Exploring the Inkaterra

IMG_1412It has been far too long since my last post about our trip to Peru and there is so much more to tell, I have at least two more planned, perhaps a New Year’s resolution is in order 😉

In my last blog entry, we experienced Machu Picchu via the images I took during our time there.  At the end of the day which was close to 5:00pm, we took a bus back to Agua Calientes and then a short hike to our hotel.  As you may have noticed, we stayed in a variety of topnotch hotels.  The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was no exception.  In fact if I had a single complaint about our whole trip, a single night stay there was certainly not long enough.

The entire complex is perfectly situated within the rainforest gardens with a variety of suites and accommodations strategically located with the 12 acre site.  As soon as we were settled, I headed out with my camera to find the local wildlife.  I soon found the busy hummingbird feeders and bird feeders which were stocked with bananas.  Unfortunately taking images in the rainforest presents it’s own challenges so I had to use a high ISO to get a proper shutter speed.  I was able to capture 3 birds before darkness set in.

I have created several galleries in this blog to allow for a larger image to be displayed, simply click on the thumbnail in the gallery you wish to see.  There are navigation arrows on each side of the image.

Collared IncaHepatic TanagerChestnut-breasted Coronet

Our group dinner was never without the indispensable Birds of Peru and a Pisco Sour 🙂

IMG_1373-c88.jpgIMG_1375-c96.jpgIMG_1376-c50.jpgIMG_1377-c100.jpgIMG_1378-c60.jpg

An early start the next morning found many of us at the bird feeders all set to head out on the birdwatching trip for the next few hours.  As mentioned in a previous blog, my photography was limited to brief moments of opportunity or shooting-on-the-fly but I am still pleased with what I was able to capture.

Blue-gray TanagersBlue-napped ChlorophoniaBlue-and-yellow Tanager - femaleDusky-green OropendolaSaffron-crowned TanagerSaffron-crowned TanagerCollared IncaSilver-backed TanagerBlue-and-yellow TanagerDusky-green Oropendola

Our wonderful, experienced guides, Braulio Puma and his assistant had our group spotting birds right away and the variety never ceased to amaze us.  The guides had us exploring the trails of property listening and observing and skillfully answering our inquiries.

The gang!Sierran ElaeniaRusset-crowned WarblerGolden-crowned FlycatcherSwallow TanagerSwallow TanagerTropical FlycatcherTorrent TyrannuletRoadside Hawk

I would suspect that the Andean Cock-of-the-rock is at the top of every birders life list.  When we checked in at the hotel, the sightings board had indicated that one had been seen in the last few days so hopes were very high that we would see one on this outing.  Our entire group started out on the bird hike but as the hours ticked by, most had left to go back to the hotel to go on other hikes or to have breakfast.  With our diminished numbers we continued off the hotel property and explored the area beside the train tracks which ran alongside the Urubamba River.  Suddenly there was an unmistakable flash of red in front of us and Colin cried out “cock-of-the-rock”!  We cautiously moved into viewing position and there it was, it’s identity unequivocal, the national bird of Peru.  The male cock-of-the rock has a stunning, large disk-like crest that is brilliant scarlet or orange.  The crest is used during mating rituals that show off its impressive plumage.  I had started taking pictures while I was on the bed of the train tracks since I had a height advantage looking into the forest.  Braulio encouraged me to step off the tracks since they were very busy and trains could appear at a moments notice.  It was not long after that a train appeared so this was good advice indeed.

AN5A3820.jpg

Moving off the tracks put me at a disadvantage since my tripod couldn’t go high enough so I had to resort to hand-holding my camera and lens combo to try and get the images and yes that is a look of awe on my face 😉

DSC01166.jpgDSC01167.jpg

During the next 13 minutes before the Cock-of-the-rock took flight, I took several dozen images and I was happy that quite a few turned out.

AN5A3946.jpgAN5A9423-Edit-Edit.jpgAN5A9538-Edit.jpgAN5A9589-Edit.jpgAN5A9604-Edit.jpgAN5A9606.jpg

The journey back to the hotel wasn’t as exciting as seeing the rare Cock-of-the-rock but we were able to add more wonderful birds to our life lists.  The beautiful Torrent Ducks lead an interesting life living on fast flowing mountain rivers where it is a powerful swimmer and diver even in white water.

Torrent DucksTorrent DucksTorrent DucksGreen and white HummingbirdChestnut-breasted CoronetSpectacled RedstartBlue-necked TanagerThick-billed Euphonia

 

Thanks for stopping by and if you are ever staying in the Machu Picchu region, you will not be disappointed with a stay at the Inkaterra.

 

 

This entry was posted in Birds, Machu Picchu, Nature, Nature Photography, Peru and tagged , , , , .

6 Comments

  1. Scott Martin January 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    It has been a while since your last post Arni but wow, was it ever worth the wait! Amazing to see the Cock-of-the-Rock and I can only imagine the thrill of being there. The Collared Inca looks fantastic. Congrats to Dianne as well…..I’ve got to go get something to eat after looking at her images!

    • Arni January 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

      Much appreciated Scott. It is hard to believe that this trip was over 1 year ago but creating the post has all those terrific memories rushing back. I have been negligent not mentioning the Peruvian cuisine which was awesome as you can tell by Dianne’s pictures!

  2. Mary McIntyre January 3, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    Arni,
    You must be thrilled with seeing such a variety of birds in a short time. But the Cock-of-the-rock must have made your tramping around such a huge reward. All of the birds have gorgeous colour. And the hotel looks wonderful. Such a treat.

    • Arni January 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks Mary, The Cock-of-the-rock was at the top of our bird list and we were so fortunate to have seen it and capture some decent images as a bonus. Peru is such a wonderful country with all of its natural features, culture and history.

  3. Rob Smith January 6, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    Well Arni, can see that you had a fantastic trip and certainly got some wonderful shots. Certainly some colourful birds to see & photograph which you did so well. Would also have been fantastic to see the culture and scenery.

    • Arni January 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      We certainly did Rob. The birds are almost 😉 as colourful as yours! Thank you!