Tuesday, June 28, 2011: This morning we birded the lodge trails. There was a lot of activity at a clearing. My first new bird was a female Booted Racket-tail. Pretty soon, we had a White-eared Solitaire perched on top of a tree. Besides a number of birds we'd been seeing, a pair of Masked Fruiteaters were also working the area. A couple of Long-tailed Sylphs put in an appearance. Finally, we spotted two White-throated Hawks working a high ridge in front of us.
Further down the trail a gully contained White-tipped Dove and White-throated Quail-Dove. We continued to walk the trails, including a visit to the bears. Streak-necked Flycatcher was another new bird, and the Masked Trogon was a big surprise. We also encountered three displaying Andean Cocks-of-the-rock, which was pretty cool.
One interesting sight involved Torrent Ducks. We found a pair of them below us in some rapids, and were able to watch them a bit. Torrent Ducks are powerful swimmers, and are able to hold their position underwater in order to grab invertebrates from rocks. The ducks moved upstream toward some still water. Dan predicted they would quickly pass over the still water. Apparently, they don't like it. Well, not only did they move quickly over it, but took to the air to do so, dropping back in the rapids further upstream. Finally, it was time to to the lodge to check out. We had some more time to see the birds in the main lodge area before lunch.
After lunch, a few of us tried to get a better look at the quail-dove. I didn't see it, but did see the Agouti. Then we waited around the lodge area until it was time to catch the train back to Ollantaytambo. There was plenty of bird activity at the lodge, and both Green Violetear and Collared Inca were new for the trip. The Collared Inca here is sometimes known as Gould's Inca. We also got a visit from a Mitred Parakeet flock that attacked the flowers in an Erythrina tree (they also visit the flowering Inga trees). At some point they were joined by some Plum-crowned (Speckle-faced) Parrots, but I was unable to get photos of those.
Eventually it was time to head for the train, which takes 1 1/2 hours to travel to Ollantaytambo. By the time we left, it was getting dark. There was entertainment on the train, including a guy in a rainbow costume and panther (?) mask. The rainbow is the symbol of the Andean peoples. Unfortunately, I didn't pay enough attention to the explanation of what this symbolized. They also put on a brief fashion show selling alpaca sweaters, coats, etc.
My bird total for the day was 47 species, including 5 lifers. The trip total increased by 11 to 119 species, with 58 lifers.
Hotel Pakaritampu, Ollantaytambo