Limón de Porculla to Jaen (Sep 23-24)

Near Limón de Porculla (Department of Piura) we camped and birded the evening of the 23rd and morning of the 24th before packing up and driving off to the town of Jaen. Our elevation here was ca. 2100m (6890 feet), and most of our birding was on pretty steep slopes!

The campsite and food prep area.

Señor Juan fills up the thermos with hot water our favorite breakfast beverages.

These assassin bugs (reduviidae) showed up at dusk and flocked to our lights and our tents by the scores! (So which kind of assassin bug carries Chagas disease anyway?)

Coastal fog or some other low cloud formations filled in the lower elevations first thing in the morning.

View from near the campsite. Much of the habitat is being destroyed by slash & burn & grazing.

The pale areas of the upper left and lower right are areas that have been whacked by machete. Shortly after I took this photo, a group of campesinos hiked to the bottom corner of the upper left clearcut and started slashing a new clearcut to connect the two regions. It didn't take long for them to connect to the other clearing.

Less than an hour later, they had successfully slashed several acres of shrubs. The area inside the black semi-circle is the area that's been cut, and you can see the men in their light-colored shirts continuing to hack away in progress.

Another threat to the habitat of this region is the spread of escaped exotic Eucalyptus trees -- the light gray-green leafed young trees seen here.

Birding the natural areas that remain in these semi-open slopes, we got good looks at Watkin's Antpitta!

Some incredible flowers were here, too, like this member of the Melastomatacea family of plants.

Jeff, Blan, & David going psycho inside the vehicle on the road to Jaen while Julio calmly drives . . .

These "motortaxis" were very common in medium-sized towns. Less than a dollar would get you to most places you needed to go.

Of course, ride at your own risk!

On a side road outside of Jaen, we found our first Common Thornbirds. Here's a thornbird nest.

And here I was finally able to photograph a couple of dragonflies! The elevation here was only around 500m (1640 feet) or so. (Any idea what they are? Anyone?)

Here's another dragonfly of some sort.

I was REALLY hoping to find some cool snakes on this trip, and I was especially hoping to photograph some deadly vipers.

However, this little fella was the ONLY snake we saw on the whole trip. At first we wondered if it was just a long millipede!

Not exactly the deadly viper I had in mind . . . but a neat creature nevertheless. This threadsnake is in the genus Leptotyphlops. (Hard to imagine that thing actually has a spine -- it was barely bigger around then a pencil lead!)

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Created on ... October 27, 2003 |