1 October 2000
by Gunnar Engblom
Description: Pelagic off Callao, Lima w Letta some 30 nm from La Punta
Species Seen: 33 + three species seen by Mikko Pyhälä
We (Kolibri Expeditions) arranged the first ever full day whale-watching trip in Peru off Callao. The weather was overcast untill 2.30 or 3 PM and then the sun came out. Though we did not see any true whales but Common Dolphin (around 20-30) 12º14.360S, 77º35.007 some 30 and Dusky Dolphin (around 100) at 12º18.492S, 77º30.078W.
We were to start at 5.30 but actually set off at 6.30. I wanted to reach some 50 nm to reach waters that were 2000m deep. However, we only got to 30 nm off the coast, and depth here was about 1000 meters 12º17.100S 77º38.100W. A lot of seabirds where seen here including Black-browed Albatross and White-chinned Petrel
We were back in Callao at 16.30. A bit too short.
The birding was great though with a lot of variety of birds. The air-temperature was quite pleasant. The sea was a bit shaky but not too bad
1 individual This species breeds on the Galapgos islands and a small island off the Ecuadorian coast (Isla La Plata)
F Black-browed Albatross
2 at 1000 m depth.
Mikko claims Antartic Giant Petrel also, but I want to await the photographic proofs. Mikko also saw what he believes where Brown Noddies.
2 at 1000m depth
10-20 mostly at 1000m depth
300 more or less
common, the first storm-petrels we saw with very forceful flight and some near the boat going out was this species
Eventually we could distinguish White-vented smaller size, being a more fragile bird, tripping on the water and more erratic flight. On birds close to the boat we could see white bellies on at least 10-15 individuals
1 seen as we were leaving the harbour. Clearly a very large white area, makes this observation 100% even though short. I have seen this species often on Galapgos.
All in all 20 individual seen. This is the highest number I have ever seen of this threatened species and may be the most note-worthy record of our trip. On the Ballestas circuit close to Paracas I some times see 1-2 individuals when San Gayan island is included.
We saw 30-40 individuals of this species. They were all immatures. A bit surprising that they are still in these water being a more Northern Breeder (Ecuador). Clearly larger than Peruvian Booby and very dark heads and plain upper wings. White spot on the back and upper tail coverts usually easily seen.
2 near port
3 surprisingly low numbers
some 10 seen near Callao (Isla Palomino and Isla San Lorenzo)
some 50 of this giant with almost prehistoric looks.
One small flock of 5 birds seen
About a hundred seen total. This were seen as fast flying waders with clear white wingbands. Birds giving clear gray appearance and head and neck whitish gray with a clear black mask.
The most common gull
(Mikko saw Grey-hooded Gull near shore)
30 We were a bit confused with this species and Swallow-tailed Gull, but we are sure that most of the birds we saw was this species (we saw many brown-backed immatures which are not confusable), except a flock of immature Swallow-tails that laid on the water and lifted as we were going out. It was mostly the adult bird in winter plumage I had problems with, but considering that I see adult birds in Galapagos this time of year that have black hoods, the adult birds here in winter plumage ought to be Sabine?s Gull.
At least a flock of 10 immatures seen in the beginning of the trip. Great confusion in the later part of the trip. I believe most birds we saw later were Sabine?s Gull, as adult Swallow-tails should have black hoods this time of year.
4 (Mikko also saw one Royal Tern)
South American Tern
Several inshore. Especially when arriving to the yacht club where they were peerching in big numbers on the yachts. At see I feel most of the terns seen where. Personally I found the midsize Sterna terns difficult on long distance and on shaky boats. These individuals in the port were seen very close and the blodd-red rather heavy and somewhat down-curved bill gives it away.
1 seen for sure. But difficult to identify at sea (confusion with South American and Arctic Tern)
3 seen sufficiently well to 100 % id. Many unidentified Sternas at sea were probably this species. Wing pattern and boyant flight (and one birds with long tail) were the details that identified the species. Need to study up on the midsize Terns though.
3 were seen. This small tern is similar to Least Tern. Small size, agile and grey underparts makes it fairly easy to identify. Also noted the white forehead.
8 seen as far as I could see all adults. They looked very dark brown, but the light was not good enough to see any rufous tone.
3 seen well to identify to species. We noted the heaviness of these birds. Heavy-bellied and powerful Most Jaegers seen where without the central elongated tail-feathers which made id difficult
we identified 2 for certain on slimness and lack of white crescents in the wings. There were other jaegers which probably also where this species or Parasitic Jaeger but we could not tell for sure.
some 10 on Isla Palomino
On the shore as we arrived to the harbour
1 30 nm from shore at the 1000 m depth and big gathering of Seabirds