Posts from August 2012
Birding for one day - and it was great!
August 17th (2012) we did a one-day birding trip to Rio Blanco & Recinto del Pensamiento with Jean Rosenberg and daughter Nathalie from Massachusetts. The day began with a sighting of Rusty-faced Parrots feeding on mistletoes in Rio Blanco, a good breakfast and a short walk to the first of three Antpitta feeding stations. Here, we enjoyed the Brown-banded (endemic), Chestnut-naped & Chestnut-crowned Antpittas. In the second feeding station the Bicolored Antpitta (near-endemic) showed briefly but was well seen. And in the third station we had a close encounter with the Slate-crowned Antpitta, feeding on earthworms just 5 feet away from us!
A pleasurable hike through the forest yielded long views of a family of four Long-tailed Antbirds, feeding along bamboo thickets with the tiny Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant. Some of the birds that showed up really well: Andean Guan, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Black-capped and Superciliaried Hemispingus, Blue-and-black Tanager, Pearled Treerunner, Golden-fronted Whitestart (near-endemic), Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Mountain Elaenia, Masked Trogon, Green-and-black Fruiteater and Azara’s Spinetail. Before leaving Rio Blanco we had great views of the Golden-plumed Parakeet (a group of 30 flying over, plus 5 birds perched in front of the lodge baranda) and the White-capped Tanager (a group of 5, perched).
Late afternoon we visited the hummingbird feeders at Recinto del Pensamiento. Hummingbirds seen here plus those seen in Rio Blanco made a total of 16 species for the day! The species seen were: Tourmaline Sunangel, Buff-tailed Coronet, Long-tailed Sylph, Tyrian Metaltail, Speckled Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, White-bellied Woodstar, Green-fronted Lancebill, Bronzy Inca, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Andean Emerald, Green Violetear, Sparkling Violetear and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird . Before the day ended, we had a close encounter with the Sickle-winged Guan, Golden-crowned Flycatcher and Pale-edged Flycatcher.
A report of an adventurous birding visit to Colombia, written by Dominic Mitchell and published in July 2012 issue of Birdwatch magazine.
This is an informative and fun to read article that includes Dominic´s sightings at Los Nevados National Park, Rio Blanco, Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary in the Central Andes, and Cerro Montezuma in the Western Andes.
Bearded Helmetcrest (male) at Los Nevados National Park. Photo by Daniel Uribe.
Birding Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary for some bird images
Birded Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary on August 3, 4 & 5 (2012) with Juan José Arango and wife Anabele, searching for some photo opportunities. Four months ago Juan José & Anabele birded Río Blanco with Daniel Uribe, managing to take nice photos of all five species of Antpittas. ¿Could a similar success be repeated in Otún-Quimbaya?
Not easily: first morning at Otún was rainy, non-stop! Thus, we decided to evacuate the area moving into the outskirts of Pereira city, visiting two sites with nice hummingbird feeders, one at William Peña’s house, and the other at Villa Martha Coffee Farm. Here, we had good photo opportunities, not only for hummingbirds (White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango, Steely-vented HB, Rufous-tailed HB), but for the very nice Bar-crested Antshrike, Spectacled Parrrotlet, Golden-faced Tyrannulet and Bay-headed Tanager, among others.
In the afternoon, we drove back to Otún-Quimbaya and in spite of intermittent showers, we enjoyed greatly stopping at a wooden bridge for photos of both male & female Torrent Ducks. Then, in the forest near the lodge we took good images of the endemic Grayish Piculet, Azara’s Spinetail, Slate-throated Whitestart, Blue-and White Swallow, Montane Woodcreeper, Black Phoebe and others. In the morning of our last day, we took good photos of the beautiful Tropical Parula, Fawn-breasted Tanager, near-endemic Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Common Bush-Tanager and Yellow-bellied Seedeater. We also had fair views of the Cauca Guan and splendorous Ref-ruffed Fruitcrow (but no good photo opportunity) and a blind encounter with the endemic Stiles’s Tapaculo that never showed himself to our cameras!
Posts from July 2012
Enjoying the Rio Blanco antpittas and Central Andes endemics with Eugenia Carey from Dauphin Island
From July 5th through July 12th we birded with Eugenia Carey the Central Andes, placing great emphasis on the Rio Blanco antpittas. Eugenia chose our “Central Andes Endemics Short Tour” for her first birding visit to Colombia, attracted particularly by antpittas and the sizeable number of Colombian endemics that can be seen in this short but highly dynamic tour. We first visited Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, seeing well the endemic Cauca Guan, Styles’s Tapaculo, Grayish Piculet and many other specialties, including the beautiful Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, gorgeous White-capped Tanager, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Black-billed Peppershrike and Torrent Duck. We then birded the Cameguadua marsh en route to Manizales, enjoying greatly the Blackish Rail, Spectacled Parrotlet and a great variety of aquatic and riparian birds. At Río Blanco we saw the endemic Chestnut Wood-Quail and Brown-banded Antpitta, along with 4 other species of antpittas – including the near-endemic Bicolored Antpitta, the beautiful Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, the secretive Slate-crowned Antpitta under amazing views (Eugenia’s favorite antpitta for the trip!) and the Chestnut-naped Antpitta which has gradually developed a dominant posture over the other birds that visit the earthworm feeding stations. Many other nice birds were seen well at Rio Blanco, including the Masked Saltator, Dusky Piha, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Rusty-faced Parrot, Black-chested Jay, Golden-fronted Redstart and Red-hooded Tanager. We then scouted Los Nevados high-altitude ecosystems, having acceptable views of the Bearded Helmetcrest and astonishing views of the Many-striped Canastero and a very dedicated Shining Sunbeam mother feeding two chicks on a nest. On our last day of the tour, we visited the municipality of Neira searching for the endemic Yellow-headed Brush-Finch, which finally showed up with a glorious pair after much looking for it.
Posts from April 2012
Customized private tours for short birding escapades
On February, March & April we organized three short trips for birders from USA, based on their target lists and travel needs. February 13-18 we toured with Joe Giunta from New York (see: www.happywarblers.com) visiting Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, Cameguadua marsh, Rio Blanco, Los Nevados National Park and the hummingbirds at Recinto del Pensamiento.
March 18-22 we toured with Lowell & Robin Taubman, visiting Rio Blanco, Los Nevados, Cameguadua marsh, Otún-Quimbaya and Los Yarumos Ecopark. Birding moments at Rio Blanco & Los Nevados were great, and at Otún-Quimbaya all endemics displayed very well for us.
April 14-18 we hosted a short visit by Garrick Dutcher, birding Rio Blanco, Los Nevados and Otún-Quimbaya. Following Garrick’s most desired birds to see, we paid a short visit to the municipality of Apía (Western Andes) searching for two great birds: the near endemic Yellow-headed Manakin (Xenopipo flavicapilla –Near Threatened) and the endemic Turquoise Dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi – Vulnerable). We saw both birds, thanks to the local expertise of Julián Zuleta (see: www.apiatierradeaves.jimdo.com). Not only is Julián an amenable birding companion, but he also immortalizes Apía´s colorful birds into beautiful drawings.