Bird photography trip to the Eastern Andes of Colombia for Juan José Arango & Anabel Vanin (July 31 – August 04, 2013).

05 - 08 - 2013

A customized tour to the Eastern Andes of Colombia for Juan José Arango (interventional cardiologist & passionate bird photographer) and Anabel Vanin (kidney transfer 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 trip images can be seen at his Flicker site by clicking on the following image:

Cucarachero rufo - Rufous Wren - Cinnycerthia unirufa 09

The Rufous Wren at Chingaza National Park, by Juan José Arango.


Juan José & Anabel, at Rogitama Nature Reserve.