Northern Peru talk
The word Peru conjures up the Inca, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, the Nazca Lines, the Andes, Amazonia, El Niño, earthquakes, volcanos and, possibly, Paddington Bear. Less fortunately, Shining Path now thankfully no longer a terrorist threat. For the Birder, Peru usually means the southern circuit, macaw licks, Cock-o’-the-rock leks and the Inca terns of the dry coastal strip. John Flood took us on a different journey to the much less well known and less accessible northern birding and cultural circuit. John’s talks are never just a list of birds and other wildlife (though his sighting of a Spectacled bear aroused envy amongst some of us). He made us aware that Peru’s ancient civilisations date back over 3,000 years and that the Inca were the Johnny-come-latelys of the C15th and C16th, last in a series of great pre-conquest civilizations: civilizations like the Chachopoyas of the Andes (the People of the Mist) with their massive walls and the Moche of the dry coastal desert with their remarkable pottery. Well supported by stunning pictures of wildlife and cultural artefacts, dramatic scenery and his own maps and diagrams, John gave a talk that ranged from geo-political and social facts, the historical importance of rubber and the invention of vulcanisation to the identification of new several bird species in the northern areas he visited. And if photos of the Long-whiskered owlet and the amazing Magnificent Racket-tailed hummingbird don’t make us want to ‘do’ the northern circuit, nothing will. On Jan 12 Tim Melling, always a crowd gatherer, will talk about Pennine Wildlife.