Birding Colombia through the Southeastern regions of Putumayo & Huila (January 14 – 24, 2018).

26 - 01 - 2018

This was a successful trip to southeastern Colombia, where Hans Jornvall managed to see well nine new birds for his huge lifelist of more than 9200 species, and two additional birds “heard only”. Our trip had the very good support of local guide Brayan Coral Jaramillo, who organized most of the logistics and provided additional guidance.

In the previous week (January 7 – 13), we birded the Rio Claro canyon & Bellavista Forest in mid-Magdalena Valley for White-bearded Manakin (Corapipo leucorrhoa) & Saffron-headed Parrot (Pyrilia pyrilia) (having seen the manakin, but missing the parrot), and Hato La Aurora in the Orinoco region of Colombia for Crestless Curassow (Mitu tuberosum) & Masked Cardinal (Paroaria nigrogenis) (having seen both).

Hans Jornvall after returning from the mid-Magdalena Valley. We stopped at a typical restaurant entering Bogota.

After returning to Bogota from Hato La Aurora, we flew south to Pasto with Avianca Airlines, having an overnight stay at picturesque Laguna de La Cocha. The following day we visited Paramo de Bordoncillo, obtaining great views of both Chestnut-bellied Cotinga (Doliornis remseni) and Masked Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis wetmorei). On our way to Mocoa, we birded El Trampolín de Las Aves, with splendid views of the White-rimmed Brush-Finch (Atlapetes leucopis). Near Mocoa we visited Campucana Trail, having success with the White-streaked Antvireo (Dysithamnus leucostictus), and hearing but not seeing the Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi).

The picturesque poirt at Laguna de La Cocha.

January 18 to 21, we visited Isla Escondida, a private nature reserve set by Jurgen Beckers, who authored the book “Birdwatching in Colombia” with Pablo Flórez. Here, we managed to see well the highly wanted Buff-tailed Sicklebill (Eutoxeres condamini), and we heard the Chestnut-headed Crake (Anurolimnas castaneiceps) only a few meters away from us.

Near Pitalito we had great support from local guides Jorge Peña and Roso Ortiz. After a challenging ascent by horse to a steep mountain near town, we had the fortune of finding a Highland Tinamou (Nothocercus bonapartei) sitting on a nest. In dense bamboo stands (Chusquea spp.) we saw well the endemics Upper Magdalena Tapaculo (Scytalopus rodriguezi) and a gorgeous pair of the East Andean Antbird (Drymophila caudata). Along the road from Mocoa to Pitalito, we found the endemic Dusky-headed Brush-Finch (Atlapetes fuscoolivaceus). On our final day, we flew from Pitalito to Bogota with Avianca Airlines again.

A second view of El Puerto, at Laguna de La Cocha.