Posts from December 2013
Andean Endemics with David Hartwell & Elizabeth de Baut (December 15-25, 2013).
A customized tour for David Hartwell (Treasurer, Audubon Society) and wife Elizabeth de Baut. Eleven full days allowed us to visit 13 of the best birding sites in the Eastern Andes, Magdalena Valley and Central Andes. We visited Chingaza National Park, Siecha gravel pits, Páramo de Guasca, Rogitama Nature Reserve, La Florida Park in Bogotá, Enchanted Gardens of San Francisco, road to Cambao, Bellavista forest in Victoria, Los Nevados National Park, hummingbirds at Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales, Río Blanco, Cameguadua marsh and Otún-Quimbaya Sanctuary above Pereira.
David saw exactly 100 lifers in this trip! In total, we saw 375 species (with 23 species heard only). Some of the highlights included the endemics Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Bogotá Rail, Brown-breasted (Flame-winged) Parakeet, Black Inca, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, White-mantled Barbet, Grayish Piculet, Silvery-throated Spinetail, Brown-banded Antpitta, Pale-bellied (Matorral) Tapaculo, Multicolored Tanager, Velvet-fronted Euphonia, Sooty Ant-Tanager and Crested Ant-Tanager.
Also, the near-endemics Rusty-faced Parrot, Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Bearded Helmetcrest, Coppery-bellied & Golden-breasted Puffleg, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Red-billed & Short-tailed Emerald, Bar-crested Antshrike, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Scrub Tanager, Rufous-browed Conebill and Golden-fronted Whitestar.
Other neat birds included the endangered Golden-plumed Parakeet, Andean Teal, Torrent Duck, Capped Heron, Spot-flanked Gallinule, Noble Snipe, Spectacled Parrotlet, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated (Longuemare´s) & Tourmaline Sunangel, Purple-backed & Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Glowing Puffleg, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Booted Racket-Tail, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Gorgeted Woodstar, Western Emerald, Golden-headed Quetzal, Citron-throated Toucan, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Yellow-vented & Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Streak-capped & Flammulated Treehunter, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Long-tailed Antbird, Slate-crowned Antpitta, Ash-colored Tapaculo, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Dusky Piha, Striped Manakin, Black-billed Peppershrike, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Black-collared & Black-chested Jay, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, Plushcap and Masked Saltator, among many others.
The Santa Marta Mountains with Juan José Arango & Anabel Vanin (December 2-8, 2013).
This was the third bird photography trip for Juan José Arango & Anabel Vanin, in this case visiting the Santa Marta Mountains & Guajira lowlands for endemics & specialties. With seven days available, we stayed 4 days at ProAves´s El Dorado lodge in the San Lorenzo ridge, moving up and down the mountain in pursue of some of the best birds in range. After which we dropped to La Guajira lowlands, visiting Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary for two days.
We had great fun photographing endemics and near-endemics, such as the gorgeous Santa Marta Parakeet (E&EN), Black-fronted Wood-Quail (NE&VU), Santa Marta Screech-Owl (E&CR), Blossomcrown (E&VU), Streak-capped Spinetail (NE), Santa Marta Tapaculo (E), Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant (E&EN), Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager (E), Santa Marta Brush-Finch (E), Yellow-fronted Whitestart (E), White-lored Warbler (E) and Santa Marta Warbler (E).
The Santa Marta Foliage-Gleaner (E), Rusty-headed Spinetail (E&VU), White-tailed Starfrontlet (E) and Brown-rumped Tapaculo (E) were elusive to our cameras, but we saw them all very well. We missed the Santa Marta Antpitta (E), Black-backed Thornbill (E) and Santa Marta Sabrewing (E).
At La Guajira lowlands we photographed the near-threatened Reddish Egret, Orinoco Saltator (NE), Chestnut Piculet (NE), White-whiskered Spinetail (NE), Vermilion Cardinal (NE), Russet-throated Puffbird (NE) and Slender-billed Inezia (NE), plus many other birds.
Juan José´s images can be seen at his Flickr site:
Posts from September 2013
Bird photography trip for Francesco Veronesi from Italy (August 16 – September 01, 2013).
A very productive bird photo trip visiting outstanding sites at the Western & Central Andes of Colombia. After landing in Cali, we visited Juan José Arango´s hummingbird feeders in Cali, Finca Alejandría at Kilometer 18 above Cali, El Vínculo tropical dry forest near Buga & Paso Galápagos near El Cairo in the Western Andes, obtaining photos of outstanding species such as Gold-ringed Tanager, Grayish Piculet, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Purple-throated Woodstar, Colombian Chachalaca, Spectacled Parrotlet, Steely-vented Hummingbird, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Handsome Flycatcher, Flame-rumped Tanager & Rufous Spinetail, among many others. At this time of the year, the amount of tanagers visiting the feeders at Finca Alejandría was surprisingly low, but the hummingbirds were great!
We then move into the Central Andes, visiting Otún-Quimbaya Sanctuary, Cameguadua marsh, Rio Blanco and Los Nevados National Park, with wonderful photo opportunities for outstanding species such as Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Bearded Helmetcrest, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker, Bar-crested Antshrike, Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned & Slate-crowned Antpittas, Paramo Tapaculo, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Dusky Piha, Gray-browed & White-naped Brush-Finches, Golden-fronted Whitestart, Torrent Duck & White-capped Dipper, among many others.
Our very productive trip finished with visits to Morro Amarillo and ProAves´s Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve at Ventanas´s Pass above Jardín, Las Tangaras reserve at Carmen de Atrato (Western Andes foothills in Chocó) and La Romera Ecopark in Medellín, obtaining very nice images of species such as Chestnut Wood-Quail, Yellow-eared Parrot (perched and in flight at short distance), Black-and-gold Tanager, Crested Ant-Tanager, Red-bellied Grackle, Glistening-green Tanager, Violet-tailed Sylph, Brown Inca, Greenish Puffleg, Toucan Barbet, White-tailed Hillstar, Olivaceous Piha, Black-collared Jay and Olive Finch.
We even had time to visit “La M” above Carmen de Atrato, where Francesco managed to take amazing pictures of Munchique Wood-Wren & White-capped Tanager.
Francesco´s images for the trip can be seen at his Flickr site:
Posts from August 2013
Bird photography trip to the Eastern Andes of Colombia (July 31-August 04, 2013).
A customized tour to the Eastern Andes of Colombia for Juan José Arango (interventional cardiologist & passionate bird photographer) and Anabel Vanin (transplant surgeon & avid bird watcher).
With very limited time available away from work, we visited Chingaza National Park twice, Guasca paramo, Siechia wetlands, Rogitama Nature Reserve and Enchanted Gardens at San Francisco de Sales. We had much rain and cold weather on our first and second days and clear skies on the third and fourth days.
Along the road to Chingaza, tour highlights included outstanding photo opportunities for Silvery-throated Spinetail (E), Rufous-browed Conebill (NE), Golden-fronted Whitestart (NE), Pearled Treerunner, Rufous Wren, Andean Siskin, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, White-throated Tyrannulet, Superciliaried Hemispingus, Glossy & Black Flowerpiercers, Pale-naped Brush-Finch and Eastern Meadowlark.
Our visit to the Siechia wetlands provided good photo opportunities for the Spot-flanked Gallinule (NE), Ruddy Duck, Andean Teal and American Coot. We had good views of the Bogota Rail (E) and Noble Snipe, albeit photographing them was difficult do to their cryptic behavior and high speed of their brief appearances. On our way to Rogitama, we stopped for nice birds along the road, making photos of Band-tailed Seedeater, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Black-crested Warbler and more of the Eastern Meadowlark.
Visiting Rogitama Nature Reserve was most rewarding, managing good images of the endemic Black Inca, Rogitama Sylph (possibly an un-described hybrid), Sparkling Violetear, Tyrian Metaltail, Sedge Wren, Brown-capped Vireo, Fawn-breasted Tanager and Black & White-sided Flowerpiercers, among others. We had good views of the very nice Lazuline Sabrewing, Short-tailed Emerald (NE), Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (NE) and Moustached Brush-Finch (NE).
On our last day we detoured towards the small town of San Francisco de Sales, visiting the Enchanted Gardens, where we managed to make good shots of a number of hummingbirds: Indigo-capped Hummingbird (E), Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Black-throated Mango, Gorgeted & White-bellied Woodstars, Sparkling & Brown Violetears, White-vented Plumeleteer and Violet-crowned Woodnymph, among other birds.
Overall, it was a highly successful bird-photo tour in spite of the difficult weather. Juan José´s images can be seen at his Flicker site:
Endemic Black Inca at Rogitama Nature Reserve by Juan José Arango.
Juan José Arango & Anabel Vanin at Rogitama Nature Reserve.
Posts from July 2013
Guiding for a British crew traveling through Ecoturs (July 16-27, 2013).
From July 16 to 27 (2013), Daniel guided a British crew traveling through Ecoturs (ProAves), visiting wonderful birding sites in the Central & Western Andes, including Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, Rio Blanco, Los Nevados National Park, three ProAves´s reserves (Las Tangaras at Carmen de Atrato, Yellow-eared Parrot at Ventanas´s Pass above Jardin and Chestnut-capped Piha at Anorí), Morro Amarillo (Jardin), and La Romera ecopark in the outskirts of Medellín. Short birding stops were done along rural roads, at Combia (outside city of Pereira), La Florida (as we drove out of Otún-Quimbaya), Peña Lisa near Bolombolo and water reservoirs at Porce hydroelectric dam (as we drove back to Medellín).
Many nice birds were seen and enjoyed throughout, with a wide array of endemics & near-endemics. At Otún-Quimbaya we saw the Cauca Guan (E), Stile’s Tapaculo (E), Greyish Piculet (E), Multicoloured Tanager (E), Chestnut-breasted Wren, Bar-crested Antshrike (NE) and Rufous-breasted Flycatcher (NE), along with Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Streak-capped Treehunter, Black-billed Peppershrike, Ashy & Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulets, and a soaring Black-and-chestnut Eagle, among others.
Río Blanco provided nice views of magnificent antpittas, including Brown-banded (E), Chestnut-crowned and Slate-crowned Antpittas, along with flocks of endangered Golden-plumed Parakeet. Also, Golden-headed Quetzal, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Long-tailed Antwren, Dusky Piha and Black-collared Jay.
At Los Nevados we had very close views of a gorgeous male Bearded Helmetcrest (NE) and a feeding flock of Rufous-fronted Parakeet (E), as well as magnificent views of Crowned Chat-Tyrant, Many-striped Canastero, Paramo Tapaculo, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Golden-crowned Tanager, Black Flowerpiercer and Paramo Seedeater, among others.
Las Tangaras provided many good birding moments, including great views of Mountain Choco specialties such as the Beautiful Jay (E), Crested-Ant Tanager (E), Black-and-gold Tanager (E), Gold-ringed Tanager (E), Choco Vireo (E), Alto de Pisones Tapaculo (E), Nariño Tapaculo (NE), Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager (NE), Purplish-mantled Tanager (NE), Glistening-green Tanager (NE), Rufous-throated Tanager (NE), Indigo Flower-piercer (NE), Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Yellow-breasted & Rufous-rumped Antwrens, Yellow-breasted Antpitta (NE), Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant, Handsome & Ornate Flycatchers, Olivaceous Piha, Orange-breasted Fruiteater (NE) and Dusky Bush-Tanager (NE).
Munchique Wood-Wren (E) was well seen at “La M” above Carmen de Atrato, along with nice birds such as the Black-throated Tody-tyrant, White-browed Spinetail, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Blackish & Spillman´s Tapaculo, and Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant.
Yellow-eared Parrot flocks were well seen both at Ventana´s Pass and Morro Amarillo near Jardin. Parker´s Antbird (E) and Black-Chested Jay were seen at Morro Amarillo. Besides, Ventana´s Pass provided good views of the Golden-fronted Whitestart (NE), Streak-throated & Smoky Bush-Tyrants, Red-hooded Tanager, Citrine Warbler and Scarlet-rumped Cacique at low elevations.
At Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve we enjoyed close views of a group of seven Chestnut Wood-Quails (E) roosting early in the morning at a giant fern, Chestnut-capped Piha (E), Red-bellied Grackle (E), White-mantled Barbet (E), Colombian Chachalaca (E), Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Moustached Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, White-throated Spadebill, Golden-winged Manakin, Sooty-headed (NE) & Scaly-breasted Wren, and Black-headed Brush-Finch (NE).
At La Romera, Gavin managed to spot a splendorous male of the much desired Yellow-headed Manakin (E) which was well seen by all, along with more Red-bellied Grackles (E) and a pair of Spotted Barbtails.
We saw 39 species of hummingbirds, including the much desired Purple-backed & Rainbow-bearded (NE) Thornbills, Golden-breasted Puffleg (NE), Brown Inca (NE), Mountain Velvetbreast, Velvet-purple Coronet (NE), White-tailed Hillstar, Empress (NE) & Green-crowned Brilliants, Greenish Puffleg, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Tourmaline Sunangel, Violet-tailed (NE) & Long-tailed Sylphs, Purple-throated Woodstar (NE) and Western Emerald.
We missed some of the birds in the wish list, including the Masked Saltator & Bicolored Antpitta (Rio Blanco), Black-thighed Puffleg (Los Nevados), Black Solitaire (Las Tangaras), Chestnut-crested Cotinga (Jardin) and Antioquia Wren (Peña Lisa). Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer (E) was clearly heard but not seen at “La M”. However, we managed to register a respectable 372 species list with 19 species heard only.
From left to right, taking a break but still looking at the wish list: Francis Peplow, Daniel Uribe, Heather & Melvin Billington, Gavin Peplow.