This day started
with the short walk down to the Ollantaytambo train station, with
dippers and cinclodes seen along the creek on the way. We boarded
a train to Aguas Calientes and counted Torrent Ducks during the ride.
On arrival at Aguas Calientes, we more and less immediately proceded
to the ruins at Machu Picchu.
guide Lucretia Tejada was full of information about the Incas and
their culture. She explained how the sun temple, shown below, enabled
determination of the summer solstice.
the clear skies this morning were relatively uncommon, but they enhanced
our visit to the site.
of the baby llama was a requirement of the visit. The llamas appeared
to function as the lawnmowers of the ruins.
included a vascacha, one of the few mammals we would see on the trip..
included Inca Wrens in the bamboo near the ruins, Blue-and-white Swallows
nesting in the stone walls, an American Kestrel hunting the grounds,
and two Andean Condors that soared by overhead. Unfortunately, I got
on the more distant of these, not realizing that there was a closer
bird. It was when "my" condor vanished over the ridge top,
not having shown me much of any identifying features, that I realized
that there was another bird, since others were still watching a condor.
By this time, however, this closer bird was now just another distant,
large, black bird, heading toward and passing over the ridge top.
Oh well. So it goes with birding.
Back in Aguas
Calientes, we got set up in the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The extensive
grounds of the hotel were equipped with many hummingbird feeders (and
banana feeder stations for the tanagers). Here is a (rather fuzzy)
photograph of a male Booted Racquet-tail at one of the feeders.
A walk on
one of the trails on the hotel grounds produced more birds, including
this Highland Motmot.
We would explore
these trails several times during our stay.
to Day 4: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and the Urubamba River
to Peru 2006 Trip Home
page was last updated on 23 July 2006.
Contact Geoff Williamson
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