The pelagic that never happened

This one got away!

Red-legged Cormorant. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Red-legged Cormorant. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

For November 18 there were 8 people ready to do a pelagic tour, but no matter how hard I tried, there was no boat suitable to take us. There are only three boat owning companies that have permits to operate with tourists in Lima.  One boat was too large – and weeks before the trip already occupied, the boat we have used in the past has propulsion problems and been in dock several times the last year, but seems never to get it fixed. For this particular departure, we were told it should be ready…..but alas it wasn’t. The third company has open speed boats without toilet.  We got very wet the last time last year –  my camera was destroyed. It was my last resort and certainly not my favorite substitute. But that did not work either. One idea remained, to go to Paracas and charter an open boat there, but it meant a surcharge at around 100 dollars per person, and some people in the group were not prepared to take that.

So we ended up doing a short trip to the sea-lion colony on a nearby islet called Palomino. Not what we expected. One passenger asked whether to bring bread crums for the ducks in the pond.

End result: very common birds photographed  and, as I blogged about the other day,  two good ID-nuts to crack – a Skua and two Terns (now supplied with comments from Alvaro Jaramillo). I also already ranted about how eco-tourism should not be carried out in my blogpost about Swimming with the sealions  in  Until Jaws or Willy comes along.

We also visited the excellent Poza Arenilla mudflats at la Punta  before the boat trip. On the way there we stopped at a recently reliable stake-out for Peruvian Thick-knee along “La Costanera” highway.  The boat-trip was pleasant and the Pisco Sours small but repeated!

Peruvian Thickknee.

Peruvian Thickknee. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Here is a sample of the birds we did see, which hardly made up for not seeing all those tube-noses we did not see, but at least gave us a pleasant days birding.  Three of the people asigned to the pelagic cancelled. When you want tubenoses, you want tubenoses. It is not negotiable!
But the Chilean Skua and the South American Terns were good.

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