Something remarkable about this blog referring to an interesting spot that has become a nice place for birding at hometown ” World Famous Manu Road”, that’s is the resulting land that you can be suddenly surprised by encountering any migrant or simply be surprised by any unexpected sight in terms of geographical distribution or just simply rarities while birdwatching and leading tour groups at Wild Watch Peru or just by visiting my parents.
I have become used to visiting these ponds and the top quality birding it has to offer, some highlights in the last couple of years have included, Black-necked stilt, greater yellow legs, Black-bellied whistling duck, a southern lapwing, Brazilian Teal, and recently the least grebe and few other raptors Laughing falcon, Osprey. Other species restricted to this aquatic habitat such as; herons, egrets, silvered Ant-bird, little cuckoo, and the juvenile of black-crowned night heron seen in a short period of time.
The endangered blue-headed Macaw and few other psittacines can be easily heard and seen before dusk, the second growth vegetation holds few other interesting species; spot breasted woodpecker, little woodpecker these 2 were spotted while nesting on the cavities of the standing trees.
The observation of migrant flycatchers also is interesting; vermilion flycatcher and most of the species remain as a resident that would be the case of the unmistakable hoatzin so I got surprised when we first spotted the magnificent hoatzins on October 2013, actually, our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some passerines strongly related to the marshes, which are; silvered antbird, silver beaked, palm and blue and gray tanager.
Brazilian teal and Southern Lapwing have become attractively resident along the area as they are strongly colonizing the man-made habitats; rice ponds, fish farms, and grassland so I still pursuit the chance to get my first picture of the Brazilian Teal that unfortunately couldn’t happen yet, I suddenly have seen them twice flying away around the dam, they remain as elusive birds for now.
In fact, the ponds, (hoatzin habitat ) were accidentally created by my father on his way to run his project of the fish- farm for breeding some Gami-Pacos, Tilapias.
The creek that emerges out from the forest was dumped, eventually, it has become huge ponds that have flooded the forest around, once the conditions were favorable and optimal the hoatzin started colonizing the shores as they were coming out from the forest interior as they also live along creeks and swamps, for instance, the vegetation around was dying slowly and this particular habitat for other species of birds such as; flycatchers, woodpeckers, the first time we saw the hoatzin.
What a great surprise! Initially, we only counted around 8 or 9 individuals in October 2013. They were apparently intolerant for being watched at close range so nowadays their population has increased reasonably. I have counted over 16 individuals. Actually, the ponds are my favorite site to observe these pre-historic looking birds while birding along the Manu road, its true hoatzins appear to be one of the most common birds around water bodies but somehow at a much lower elevation, the fish farm is over 600 meters on elevation.