Posts from May 2014

Medium length birding trip through the Western & Central Andes of Colombia with Bruce Webb, Jeanne Conry & Peter Gent from USA.

May 29, 2014

From left to right: Peter Gent, Jeanne Conry, Bruce Webb and Daniel Uribe, after enjoying the Buffy (Bearded) Helmetcrest at the Visitors Center of Los Nevados National Park at 4,000 meters.

Bruce Webb (Wildlife Optics of California) and Peter Gent (Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research – NCAR, Boulder, CO) arrived at Medellín airport in an American Airline flight from Miami on the night of May 18th (2014). The following day we birded La Romera Ecopark near Medellín and drove to ProAves´s Las Tangaras reserve in the Western Andes, lodging there for two nights. We then visited ProAves´s Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve at Ventanas´s Pass above Jardin, plus nearby Morro Amarillo and Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek. On our way to Rio Blanco in Manizales we birded the semi-dry forests of the road to Concordia at Bolombolo in the Cauca Valley, finishing with extraordinary birding at Los Nevados National Park and Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary in the Central Andes. Bruce´s wife, Jeanne Conry, joined the group for the final two birding days.

We registered 333 bird species (with 26 species heard only), including 40 hummingbirds, 46 tanagers and 46 flycatchers, in just 8.5 birding days! Including 23 species of ovenbirds and woodcreepers, 7 species of tapaculos and 6 species of antpittas, all at very close range!

After finishing the tour, Bruce wrote us with the following note: “Daniel: Jeannie and I want to thank you for an extraordinary birding trip.  Every day was exciting and your amazing ability to identify birds by sound and show us the tough to see birds made it worth it. We quickly re-learned techniques for seeing tropical birds, as it is definitely different than birding back home.  We have recently been on birding trips to Peru and Chile, and we can honestly say our experience with you in Colombia tops all others. We look forward to go birding with you in another region of Colombia. Best, Bruce Webb and Jeanne Conry, Granite Bay, California.”

And Peter wrote: "I finally finished going through my Colombia bird list. I saw 287 species
and 77 of them were new.  This is a very high percentage for me on trips. Thanks again, Peter."

Short birding escapade for James Taylor & Christine Forster from Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).

May 13, 2014

From left to right: Jamie (with a cup of very good Colombian coffee), Chrissie & Daniel at Rio Blanco lodge.

James Taylor (MD, Ophthalmologist) and Christine Forster (Instructor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Victoria) organized their adventurous trip to Colombia in such a way that a short birding escapade near Pereira and Manizales would be combined with visits to colonial towns such as Villa de Leyva, Mompox and Minca, and main cities such as Medellín, Bogotá, Santa Marta and Cartagena.

Daniel received Chrissie & Jamie in Pereira´s airport early afternoon on May 8th, driving immediately to La Suiza lodge at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary. There, they enjoyed great views of the endemic Cauca Guan and rare Red-ruffed Fruitcrow as they moved through the Ash tree plantations. Also, very close views of the endemic Crested Ant-Tanager and the Chestnut-breasted Wren singing generously its wonderful melodic songs. Other highlights included close views of a pair of Streak-capped Treehunter, a male & female Torrent Duck diving in fast waters, and an  assortment of hummingbirds including Wedge-billed, Steely-vented, Speckled & Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Andean & Western Emerald, Bronzy Inca, Long-billed Starthroat, Greenish Puffleg,  and Green Hermit. Plus beautiful birds such as the Andean Motmot, Blue-necked & Flame-rumped Tanager, Collared Trogon, Green Jay, Tropical Parula and many others.

The following day (May 9th) we birded the Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná, registering 110 species this day, including the endemic Grayish Piculet, near-endemic Bar-crested Antshrike, Spectacled Parrotlet, Least & Pied-billed Grebe, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Purple Gallinule, Slaty Spinetail,  Vermillion Flycatcher, Pied Water-Tyrant, Bay-headed Tanager and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, among many others.

At Los Nevados National Park (May 10th) we had astonishing views of the Bearded Helmetcrest and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, plus a good mix of paramo & timberline species such as the Viridian Metaltail, near-endemic Golden-breasted Puffleg, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Paramo Tapaculo, Paramo Seedeater, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, White-throated Tyrannulet, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, near-endemic Golden-fronted Whitestar, Black-crested Warbler and Andean Siskin. In the afternoon we visited Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales, enjoying 14 species of hummingbirds!

On final day (May 11th) we birded the Rio Blanco watershed, registering 85 species, including three antpittas (the endemic Brown-banded, plus Chestnut-crowned & Slate-crowned Antpitta), flocks of at least 50 Golden-plumed Parakeets, 40 Rusty-faced Parrots and over 90 Scaly-naped Parrots, and close views of big specialties such as Powerful Woodpecker, Dusky Piha, Slaty Finch, Sickle-winged Guan, Rufous-bellied Nighthawk, Band-winged Nightjar, Tourmaline Sunangel, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Collared Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, Masked Trogon, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Spillman´s Tapaculo and Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager.

Bird photography trip for Japanese photographers – Hisao komori & Yasunobu Shiga.

May 07, 2014

From April 26 to May 4 (2014), we photographed birds of the Central and Western Andes of Colombia for 9 full days with Hisao Komori & Yasunobu Shiga from Japan. Komori & Shiga arrived in Bogotá on April 25th, taking a domestic flight to Cali the morning of the following day. Taking advantage of their landing in Cali, we visited Juan José Arango´s hummingbird feeders in the city and birded the famous Kilómetro 18 & San Antonio road above Cali, lodging at Finca Alejandría. We then moved into the tropical dry forest of El Vínculo reserve and visited the Sonso marshes near Buga, Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary above the city of Pereira, Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná, Los Nevados National Park and Río Blanco nature reserve near Manizales, finishing at Recinto del Pensamiento.

We photographed 175 species of birds, including 25 species of hummingbirds, 23 species of tanagers, 21 species of flycatchers, 8 species of woodpeckers, 5 species of woodcreepers, 5 species of Brush-Finches, 4 species of antpittas and 3 species of ibises, among other birds.

Some of the highlights included photographing male & female Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Sickle-winged Guan, Cauca Guan (endemic), Colombian Chachalaca (endemic), Buff-necked & Glossy Ibis, Blackish Rail, Purple Gallinule, Golden-plumed Parakeet (endangered), Spectacled Parrotlet, Masked Trogon, Highland Motmot, Red-headed Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Grayish Piculet (endemic), Andean Tit-Spinetail, Pearled Treerunner, Bar-crested Antshrike (near-endemic), Paramo Tapaculo, Black-throated Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Pied Water-Tyrant, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Apical Flycatcher (endemic), Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Green Jay, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Plushcap, Slaty Finch and Golden-fronted Whitestart (near-endemic).

Among the tanagers, we photographed the Scarlet-bellied, Buff-breasted & Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Flame-rumped, Blue-capped, Fawn-breasted, Golden-naped, Blue-necked, Scrub, Blue-and-black, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-crowned, Golden and Guira Tanager.

Among the very nice hummingbirds, we photographed well the White-necked Jacobin, three species of Violetears (Sparkling, Brown & Green), Black-throated Mango, Tourmaline Sunangel, Wedge-billed &  Speckled Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sylph, Greenish Puffleg, Bronzy & Collared Inca, Booted Rackettail, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, White-bellied & Purple-throated Woodstar (near-endemic), Green-crowned Woodnymph, Andean & Western Emerald, and the amazingly beautiful Bearded Helmetcrest (near-endemic) in the high mountains of the Central Andes.

At Río Blanco it was a joy to photograph up close the Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned and Slate-crowned Antpittas, and the Tawny Antpitta at Los Nevados National Park.

Bird photo trip for Japanese photographers – Hisao komori & Yasunobu Shiga (April 26 - May 4, 2014).

May 05, 2014

After driving 1,055 kilometers in 9 birding days through the Western and Central Andes of Colombia, we managed to photograph 175 bird species out of 275 species registered (with 26 species heard only).

Birds photographed included 25 species of hummingbirds, 23 tanagers, 21 flycatchers, 8 woodpeckers, 5 ducks, 4 antpittas and 3 ibises, among many others.

Download Trip Report in PDF format

 

 

Some of Daniel´s images can be seen at his Flickr site:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21902062@N06/

The Paramo Tapaculo, photographed at Los Nevados National Park (Central Andes).

Posts from February 2014

Birding the Eastern, Central & Western Andes with Andy & Gill Swash, Debby Reynolds & David Copas from UK (January 15 – February 5, 2014).

Feb 10, 2014

From left to right: Leopoldina Tapasco, David Copas, Debby Reynolds, Andy & Gill Swash, at Cerro Montezuma in the Western Andes.

This was a 22-day birding trip (2,666 road kilometers) through the best localities in the Eastern, Central & Western Andes of Colombia. Starting in Bogotá, we birded Laguna de Pedro Palo, Chicaque, Chingaza National Park, Siecha gravel pits, Paramo de Guasca (La Guajira & Bioandina nature reserve) and La Florida marsh in the first 4 days. We then moved into the Magdalena Valley, visiting the Enchanted Gardens of San Francisco de Sales, Laguna de Tabacal, Bellavista forest in Victoria and the Rio Claro canyon (El Refugio). From here we drove into the Northern Central Andes, visiting ProAves´s Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve for 3 days, before travelling south to Medellín and visiting La Romera ecopark and then on to ProAves´s Las Tangaras lodge in the Western Andes for 2 days. The next part of our itinerary was to visit Jardín, birding Ventanas´s Pass above town and Morro Amarillo, before moving into the Central Andes. From Manizales we birded Los Nevados National Park, Rio Blanco, Recinto del Pensamiento and Cameguadua marsh. Our tour finished with an overnight stay at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary and a 3-night visit to Cerro Montezuma in the Western Andes (Leopoldina´s lodge). A domestic flight from Pereira to Bogotá preceded the international flight back home to the UK.

In total, we recorded 580 species, with 35 heard only.  Andy & Gill had 72 lifers, Debby & David had 146 lifers. After returning back to UK, Andy wrote: “The actual number of species photographed was 369, with just over 300 of publishable quality - an amazing figure, and significantly more than any other tour we’ve done!”.

We enjoyed many great birds, including the following:

ENDEMICS (29): Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Bogota Rail, Yellow-eared Parrot, Brown-banded Parakeet, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Buffy (Bearded) Helmetcrest, White-mantled Barbet, Greyish Piculet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Silvery-throated Spinetail, Parker´s Antbird, Magdalena Antbird, Brown-banded Antpitta, Stiles´s Tapaculo, Alto de Pisones Tapaculo, Chestnut-capped Piha, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager, Gold-ringed Tanager, Multicoloured Tanager, Turquoise Dacnis, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Sooty Ant-Tanager, Crested Ant-Tanager, Red-bellied Grackle and Antioquia Wren.

NEAR-ENDEMICS (40): Northern Screamer, Short-tailed Emerald, Empress Brilliant, Velvet-purple Coronet, Brown Inca, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Violet-tailed Sylph, Purple-throated Woodstar, Toucan Barbet, Uniform Treehunter, Bar-crested Antshrike, Bicoloured Antpitta, Nariño Tapaculo, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Club-winged Manakin, Yellow-headed Manakin, Choco Tyrannulet, Sooty-headed Wren, Beautiful Jay, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Golden-fronted Redstart, Rufous-browed Conebill, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Rufous-throated Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Tanager Finch, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Dusky Bush-Tanager, Black-headed Brush-Finch, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Choco Vireo, Flame-rumped Tanager and Rufous-throated Tanager.

OTHER SPECIALITIES (more than 70 species), including the following: Andean Teal, Noble Snipe, Spectacled Parrotlet, White-throated Screech-Owl, Rufous-bellied Nighthawk, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Western Emerald, White-tailed Hillstar, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Gorgeted Woodstar, Golden-headed & Crested Quetzals, Barred Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Yellow-vented, Cinnamon & Powerful Woodpeckers, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Streak-capped & Flammulated Treehunters, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Brown-billed Scythebill, Rufous-rumped & Yellow-breasted Antwrens, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Pale-bellied (Matorral) Tapaculo, Olivaceous Piha, Striped Manakin, Subtropical Doradito, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Southern Bentbill, White-headed & Chestnut-breasted Wrens, Black-billed Peppershrike, Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Rufous-crested Tanager, Masked Saltator and many others.

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