Saffron Finch, Laguna Pedropalo
I arrived in Bogotá in the early afternoon of the 3rd, after easy and seamless flights from Boston through Miami. A taxi ride across town to the hotel we were planning on staying at introduced me to the number one theme on the roads of Bogotá: traffic. A close second place for most prevalent road sight would be construction; it seems as though every road with more than one lane has something being fixed or built on it. Andrew arrived sometime after 11pm at the hotel, and I was soon asleep after that.
The next morning found us attempting to get simcards for our Blackberries, something that I had begun to investigate the day before. By getting the simcard of a local company (Comcel), and just paying them, it was orders of magnitude cheaper than paying Verizon for international data. After a couple hours of multiple Comcel technicians fussing over our phones, we were once more on our way, this time armed with the power of the internet in our pockets, something that I have become shamefully reliant on. En route to the Comcel store we happened to see an amusing sight in a small store window: Duff beer! Straight out of the Simpsons, a company in Colombia makes this novelty beer, and sells it at some stores in big cities. Left with no choice, we had to buy one, a picture of which can be seen below. Quite funny.
Duff! There was also a sign at the store that said roughly: "Duff beer, it exists!"
After getting our phones squared away, we headed to the bus station and hopped on a bus west to a small town near Laguna Pedropalo, our birding stop for the next morning. We didn't have that much information to go on for Pedropalo, and that combined with the fact that we were denied access to the trails around the lake, due to bureaucratic problems, led us to miss a couple of our target birds there. It was still a nice day though, mainly walking on dirt roads through farmland with patches of forest. Some highlights included Moustached Brush-Finch, Bar-crested Antshrike, and endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird.
Moustached Brush-Finch, Laguna Pedropalo
After the morning of birding at Pedropalo we picked up our bags and hopped back on a bus to Bogotá, with our next destination being La Calera, a town just east of Bogotá that is the jump-off point for Parque Nacional Chingaza, where we are next headed.