Bird photo tour for photographers from Taiwan & China: The Western & Central Andes of Colombia (July 18 – August 8, 2015).

09 - 08 - 2015

From July 18 to August 8 (2015) we photographed birds in the best nature reserves of the Western & Central Andes of Colombia, starting in Cali and finishing in Medellin.

As soon as Chunhsien Huang, Chu Yuan Hsu & Yong Bao Sun landed in Cali´s airport, we visited Juan José Arango´s hummingbird feeders in the outskirts of the city, photographing for more than 3 hours the gorgeous Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Steely-vented Hummingbird, Black-throated Mango, White-necked Jacobin & Rufous-tailed Hummingbird. In the garden, our lenses focused on the Spotted & Red-crowned Woodpeckers, Saffron Finch and Thick-billed Euphonia.

We visited for 3 days the forests at Kilometro 18 above Cali, where we enjoyed greatly the feeders at Finca Alejandria. Here, we photographed well the Multicolored Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Flame-rumped Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Golden-naped, Golden & Saffron-crowned Tanagers, Green Honeycreeper, Masked & Rusty Flowerpiercers, Blue-headed Sapphire, Green & Tawny-bellied Hermits, Brown Violetear, Speckled Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sylph, Bronzy Inca, Buff-tailed Coronet, Booted Racket-Tail, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Crowned Woodnymph, Andean Emerald and Blue-headed Sapphire.

We than moved into the lowlands, photographing water birds in the Sonso & Cameguadua marshes in the Cauca Valley, including very nice birds such as Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Least & Pied-billed Grebes, Neotropical Cormorant, Striated Heron, Great, Snowy & Cattle Egrets, Cocoi Heron, Buff-necked Ibis, Limpkin, Purple & Common Gallinules, Southern Lapwing, Blackish Rail, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Wattled Jacana, Pied Water-Tyrant and Olive-crowned Yellowthroat.

Our trip continued with visits to the Otun-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, Los Nevados National Park, Rio Blanco, Ventanas Pass above Jardin, Morro Amarillo, Las Tangaras, La Romera Ecopark and Chestnut-capped Piha reserve.

And in doing so, many more beautiful birds were captured by our lenses, including the Spectacled Parrotlet, Blue-headed, Bronze-winged & Speckle-faced Parrots, Striped & Squirrel Cuckoos, Mottled Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl, Common Potoo, Golden-headed Quetzal, Masked & Collared Trogons, Highland (Andean) Motmot, Emerald Toucanet, Montane Woodcreeper, Road-side Hawk, Yellow-headed & Crested Caracaras, American Kestrel, Swallow-tailed Kite, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Red-faced, Slaty & Azara´s Spinetails, Black-crowned & Uniform Antshrikes, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Common & Slate-headed Tody-Flycatchers, Vermilion Flycatcher, Ornate Flycatcher, Green-and-black Fruiteater, White-breasted Wood-Wren, White-capped Dipper, Crimson-backed Tanager, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, and the Ruddy-breasted, Slate-colored & Yellow-bellied Seedeaters.

We photographed well 44 species of hummingbirds! Including the Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Green & Sparkling Violetears, Tourmaline Sunangel, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Tyrian & Viridian Metaltails, Greenish Puffleg, Shining Sunbeam, Collared Inca, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Mountain Velvetbreast, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing,  White-tailed Hillstar, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-bellied Woodstar and Western Emerald, among others.

The Tanager family did not came short, capturing pictures of 41 species! This included such great tanagers as the Hooded, Lacrimose, Scarlet-bellied & Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers, Fawn-breasted, Black-capped, Blue-necked, Speckled, Blue-and-black, Beryl-spangled, Bay-headed and Silver-throated Tanagers, among others.

Some of our tour highlights was being able to photograph well the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock at Jardin, the Highland Tinamou walking along a gravel road at Kilometro 18, the Dwarf Cuckoo in Cameguadua marsh, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Mountain Avocetbill, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan & Andean Tit-Spinetail in the buffer zone of Los Nevados National Park, the female Lyre-tailed Nightjar at Las Tangaras reserve, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow & Crimson-mantled Woodpecker at Otun-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, Jet Antbird at El Vinculo reserve and Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant at Recinto del Pensamiento. We photographed well three species of jays, including the Black-collared, Black-chested and Green Jays.

Our friends from Taiwan and China quickly fell in love with the Antpittas, photographing seven species! It was impossible to resist the temptation of these charming Andean birds, devoting ample time to picture the Chestnut-crowned, Bicolored, Chestnut-naped, Rufous, Tawny, Brown-banded & Slate-crowned Antpittas!

By the end of our trip we had photographed well 23 endemics & near-endemics, including the Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Yellow-eared Parrot, Violet-tailed Sylph, Buffy Helmetcrest, Black-thighed Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Toucan Barbet, Grayish Piculet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Bicolored Antpitta, Brown-banded Antpitta, Sooty-headed Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Rufous-throated Tanager and Golden-fronted Redstart.

In our last day at Chestnut-capped Piha reserve, Chu Huan Hsu alone took 10,000 photos of the hummingbirds in the feeders!! Tons of irresistible action from these little birds in flight!!!