• Fabulous birding in one of the most bird-rich locations anywhere - Abra Patricia
• Remote and beautiful forests and mountains
• Lots of superb endemics, including the Marvelous Spatuletail, an astounding bird!
Northern Peru is home to some of the world’s most sought-after species, especially one spectacular hummingbird, the astonishing Marvelous Spatuletail. The remote mountain pass at Abra Patricia ranks as one of the most exciting and rewarding birding locations along the entire Andean mountain chain. The construction of an eco-lodge at Abra Patricia now allows birders to spend several days in comfort right at Abra Patricia and thereby access this incredibly bird-rich area; we organize this tour around several days at Abra Patricia.
We will be treated to a plethora of superb birds - tanagers including the impressive White-capped and the endemic Yellow-scarfed, Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher, Royal Sunangel, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, the much sought-after Long-whiskered Owlet, several species of antpittas including Ochre-fronted, Pale-billed and Chestnut, and a multitude of bush-tanagers, mountain-tanagers, hemispinguses and flowerpiercers, along with antbirds, woodcreepers, fruiteaters, becards, flycatchers, wrens, vireos and warblers.
At dusk we look for White-throated Screech-Owl, Cinnamon Screech-Owl and Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Near Tarapoto, Wattled Guan, Orange-breasted Falcon, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Gilded Barbet, Red-stained Woodpecker, White-fronted Tyrannulet, Dotted Tanager, Carmiol’s Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, White-tipped Swift, Koepke’s Hermit and gaudy birds such as Curl-crested Aracari and Andean Cock-of-the-rock occur. Join us for a tour of this amazingly diverse area of deciduous forest, montane cloud forest and inter-mountain scrub.
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Day 2: Flight to Tarapoto and birding the Huallaga
Day 3: Waqanki
Day 4: Morro de Calzadas and transfer to Abra Patricia
Days 5 - 8: Abra Patricia
Day 9: Afluente and transfer to Tarapoto
Day 10: The “Tunel” and Departure
Our tour starts in the evening in Lima. Night in Lima.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our internal flight to Tarapoto. Our destination this morning is semi-deciduous forest along the Huallaga and Mayo Rivers south of Tarapoto, where we may find Blue-winged Parrotlet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Pheasant Cuckoo, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, the endemic huallagae race of Northern Slaty Antshrike, Stripe-chested and Rusty-backed Antwrens, the recently described Mishana Tyrannulet, White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous Casiornis, Ashy-headed Greenlet, and Yellow Tyrannulet. Along the rivers Comb Ducks occur. In the afternoon we head west towards Moyobamba where we spend the night at the Waqanki reserve. Wetlands along the way hold egrets, Striated Heron,Wattled Jacanas, migrant shorebirds, Common Gallinules, Roadside Hawk, Barred Antshrike, and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters, and maybe a rarity such as Spotted Rail. We stop on the way at a deep canyon where Oilbirds nest, and we should have excellent looks at this aberrant nocturnal fruit-eater. Colonies of Yellow-rumped Caciques with Russet-backed Oropendolas and attendant Giant Cowbirds are here, and other stops may turn up Lettered and Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Dusky-throated Flycatcher, Turquoise Tanager and Dusky-headed Greenlet. Night in Waqanki.
An early morning walk into forests at Waqanki could produce several antbirds including White-plumed, Peruvian Warbling, Spot-winged, Spot-backed and the striking Hairy-crested, Ornate Antwren, Golden-collared Toucanet, Green-backed Trogon, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Mishana Tyrannulet, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Black-bellied Tanager among others. In the afternoon, we visit hummingbird feeders which attract up to 20 species of hummingbirds, including Rufous-crested Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail and Sapphire-spangled Emerald. A night walk could turn up Band-bellied Owl, Spectacled Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl and Spot-tailed Nightjar. Night at Waqanki.
We leave Waqanki and head to dry woodland at the foot of Morro de Calzadas, a forested isolated peak; here we look for Striolated Puffbird, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Lesser, White-crested and Mottle-backed Elaenias, Striped and Fiery-capped Manakins, White-banded Swallow, Pale-breasted Thrush, Black-faced Tanager, Black-billed Seed-Finch, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, and Wedge-tailed Grassfinch. We then head upslope towards Abra Patricia, arriving in the late afternoon, for a five-night stay, and in time to admire the procession of hummingbirds at the feeders by the lodge – Speckled Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sylph, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Peruvian and Bronzy Incas, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, White-bellied Woodstar and others.
We spend four full days exploring the Abra Patricia area. This is a very bird-rich region; over 400 species have been recorded in this area. Stunted forests here, amidst awe-inspiring scenery, support the mysterious Long-whiskered Owlet, known along the appropriately named “Owlet Trail”, the little-known Ochre-fronted Antpitta, several other antpittas including Undulated, Chestnut and Rusty-tinged, the stunning Royal Sunangel, Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Andean Solitaire, the highly localized Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Bar-winged Wood-Wren and the splendid White-capped Tanager. Multi-species flocks hold a multitude of tanagers including the endemic Yellow-scarfed Tanager, several bush-tanagers, mountain-tanagers, hemispinguses and flowerpiercers, along with antbirds, woodcreepers, fruiteaters, becards, flycatchers, wrens, vireos and warblers. At dusk we look for White-throated Screech-Owl, Cinnamon Screech-Owl and Lyre-tailed Nightjar, and on one evening we hike the Owlet trail looking and listening for the enigmatic Long-whiskered Owlet.
Near the village of Pomacochas is the Huembo Reserve, and we spend time here in search of the Marvelous Spatuletail. The male is perhaps the world’s most spectacular hummingbird, with long tail feathers curved back around the body and ending in “spatulas”. This amazing hummingbird is confined to the humid montane forests on the west slope of the eastern Andes; we hope to find a male of this legendary species, although a female or young male would be quite welcome! There are other goodies here including Purple-throated Sunangel and Violet-crowned Brilliant. Lago Pomacochas is a picturesque lake lying at 2000 m elevation, and we visit the lake to look for Curve-billed Tinamou, Andean Lapwing, Puna Snipe, Plumbeous Rail, Rufous-capped Antshrike and Black-crested Warbler. Nights at Abra Patricia Biological Station.
We leave Abra Patricia and travel back toward Tarapoto. Our schedule today is flexible and will depend on which species we may have missed up to now, perhaps revisiting the Royal Sunangel spot once more, and we will spend time near the bird-rich communities of Afluente and Aguas Verdes. At the tiny settlement of Afluente, where the road passes through beautiful upper tropical forests, we walk the road looking for goodies. Twenty years ago, the late Ted Parker first explored this region, locating yet another set of new and exciting birds. Among the most noteworthy specialties are the tiny Speckle-chested Piculet and the canopy-dwelling Ash-throated Antwren. We have chances of seeing Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and Ecuadorian Piedtail, a lek-forming hummingbird. Yellow-throated and Ashy-throated Bush-Tanagers make their rounds in noisy family parties, and tanager flocks could include Orange-eared, Paradise, Green-and-gold, Saffron-crowned, Spotted, Golden, Blue-necked, Blue-browed, Bay-headed, White-winged and Magpie Tanagers, and with a bit of luck the stunning Vermilion Tanager. Chestnut-breasted and Gray-mantled Wrens are also here, along with Black-billed Treehunter, Versicolored Barbet, Yellow-breasted Antwren, and the easily overlooked Equatorial Graytail, a warbler-like member of the Ovenbirds. Other birds include various pigeons, parakeets and parrots, toucans, woodpeckers, woodcreepers, foliage-gleaners, antbirds, tyrannulets, euphonias, oropendolas and thrushes. Night in Tarapoto.
In the morning we bird the recently paved “tunnel road” northeast of Tarapoto, where humid tropical forest and foothill species mingle, among them perhaps Wattled Guan, White Hawk, Orange-breasted Falcon, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Gilded Barbet, Red-stained Woodpecker, Lanceolated Monklet, White-fronted Tyrannulet, Dotted Tanager, Carmiol’s Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia and Short-billed Honeycreeper. A cliff face is home to a nesting colony of White-tipped Swifts, Koepke’s Hermit visits Heliconia flowers nearby, and gaudy birds such as Curl-crested Aracaris and Andean Cocks-of-the-rock may be feeding in fruiting trees along the road. We then catch our flight back to Lima, in time for evening departures home.
• Marvelous Spatuletail
• Royal Sunangel
• Long-whiskered Owlet
• Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
• Fiery-throated Fruiteater
• White-capped Tanager
• Yellow-scarfed Tanager
• Lyre-tailed Nightjar
• Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher
• Cinnamon Screech-Owl
• Mishana Tyrannulet
• Dotted Tanager
• Rufous-crested Coquette
Peru 2012 (Scouting Trip) pdf
Our accommodations range from good to fair but perfectly adequate. At low and middle elevations days are usually warm to hot, sunny and likely humid. At higher altitudes conditions range from cool to cold, especially in the early morning. Rain can be expected at any time. Layers and a windbreaker would be the solution in the mountains. At all altitudes, we should remember to have adequate protection from the sun.
Walking effort is mostly moderate, with some optional harder walks which includes the walk to see the Long-whiskered Owlet. On some occasions we go spotlighting at night. Trails are likely to be muddy; waterproof footwear is highly recommended.
Mosquitoes are usually not a problem, but sand flies and chiggers may be a nuisance. A liberal dose of insect repellent on clothing and exposed skin will help.
In the evening, we enjoy good meals provided by the various lodges’ dining facility or at the hotel restaurant. At this time we discuss the day’s activities and review the list of birds and wildlife we have encountered. We outline the events for the next day, in preparation for another round of excitement and discovery.
• All accommodations• All meals• Guides• Ground Transportation• Includes 2 flights: Lima - Tarapoto, Tarapoto – Lima• Gratuities
Not Included• Flights to and from Lima• Travel insurance• Items of a personal nature
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