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Date: 17 Nov 2017 23:59:00
Title: James, I presume?

Uyuni town had nothing to keep us any longer so we boarded the 8pm bus and arrived in Tupiza, a small town in the south of Bolivia, in the middle of the night during an impressive thunderstorm. The streets were flooded and the town’s power supply had been hit by lightning. In fact it had been the drips leaking through the bus roof that had woken us up in time for our stop. In our experience, weatherproof buses are a low priority in desert and semi-arid regions.

We raised the sleeping hostel doorman who let us in and found us a room. The next morning, rested, we headed into town and came nose to beak with this fellow. 

James, I presume?

Since it was the first ‘flamingo’ we had seen with an entirely yellow beak, we jokingly presumed this must be James. It did, however, prompt us to look flamingos up online, and much to our surprise, half the flamingos we had seen had been James’s. The other half, slightly larger, were all Andean flamingos and the ones missing (in Bolivia!) were the Chilean flamingos, which we had admired months before in Puerto Natales.

According to the internet, Chilean flamingos are easily distinguished for their relatively shorter green-grayish to light blue colored legs with deep pink joints and toes. Their bill has no yellow. James’s flamingos have red legs and a bright yellow and black bill whereas the Andean has yellow legs and a yellow and black bill.


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