PEACHFRONT SPEAKS

The Amazing Bolivian Parrot and Rare Macaw Escapade
Eagle Overload: More Eagles, More Cats, the South Africa Edition
MY KENYA DIARY: IN QUEST OF EAGLES
MADAGASCAR DIARY: SERPENT-EAGLES, GOSHAWKS, AND MORE
A Very Partial Index to the Entries
A for the time being not even remotely complete guide to all 4,300+ plus entries
BIRDS***BIRDING***WILDLIFE GARDENING
SF/BOOKWORM***NUCLEAR/SPACE *** TRAVEL
A Google-Plus Verified Author


photo copyright ïŋ― 1987 by Elaine Radford, all rights reserved

contact me older entries newest entry
Recent entries

i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
the mexico birding adventure continues... - 2016-11-13
run, rabbit, run because the fun never stops - 2016-11-13
nobody wants to admit they speak english now & who can blame them - 2016-11-12
ferruginous pygmy-owls make attractive targets for bitter hummingbirds - 2016-11-09


INTRO OFFER: Read my new book, The 10 Best Things You Can Do For Your Bird, on your Kindle, PC, or smartphone by purchasing directly from Amazon. It's on the Nook, from Barnes & Noble too, so click right here if you've got a Nook or Nook app.


Drool on my personal collection of stones by clicking right here.


By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.

A bibliography of my published books and stories.

Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars.


A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!! The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit the official fan site, Passages in the Void..


Visit Peachfront's Cookbook, for recipes that are fast, cheap, and good. A work in progress.

My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.


HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.







bolivia trip report part 1: from airforce one to whacky cuckoos on a telephone wire

2009-10-17 - 8:57 a.m.


all photos Đ 2009 by elaine radford

phone booth, san julian, bolivia

I have a little unexpected time this morning because the rental car agency tried to palm a pickup truck off on us instead of an SUV. No, guys. Just, um, nooooo....

Iīll expand a little on yesterdayīs quickie post. I have to admit it, I knew that Obama was landing in New Orleans on the same day that I was departing, but I didnīt know any details. Iīm pretty sure that most people not involved in security didnīt know any details, such as the time he would land or what runway he would land on. Just by chance, I happened to be in that concourse C where I was sitting at the window to make use of the outlets on the wall under the window. Nothing more premeditated than that. So I had a clear view of the window all to myself. In fact, there werenīt that many people there at all. Then, all of a sudden, along lands this big airplane right in front of us that says THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I mean right in front of me, so that I was just on the other side of the glass. I was so stunned, Iīm thinking something idiotic like, Holy crap, is there an airline called THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? You just canīt believe in a lucky sighting like that. Anyway, someone started to cheer, and then of course I knew consciously what I had just seen.

I didnīt see Obama himself, because the plane then pulled around and went to deplane somewhere quite a ways from the gate. The motorcade went by after awhile with 27 cars in the procession. Tres exciting.

After that, the long layover in MIA international concourse area was unexciting to say the least. It took me about ten minutes to inspect their arts program, and I was never able to find the rooftop restaurant. The restaurant I did find was one of those elbow to elbow deals that make you painfully conscious of just how high their rent is to be in MIA airport. And hereīs a funny thing, my flight from New Orleans landed just across from the departing flight to Santa Cruz. Thatīs nice. They give me 7 hours to walk, like, three steps.

I met the other lady on the tour at the gate. She was in business class but, honestly, I donīt think it would have worked for me when I saw it. It was no more than a domestic first class type of arrangement. I feel like if Iīm paying business class prices on a night flight, I need to have a lie flat bed.

Also, I had a major major MAJOR piece of luck. Way at the back of the bus, in the bowels of the 7th circle of hell, it turned out that the middle seat next to me had a broken tray table. On this almost full flight, the crew had to spend like 10 minutes reseating everyone around me. So Iīm on the aisle with an empty seat next to me. Yay me! I did have to pay $6 for that goodnight airplane bottle of wine, but oh well. It beat paying a couple extra thousand for a business class ticket.

We had to stop in La Paz and deplane a bunch of passengers. Nice views of the Andes mountains breaking through the clouds. They had to do a security check and match everybody back to their bags before we could depart again. There was a huge bag in the bin over me, and they had to announce a description of the dudeīs bag at least five times over ten minutes before he finally spoke up and remembered, oh yeah, thatīs my bag stowed back there.

And so to Santa Cruz. Itīs a hot, low-lying area, so I felt a little silly with my coat, but Iīll need it later. For now, we got some rest and some non-airplane food, and then it was off to the Santa Cruz botanical area, in the aforementioned pick em up truck, which didnīt have room for 5 adults, even if one of them does happen to be Peachfront. I noticed a large number of Toyota Corolla station wagons on the road, I mean, a really unusual number. The first one I noticed even had the luggage racks, just like mine. It was working as a cab. I have the only one in Mandeville and maybe the only one in the United States, but now I know that I donīt just happen to possess a rare limited edition antique. Oh well.

I canīt put my whole bird list, because it would take too much time, but letīs see if I can hit a few highlights. On the drive over to the botanical garden, I glanced over and saw a browny-type crested cuckoo on the wire -- Guira Cuckoo. Moments later, another flew right over the truck to give me a nice view. And then I would see other small family gatherings on the telephone wires. So cute.

Right at the entrance to the park, I saw a Rufous Hornero sitting in its oven, which it had built of red clay to make a nice round cave. Trouble is, it had built it right on the telephone pole, so it didnīt exactly blend in or anything. I would soon learn that this is a popular hobby of the Rufous Hornero.

The minute we walked over to the pond, we spotted three species of Woodpeckers. Alas, one of them got away before we had enough field marks. But the Yellow-Tufted Woodpeckers put on a nice show on the dead tree trunk right in front of us. We also had a very fine adult male Crimson-Crested Woodpecker on the dead tree right behind it. He put on an excellent show, displaying himself as he worked the trunk from every angle. Iīm loving the proud red crest and the striking white V for victory on his back.

Later, weīd have an adorable Piculet, Iīm forgetting the species now and will have to add it later, but this mini-woodpecker working furious away on his tiny branch was just precious, even when he was catching and eating a spider -- or was it the prey trapped in the spiderīs web? It reminded me of watching a Downy Woodpecker work a trumpetcreeper vine, pounding it as furiously as any Pileated ever pounded a cypress trunk. Hey, they donīt think theyīre small. They figure theyīre life-size.

A special moment: A Blue-Fronted Motmot had perched on a limb over the trail. We stopped so as not to disturb the bird. A second bird joined him. Now the first bird solicitously leaned over and fed the second bird a long, slimy-looking worm. She loved it and held it up to inspect it for maybe a few seconds before she gulped it down. Just a classic food exchange.

We saw a two inch long metallic blue WASP. Wowsers. I hope those things donīt sting. It was actually walking on the ground, which surprised me. More like an ant than a wasp. But I wouldnīt care to meet it in a dark alley either way.


golden-collared macaws, rural lowlands, bolivia, whooty hoot, these make a fine display in the sunlight

No rare hawks yet. So far, just the Roadside Hawk seen, wait for it, roadside. A Crested Caracara in the garden, which had to sit in a kind of green area of the tree, a futile attempt to conceal itself from the fury of Yellow-Chevroned Brotogeris Parakeet. A female Snail Kite circled the pond a few times, giving us a nice flight show, before she perched and started to preen for the photographerīs camera.

I keep thinking of more great sightings. How did I fail to mention actually seeing a Squirrel Cuckoo at eye level and out in plain view, instead of at the top of the canopy and behind the barn with only its tail hanging out?

Dinner with another Argentine biologist, this one in charge of the Blue-Throated Macaw recovery program. He has them using a number of good techniques for increasing the production of the birds, which would normally raise one young bird whenever the hell they feel like it. Whenever the hell they feel like it isnīt good enough when you can find only 72 birds left. The birds usually lay three eggs, so theyīre giving supplemental feeding to the babies, so that everyone can thrive and thereīs no Cain affect. We saw the first ever photo made of a family of five, with both proud parents and the three fledglings. Absolutely beautiful.

They will be receiving some captive-bred Blue-Throats to assist in the program, which it sounds like the captive breeders think can ultimately be released, but which he tends to suspect will be more useful for producing more eggs/babies which can then be slipped into the nests of those wild Blue-Throated Macaws which are known good parents. Blue-Throated Macaws canīt count, which will ultimately prove to be a good thing for the survival of the species.

Well, Iīve got to stop typing at some point. This long chewy chunk of a diary entry will have to hold you folks for awhile. This next lodge doesnīt even have telephones.


performance at the concepcion cathedral, built 1709, in concepcion, bolivia

back - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at DiaryLand.com!

All Rights Reserved, Copyright ïŋ― 2002-2014 by Elaine Radford