Second birding trip for Steve Huggins & Glenn Giacinto from Chicago, Illinois (January 23 – February 2, 2016).

03 - 02 - 2016

After touring the Central Andes in 2014, Steve Huggins and Glenn Giacinto came back to Colombia for a second time, this time focusing on birds largely restricted to the Eastern Andes.

From January 23 to February 2 (2016) we visited a nice array of birding localities, including the Observatorio de Colibríes at La Calera, Pedro Palo Lagoon & Chicaque Park, Chingaza National Park & Siecha gravel pits, Paramo de Guasca & Pantano de Martos, Fúquene Lagoon, Rogitama, Paramo de Onzaga, Soata scrubland & oak forests, Paramo de Sumapaz, Tabacal Lagoon and the Enchanted Gardens of San Francisco. All in just 11 days!

A nice list of hummingbird lifers gradually build up for Steve & Glenn, including the Green-bearded Helmetcrest (E&VU), Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (E&EN), Black Inca (E&VU), Indigo-capped Hummingbird (E), Bronze-tailed Thornbill (NE), Coppery-bellied Puffleg (NE&NT), Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (NE), Blue-throated Starfrontlet (NE), Gorgeted Woodstar, Red-billed Emerald (NE), Short-tailed Emerald (NE), Lazuline Sabrewing, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird and Green-tailed Trainbearer.

Gladly, the skulking and cryptic also went into the bag, including great birds such as Blue-lored Antbird, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Pale-bellied Tapaculo (NE), Streak-backed Canastero, Silvery-throated Spinetail (E), Stripe-breasted Spinetail, Rosy-thrush Tanager, Black-headed Brush-Finch (NE) and Moustached Brush-Finch (NE).

The marshes we visited yielded many more lifers, with great views of the endemic & endangered Apolinar´s Wren (seen at Sumapaz), Bogota Rail (E&EN), Noble Snipe, Andean Teal, Subtropical Doradito and Yellow-hooded Blackbird.

The precious Colombian Mountain Grackle (E&EN) showed up at Soata´s oak forests, as well as the critically endangered Niceforo´s Wren (E) and the scarce Black-banded Woodcreeper. Visiting the Pantano de Martos near Guasca was most rewarding, with an unforgettable encounter of the beautiful & rare Black-chested Mountain-Tanager and close views of the Andean Pygmy-Owl.

Other lifers included the endemics Velvet-fronted Euphonia & Turquoise Dacnis, near-endemics Gray-throated Warbler, Rufous-browed Conebill and Black-headed Hemispingus, and the Striped Manakin, Cinereous Becard and Bluish Flowerpiercer. In summary, 42 lifers total!

From left to right: Alejandro Pinto, Daniel, Steve and Glenn, at Sumapaz National Park.