Thursday, July 31, 2008

Of birds and sea

Every time that I think about the sea, the sand under my feet, the fresh air in my face I wish to be a bird, to fly with the wind over the blue ocean and experience the freedom of my body and imagination. Well, I am not a bird but I love to watch them, specially the migratory birds, because it is so exciting to try to understand those awesome long distance trips and their behavior. So, I decided to make a quick trip to the Lagoons of Mejia National Sanctuary, a Peruvian protected area that was created to protect resident and migratory birds, to search for the very early northern and some southern migrants. I found a very few Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres), some Black-bellied Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola), Sanderlings (Calidris alba) and some Franklin`s Gulls (Larus pipixcan). Some of the young individuals of the first three species oversummer in the wintering areas but I am not sure about the gulls. I took all these pictures on the 29th of July. Also, I found lots of Gray Gulls (Larus modestus), they come from southern South America, they are very common here and are preparing to go back to the breeding grounds about late August. This protected area is a very good point to make birdwatching, here there are over 200 birds species and you can see at least 80 in one day. It is located at the south of the Peruvian coast almost in the middle of South America, so you can see here northern, southern, andean and rainforest migrants in one spot, besides the resident birds like the Inca Tern (Larosterna inca), Kelp (Larus dominicanus) and Belcher`s Gull (L. belcheri), lots of ducks, cormorants, etc.

Snowy Plover

Kelp Gull

Red-Legged Cormorant

American Oystercatcher

Surfing Peruvian Pelicans

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