9 – 30 April 1999
by John van der Woude
This was our first visit to Peru, and we found it more friendly and civilised than we had vaguely feared on the basis of its recent past. The tourists are coming back now, so why not the birders too. This part of the report only describes the logistics, and the remaining parts will be due some time, but do mail me in the meantime if you want more details on specific sites (of which I also measured the GPS locations this time - fun!).
Our trip was from 9 till 30 April (1999) and this is the transition from the wetter to the drier season. We had little rain, but especially in the Andes it had been very rainy just before we came there. We visited three totally different regions, with very few bird species overlapping: a. the Amazonian lowland forest at the Tambopata reserve near Puerto Maldonado (9 days), b. the Andes near Cuzco (1 week; photo of Macchu Picchu left), c. the Pacific coast S of Lima (Paracas, Villa marshes; 3 days). In the Amazonian lowland we had temperatures of nearly 30 degrees Celius, but on the last days we had an early friaje, a cold wind from the South (they even say from Patagonia), and the temperatures dropped to 20 C in midday. In the Andes we stayed at altitudes mainly between 2800 and 4000 m, and the temperatures ranged from near freezing point in the early morning high up, to a pleasant 18 C or so in midday at 2800 m. The coast is a desert, although with a cool breeze all day.
Again, we travelled by public transport only - plane, bus, train, and several taxis. The KLM flight from Amsterdam arrived in Lima in the evening, and we had asked a taxi to be sent by the hotel where we stayed the first night (Hostal Lucerna, fax 1 446 6050). BTW 'hostal' means in Peru not a hotel of less quality but only that it has less than 25 rooms (according to our only travel guide here, the South American Handbook). The next morning we had a very early flight to Pto. (Puerto) Maldonado in the far Southeast, with Aerocontinente. The other airline of Peru, Aero Peru, just had ceased all activities, so Aerocontinente has recently changed their schedules in order to make more flights with their fleet (hopefully without diminishing the maintenance). At the airport of Pto. Maldonado we were picked up by the staff of Peruvian Safaris, the owner of Explorer's Inn in the Tambopata reserve. We had booked directly with them, fax 1 332 6676, e-mail email@example.com. Two other guests, who had booked via a third party (in Lima), had some difficulty in making clear which arrangement they had booked exactly. Our arrangement included a two-day visit to the famous macaw clay lick (colpa) 6 hours upriver from Explorer's Inn. All arrangements include airport pickup, bus ride to the 'harbour' and a boat ride to and from the lodge. It even includes repeated reconfirmation of your flight back from Pto. Maldonado, and this can be important in view of the larger number of passengers for Aerocontinente now.
The lodge has a nice setting in a clearing in the forest reserve, and consists of several 4-room bungalows on both sides of the main building, all wooden buildings of course. There is no generator so no noisy motors at any time of the day or night. A few lights in the main building work on solar power, the fridges etc. run on butane. In the rooms are candles. Each room (thin walls, so people keep quiet) has its own bathroom with cool ('refreshing') shower. On average there were 15 to 20 guests, but this can be over 70 in the high season (August I think). The trails around the lodge were still muddy from the wet season, further from the lodge they were better. They will dry up in a month or so. Wellington boots are provided but we always bring our own. The pressure of all the guests on the trails has become so high that the staff has cut a new Main Trail besides the old one, which had deteriorated too much. On the other hand, Main Trail is one of the few trails used by all visitors so the other trails are in better shape. For the dry season (May-October roughly) it may not be an issue at all.
This part of Tambopata is a true forest reserve, with few forest border outlooks, only the lodge clearing, the river banks, the Cocococha lake (by canoe). The lookout platform built into the overgrown Laguna Chica has not been restored after its collapse some years ago, so this point is no longer good for canopy birds. On the other hand, we discovered a very productive lookout point just 10 m besides the Heliconia trail, about 300 m from the Big Tree, on the righthand side.. Explorer's Inn has a network of about 30 km of trails, 20 of which is regularly walked and/or maintained, covering all the habitat types of this lowland forest. The reserve must have been free of hunters for many years, since we saw so many groups if monkeys, of 5 different species. And indeed until the last day we got new bird species (like Bare-necked Fruitcrow), in total we had about 200 species in 6 full days Explorer's Inn plus 2 days for the wonderful trip to the macaw clay lick. This extra trip not only brings you to all those hundreds of macaws and parrots, but als into the very wild and scenic heart of the Tambopata reserve. Because of the relatively high cost compared to the reasonable cost of the lodge itself, not many visitors make this extra trip (to be booked in advance) with four staff members (boat driver, boat pilot in front, cook, naturalist guide). The night is spent in tents on a wonderful spot along the river, right opposite the clay lick.
We could easily have spent a few more days on the trails of Explorer's Inn, but we wanted to have enough time for the Andes as well. Nevertheless, we got an extra day in the lowlands, caused by the schedule changes of Aerocontinente as mentioned before. On this extra day in Pto. Maldonado we took a peki-peki taxi boat (arranged by Victor Yohamona of the local Peruvian Safaris staff, his private phone is 84 572613, he can arrange more excursions) one hour downstream along the Madre de Dios river to the start of the 5 km long trail to the Sandoval lake & lodge, which are part of the Tambopata reserve like Explorer’s Inn. This Sandoval trail was a real bonus: an easy walk on a dry and broad path with good views into the subcanopy, and from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. (photo above/left of when we went back) we got about 50 species of which a dozen new for the trip. The Sandoval lake itself seemed rather quiet, but a guy from near the lodge told us that about one hour canoeing from the lake across forest streams you would enter a more marshy lake 'with all the egrets etcetera'. The small lodge at the Sandoval lake seemed OK, and the full board price a staff member mentioned on the spot was much lower than the 50 US-dollars when arranged in Pto. Maldonado as indicated in the S-Am Handbook. I think that it would be a good idea to stay here a few days (also possible with a tent) before going to the Explorer's Inn, or at least walk the trail one or two days while operating from Pto. Maldonado. This Oriente town really is not so bad, at least not compared to one of its equivalents in Eastern Ecuador (Coca).
The plane from Pto. Maldonado to Cuzco arrives at 9 a.m. and after the taxi ride into town we asked the driver to stay with us for the rest of the day (for US$ 50) and deliver us at the end of the day at Ollantaytambo, where we had reserved a room at Wendy Weeks' El Albergue (recommended in the S Am Handbook). So in Cuzco we first did some things like collecting money (peruvian soles and US dollars) from cash machines which line up at the beginning of the Sol Avenue, and phoning home at an office a bit further down the same street (actually opposite the phone administration office). The rest of the day was spent birding, first around the Sacsayhuaman ruins above Cuzco (not so good), then mainly alongside the large Huaypo lake halfway to Ollantaytambo (very rewarding). In Ollanto, as they call it here, we stayed 3+1 nights, and the intervening two nights we stayed in the San Luis restaurant along the famous Abra Malaga birding road. Our meals in Ollanto did we have partly at Wendy's, and partly at the restaurant Alcazar along an old Inca road, at 100 m from the plaza. The 10 min. walk from Wendy's place at the train station to the plaza is good for some birding, it follows a mountain stream. On the first day in Ollanto we took the Express train to Macchu Picchu (US$ 9 one way, the alternatives are $ 26 for the luxe train and $ 3 for the local train). The train ride now ends at Aguas Calientes and from there buses go up to the ruins, which are actually smaller than you would think from the many calendar pictures of this famous place. We went down early to do some birding along the railway further down the river, as recommended in Where to watch birds in S Am. Coming down from the ruins you have to leave the bus at the old Ruinas station. The walk from there downwards was good for tanager flocks, but beware of cargo and service trains coming from around the corners.
On the second day Ollanto we went up the Abra Malaga road with a taxi arranged by Wendy's staff, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., for US$60. Gradually it becomes apparent that a taxi should cost about 6 US-dollars per hour (maybe less for locals, I don't know). The Abra Malaga pass road is famous for birds, but its scenic value (also for later touristic development) is tremendous as well. The photo is of the tree line habitat on the East slope. The following day we arranged to do this road again but to be left behind for two nights at the San Luis restaurant in the temperate forest zone of the moist East slope, at about 2800 m altitude. At first, the lady of the restaurant was a bit embarassed, they do not have proper rooms, but I knew that there had been birderds before, and Osvaldo Toledo her husband said it was OK. So they gave us a corner of the restaurant, shut it off with a curtain, and prepared even a real bed for us. Now we were at our bottom level of acceptable comfort, but here you are really amidst where you want to be a while, the temperate East Andean forest around 2700 m altitude.Apart from several regional specialties we finally got our first (lifer) Plushcap here. The road, and so the restaurant, is very quiet, 2 or 3 vehicles per hour.
About 100 m before the Abra Malaga pass proper, as seen from Ollanto, one can walk uphill (= to the left) up to the crest of a ridge parallel to the road, in order to get to the Polylepis forest remains on the other side of the ridge. Sadly enough the cutting of this wood continues despite some protection measures. The photo shows cut Polylepis wood at the house at the pass. The walk to the ridge crest is not far, but should be done very slowly because of the altitude (over 4000 m), so take 30 mins. for it. Standing on the ridge you see some Polylepis forest remains below on the other side, and we feared that not many of the specialties could be left here after all the cutting, but we saw quite a few of these birds (including Giant Conebill and Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant) after descending o these disturbed forest patches, partly even just while they have been cut open by the man with the axe. Here you are in a new valley which goes down in the direction of Ollanto, it ends at the road 1 hour walk down, and this is where our taxi driver waited on us. Of course this magnificent although partly bad road had many other spots that are good for birding.
For the trip back from Ollanto to Cuzco we took the bus (small bus to Urubamba, change there on a friendly bus station). In Cuzco, a much bigger town than Ollanto, we had a small hotel, aptly named El Balcon, from its splendid view on the centre and the mountains around. There are several flights a day (in the morning) from Cuzco to Lima. At Lima airport we took a taxi autorizada (desk near the luggage belts) to the terminal of Ormeno International buses (adres Av. Javier Prado Este 1059, fax 470 5454), luxurious long-distance buses which leave on a fixed time. This terminal should not be confused with the Ormeno bus terminal. With Ormeno International we drove through the coastal desert for US$10 pp to Paracas, a sea resort 3.5 km Southward. We lodged two nights in Hotel Paracas (US$65), a large enterprise with lots of staff, and the contrast with the San Luis restaurant in the mountains could not have been bigger.
We were there at Paracas to see the sea birds, and they have a boat excursion in the morning to the Ballestas islands (can also be done from Pisco). The excursion lasts only two hours but I don't think that we missed any species at the islands. We had our first (lifer) penguins here, see photo. For passing seabirds one should stay longer, but also much further out at sea. An extra excursion (in our case with a private taxi because we were the only participants of this) is made to the Paracas peninsula, a scenic wonder with some birds as well. We also wanted to visit the acacia bushes along the road to the Panamericana, but this connection road was closed for maintenance. But sitting on the pier of the hotel is not so bad either. Moreover, it took us some time to sort out all the tern species here. This seemed the end of our birding trip, but back in Lima we payed a visit to the Pantanos de Villa marshes just South of town. We did this with the same taxi driver that we got appointed at the Ormeno International bus terminal, and he even stayed with us on the trails, which gave us some safety feeling, as the outskirts of this enormous town are very nearby. His name is Jesus de la Oliva, phone 466 2618 (we payed US$ 28 for the trip from 7 till 11 a.m.). The Villa marshes are really worthwhile, we got an extra 20 trip ticks. There we also did the road along the golf course (go left at the bifurcation), where we saw a group of 21 Peruvian Thicknee, pointed out by the friendly guard of the golf course.
In a few months time a sort of Peru field guide will be for sale. We used three field guides (plus a self made supplement from Ridgely&Tudor etc.): the Colombia guide for the Amazonian lowlands, Birds of the High Andes for all our Andean birding, and Koepcke's booklet with the birds of the Lima department for the birds of the coast. But I don't know if the new Peru guide will be able to replace all three, inasfar as BHA can be replaced anyhow (we should have brought this gem to Ecuador as well). It seems that only 500 of the 1700 or so species of Peru will be depicted. It may well be a sort of birdfinding guide, with plates of the specialties of Peru. So then you may still need those other three books (or maybe just the Colombia guide). A true field guide for Peru is in preparation, but this may take still a few years. Isn't it a pity that the best country field guide for South America is for the country we fear the most (Colombia), hopefully things improve there soon now they have finally started talks between the parties. Anyway, we really liked Peru, and not only for the birds.
After the arrival in the morning of Saturday 10 April at Puerto Maldonado airport we had to wait a few minutes before we left with the Explorer’s Inn bus. Looking around in the half-open wooded vegetation around the terminal we noted our first trip ticks: Red-capped Cardinal, Social Flycatcher, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Black Vulture, a possible Picui Ground-Dove, Tropical Kingbird, Blue-black Grassquit. At an office on the outskirts of this sleepy town we had a stop and there we saw Plumbeous Hawk, Yellow-browed Sparrow (typical buzzing song), Palm Tanager. Around midday we embarked on the built-up dug-out canoe-boat at the 'harbour' of Pto. Maldonado for the 3-hour ride to Explorer's Inn. We kept awake most of the time enjoying the very tropical scenery and eager to see fresh trip ticks: Pied Lapwing, White-collared Swift (several groups), Pied Water-Tyrant, White-banded Swallow (a colony), a Snowy Egret here and there, one standing next to a Large-billed Tern, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Bat Falcon a few times, mostly in pairs sitting in overhanging trees, Great Black-Hawk in the river bank vegetation, Crested Oropendola, White-winged Swallow two in a snag on a sandbar, Violaceous Jay a few groups, Cattle Egret 4 on a rocky island, Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, small Chaetura swifts (Grey-rumped here).
After arrival at the lodge and some rest we went for a first hike and chose the Laguna Chica trail, still muddy from the foregoing season. We soon had a flock containing Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Bluish-slate Antshrike male and also the nicely coloured female, Plain Xenops, a flatbill, an antwren. Further on we had White-eyed Antwren (sight and sound), Little Tinamou (heard), the first nunbird sounds, Undulated Tinamou (heard). On the crossing with Terrace trail we ticked Black-spotted Bare-eye. Then we were so lucky to spot a group of Cuvier's Toucan in a tree nearby (it is not uncommon but you don't see them so much), and when the dusk started setting in we heard the first of many Blue-crowned Motmot, which we would never actually see, always thought we would see it somewhere else here but we should have gone after them one time. At the clearing of the lodge we saw Spix's Guan in the dusk, and heard a distant wood-quail that may have been Marbled (although even that one is not occurring on the list), but the sound was more like that of the reference sound of Black-fronted (not occurring here at all). The only wood-quail on the list of Explorer's Inn is Starred (which we heard later on), but this one was clearly different. Later that night we had even another sound that should not occur here, an owl sound quite like Striped, but we also heard Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, between the lodge and the river, which is only 100 m away. Still later there was even a clear Spectacled Owl calling. There were no other birders as guest here, so we could be sure that not somebody was playing owl tapes…
Sunday 11 April was our first full day Explorer's Inn. While most of the other guests were on excursion to the Cocococha lake, having a hard time walking the muddy Main trail in a fast pace (definitely too fast for birders), we did a reconnaissance of trails nearby. First we ticked another motmot at the lodge, the Broad-billed (heard only as well), and Pauraque fluttering above the path to the river. On the short Sunset Point trail we were at sunrise and saw Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Black-faced Antthrush, and heard Undulated Tinamou, Thrush-like Wren. At Sunset Point, an overlook at the river Tambopata, Grey-capped Flycatchers were scolding and a group of small macaws crossed the river, the sound indicating Chestnut-fronted. Back on the lodge clearing we heard Striolated Puffbird. This is an unmistakable sound, we checked it on the reference collection of bird sounds on our minidisc. Yes this is neotropical forest birding, more birds appear by sound than by sight, although on the long run (we stayed 9 days) you will see most of the birds you initially only hear. Some birders find this frustrating, but for me it adds to the charm of the rain forest. But we saw birds too at the clearing of course, where we added Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Mealy Parrot, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Yellow-rumped Cacique. After breakfast we did Terrace trail, a rather short dry trail that is mostly used as connection with other trails. New species were White-flanked Antwren, Fasciated Antshrike, Black-tailed Trogon, and we had another look at Bluish-slate Antshrike and Bluish-fronted Jacamar. Then we did a bit of the so-called Big Tree trail, and got one of the best birds of the whole trip, a group of five Pale-winged Trumpeters walking the trail where a lot of ripe plum-like fruits had fallen from a tree (not the Big Tree but one very close to the intersection with Terrace trail). It is clear why for this region the name should rather be White-winged Trumpeter: they look like white flashes across the dark forest floor. Then from the Big tree we did some of the Heliconia trail: Paradise Tanager, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill at a tree fall, Black-fronted Nunbird, Black-spotted Barbet, Masked Crimson-Tanager. Now it was 9.15 a.m. and we passed by the overgrown Laguna Chica where we heard Great Antshrike. Further on Heliconia trail we have Syristes, a group of White-browed Antbird, Plain-winged Antshrike, Chestnut-tailed Antbird and a bit further on Scale-backed Antbird, Plain Xenops, White-bearded Hermit. In the Heliconia thickets we saw a new lifer manakin, the Band-tailed, and also White-shouldered Antshrike. Then, at only 300 m or so from the start, there is a small semi-open spot to the right from where you can look into a group of rather bare trees and these revealed Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Greater Ani, Masked Tityra, White-collared Swift. Going back we added Blue-crowned Trogon and along the La Torre trail a female Plain-throated Antwren at only 4 m distance. La Torre trail ends at the lodge, and just before the lodge clearing we met a flock of Black-banded Woodcreeper, Green-and-gold Tanager, Long-winged Antwren (with white tail tip, otherwise it can also be Ihering's), Dusky-tailed Flatbill. On the clearing we saw Dusky-billed Parrotlet. After the really good lunch we took some rest, trying to catch up some sleep from the long journey from Amsterdam. But it’s hard to relax if you know to be surrounded by untouched rain forest and all the promises it holds… Later in the afternoon we did 1 km or so of the Main trail where we added Screaming Piha on a small lek, Musician Wren (heard only alas), Blue-headed Parrot and the song of Black-billed Thrush. Regularly some Mealy Parrots flew around. It was getting dark when we heard the call of Collared Forest-falcon and the song of Bartlett's Tinamou.
Monday 12 April was our first of two days Colpa, the excursion to the clay lick far into the interior of the Tambopata reserve, to which also the forest around Explorer's Inn belongs. Before leaving we birded a bit on the lodge clearing and the nearby Sunset Point trail and added Drab Water-Tyrant, Swallowwing, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Moustached Wren. Along the trail we had a very close encounter with a 1-m long and beautiful snake, which we later identified as Rainbow Boa. Back at the lodge everyone had already seen another snake on a small unused trail behind the lodge, a frightening Bushmaster. I still wonder why people came so close in order to take photos, this is a really dangerous animal, it is one of the few snakes that attacks and even chases you when disturbed, quite in contrast to the Rainbow Boa (but we didn’t know that yet at the moment we saw that one...). Then from 7.20 a.m. we made the long river trip upstream, and were keen to see birds that we might not see in the reserve around Explorer's Inn. First we saw a Spectacled Cayman, and soon we got groups of small macaws and Aratinga parakeets. Screaming flocks of smaller parrots with short pointed tail were of Cobalt-winged Parrot. The first Blue-and-yellow Macaws stately flew overhead. After GPS10 (my GPS-location measurements, to be listed at the end of the report) the river became a bit wilder, with more sandbars and driftwood. We added Roadside Hawk, Giant Cowbird (a group), Solitary Sandpiper, and saw a group of a dozen coati's in the cecropias on a fresh part of the riverbank. They quietly walked in a queue, ring tails all erect. A Great Black-Hawk was also walking on the riverbank, just between the dead branches that heap up here. Toucans crossed the river now and then, probably Cuvier’s, although they seemed smaller at this distance and so made us believe they may be the smaller version of Cuvier’s Toucan, the Yellow-ridged Toucan. New species were Great Kiskadee, Red&Green Macaws, Great Egret, White-necked Heron and Orinoco Goose before we entered at GPS12 the inner National Park Zone. From the GPS-measurements I knew that this is 26.7 km from the lodge in a straight line, but because of the wide meanders it seemed much further. Soon we passed the 'small colpa' where indeed some groups of Red&Green Macaw and also some Scarlet Macaws flew around. More snags appeared, with more White-winged Swallow. The river islands became bigger and more scenic, with the typical pattern of shifting pioneer vegetation zones. Another couple of Orinoco Goose stood on the sand here, and a lonely Collared Plover. We stirred a group of Howler Monkeys at the riverbank, where they were eating clay, with the remains around their mouths when they walked away, looking like children who were caught eating pudding with their hands. At 14.30 h we arrived at the spot (GPS14) where we would camp, right opposite the big colpa across the wide river. We had a short swim in the river, and resident-naturalist zoologist Stephanie pointed out tapir prints on the bare river bank from where we went into the water, and made clear that the chance of seeing a tapir is practically nil. You would have to stay up many many nights. Near our camp a Black Caracara flew around with a tiny fish in his beak all the time as a sort of display flight probably. Then from 16 h we walked a trail nearby (starts at GPS13), cut out by Explorer's Inn staff a while ago, and good for some partly new antbird species (most only heard alas, it is not easy birding on this trail): Goeldi Antbird, Amazon Antshrike, Barred Antshrike, White-throated Antshrike (all four only heard), Black-throated Antbird, Chestnut-tailed Antbird. We saw a large foliage-gleaner near the river, probably Chestnut-crowned. Deeper into the forest were many Black-faced Antthrush, and another foliage-gleaner, Olive-backed according to its sound. Another sound that I picked up from the recordings later on probably belonged to White-necked Puffbird. Walking back to camp across the wide but nearly dry tributary while dusk set in, we saw two Great Horned Owls sitting and calling on top of the trees behind our camp, and a Ladder-tailed Nightjar with its long tail fluttering around us. Sitting on the riverbank with a drink after dinner we heard Starred Wood-quail. This is a great place to be, it is as if you can feel that you are in the heart of the reserve, far from any disturbance. Also, we were lucky with the fine weather, which seems to be important for having many macaws on the clay lick the next morning.
Tuesday 13 April Clay lick day! In the dark, at 5 a.m., we were sitting already on the sandbar next to the clay lick, on the lookout for the coming macaws and parrots. The trick is that you will sit here already before they arrive, and this way you can sit rather nearby. The macaws do not always come to exactly the same spot on the 200-m long cliff face, but we were lucky with our position, they would come close by. The first macaws to arrive were the Red-bellied and the Chestnut-fronted in groups of up to 20 individuals. In total we had about 100 Red-bellied. Then the ever magnificent Blue-and-yellow Macaws entered the scene, mostly in pairs, arriving from all directions (a total of may be 60). Mealy Parrots came too, in numbers that you normally don't see (total of 20 at least). Now all species come together, and these included the babbling Yellow-crowned Parrot (20), Blue-headed Parrot (80 at least), Scarlet Macaw (20), the gaudy Orange-cheeked Parrot (6), and White-eyed Parakeet (8). This all with the rising sun in the back, and most of them against the background of the clay cliff, and with all the screaming of different pitches - an unforgettable experience. Still, I got the impression that the eating of clay may not be the main reason for their coming here, how much may have been written about this. By far not all birds came down on the lick proper. Eating clay formed (at least on this day, in this season) only a minor part in the activities of the ara's and parrots. I got more the impression of a social gathering, there was so much talking, and flying from one group to another. Maybe here is the same thing as at night roosts of e.g. starlings. As I understand it, there the birds exchange information about good spots for food (like we do on BirdChat for good spots for birding), albeit only in the form of looking which birds look finest and sound happiest, and following those the next day. Somebody out there who knows more about this?
Many of the macaws sat in the trees on the riverbank, and some of the other birds in those trees were a pair of Muscovy Duck and a pair of Blue-throated Piping-Guan. By 7 a.m. most birds had left, and we left too for our breakfast, and for some subsequent birding on and from the sandbar next to our camping spot: Plain-crowned Spinetail, Dark-breasted Spinetail, King Vulture, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Slate-coloured Seedeater, Dusky-headed Parakeet, House Wren. The latter may be at home in this naturally disturbed fluvial habitat.
On the way back from this heavenly place we added three bird species (American Woodstork, Anhinga and Spotted Sandpiper) and two primates (Squirrel Monkey, a large group, accompanied by two Brown Capuchin Monkeys) before we reached the little colpa again. Now we went on the riverbank here and made a walk through the pioneer forest towards the cliff face above this sand bar. This colpa is better for Red&Green Macaw than the big one of this morning, and Scarlet and Blue-and-yellow occur here as well. Several of these three large species were still hanging around (not eating clay at all now). Other birds in this sandbar forest were a tinamou that we flushed (Undulated probably) and two Roadside Hawks.
Around 15.30 h we were back at the Explorer's Inn and from 16 h we added some species just at the clearing of the lodge: Epaulet Oriole, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Great Tinamou (heard alongside with Little, Undulated and Bartlett's).
On Wednesday 14 April we decided to make the long loop walk to the Katicocha lake (Katicocha trail, KT, and back along Swamp trail, ST) but we found the forest a bit quiet compared to our first experiences on the other trails three days ago, at the trails closer to the lodge. But first we heard Buff-breasted Wren at Laguna Chica and we had a new monkey again, the Dusky Titi monkey, climbing up along a bare tree trunk. At KT700 we had a Screaming Piha lek and further we added Purple-throated Fruitcrow, and now also saw the often-heard Spot-winged Antshrike, a female. We heard Warbling Antbird as well. At KT2850 we had a small flock containing a/o Green-and-gold Tanager and Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner. Not far before the Katicocha lake itself is an overlook of the La Torre river with some White-banded Swallow and Drab Water-Tyrant, and along the lake we heard Black-capped Donacobius. While we had a rest on the bench halfway alongside the lake we saw three Hoatzins on a dead tree hanging over the water. Now we were at GPS16 which appears to be only 2.58 km from the lodge (of course our reference GPS-location here), but the walk seems much longer, although the trail is not so muddy as Main trail. On the way back along Swamp trail we ran into a lek of Reddish Hermit at about ST600, where we also had a flock with our first clear Dot-winged Antwren, male and the beautiful female, and also a pair of Ornate Antwren and a pair of Bluish-slate Antshrike.
In the hope to add some more species for the day we did a bit of the muddy Tapir trail in bamboo-rich varzea forest from about 16 h. Collared Trogon female was a new one indeed, as were the sounds of Bamboo Antshrike and of the Speckled Chachalaca. We saw a huge butterfly, a Caligo, the one with one big eye. Generally we see here often two other large butterflies, the all blue Morpho didius and the partially blue Morpho deidamia. A surprise was a rather tame Slate-coloured Hawk, sitting on a branch at 6m height inside the rather dense forest.
Thursday 15 April was our day for the Main trail walk to the Cocococha lake. There was no group going there, so we would have the lake and the boat for ourselves. Very early in the morning I was awake a while and heard another owl, the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. The walk on the often still muddy Main trail took quite a while, not only because of the mud but also because of the birds of course. We started with a group of Red-throated Caracara, we heard the complaining call of Rufous-tailed Flatbill, clearly saw a White-eyed Antwren in the undergrowth at MT1400, and heard Bright-rumped Attila, Scale-backed Antbird, Plumbeous Pigeon, White-eyed Attila and the very rich song of Lawrence's Thrush, imitating all sorts of other birds, especially the Thrushlike Schiffornis that we would hear further on. Now, at 7.25 a.m., we were at the Swamp, a very shallow pool completely overgrown by trees standing in the water (GPS19). From there till the intersection with Quebrada trail we heard several antbirds again and actually saw Bluish-slate Antshrike and finally even also a Screaming Piha. At the start of Quebrada trail was a flock of which we identified Chestnut-winged Hookbill and White-flanked Antwren. There also we had another Reddish Hermit lek, and that Thrushlike Schiffornis/Manakin with its funny whistle. Further on we heard and later managed to see the Nightingale Wren who sings so differently here South of the Amazon. This was one of the few occasions where we applied playback. Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin was an another trip tick before we entered, 200 or so before the intersection with Tapir trail, a huge Screaming Piha lek. They were screaming all around us, not only their usual song in two parts, but also very agitated variations on their second (main) part of the song. Even more agitation was present in a group of ten Plain-brown Woodcreeper, maybe they followed ants that we could not see. Further on a White-faced Nunbird sat right above the trail, and we heard and saw a Plain-throated Antwren.
At 10.30 a.m. we took the canoe at the shore of the Cocococha oxbow lake. Species here at this lovely place were Yellow-ridged Toucan (heard), Green Heron, Hoatzin of course (several groups in the low bushes of the shore vegetation), Pale-vented Pigeon seen from nearby, Greater Ani, Smooth-billed Ani, Tropical Kingbird, Blue-and-yellow Macaw (in total probably 15), White-winged Swallow several pairs, Short-tailed Swift. Red butterflies (Dryas spec.) regularly came sitting on our canoe or even on us. From the Mauritius palms at the right-hand end of the lake we heard a woodcreeper-like lu-lu-lu song that may have been the much sought-after Point-tailed Palmcreeper, but it became too hot to stay long on the open water. We found a shadowy place on the far side of the lake, where we ticked Band-tailed Antbird and saw a group of Long-nosed Bat hanging down a dead tree trunk just above the water.
Back at the 'dock' we had a group of ten very inquisitive monkeys, Saddle-back Tamarins. They stirred two Black-fronted Nunbirds. Walking back from 14.30 h we nearly hit two Bartlett's Tinamou with their nice plumage pattern of stripes and scales. The piha's were still singing, and we heard another Syristes, an easy sound (its own name, with accent on the second syllable). At 16.15 h we witnessed the display of Golden-collared Toucanet, one male and two females, bending their colourful heads all the time while singing their croaking call. This was at GPS 23, at a tiny tree fall clearing, with the calls of a group of White-faced Nunbirds at the background. A bit further on (back towards the Inn) we met a group of capuchin monkeys, trying to impress us by breaking branches and jumping on huge palm fronds making an real scandal that way. Nearly in the same group we had about four Squirrel Monkeys, beautifully lit in the late sunlight. Heading back towards the lodge we heard some Mealy Parrots, and got our fourth monkey species of this trail today, the Red Howler monkey. At MT600, at 17.10 h, we heard the ever-impressing Lawrence's Thrush again. We didn't bother that we were not able to see it, the song alone is unbelievable, you would think that somebody is playing a whole minidisc with reference bird sounds, especially the higher-pitched ones.
The first bird of Friday 16 April was a Least Pygmy-Owl, heard from our room at 5 a.m. At 6.30 we first birded a bit on the lodge clearing and saw three Chestnut-fronted Macaws and two Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers. Then, on the Laguna Chica trail, we got our Needle-billed Hermit (shorter tail, straighter bill), and heard the unmistakable two-tone call of Large-headed Flatbill. From 8 a.m. we were on the Heliconia trail and would add quite some trip ticks there, this is a good trail with all sorts of forest types. We got a brown frog (will try to find out which one) and a flock with a/o Red-crowned Ant-Tanager and Long-winged Antwren at eye-level, and another flock higher up with Rose-throated Becard and Chestnut-shouldered Antwren. At the lookout onto he rather bare trees (see before, and part 1), we saw Streaked Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Golden-green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tyrant (rather new for the list of Explorer's Inn), Painted Parakeet (a group of 8), Black-tailed Tityra, and Blue-grey Tanager, otherwise so common but not in this heavy forest reserve. We took a shortcut along the bushy Tangile trail, with a group of Saddleback Tamarin monkeys and the beautiful black-blue-and-red butterfly Nessea batesii to the Katicocha trail. There we added Squirrel Cuckoo and two Red-necked Woodpeckers, one of the last large black woodpeckers that we had not yet on our life list. This was at KT50, where we also saw our second Rainbow Boa, this time on the ground in stead of in the tree, and even bigger, about 130 cm long and 7 cm thick. This time we knew that it is not dangerous so we could quietly pass it (the first time we had taken a sprint to pass it). Going back to the lodge we added White-shouldered Tanager.
In the afternoon it rained, the first real rain we got here during daytime, and we stayed around the lodge where we added Grey-fronted Dove (heard), Olivaceous Woodcreeper and Little Woodpecker. At dusk we saw a Ladder-tailed Nightjar at the dock in the river, sallying out every minute or so for a short round over the water. Pauraque was on the boardwalk towards the lodge again.
That night a veritable cold wind with rain swept over the area, a so-called friaje, coming from the very South where winter sets in now. Temperature dropped by 10 degrees Centigrade, and we needed the blankets, a thing we would not have believed the foregoing days. At 6 a.m. on Saturday 17 April it was only 15 degrees C in stead of the usual 25. The sky cleared around 7 a.m. and we hoped that some other species would come out. Birding in the rainforest is a matter of slowly adding new species all the time, and maybe this change of weather would give a new impulse for our last two days here. First we birded a bit on the lodge clearing again and ticked Red-stained Woodpecker, the other small woodpecker here. We also finally really saw the Thrushlike Wren that we hear so often but find surprisingly hard to see.
We went on the Main trail and soon saw a new antbird, the Black-faced Antbird, a male right in front of us besides the trail. This bird resembles the much more common White-browed Antbird. But after that it was rather quiet, maybe too cold yet! We heard some Cuvier's Toucan and a Dusky-throated Antbird. Right after the Swamp to the right we found a Redheaded Manakin lek (no yellow on he feet). This lek is typically the sort of spots that would have been pointed out by resident naturalists of the lodge if there had been real birders among them. We heard that a birder guide would arrive after we left, but we were happy to discover all these things ourselves, being one of the reasons for doing these trips on our own in stead of in organised tours. Further on that swampy part of the trail we flushed a Sunbittern from the thickets. We met an unusually quiet flock with a/o Black-spotted Barbet (seen this time) and a large woodcreeper. We had the Golden-collared Toucanet again and saw a pair of Black-throated Trogon. Back at the lodge we ticked Grey Antbird on sound.
From 14.30 h we went out again, to try the nearby Capirona trail although that one is not advised in Allen’s birdfinding booklet. But who knows, with this strange weather it may be different. This trail makes a loop in a bend of the La Torre river, a tributary of the Tambopata river which is a tributary of the Madre de Dios river that has given this department its name. We saw quite some birds indeed, and we ticked Boat-billed Flycatcher, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, the wish-listed Long-billed Woodcreeper, Blue Dacnis, and Magpie Tanager and finally saw the often-heard Chestnut-tailed Antbird. The woodpecker, woodcreeper and dacnis were in a flock at a heavily fruiting palm tree, together with Green-and-gold Tanager and Chestnut-winged Hookbill. Other birds here included Bluish-fronted Jacamar and Spix's Guan, and White-banded Swallow and Bat Falcon at the La Torre river outlook from Capirona, at GPS24. Late in the afternoon we went on from Capirona to Laguna Chica, in the hope of hearing Ocellated Poorwill there in the dusk, but we instead heard Spix's Woodcreeper, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl and Least Pygmy-Owl. Back at the lodge we repeatedly heard at about 19 h in the darkness a sound that seemed like the start of the song of a Common Potoo, and after checking the reference sound collection we came to the conclusion that it was the Rufous Potoo! The sound was exactly that of the reference collection. It sat about where the La Torre trail begins from the lodge clearing.
Sunday 18 April would be our last day Explorer's Inn and we felt that we could easily have birded here for some more days. First we did a bit of the Tapir trail that had been a bit rather neglected by us thus far. In a palm tree we saw and heard a Ringed Woodpecker, of the intriguing genus of Celeus woodpeckers. A group of Dusky Titi-monkeys made a lot of noise. We also heard the clear tones of a Rufous-capped Antthrush. From 8 a.m. we were on the La Torre trail, another one that we had not visited enough in the good time of the day. Here we had another Red-stained Woodpecker, and two Tayra's walked in front of us on the trail. At the river outlook we scoped out a Crane Hawk on the other bank (studied it for a long time, it is not often seen here), and in the Heliconia thickets further along the La Torre trail we were surprised by the Pale-legged Hornero that we usually associate with human settlements, but may have a more original habitat here, like that House Wren on the desolated sandbar of the Colpa. In and around this special habitat we also heard Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner.
We continued our slow walk on the Heliconia trail again and added Blackbanded Woodcreeper, which seemed to accompany a group of Saddleback Tamarins. At 'our' lookout with the bare trees we had a nice array of species again: Black-tailed Tityra, Magpie Tanager, Lineated Woodcreeper (a trip tick and lifer), Little Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tyrant two now, Paradise Tanager, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Grey-rumped Swift, Dusky-billed Parrotlet, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Swallowwing. We were there in the pleasant company of a couple from Florida, and we were glad to have showed them this rather hidden spot, as this spot is one of the few where you can easily see some canopy species. On the way back, but still on the Heliconia trail, we saw some more goodies, partly thanks to the keen eyes of our company: White-winged Shrike-Tanager male, Collared Trogon male and female, Rufous-tailed Xenops, and yes a male Bare-necked Fruitcrow, quietly sitting high in the trees.
In the late afternoon, from 15.30 h, we went via the quiet Ant trail to the Swamp trail. Along the Ant trail we again had a rather tame Slate-coloured Hawk and at the start of the Swamp trail a nice group of Purple-throated Fruitcrow. Back along the Laguna Chica we heard the sound of a Scale-breasted Woodpecker. Later that night we heard from our room an owl with much slower hoots than the usual Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl.
Monday morning 19 April we left the Explorer's Inn by speedboat, much too fast for a pleasant journey, but it meant an hour later departure than the now usual 4 a.m. At the airport it became apparent that in Holland our flight had been wrongly rebooked, because on Mondays there isn't a flight anymore to Cuzco. Flying via Lima would not help, we would be there too late for a flight to Cuzco either. So we had to stay another night here in the lowlands, and we agreed on being brought to a hotel and later to a taxi boat for a daytrip to the Sandoval lake 1 hour downstream the Madre de Dios. The friendly local staff of Explorer’s Inn/Peruvian Safaris at Pto. Maldonado arranged all this.
At the airport we first had to wait a while, so we walked around the parking place and ticked our only Double-collared Seedeater, and saw a Collared Plover on the airstrip. From the peki-peki boat on the Madre de Dios we noted Capped Heron and Anhinga. At 10.45 a.m. we started our walk on the beautiful footpath from the river (at GPS28) to the Sandoval lake. This area is also part of the Tambopata reserve, like the Explorer's Inn and the colpa sites are. And see the forest is different again, more open (disturbed probably), and other sorts of palms I think. Moreover the path is broader and drier than most at Explorer's Inn, so this also facilitates the birding. It is a 5 km walk to the lake (one way) and we had about 6 hours time, so we had to hurry on a bit and would not stay long at the lake. New or nice species on the way to the lake were in the beginning Scale-backed Antbird, Musician Wren, White-shouldered Tanager, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Grey Antwren, Dusky-headed Parakeet in good light nearby, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, and we saw several Morpho butterflies. At GPS28 is a small trail to the left that produced Euler's Flycatcher, Plumbeous Antbird, White-browed Antbird, Cinnamon Attila (two fighting), Nightingale Wren and Red-eyed Vireo. Inside a small new shelter was a bat and around this shelter was Black-banded Woodcreeper. Where we crossed a narrow forest stream we saw Amazon Kingfisher and Brown-mandibled Aracari, and further on a White-eyed Attila.
At the lake was a Fork-tailed Palm-Swift
apparently feeding young in the palm right next to the end of the pier,
and some Lesser Kiskadee, but not much more. We went back from 15 h and
had Pygmy Kingfisher at a brook at GPS27. Nearby we heard Black-tailed
Trogon and further down towards the river Blue-crowned Trogon. A Sunbittern
walked besides the long boardwalk near the river, and Cinereous and Little
Tinamou started calling. Our boatman came exactly in time (17 h). From
the boat we had good views on some birds on the river bank, as the boat
has to ride very near to the bank in order to withstand the strong current
because we were going upstream now: Grey-necked Woodrail, Bat Falcon, Drab
Water-Tyrant, and some seven other species, but no nightjars or nighthawks.
We reached of Pto. Maldonado in the darkness after a beautiful 1.5 hour
ride on this mighty river. The boatman walked with us to the nearby house
of Victor of Peruvian Safaris, and his wife sent her son with us to the
main road in order to get a three-wheel moped taxi to our hotel. This unexpected
extra day in the lowlands was most welcome, not only for the extra birding
in Tambopata, but also to taste a bit of the atmosphere of this small town
here. But of course we were curious to see our next main destination, the
Andes of Cuzco, with the Abra Malaga and Macchu Picchu.
Andes of Cuzco
Our first birding in the Andes of Cuzco was around the Saqsaywaham ruins above Cuzco town, on Tuesday 20 April. Our taxi driver soon understood that we were only partially interested in the ruins themselves, and searched with us for spots with trees. The ruins are scattered along a few public asphalt roads, so we could easily drive around. The first two species for our Andes list of this trip were friends from elsewhere: American Kestrel and Rufous-collared Sparrow. In a Eucalyptus plantation we saw several specimens of a large and pugnacious hummer, but never in good light, possibly a violetear. Further on in a more open landscape with bushes we got an easier hummer, a female Black-tailed Trainbearer. And here, so much South in the Andes, we finally have a convincing Chiguango Thrush, after all the Great Thrushes further North. The Chiguango is really smaller and duller. Other ticks for this Andes part of the trip were House Wren, Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Hooded Siskin, Blue-and-yellow Tanager female, all by no means that easily identifiable, and in fact we had expected some more and easier birds here, to start our Andean birding. On we went, through Cuzco again, to the village of Anta, where we had a quick and embarrasing cheap lunch, together with our driver. After lunch we mentioned the driver that we suffered a little from the altitude, and out he went to buy coca leaves for us. Upon trying to chew it we discovered that it tasted horribly, only increasing our slight nausea.
From Anta we had a minor road into the mountains in order to visit the Huaypo lake. First we came along a small lake at the village of Chacan, at GPS30, c. 3500 m a.s.l. Here we did have some easy ticks, at short distance, in our 20x scope: Speckled Teal, Cinnamon Teal, White-tufted grebe, Puna Teal, Silvery Grebe. The latter three were lifers for us, and it is always nice to have lifers from nearby in the scope. That this small lake was by no means the Huaypo lake proper became evident three km further on, where we had our first stop at GPS31 (13' 24.961'' S, 72' 08.227'' W). Here we had a good view onto the Southern part of this large lake between the mountains. We had the sun in our back, and some dark clouds behind the lake in front of us added to the visibility of many species: Puna Teal (many), Ruddy Duck (some), Spot-winged Dove on the arable fields where we stood, a Cinereous Harrier along the reedy border, several White-fronted Grebe, many Andean Coot, an Andean Gull, three Burrowing Owls together on small sand bar, a Yellow-winged Blackbird in the border, three Greater Yellowlegs, Eared Dove, and a (lifer) Mountain Caracara in the distance across the lake. Further on, about halfway the lake, there was another good lookout point along the road: Barn Swallow (group of 15), American Golden Plover, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Yellow-billed Pintail (a group), Wilson's Phalarope (3), a Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-necked Stilt (12), Speckled Teal, and two Puna Ibis. These all mainly near a sort of sand spit projecting into the lake. A final look onto the border with rushes revealed a Wrenlike Rushbird, shortly flying across the rushes in a posture quite like depicted in the pen drawing in Birds of the High Andes, our field guide here.
On the last part of our journey to Ollanto (Ollantaytambo) we drove along the Urubamba river, and at a striking marshy part of the riverbed we saw a Black-crowned Night-Heron.
The next day, Wednesday 21 April, was our day for the Macchu Picchu ruins, and we had bright weather. The train leaves at about 9 a.m. and before that I made a walk from the hotel (at the train station) to the village, on a narrow road along a mountain stream. Here I added Torrent Tyrannulet and Black-backed Grosbeak. White-browed Chat-Tyrant was there too, and now I saw that it is the Peruvian subspecies with the small white spot in the wings.
The train ride to Macchu Picchu was wonderful: steep valleys, white mountain tops and increasingly green as we gradually descended. Sit on the lefthand side for the best views. The bus ride up to the ruins was worthwhile too: many orchids flowering. At the entrance of the Macchu Picchu ruins site (GPS32, c. 2500 m a.s.l.), we first stood gazing at the impressive, wooded gorges all around us, and were not surprised to spot a Peregrine as the first bird. On the ruins site itself we chose a high point (GPS33), apparently the one from where most of the postcard pictures of the famous place must have been taken. The site is impressive enough (although smaller than expected), but we were soon distracted by birds around us: White-winged Black-Tyrant showing its white wing stripe in display flights from a bush on the steep hill side next to where we sat, Black-and-white Swallow, Azara's Spinetail (heard), Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant on a well-exposed twig, showing its white tail regularly when sallying out from its post. We decided that we could not limit our visit to this lookout point, so we made the obligatory but interesting walk between the ruins themselves, before descending down with one of the many buses.
So from 13.15 h we walked along the railroad further down for a while, and in this semi-open wooded, upper subtropical landscape between the high mountain walls we first saw a group of 20 aratinga's: Mitred Parakeet with their remarkable low voice. Many Blue-and-white Swallows flew around, and the first tanagers we saw were Blue-capped and Blue-grey. This short walk is our only bit of (upper) subtropics of the whole vacation, so we were eager to see some of the tanager specialties. And we soon had a flock indeed, nicely at eye-level in the well-spaced trees next to the railroad: Fawn-breasted Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Capped Conebill, Spectacled Whitestart, and Slate-throated Whitestart. The combination of these whitestarts fits well in the altitudinal range, being in the upper zone of the subtropics, at the transition to temperate. Two Torrent Tyrannulets sat in a dark muddy hollow above the small cataracts, which the local railroad workmen had supposed to be out goal for this walk. After a Red-eyed Vireo and a Streaked Xenops we had another flock, with the nice Silvery Tanager as extra but also main species. Walking back along the railroad we added Black Phoebe and Brown-bellied Swallow, the latter indicating how near the higher mountains are. From the train, right after leaving Aguas Calientes, and sitting on the righthand side now, we ticked Torrent Duck, male and female. During the remaining part of the train ride we saw this impressive species a few times again, the railroad follows the stream all the time of course in this narrow valley. We even got the French-speaking couple next to us into the sport of spotting new ones.
At 6.15 the next morning (Thursday 22 April) we stood at the Abra Malaga pass (GPS34), on the long and winding road from Ollanto to Quillabamba. Along the road up we had seen some Great Thrush and Bar-winged Cinclodes, and had taken a photo of two Mountain Caracaras in the ditch. We left the cold pass for later and descended into the lush East slope. At the first house (Canchallo), just at the treeline, the taxi driver stayed behind for breakfast while we walked down for 1 km or so. We heard Rufous Antpitta all the time, provided that the two-tone call is allowed to be of different pitch here. In the bamboo scrub we found a group of three Puna Thistletails. In a lone tree in the first sun rays a Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant sat warming up. The temperature still was very low, 1 degree (C) above freezing point, at 7.20 a.m. In that same sunny tree (GPS35) several other colorful birds appeared: Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Streaked Tuftedcheek, D'Orbigny's Chat-Tyrant two hastily feeding, quite in contrast to their lazy behavior later on the day. Very slowly we walked further down in this splendid treeline habitat with a constant view on a snow-capped mountain Veronica across the valley: Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Masked Flowerpiercer, more Great Thrush, Red-crested Cotinga, Unicolored Tapaculo (heard), Mountain Wren (a busy group, possibly a family). Figo the taxi driver came along and we drove on for c. 3 km, still in the shrubby habitat although with some higher trees: Violet-throated Starfrontlet, both chat-tyrants again, Collared Inca. We drove back to the shrubby puna just above the treeline, where we got a Streak-throated Canastero, very busy in the grass alongside a small stream between the bushes. A fox completed this calendar picture, and he saw us very late only.
Driving back to the high pass we saw some more activity than early in the morning: Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Puna Hawk, Speckled Teal (a few in a small lake), Mountain Caracara again from very nearby on the shoulder of the road. At the pass Figo, who speaks Quechua as his native language, asked two women at a depressing pile of cut Polylepis wood where we could find some 'bosques', and they pointed towards the expected ridge above their house, and also to a point (GPS36) about 200 m down along the road from where we best started the walk up to the ridge crest, in order to cross it to those woods. During this exhausting 15 minutes walk up (seemed like half an hour) we were still able to look at a bird, a dark phase Puna Hawk. Figo accompanied us here, and when we stood at the crest at noon and saw the Polylepis woods below us in this side valley, he proposed that we could walk all the way down through this valley and that he would pick us up where this valley meets the road again, in the main valley. So we hopped through the remains of the Polylepis forest, where many branches had been cut off recently indeed, but the first birds gave us enough confidence: two Giant Conebills, at GPS37. Then we found a good lookout point where we could sit and watch around, at GPS 38, halfway the first and a second Polylepis forest patch. Several high altitude specialties came along: Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Sapphire-vented Puffleg (the dark hummer that walks on the grass), White-browed Tit-Spinetail twice (once from above, once from below - the throat is diagnostic), Common Miner, two un-ID's, and a Tawny Tit-Spinetail. Slowly going down we got good views on the endangered Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant, and were misled by a nasty House Wren. Finally, after another D'Orbigny's Chat-Tyrant, we ended at the valley bottom, near the spring of the stream (GPS40). There we were awaited by two viscachas, Andean rabbit-like rodents with a very long tail.
Via a network of sheep and lama trails we followed the stream on the right-hand side, down to where our taxi would be. This took about one hour, and this walk gave us a lasting impression of how the poor Indian peasants live in a remote Andean valley. In the upper part of the valley we still had many Plumbeous Sierra-Finch and Bar-winged Cinclodes. About 1.3 km from the spring, at GPS41, we saw quite some Polylepis on the opposite (left-hand) side of the valley. This should be worthwhile to explore, and we even thought now that those women at the pass had pointed mainly to this patch. Lower down in this side valley, we gradually entered the more arid intermontane climate zone, with many shrubs, and our first group of the very green Andean Parakeet with their rattling voice. Slightly later we came at the main road, where Figo was waiting with his taxi, at GPS44.
On Friday morning 23 April we went up to the Abra Malaga again, and took more time for the first semi-arid part of this long and rather bad road. Before leaving Ollanto we ticked Greenish Yellow-Finch when we had a short stop at Figo's garage in order to fix the spare tire of the car (little truck) that we had today. Along the road up, a Yellow-rumped Siskin jumped into the bushes showing its yellow rump set in black, and we had our first (and lifer) Golden-billed Saltator, one singing. At what probably are the so-called Penas ruins at about 3500 m a.s.l. (GPS42), we had more Golden-billed Saltators, and two Tufted Tit-Tyrants in a bush exposed to the first sun rays in this narrow mountain valley. Higher up in this valley, where you are standing between two very high and steep mountain walls, we saw the range-restricted White-tufted Sunbeam. A Giant Hummingbird sat on one of the huge rock boulders in the valley bottom, near the stream. Still higher up, but not yet in the puna zone, we had a singing Paramo Seedeater, a Blue-and-yellow Tanager, and several(!) Red-crested Cotinga's.
In the pass area, so in the open puna, with no trees around anywhere, we were surprised by a group of three Andean Flickers, one eating something from the ground, the other two hopping from stone to stone. This was at GPS45, and we saw many Bar-winged Cinclodes again, in a sunny 16 degrees C, at 11 a.m. We drove on to the small lakes at the other side of the pass in order to have our take-away lunch from Wendy's, but we got no birds there, not even those sully Speckled Teals of the day before.
The camionetta type car of today was not well suspended, so the driving took a lot of time, and at 15 h only we arrived at the San Luis restaurant (GPS46), well into the temperate forest zone, at about 2800 m a.s.l. We arranged to stay two nights, and said goodbye to Ruben the driver of today. Figo would return in two days to take us back to Ollanto.
At 16 h we strolled a bit on the road up, and soon had a flock: Spectacled Whitestart, Pearled Treerunner (never alone), White-throated Tyrannulet, Citrine Warbler (not yet the much alike Parodi's Hemispingus), Blue-and-black Tanager. A bit further on we had a Violet-throated Starfrontlet again, in the fuchsias. All the time we heard a strong, clear, short duet song of a Thryothorus wren. Later we would see it several times, this beautiful, range-restricted Inca Wren. We ticked Stripe-headed Brush-Finch and saw Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant again. Back at the restaurant well before dusk we had a first try of the trail going right down into the bamboo bush. This trail starts about 15 m to the right of the restaurant. Here we soon had a very busy group of three Black-capped Hemispingus. Cute as they might be, they were surpassed in this respect by their co-travelers, two or three Plushcaps, an absolute wish-list bird for us. These too were very busily feeding in the dense bamboo, but we saw them very well a few times. Less spectacularly to watch but a regional specialty nevertheless was a Marcapata Spinetail, seen from close by in the undergrowth of the bamboo. A Rufous Antpitta was calling, its two-tone call at even pitch here.
On Saturday 24 April we were out at 5.30 a.m. and walked down along the same bamboo trail. Citrine Warbler was singing, as did the Unicolored Tapaculo (which we never saw, but its song is well documented in Birds of the High Andes, although the taxonomy is still shifting I believe). Likewise we heard the unmistakable sound of the Barred Fruiteater. The sky was clear, no wind, and the temperature was about 6 degrees C at that moment. We met the same group of Black-capped Hemispingus and Plushcap, and had a very good sighting of an Inca Wren, gathering nest material. We heard several of them singing in choirs around us. Then we heard a sound that we had been hoping for yesterday already, a single note that probably belongs to the Red-and-white Antpitta that has been seen along this trail. It is a 'tjew' of a quarter second, and it sounded every two seconds. We crawled into the bamboo along a tiny side trail of this small trail, but had no luck, although we even sat waiting a while, just like we once did for the Ocellated Tapaculo in Ecuador. But while sitting there we finally saw the bird that we also heard all the time, a Masked Flowerpiercer. Great Thrush and Chiguango Thrush occur alongside here and again we found the difference rather easy.
Meanwhile, from 7.30 a.m., we were walking the main road a bit downward, in order to see some more species of the half-open temperate forest on this mountain slope. Here we soon had a flock in a flowering tree: Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Masked Flowerpiercer, Pearled Treerunner, Blue-capped Tanager, and Rufous Spinetail. A bit further on a Sword-billed Hummingbird flashed along, and we still think that this is one of the oddest birds to see flying (bill longer than body). An Amethyst-throated Sunangel was traplining along the side of the road, and hence well seen. And then we finally saw the Sword-billed Hummingbird in a far less odd manner, i.e. sipping from a long tubular flower, and seen at eye-level, and a sighting we so long had hoped for! A Paramo Seedeater was eating seeds from the tall grass of a small clearing, and it clearly was a 2nd year male according to the plate in Birds of the High Andes. In that same small clearing, something like a nest hung down from a lone tree, and it was frequently visited and still being built by Marcapata Spinetails, more than two individuals, so we wondered if they are known as cooperative nestbuilders, or if we were adding something to science here…
This slope stays a long time in the shadow so it kept being early in the morning. A Puna Hawk flew over high, and indeed if you look up the high slopes you see the treeline again. We had a very good Tyrian Metaltail, and a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle flew along and landed on a tree further down, well visible too. A Cinnamon Flycatcher was another welcome trip tick here in this temperate forest; mostly we only see it in subtropical forest. A Mountain Wren clearly was of the subspecies 'frater'. Time for a lifer again, and this was the Smoky Bush-Tyrant, two of them sallying out from tree tops, showing the rufous in their wings. After White-banded Tyrannulet, Tufted Tit-Tyrant and a group of 6 Mitred Parakeet we were back at the restaurant at 10.30 a.m., for a second breakfast (we had eaten our own cereals in the very early morning). From 11.15 a.m. we went out again, now taking the road up for a few kms. We soon had some trip ticks again: White-crested Elaenia, Sierran Elaenia, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, and then we met a large flock with a/o a now clearly distinguished Parodi Hemispingus, together with the much alike Citrine Warbler, Parodi having a brown and broad in stead of black and narrow crown stripe, and a thicker bill. Other goodies in this flock were Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager and Superciliared Hemispingus. Several other nice birds did we see further on for a second or third time this trip, and we saw a different sort of Morpho-type butterfly, large and white with a blue stripe or dot. At a nice lookout point (GPS47) we had a clear Rufous-capped Thornbill hovering in the side of the road, and a Paramo Seedeater was singing here again, but now also during display flights. A bit further on, at GPS48, there is a splendid view on the small river below, and we were so lucky to spot a White-capped Dipper a short while. Walking back 'home' we added Blue-backed Conebill to the list.
We had a late lunch in the restaurant (all very simple) and chatted with Osvaldo Toledo, the owner. He told us he has been helping ornithologists already some twenty years ago, and he mentioned John O'Neill as the first one who came here for this purpose. From about 15.45 h Osvaldo's son led us through the dense bamboo behind the restaurant but we saw virtually no birds, so we went down the road again where we had a group of 6 Band-tailed Pigeon but added nothing new. When dusk set in we sat down in the bamboo bush for that Red-and-white Antpitta again but got thrushes only, probably gathering here for their night roost. And again we heard the two-tone call of the Rufous Antpitta, but now at uneven pitch.
After a rainy night we had a cloudy day on Sunday 25 April. Again we tried the bamboo trail below the restaurant, from 6 a.m., and got a Phaetornis hermit and a group of three Streak-necked Flycatcher (the Southern race, belly streaked as well). We had a short glimpse of a brush-finch on the back, which was not enough to discern between Slaty and Rufous-naped, and 'of course' we had the Plushcap again. From about 7.50 a.m., after a quick breakfast, we did the road up again, and were rewarded with two outstanding beauties, rather tame even, the Golden-collared Tanager, at eye-level against a dark background of the bushes where they were feeding. They were accompanied by two now clear Slaty Brush-Finch of the dark subspecies canigenis. And well, we heard another antpitta song, a slightly descending series of 4 uu notes, 3 seconds in total, and this may well have been the other sound of our supposed Red-and-White Antpitta…
After a small flock with a/o White-banded Tyrannulet and Brown-capped Vireo, a group of at least 50 swallows came down for a feeding party across the tree tops, maybe because of the different weather now (cloudy after the rainy night). It took some time to identify them, but this was facilitated when part of the group was sitting on a bare twig: Pale-footed Swallow. It does not happen often anymore that we get a lifer swallow species, although we would still add another one that same day. In the side of the road we detected an Inca Wren because it was feeding two young, which are rather dull colored, with few streaks only. Now, at about 10 a.m., we were (at GPS49) on a scenic spot where the road bends inward for a small side valley or gully. Here, after a display show of a Violet-throated Starfrontlet, swirling around with spread-out tail, we had a huge flock. We noted Blue-backed Conebill, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Pearled Treerunner, Marcapata Spinetail (singing, again a sound that we had heard a lot here), Parodi's Hemispingus, White-banded Tyrannulet, Blue-capped Tanager, Spectacled Whitestart.
Figo had come in time to fetch us, and we were happy that he had come with his normal taxi again. We had a last simple meal, paid, and left some presents, like two caps with a banner advertising for something in the horticultural business in Holland… About 2 km before the pass, in the open puna again, we had a group of six Mountain Caracaras nearby at the side of the road, and also a Cinereous Harrier. We still had not properly birded right at the pass, so while Figo drove on slowly, we walked some shortcuts down. The road makes very wide bends here. The first shortcut after the pass (going back to Ollanto) starts about 100 m from the shrine. It is scarcely a trail but easy to walk, on a grassy slope with a few scattered small potato fields: Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch (about 10, males and females), Andean Swallow (that other lifer swallow of today!), Slender-billed Miner (first thought it was a wader…), Common Miner (3), Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch, and of course several Bar-winged Cinclodes and Plumbeous Sierra-Finch. The other shortcuts lower down did not produce anything new, but it is always nice to do some mountain walking downward, and the weather was good, sunny again up here. Good also for a few photos of some children herding sheep and lamas, Figo did a good job with his native Quechua. We asked him if it would be possible that we would ask them for a picture, but he just ordered the children to stand up for this, and he was even so keen to remove the plastic cover of the girls' hat! We gave them all the remains we still had of our take-away lunch of two days ago, like cookies, candies and kiwis, a type of fruit they may never have seen but were eager to taste, or bring home anyway. We were back in Ollanto at Wendy's at 16.50 h, paid Figo the dollars for all the rides, and said goodbye.
On Monday morning 26 April we first did some birding along the small road up to the village, good for Blue-and-yellow Tanager male, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, and Black-tailed Trainbearer female. After breakfast we decided to do some sightseeing (cum birding…) at the ruins of Ollanto, they are so dominantly sitting on the slope right above the village that you can hardly skip them. In the village we had that heavy Black-backed Grosbeak again at the bridge over the mountain stream that we would follow later in the morning. At the ruins proper we only saw (well, apart from the impressive ruins themselves of course) an American Kestrel, although so well lit from all sides because of the reflection of all the stones here, that we kept enjoying it quite a while. We discovered that at GPS50 we could leave the ruins site up valley on a trail trough the arable fields with several bushes. This is at the low righthand side if you are standing inside the entrance and facing the ruins. The first bird we saw was a Giant Hummingbird at a small irrigation gully. We had clear views of the Bare-faced Ground-Dove that we probably had seen flying before along the road up to the pass. Here, they were quietly feeding on the leftovers on the fields. Across some stepping stones (GPS51) we walked to the right, to the mountain stream, where (GPS52) we had a male Black-tailed Trainbearer, although with a shorter tail than should be, maybe a young male? We followed the stream up a while, walking a very old dirt road, up to GPS53, which is below a huge vertical rock face. Below us a White-capped Dipper was feeding, and several dozens of Andean Swift swirled before the rock face, while very high up in the sky a group of five Mountain Caracaras sailed around. A fine combination of birds to say to goodbye to this wonderful Andean scenery. Back to Cuzco we went and from there to Lima and Paracas the next day.
Coast of Paracas and Lima
On Tuesday 27 April 1999 we arrived early enough at Lima airport in order to catch the luxurious 13.30 h Ormeno bus that goes all the way down to the hotel Paracas (see part 1 for directions for this bus). The 3 hours bus ride showed us an unbelievably dry landscape, mostly bare sand and sandstone, vegetated only at oases and in the few river valleys that we crossed. Species that we saw from the bus were, in systematic order: Snowy Egret (a few), Turkey Vulture (locally), Groove-billed Ani, Baird's Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, and several gulls of course, to be ID'd later on.
A first walk to the hotel pier in late p.m. showed some common coastal birds: Neotropical Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Ruddy Turnstone, Band-tailed Gull (nearly all in winter plumage). On the hotel grounds we saw White-winged Dove, Rufous-collared Sparrow, House Sparrow (later also the Amazilia Hummingbird).
On Wednesday 28 April we went out on excursion to the Ballestas Islands, from the hotel pier, with a boat of the hotel. The boat driver was eager to show us as many bird species as possible, without neglecting the need to show the mammals (sea lions) too, esp. for the other tourists. He really had to convince the people to have a look at the penguins too, in stead of only at the sea lions. On the way to the island we ticked Sooty Shearwater and Kelp Gull near to the boat. The first bird on the island was the Red-legged Cormorant, two nests on a dark ledge, and a generally uncommon species for the rest of our stay here. Then we went to see the large colonies of guano birds: Guanay Cormorant (largest colony about 200 birds), Peruvian Booby (1000s in total), Neotropic Cormorant. The plural form Ballestas Islands means that you cross several bays between small islands and the main island, with good and often close views on the colonies. A sort of colony was formed also by our first (lifer) penguin, the cute Humboldt Penguin, first a group of two on a boulder beach, later a group of 12 on the slope of a tiny island. Competing with the penguin for attention was the Inca Tern. Several loose colonies of about 10 or 20 individuals of this splendid species were present on the steep slopes at eye level, often at only 10 m distance. But there were also some interesting non-colonial birds: a Cape Petrel on a ledge on the W side of the main island, and a Blackish Oystercatcher on an stony outcrop just above sea level.
The subsequent tour that only the two of us took to the Paracas Peninsula was very interesting, not only for the desert scenery and the museum, but also for the birds. First we drove to the rim of the so-called Cathedral, a fine bay on the South side with steep rock cliffs holding some more Red-legged Cormorant, Peruvian Booby, and another Blackish Oystercatcher. Hopping on the wet rocks in the depths below us was a Peruvian Seaside Cinclodes. Then we went on to the flat Lagunillas bay with some fishery present, and there we ticked American Oystercatcher, Black-bellied Plover, and a group of 15 Surfbirds.
We crossed the peninsula to the North side in order to see the Chilean Flamingo, a lifer for us. We saw it there indeed, but even more impressive were two groups of a few hundred Black Skimmers resting on the beach. Grey Gulls were also present in good numbers. Not far from there, the last stop at the peninsula was the museum with a good permanent exhibition of how the native Paracas Indians have lived here in this desert long ago, and with a Coastal Miner at the bushes in front of the museum. From there we also discerned a much bigger group of Chilean Flamingo at the shoreline in the distance.
Thursday 29 April was our last full day in Peru, and yet not our last birding day. The morning appeared good for terns at the pier of the hotel. They were nearer now than yesterday afternoon, more species also, and in better light (sun from the back). So now we could find out more about them and came to the following list of species: Peruvian Tern (3, small and slim), South American Tern (2 in a sort of parallel display flight), Elegant Tern (wing tips, large orange-yellow bill), Royal Tern (wing tips), Sandwich Tern (bill tip). Franklin's Gull was another trip tick. We relaxed on the outer end of the pier, in the wind and the sun, and typically for the last day of the vacation I got sunburn.
On the way back to Lima we sat on the upper deck of the same Ormeno bus, and when passing a large chicken farm we saw a group of about one thousand Peruvian Boobies diving all the time into the sea just behind the farm. Possibly the farm polluted the sea with nutrients that attracted fish. It virtually rained boobies!
On the morning of our departure day Friday 30 April we visited the Pantanos de Villa marsh reserve South of Lima, where we got a surprisingly large number of trip ticks. This is a lowland area directly behind the coastline, with shallow lakes and fields with rushes and other wet vegetation, and some palMs. A trail leads from the visitor center along two observation towers. Here we got Peruvian Meadowlark on the fence, both vultures, many White-winged Dove, an Osprey, a Green Heron on the boardwalk, the impressive Great Grebe with young, several White-cheeked Pintail, a few Grey-hooded Gull, a large group of Andean Gull, a Plumbeous Rail below the first observation tower, a juvenile Black-crowned Heron. American Coot, Gallinule and Slate-colored Coot occurred together. Lots of small doves flew around all the time, and finally we got some sitting quietly nearby: Croaking Ground-Dove (yellow base of bill). A Least Bittern flew up from the reed bed near the second observation tower. Pied-billed Grebe was another trip tick, as was even the Groove-billed Ani. A group of six Cinnamon Teal flew around a few times.
Right behind the visitor center is another observation tower and here we saw Harris Hawk sitting on and flying between the low palm trees. A fourth observation tower is a bit further on along the road towards the beach (keep right at the fork). Here are some more trees but open water as well: Vermilion Flycatcher, Greater Yellowlegs, Blue-and-white Swallow, Kelp Gull, Band-tailed Gull, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, and Least Bittern again. Now we departed from the reserve, and at the same road fork we went to the left now, passing a gate of the golf course. The guard enthusiastically guided us to a spot 150 m further on along the road, where 21 Peruvian Thicknees were standing in the sparse vegetation at the left-hand side of the road. A bit further on, just behind the beach, we saw a Burrowing Owl on a low sand ridge, three Killdeer in front of it, and in a pool with floating vegetation 40 Snowy Egrets, some 15 Gallinule, a White-tufted Grebe on its nest, and six Stilt Sandpipers quietly stepping around, up to their bellies in the water.
Back at the hotel in Lima/Miraflores at 11 a.m. we had three final bird species for this trip from the balcony, before the shopping and the flight back home: Bananaquit, Black Phoebe, Shiny Cowbird.
GPS locations of Peru trip 1999
Lodge Explorer's Inn: S 12 - 50.188/
W 69 - 17.586
This means 12 degrees and 50 minutes and 188 thousands of a minute South, by 69 degrees and 17
minutes and 586 thousands of a minute West.
GPS010 S 12 - 50.209/ W 69 - 25.420
GPS011 S 12 - 56.022/ W 69 - 31.015
GPS012 S 12 - 58.195/ W 69 - 29.908
GPS013 S 13 - 09.090/ W 69 - 36.215
GPS014 S 13 - 09.061/ W 69 - 36.537
GPS015 S 12 - 59.026/ W 69 - 30.173
GPS016 S 12 - 51.448/ W 69 - 16.980
GPS017 S 12 - 50.957/ W 69 - 17.215
GPS018 S 12 - 50.622/ W 69 - 17.345
GPS019 S 12 - 50.204/ W 69 - 16.715
GPS020 S 12 - 49.563/ W 69 - 15.987
GPS021 S 12 - 49.078/ W 69 - 15.622
GPS022 S 12 - 48.861/ W 69 - 15.158
GPS023 S 12 - 50.179/ W 69 - 16.773
GPS024 S 12 - 50.408/ W 69 - 18.018
GPS025 S 12 - 50.519/ W 69 - 17.486
GPS026 S 12 - 36.019/ W 69 - 04.127
GPS027 S 12 - 36.633/ W 69 - 02.951
GPS028 S 12 - 36.429/ W 69 - 03.299
GPS029 S 12 - 35.830/ W 69 - 04.126
GPS030 S 13 - 26.248/ W 72 - 07.909
GPS031 S 13 - 24.961/ W 72 - 08.227
GPS032 S 13 - 09.956/ W 72 - 32.587
GPS033 S 13 - 09.916/ W 72 - 32.689
GPS034 S 13 - 08.309/ W 72 - 18.081
GPS035 S 13 - 06.925/ W 72 - 20.592
GPS036 S 13 - 08.467/ W 72 - 17.979
GPS037 S 13 - 08.769/ W 72 - 18.218
GPS038 S 13 - 08.785/ W 72 - 18.236
GPS039 S 13 - 08.840/ W 72 - 18.333
GPS040 S 13 - 08.872/ W 72 - 18.363
GPS041 S 13 - 09.015/ W 72 - 17.643
GPS042 S 13 - 10.504/ W 72 - 17.350
GPS043 S 13 - 10.052/ W 72 - 17.005
GPS044 S 13 - 09.390/ W 72 - 16.916
GPS045 S 13 - 07.577/ W 72 - 17.358
GPS046 S 13 - 04.726/ W 72 - 23.396
GPS047 S 13 - 04.855/ W 72 - 22.805
GPS048 S 13 - 04.895/ W 72 - 22.456
GPS049 S 13 - 04.909/ W 72 - 22.708
GPS050 S 13 - 15.260/ W 72 - 15.861
GPS051 S 13 - 15.136/ W 72 - 15.744
GPS052 S 13 - 15.051/ W 72 - 15.504
GPS053 S 13 - 30.848/ W 72 - 58.971
Trip list Peru April 1999 John van der Woude
PT = Tambopata (Explorer's Inn +colpa, Sandoval)
PA = Andes of Cuzco (mainly Abra Malaga)
PC = Coast: Paracas, Lima
H = heard only
See trip report at http://home.worldonline.nl/~jvanderw
Great Tinamou PT H Cinereous Tinamou PT H Little Tinamou PT H Undulated Tinamou PT H Bartlett's Tinamou PT White-tufted Grebe PA PC Pied-billed Grebe PC Great Grebe PC Silvery Grebe PA Humboldt Penguin PC Cape Petrel PC Sooty Shearwater PC Peruvian Booby PC Neotropic (Olivaceous) Cormorant PC Guanay Cormorant PC Red-legged Cormorant PC Anhinga PT Peruvian (Chilean) Pelican PC Little Blue Heron PT PC Snowy Egret PT PC Capped Heron PT Cocoi (White-necked) Heron PT Great White Egret PT PC Cattle Egret PT PC Striated (Green) Heron PT PC Black-crowned Night-heron PA PC Least Bittern PC Wood Stork PT Puna Ibis PA Chilean Flamingo PC Ruddy Duck PA Orinoco Goose PT Muscovy Duck PT Torrent Duck PA Speckled (Yellow-billed) Teal PA Yellow-billed Pintail PA White-cheeked Pintail PC Puna Teal PA Cinnamon Teal PA PC American Black Vulture PT PA PC Turkey Vulture PT PC Greater Yellow-headed Vulture PT King Vulture PT Plumbeous Kite PT Cinereous Harrier PA Crane Hawk PT Slate-coloured Hawk PT Great Black-hawk PT Harris' Hawk PC Black-chested Buzzard-eagle PA Roadside Hawk PT Puna (Variable) Hawk PA Osprey PC Black Caracara PT Red-throated Caracara PT Mountain Caracara PA Collared Forest-falcon PT H American Kestrel PA PC Bat Falcon PT Peregrine Falcon PA Speckled Chachalaca PT Spix's Guan PT Blue-throated Piping-guan PT Starred Wood-quail PT H Plumbeous Rail PC Common Moorhen PC American Coot PC Andean Coot PA PC Sunbittern PT White-winged (Pale-w) TrumpetePT American Oystercatcher PC Blackish Oystercatcher PC Black-necked Stilt PA Peruvian Thick-knee PC Lesser (Am.) Golden Plover PA Grey (Bl.-bellied) Plover PC Killdeer PC Snowy Plover PC Collared Plover PT Pied Lapwing PT Hudsonian Curlew (Whimbrel) PC Greater Yellowlegs PA PC Solitary Sandpiper PT Spotted Sandpiper PT PC Ruddy Turnstone PC Surfbird PC Pectoral Sandpiper PA Wilson's Phalarope PA Band-tailed Gull PC Grey Gull PC Kelp Gull PC Grey-headed Gull PC Andean Gull PA PC Franklin's Gull PC Royal Tern PC Elegant Tern PC Sandwich Tern PC South American Tern PC Peruvian Tern PC Large-billed Tern PT Inca Tern PC Black Skimmer PC Spot-winged Pigeon PA Band-tailed Pigeon PA Pale-vented Pigeon PT Plumbeous Pigeon PT Ruddy Pigeon PT H Eared Dove PA White-winged Dove PC Croaking (Gold-billed) Ground-dove PC Bare-faced Ground-dove PA Grey-fronted Dove PT H Blue-and-yellow Macaw PT Scarlet Macaw PT Red-and-green Macaw PT Chestnut-fronted Macaw PT Red-bellied Macaw PT Mitred Parakeet PA White-eyed Parakeet PT Dusky-headed Parakeet PT Painted Parakeet PT Mountain Parakeet PA Andean Parakeet PA Dusky-billed Parrotlet PT Cobalt-winged Parakeet PT White-bellied Parrot PT? Orange-cheeked Parrot PT Blue-headed Parrot PT Mealy Parrot PT Squirrel Cuckoo PT Hoatzin PT Greater Ani PT Smooth-billed Ani PT Groove-billed Ani PC Pavonine Cuckoo PT H Tawny-bellied Screech-owl PT H Spectacled Owl PT H Least Pygmy-owl PT H Ferruginous Pygmy-owl PC Burrowing Owl PA PC Striped Owl PT?H Rufous Potoo PT H Pauraque PT Ladder-tailed Nightjar PT White-collared Swift PT Grey-rumped Swift PT Short-tailed Swift PT Andean Swift PA Fork-tailed Palm-swift PT Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift PT White-bearded Hermit PT Needle-billed Hermit PT Reddish Hermit PT Amazilia Hummingbird PC Giant Hummingbird PA White-tufted Sunbeam PA Collared Inca PA Violet-throated Starfrontlet PA Sword-billed Hummingbird PA Amethyst-throated Sunangel PA Sapphire-vented Puffleg PA Black-tailed Trainbearer PA Tyrian Metaltail PA Rufous-capped Thornbill PA Black-tailed Trogon PT Collared Trogon PT Blue-crowned Trogon PT Violaceous Trogon PT Amazon Kingfisher PT American Pygmy Kingfisher PT Broad-billed Motmot PT H Rufous Motmot PT? Blue-crowned Motmot PT H Bluish-fronted Jacamar PT White-necked Puffbird PT?H Striolated Puffbird PT H Black-fronted Nunbird PT White-fronted Nunbird PT Swallow-wing PT Black-spotted Barbet PT Brown-mandibled Aracari PT Chestnut-eared Aracari PT Golden-collared Toucanet PT Yellow-ridged Toucan PT Cuvier's Toucan PT Yellow-tufted Woodpecker PT Little Woodpecker PT Red-stained Woodpecker PT Golden-green Woodpecker PT Andean Flicker PA Scaly-breasted Woodpecker PT H Ringed Woodpecker PT Red-necked Woodpecker PT Crimson-crested Woodpecker PT Plain-brown Woodcreeper PT Olivaceous Woodcreeper PT Long-billed Woodcreeper PT Bar-bellied Woodcreeper PT Black-banded Woodcreeper PT Spix's Woodcreeper PT H Buff-throated Woodcreeper PT Lineated Woodcreeper PT Red-billed Scythebill PT Common Miner PA Coastal Miner PC Slender-billed Miner PA Bar-winged Cinclodes PA Surf (Peruvian Seaside) Cinclodes PC White-winged Cinclodes PA Pale-legged Hornero PT Tawny Tit-spinetail PA White-browed Tit-spinetail PA Puna Thistletail PA Azara's Spinetail PA Dark-breasted Spinetail PT H Plain-crowned Spinetail PT Rufous Spinetail PA Marcapata Spinetail PA Streak-throated Canastero PA Wren-like Rushbird PA Pearled Treerunner PA Streaked Tuftedcheek PA Chestnut-winged Hookbill PT Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner PT Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleanPT Rufous-tailed Xenops PT Plain Xenops PT Streaked Xenops PA Fasciated Antshrike PT Bamboo Antshrike PT H Great Antshrike PT H Barred Antshrike PT H White-shouldered Antshrike PT Plain-winged (Black-capped) AnPT Amazonian Antshrike PT H Spot-winged Antshrike PT Dusky-throated Antshrike PT Bluish-slate Antshrike PT Pygmy Antwren PT Sclater's Antwren PT Amazonian Streaked Antwren PT Plain-throated Antwren PT White-eyed Antwren PT Ornate Antwren PT White-flanked Antwren PT Long-winged Antwren PT Grey Antwren PT Chestnut-shouldered Antwren PT Grey Antbird PT White-browed Antbird PT Black-faced Antbird PT Warbling Antbird PT H Band-tailed Antbird PT Silvered Antbird PT Chestnut-tailed Antbird PT Plumbeous Antbird PT Goeldi's Antbird PT H White-throated Antbird PT H Scale-backed Antbird PT Black-spotted Bare-eye PT Rufous-capped Antthrush PT H Black-faced Antthrush PT Red-and-white Antpitta PA?H Rufous Antpitta PA H Unicoloured Tapaculo PA Red-crested Cotinga PA Barred Fruiteater PA Screaming Piha PT Bare-necked Fruitcrow PT Purple-throated Fruitcrow PT Band-tailed Manakin PT Red-headed Manakin PT Dwarf Tyrant-manakin PT Wing-barred Manakin PT H Streak-necked Flycatcher PA Southern Beardless Tyrannulet PT White-crested Elaenia PA Sierran Elaenia PA White-throated Tyrannulet PA White-banded Tyrannulet PA Torrent Tyrannulet PA Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant PA Tufted Tit-tyrant PA Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrant PT? Large-headed Flatbill PT H Dusky-tailed Flatbill PT Rufous-tailed Flatbill PT Yellow-margined Flycatcher PT? Golden-crowned Spadebill PT H Cinnamon Flycatcher PA Euler's Flycatcher PT Black Phoebe PA PC Vermillion Flycatcher PC Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrant PA D'orbigny's Chat-tyrant PA White-browed Chat-tyrant PA Drab Water-tyrant PT Red-rumped Bush-tyrant PA Smoky Bush-tyrant PA Black-billed Shrike-tyrant PA Pied Water-tyrant PT Cinnamon Attila PT Dull-capped (White-eyed) AttilPT Bright-rumped Attila PT Sirystes PT Tropical Kingbird PT PC Boat-billed Flycatcher PT Baird's Flycatcher PC Streaked Flycatcher PT Rusty-margined Flycatcher PT Social Flycatcher PT Lesser Kiskadee PT Great Kiskadee PT Greater Schiffornis [Manakin] PT?H Thrushlike Schiffornis [ManakiPT Pink-throated Becard PT Black-tailed Tityra PT Masked Tityra PT White-winged Swallow PT Brown-bellied Swallow PA Blue-and-white Swallow PA PC Pale-footed Swallow PA White-banded Swallow PT Southern Rough-winged Swallow PT Andean Swallow PA Barn Swallow PA White-capped Dipper PA Black-capped Donacobius PT Inca Wren PA Moustached Wren PT Buff-breasted Wren PT House Wren PT Southern House Wren PA Mountain Wren PA Southern Nightingale-wren PT Musician Wren PT H Chiguanco Thrush PA Great Thrush PA Lawrence's Thrush PT H White-necked Thrush PT H Violaceous Jay PT House Sparrow PC Red-eyed Vireo PT PA Brown-capped Vireo PA PC Hooded Siskin PA PC Yellow-rumped Siskin PA Slate-throated Redstart PA Spectacled Redstart PA Citrine Warbler PA Bananaquit PC Blue-backed Conebill PA Capped Conebill PA Giant Conebill PA Magpie Tanager PT Black-capped Hemispingus PA Parodi's Hemispingus PA Superciliared Hemispingus PA White-winged Shrike-tanager PT White-shouldered Tanager PT Red-crowned Ant-tanager PT Masked Crimson Tanager PT Silver-beaked Tanager PT Blue-grey Tanager PT PA Palm Tanager PT Blue-capped Tanager PA Blue-and-yellow Tanager PA Hooded Mountain-tanager PA Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager PA Golden-collared Tanager PA Chestnut-bellied Mountain-tanager PA Fawn-breasted Tanager PA Orange-bellied Euphonia PT Paradise Tanager PT Green-and-gold Tanager PT Saffron-crowned Tanager PA Blue-and-black Tanager PA Silver-backed (Silvery) Tanager PA Blue Dacnis PT Plushcap PA Rufous-collared Sparrow PA PC Yellow-browed Sparrow PT Slaty Brush-finch PA Stripe-headed Brush-finch PA Red-capped Cardinal PT Plumbeous Sierra-finch PA Ash-breasted Sierra-finch PA Bright-rumped Yellow-finch PA Greenish Yellow-finch PA Grassland Yellow-finch PA Slate-coloured Seedeater PT Double-collared Seedeater PT Plain-coloured Seedeater PA Paramo Seedeater PA Masked Flower-piercer PA Black-backed Grosbeak PA Buff-throated Saltator PT?H Golden-billed Saltator PA Crested Oropendola PT? Russet-backed Oropendola PT Yellow-rumped Cacique PT Epaulet Oriole PT Yellow-winged Blackbird PA Peruvian Meadowlark PC Shiny Cowbird PC Giant Cowbird PT