Birding the Western & Central Andes with Richard & Jennifer Kershaw from UK (March 10-31, 2016).

01 - 04 - 2016

First time in Colombia for Richard & Jennifer Kershaw from UK, birding the Western and Central Andes, with the Cauca Valley in between. Tour started in Cali and finished 22 days later in Medellin (March 10-31, 2016), visiting the following main birding localities:

  • Cloud forests at Km 18, Finca Alejandría (hummingbird & tanager feeders, gardens), Restaurant “Aquí me quedo” (feeders) & San Antonio Forest above Cali;
  • El Vinculo dry forest near Buga;
  • Sonso marsh;
  • Cerro Montezuma (mountain humid forest to top of the mountain, lodge feeders & gardens);
  • Pre-montane humid forest at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary;
  • Cameguadua marsh;
  • Los Nevados National Park (paramo ecosystems & elfin forest on tree line, and the hummingbird feeders at Hotel Nevado del Ruiz);
  • Rio Blanco (three antpitta feeding stations, cloud forests along the ridge, hummingbird & tanager feeders on lodge, gardens);
  • Bolombolo dry forests at Quebrada Sinifana;
  • Cock-of-the-Rock lek & cloud forest along the road to Ventana´s Pass, forests at ProAves´s Yellow-eared Parrot reserve & hummingbird feeders at Doña Lucía´s house, above Jardin;
  • Shaded coffee plantations & forest fragments at Morro Amarillo;
  • Las Tangaras at Carmen de Atrato;
  • Mountain forests at “La M” on the road to Urrao;
  • La Romera ecopark;
  • Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve in the northern tip of the Central Andes.

Richard & Jen Kershaw having lunch at Restaurante Aquí me Quedo, above Cali in Km 18.

We enjoyed bird after bird, sighting 23 country endemics, 17 near-endemics and more than 40 specialties. In total, 89 lifers for Richard & Jen, including three highly desired species that had been denied in previous trips to Ecuador and other South American countries: Sword-billed Hummingbird, White-capped Tanager and Ocellated Tapaculo.

Country endemics seen (23): Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Yellow-eared Parrot, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Buffy Helmetcrest, White-mantled Barbet, Greyish Piculet, Parker´s Antbird, Brown-banded Antpitta, Stiles´s & Alto de Pisones Tapaculo, Chestnut-capped Piha, Apical Flycatcher, Antioquia Wren, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-Gold & Gold-ringed Tanager, Multicoloured Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Sooty & Crested Ant-Tanager, and Red-bellied Grackle.

Near-endemics seen (17): Colombian Screech-Owl, Black-thighed Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Bar-crested Antshrike, Bicoloured Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Hooded Antpitta, Nariño Tapaculo, Yellow-headed Manakin, Sooty-headed Wren, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black-headed Brush-Finch, Velvet-purple Coronet and Uniform Treehunter.

Equally valuable, we saw magnificent specialties, including the following: Highland Tinamou, Semi-collared Hawk, Spectacled Parrotlet, White-tipped Sicklebill, Blue-headed Sapphire, White-tailed Hillstar, Crested Quetzal, Black-billed Mountain-Tanager, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Powerful Woodpecker, White-browed Spinetail, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Western Woodhaunter, Streak-capped Treehunter, Andean Leaftosser, Tyranine Woodcreeper, Brown-billed Scythebill, Rufous-rumped & Yellow-breasted Antwren, Blue-lored & Zeledon´s Antbird, Plain-backed Antpitta, White-crowned Tapaculo, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Scaled Fruiteater, Olivaceous Piha, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Plumbeous-crowned & Ashy-headed Tyrannulet, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, White-headed & Chestnut-breasted Wren, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Flame-rumped Tanager, Olive Finch, Slate-coloured Seedeater and Red-hooded Tanager.

We had an incredible encounter with a Semi-collared Hawk at Las Tangaras forest while the bird was in a hunt. Photo taken by Jen Kershaw.