. I guess they liked it so well in Peru that they decided to stay. Also an Inca Tern fishing over the fresh-water lagoon. Weird.
Also a report form Charles Hesse. He mentions that the first recording ever of a Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch was made with a digital pocket recorder costing only 499 soles (150 US$) at Radio Shack in Lima. A gadget a lot of Peruvian ornithologists should be interested in. Olympus WS100 (Grabadora de voz digital) is the model.
Birding Peru with Kolibri Expeditions
Rufours-breasted Warbling-Finch Poospiza alticola
Courtesy: Colin Bushell, Toucan Tours, www.toucantours.co.uk