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Big Month Part 1: 300 species in one day - The Biggest Day Prep,

 INTRODUCTION:

The Amazon is amazing, being more species dense than anywhere else in the world. Kolibri Expeditions introduces a new concept in birding tours for birders with little time and those with specific goals. This tour offers a chance at your Biggest Day ever.  For the biggest list, the best time to do this is between December-January and hope for a good day without rain in the morning. This is when plenty of shorebirds are present, which will help for longer list. Also, the day is longer. By starting in the east and finishing in the west we will have no less than 14h of birding light in total.  For 2018 we plan two dates for the Big Day Oct 1, which will have a slightly different program as it is the first day of the Big Month: and Dec 19, optimized for length of the day and shorebird presence. 

South East Peru is renowned for having extreme biodiversity. In the 1980s legends Ted Parker and Scott Robinson set a fantastic record of 331 species recorded in 24 hours from Cocha Cashu in Manu National Park. This record has since been broken a few times with the current record from Ecuador standing at 431 species set in October 2015.

While, getting such numbers will be extremely difficult, with some 600 species available near Puerto Maldonado it should be quite possible to get over 300 for our Big Day attempt. You will be part of the team. 

The idea is to have 4 days of prep, where the individual sites are visited to get all participants a chance to see most of the birds that will count as heard only on the big day. 

The idea is to have the first four days as preperation while watching and learning each species and scout locations for the Big Day. This way each participant will l also get views of the birds. During the actual race, heard birds count, which means very little that time will not be wasted trying to see a bird already ID:ed by call.

Our first scheduled tour of this sort runs 27 Sep - 1 Oct, 2018, and it is part of a big month. This trip ends at Wayqecha on the Manu road. 

A likely longer list shall be had on the Big Day of Dec 19 which ends in Lima and adds additional birds to the Big Day. This tour runs  Dec 15-Dec 19, 2018. By then the itinerary will be so fine-tuned that coming close to the Peruvian record seems quite plausible if everything else falls into place.



 DEPARTURES:
  September 27 - 2018


If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.


 THE TOUR:

Day 1: Puerto Maldonado. Grasslands and Savanna

Arrive at Puerto Maldonado with an early flight from Cusco or Lima. We shall immediately visit localities in striking range of Puerto Maldonado that hold a number of good birds that are difficult to see at the rain forest of Saona Lodge.

These include Small–billed Tinamou, Brazlian Teal, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Zig Zag Heron, Southern Lapwing, Black-banded and Grey-breasted Crakes, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Crested Caracara, White-throated and Purus Jacamar, Pheasant Cuckoo, Barred Antshrike, Peruvian Recurvebill, Rusty-margined and Sulphury Flycatchers, Grassland Sparrow, Black-faced Tanager and Red-breasted Blackbird.

At night we shall search for Zig-Zag Heron. Little, Spot-tailed and Rufous Nightjar and other nocturnal birds of the savannah. Night in Puerto Maldonado.

Day 2: Saona Lodge

Pre-dawn start from Puerto Maldonado to leave for Saona Lodge. The grounds near the lodge has proven very good for Peruvian Recurvebill and Rufous-headed Woodpecker. A Great Potoo has been seen recently just next to the building. The area is also good for Pale-winged Trumpeters.

There is a great trail system that includes both varzea forest as well as some terra firma. Special birds include Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Undulated Antshrike, Cream-colored Woodpecker and the rare Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak. 

Day 3: Tres Chimbadas Lake

In the morning we shall bird the bamboo patch at Tres Chimbadas Lake and make a short trip on the lake, where recently Unicolored Blackbird has been found (a new addition to the Peruvian list). Here there are a resident colony of giant otters, as well as Hoatzin, Green Ibis, Striated Heron, Sungrebe and Capped Heron

Day 4: Saona Lodge

We continue to work the trails at Saona Lodge and continue additional scouting near Puerto Maldonado. We shall make it an early night and early dinner to catch a few hours of sleep in Puerto Maldonado.

Day 5: The Big Day

We start night birding in the savannah near Puerto Maldonado, continuing with nocturnal birds at Saona Lodge. During the morning we hit the trails until about 8.30 am, and then continue by speed boat up the Tambopata River to Tres Chimbadas.

Birding at Tres Chimbadas until around 10:30am before returning towards Puerto Maldonado. We shall add several species of shorebirds and ducks, as well as the species mentioned above for Puerto Maldonado before heading to the airport. . It is possible that Tres Chimbadas will be replaced by smaller wetlands closer to Puerto Maldonado if deemed better on the big day. 

The goal is to reach 300 species by the time we have to leave Puerto Maldonado. 

On our Big Month Program in October, we continue along the Manu road trying to pick up additional highland birds on the way to Wayqecha and some good nocturnals such as White-throated Screech-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Band-winged Nightjar and Swallow-tailed Nightjar.



 PRICE :


Option: The Biggest Day 5 day tour Days: 5
Price: US$ 1425 (Minimum 5 people).
 
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
 
Single supplement: 80 US$
 
All guiding, food and transport is included. Includes flight from Lima or Cusco, and return to Lima Does not transfer to airport or hotel on day 5. Drinks are not included. We provide safe filtered water for drinking, as we don't want to contribute to the waste of natural resources and pollution using disposable plastic. Entrance fees are not included. These may be entrance to properties for birding as well as visit Tres Chimbadas lake. At the most $30 in total. Tips in restaurants, to drivers and guides are not included. Calculate your budget accordingly
 


 CLIENT'S COMMENTS:
 
 


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Telephone: +51-1- 652 76 89. From the US: 011-51-1- 652 76 89. Cell: 988 555 938 (Gunnar) or 999 007 886 (Elia Gallo) - Email: kolibriexp@gmail.com