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