Here's a video of just a few birds digiscoped during the
Titicaca flightless Grebe, video by Pauline Hogg on our
first trip there.
All photos here were taken during my
recee in 2015. Of course, there was so much more that is not
depicted here. We have to find hotels close to birding sites, the
best birding route, and the best local guide. I was accompanied by
Hector Slongo, an artist working on the forthcoming Bolivian Field
Guide. Hector showed me many of his paintings as he was delivering
them to the publisher during our trip.
Together, we visited Lake Titicaca,
where there are floating reed-island villages. An old man here had
helped Thor Heyedhal to build the Kon-Tiki, as well as several other
boats that he would use on his expeditions.
Titicaca is home to a flightless
grebe, which we saw extremely well. Our tour will visit the Tiwanku
ruins. This is where the Inca empire began, its people spreading
north into Peru, finally building Machu Picchu.
Few people realise that much of
Bolivia is lowland forest that encompasses part of the Pantanal. So
there are Umbrellabirds, macaws and even a cave filled with Oilbirds
Los Volcanes National Park, has one
of the most spectacular back-drops to a birders hotel that I have
ever visited. I found Spectacled Bear prints and there are Jaguars
here, but both rarely seen. Andean Condors soared over the peaks and
Military Macaws roosted on the cliffs. From here, I drove through
dry valleys and elfin forest to Cochabamba, home of several endemics
that included the Cochabamba Mountain Finch.
La Paz and Coroico have high passes
were Andean Gulls and White-capped Dippers haunt the clear streams,
below the snowy mountains.
So far few people have visited this
country, which retains the charm of its bowler-hatted ladies.
Tourism means that new roads and lodges are being built. So as
usual, it is good to visit before everything changes.
Flightless Titicaca Grebes
the tiny flat green patch just left of
centre, is where our hotel is!!!!