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Having birded the best sites just south of Lima, today was mostly a driving day as we headed to a new area north of the capital city.  It looked so simple on the map, just follow the Pan-American Highway across town and out the other side.  So how did we manage to find ourselves driving completely the wrong way down a crazy street, full of fast traffic, fruit stalls, tuk-tuk taxis and enormous potholes?  At least we knew exactly where we were on the map but that didn’t help much as we tried to turn round and head back the way we had come.  Amazingly, there were no cross words between us though the tension was high as Alan sought to keep our little car intact despite all attempts to ram us or drive us off the road while Ruth struggled to follow our erratic route and get us onto the right road again with no recognisable place or street names.  At last we succeeded and found ourselves driving once more across wide open desert with Lima safely behind us.Our destination was the Reserva Nacional de Lachay, an area of mist forest which promised new birds for our list.  We arrived too late to explore thoroughly today but we birded the entrance road with the intention of returning early tomorrow morning.  Even this short drive in proved productive as we picked up a new Miner for our list on the way, this time Thick-billed Miner.  But the short drive out again was even better as we caught sight of first one, then a second and then a third male Least Seedsnipe.  This cautious little skulker seems a cross between a dove, a grouse and a wader, but however you want to classify it, it is a pretty little bird and we were lucky to see three males at fairly close range.We continued on to Huacho for accommodation where we picked a hotel down a quiet side street, only to find the garden behind the high stone wall was full of young people in national dress practising for their traditional dance session this evening – what a bonus to experience some Peruvian culture and all such friendly people.Bird species total: 2767
Posted 18th July, Huacho, Peru


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