Day 0. Arriving to Tarapoto with evening flight.
Hotel in Tarapoto. Dinner not included.
Day 1. Tarapoto-Rioja. Birding Yurimaguas road Tunnel area and Morro Calzada. Dotted Tanager and Oilbird.
Arriving in Tarapoto transfer to tunnel area on the Yurimaguas road. Here we find a number of special upper tropical species such as Koepcke’s Hermit, Blackish Pewee, Dotted Tanager and with luck the localized Plumbeous Euphonia. We often see Cock of the Rock, Swallow-tailed Kite and Paradise Tanagers here as well.
Around mid-day we continue towards Moyobamba. On the way we shall stop to look at Oilbirds at the Quiscarumi gorge. We finish the afternoon at Morro de Calzada, a strange rock formation on the Moyobamba-Rioja plateau. This area is good for Mishana Tyrannulet, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail and sometimes Spot-fronted Swift and White-chested Swifts which come to roost. It is also a good spot for nightjars at dusk with Spot-tailed, Rufous, Blackish and Little Nightjar, as well as Common Potoo often calling, as well as Stygian Owl. We drive for an hour to our hotel in Nueva Cajamarca.
Day 2. Birdwatching Yacumama-Afluentes-Abra Patricia-Pomacochas. Ashy-headed Antwren and Speckle-chested Piculet.
We start the morning in the new birding resource at Aguas Verdes called Arena Blanca. Here the is a fantastic feeding station for Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail and Little and Cinereous Tinamou. Also Yellow-billed Sparrow comes to the grains provided from the feeding station. There is also an area set up for hummingbirds. The speciality here are Green-fronted and Blue-fronted Lancebill. But there are loads of other hummers too.
The white-sand forest is very interesting with Nothern Chestnut-tailed (Zimmer's) Antbird and Mishana Tyrannulet.
Midmornig we transfer to the birdy Afluentes area. The flocks in the subtropical roadside forest can be very impressive. Vermilion Tanager, Speckle-chested Piculet, Montane Woodcreeper, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Streaked Xenops, Parasdise, Golden, Blue-necked and Bay-headed Tanagers and the endemic Ash-throated Antwren and many other birds. Sometimes we have seen Black-billed Toucan, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Umbrellabird and Andean Cock of the Rock in this area.
In the afternoon we shall continue to Pomacochas via some birding at the Abra Patricia pass for Royal Sunangel, Bar-winged Wood-Wren and Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant. We finish the day at the wonderful gardens of Puerto Puerto Pumas hotel where several species of Hummingbirds can be seen, including Black-tailed Trainbearer. Night at Hotel Brisas.
Day 3. Hummingbirds at Huembo and Pomacochas. Marvelous Spatuletail.
We shall be visiting a lek site for Marvelous Spatuletail in the morning. Later we spend some time practicing bird photography at the Hummingbird feeders at Huembo with close-up views of the Spatuletail and other hummers such as Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Sparkling Violet-ear, Long-tailed Sylph, White-bellied Woodstar, White-bellied Hummingbird and Bronzy Inca. A rare visitor is Little Woodstar.
Those who are fit may want to try for Pale-billed Antpitta up the track to San Lorenzo. Now one only needs to walk a shorter distance as one may take the vehicle all the way to San Lorenzo. It is still uphill though. Nevertheless, other birds may be encountered, such as Chestnut-crowned Cotinga, White-capped Tanager, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, schulenbergi race of Plain-tailed Wren and Russet-mantled Softtail.
In the afternoon we drive back to the Abra Patricia area. At dusk we shall make the first try to try to see the mythical Long-whiskered Owlet. Night: Fundo Alto Nieva
Day 4. Birding at Long-whiskered Owlet Lodge. Ochre-fronted Antpitta and Lulu’s Pygmy-Tyrant.
We shall mainly bird the trails at the Fundo Alto Nieva and check out the feeders. The trails are good for Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Barred Antthrush, Wattled Guan, White-faced Nunbird, etc. The feeding flocks contain Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, Spectacled Whitestart, Pearled Treerunner, White-throated Tyrannulet, Blue-and-Black Tanager and Metallic-green Tanager.
The feeders have Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Bronzy Inca, Violet-fronted Brilliant and Collared Inca. From the lookout one may often see White-capped Tanager.
If necessary, we may do a second try for Long-whiskered Owlet at night or try for Cinnamon Screch-Owl. Night: Fundo Alto Nieva
Day 5. Abra Patrica-Afluentes-Wakanki hummingbird feeders. Royal Sunangel and Rufous-crested Coquette.
After additional search for Antpittas and a stop at the site for Royal Sunangel if we shall still need it we shall be birding at Afluentes once more. Later we descend to Moyobamba to have lunch at Wakanki while we are watching the hummingbird feeders here. It is possible to count around 17 species in an hour or so. One of the best is the Rufous-crested Coquette. We shall arrive to Tarapoto to bird the dry scrub around Juan Guerra for Huallaga Slaty Antshrike and Ashy-headed Greenlet until dusk. Evening flight to Lima.
Extension: A way to extend this trip with more time and more birding, would be to stay the night of Day 5 at Wakanqi in Moyobamba. There is very interesting forest behind Wakanqi at Quebrada Mishquiyacu and Wakanqi is one of the best sites in all Peru for various owls and nightjars.
One may also add extensions for Scarlet-banded Barbet and White-masked Antbird from Tarapoto.