Short birding escapade for James Taylor & Christine Forster from Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) (May 8-11, 2014).

12 - 05 - 2014

James Taylor (MD, Ophthalmologist) and Christine Forster (Instructor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Victoria) organized their adventurous trip to Colombia in such a way that a short birding escapade near Pereira and Manizales would be combined with visits to colonial towns such as Villa de Leyva, Mompox and Minca, and main cities such as Medellín, Bogotá, Santa Marta and Cartagena.

Daniel received Chrissie & Jamie in Pereira´s airport early afternoon on May 8th, driving immediately to La Suiza lodge at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary. There, they enjoyed great views of the endemic Cauca Guan and rare Red-ruffed Fruitcrow as they moved through the Ash tree plantations. Also, very close views of the endemic Crested Ant-Tanager and the Chestnut-breasted Wren singing generously its wonderful melodic songs. Other highlights included close views of a pair of Streak-capped Treehunter, a male & female Torrent Duck diving in fast waters, and an  assortment of hummingbirds including Wedge-billed, Steely-vented, Speckled & Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Andean & Western Emerald, Bronzy Inca, Long-billed Starthroat, Greenish Puffleg,  and Green Hermit. Plus beautiful birds such as the Andean Motmot, Blue-necked & Flame-rumped Tanager, Collared Trogon, Green Jay, Tropical Parula and many others.

The following day (May 9th) we birded the Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná, registering 110 species this day, including the endemic Grayish Piculet, near-endemic Bar-crested Antshrike, Spectacled Parrotlet, Least & Pied-billed Grebe, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Purple Gallinule, Slaty Spinetail,  Vermillion Flycatcher, Pied Water-Tyrant, Bay-headed Tanager and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, among many others.

At Los Nevados National Park (May 10th) we had astonishing views of the Bearded Helmetcrest and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, plus a good mix of paramo & timberline species such as the Viridian Metaltail, near-endemic Golden-breasted Puffleg, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Paramo Tapaculo, Paramo Seedeater, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, White-throated Tyrannulet, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, near-endemic Golden-fronted Whitestar, Black-crested Warbler and Andean Siskin. In the afternoon we visited Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales, enjoying 14 species of hummingbirds!

On final day (May 11th) we birded the Rio Blanco watershed, registering 85 species, including three antpittas (the endemic Brown-banded, plus Chestnut-crowned & Slate-crowned Antpitta), flocks of at least 50 Golden-plumed Parakeets, 40 Rusty-faced Parrots and over 90 Scaly-naped Parrots, and close views of big specialties such as Powerful Woodpecker, Dusky Piha, Slaty Finch, Sickle-winged Guan, Rufous-bellied Nighthawk, Band-winged Nightjar, Tourmaline Sunangel, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Collared Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, Masked Trogon, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Spillman´s Tapaculo and Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager.