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.