Northern Shoveler – New species for Peru

Northern Shoveler Ventanilla January 17, 2011. Photo: Pete Morris

by Gunnar on February 17, 2011 · 4 comments

in Birding Neotropics

Pete Morris, guide from Birdquest, made a fantastic discovery in Lima in mid Janaury. When birding Ventanilla marshes – conveniently north of Lima and easily accessible from the airport without having to tackle the thick Lima traffic – he photographed this female Northern Shoveler. Not only a first for Peru, but apparantly the southern-most record in South America. Most South American records are from islands off the Caribbean coast – and some records from Colombia. There is also one sight record from SW Ecuador.

Myself being a lister in Peru, I was naturally keen to get the bird on my Peru list, fully aware that more than two weeks had past since it was photographed. “It is a duck, right! No reason for it to go anywhere! Ventanilla is a great duck pond! It could well still be there.”

Punkbirder in Lima.

I heard about the Shoveler on Friday February 4 as Pete Morris sent me a Facebook message and the picture was up on Birdquest’s Facebook page. I was scheming secretly that Saturday morning I could actually slip away a couple of hours. Punkbirder Rob Martin and his lovely wife Katherine had just arrived to Lima for a 2 months public transport birding/backpacking trip in Peru. We had been in contact for a few weeks prior to their arrival, and it would be fun to meet up, although I had some constraints freeing time from family and work. Killing two birds with one stone (sic!) – I gave Rob a ring asking if he wanted to join for a twitch! Although he was not too thrilled over a Northern Shoveler, the prospect of seeing a lot of other birds – totally new to him (and at no cost!), was too great a temptation. Katherine, a bat biologist, tagged along for a good morning out.


The Shoveler not to be seen – and yours truly  is still stuck at 1599 Peru birds (according to SACC-list).
Though we did get to see some other nice birds. Best bird for Lima were the 10 Hudsonian Godwits and three Blue-winged Teal.

Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica. Photo: Gunnar Engblom at Ventanilla, Lima, Peru

Rob was more impressed with  Peruvian Thickknee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and Least Bittern.

Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra- Bill Bouton

Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris. Photo: David Cook

I hope to go back to Ventanilla again tomorrow morning.  Maybe I have more luck then!

Top Photo:  Courtesy Pete Morris, Birdquest. Peruvian Thickknee photographed at Chaparri by David Cook and Many Colored Rush-Tyrant photographed in Cusco by Bill Bouton – both these by Creative Commons license on Flickr. The Hudsonian Godwit was taken at the site by Gunnar Engblom

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Riss February 17, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I saw a Many-colored Rush-Tyrant while birding in Chile last June. I had a hard time walking away from it but there were other birds to be seen. It’s an extremely impressive little bird. 1599 is pretty good Gunnar. My Peru list is stuck at zero.


Gunnar Engblom February 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Paul, thanks for the comment. MCRT is a fantastic little bird. Rob was really happy about that one.
Paul, you need to do something about your Peru list, really! I building up Punk content in my posts (punk-chicken, punk-heron and punk-birder). Off to Colombia for 10 days – familty holiday. But when I get back it is high time for a feature post of your stuff. Make sure to fill your page with loads of tatoes, birdpics, punk-videos, etc.
Btw, when leaving a comment on a blogpost – always give a link to your blog.


Paul Riss February 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Oh yeah. Love to up the Peru list. Someday.


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