Parque El Olivar is in the San Isidro district of Lima, Peru, and is a great place to see local bird species. I went there with my friend Andrew Sheehan and saw a fair number of birds (I didn’t keep a count) including six life-listers for me (details below). We were staying in Miraflores so the park was very easy to get to and was a relaxing moment to take our minds off the conference lectures we had come to give.
I am including below only the new species that I saw. The first was the Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia), known locally as amazilia costeña or often simply picaflor. These are common in Lima, and we saw several in the Olivar Park. Never easy to photograph, though! I had to use the flash extender to reach this one through the bushes.
I noticed a pigeon/dove that I hadn’t seen before, with strange bright blue-coloured hard skin around the eyes. This was the West Peruvian Dove (Zenaida meloda), of which we saw many – its wings are edged with white, which make it very distinctive when flying.
west peruvian dove
Also in abundance were Vermilion flycatchers (Pyrocephalus rubinus). We found that these came in a number of colours – here I am including the most common brilliant red bird and its sooty morph, but we saw other colours too.
vermilion flycatcher (sooty morph)
The bird below is the Long-tailed mocking bird (Mimus longicaudatus); these two were present in large numbers. Cheerful birds, and with their long tails well named.
long-tailed mockingbird – with its long tail clearly visible.
A bright yellow bird flying all over the park turned out to be the Tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), a cheerful fellow whose intense yellow was a match for the vermilion flycatcher’s bright red.
The last of my six life-listers at the parquet de Olivar was the Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis). We only saw the one pair, which are dimorphic as in the photo below; the male is on the right. Pretty little birds, very colourful.
All in all, a mini-trip but an enjoyable one, and for anyone in the Miraflores/San Isidro area of Lima with a couple of hours to kill a birding site I can whole-heartedly recommend.