Andean Endemics with David Hartwell & Elizabeth de Baut (December 15 – 25, 2013).

26 - 12 - 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.

Elizabeth & David facing a stormy afternoon at Paramo de Guasca, Eastern Andes of Colombia.


Daniel, Elizabeth & David at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Andes of Colombia.


The Santa Marta Mountains with Juan José Arango & Anabel Vanin (December 2 – 8, 2013).

10 - 12 - 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: