Oct 1. Lima NIght birding.
Those doing a Big Day in Puerto Maldonado are arriving in Lima at 18:45. Since traffic going south at this time will be a problem, we shall go north to go night birding at Ventanilla marshes. The idea is to rack up the Big Day number with calls from shorebirds, siluettes of ducks and gulls. At around 8 pm we continue south to do the same at Pantanos de Villa. Afterwards, a few night stake outs for common birds in lIma like West-Peruvian Dove, Long-tailed Mockingbird and Scrub Blackbird. As we count up the total we will have two driverss to drive through the night towards Andamarca in Central Peru to be in place next morning for many endemics. From now on will seeing the endemics well be part of the focus. Pace will still be brutal.
Oct 2. Andamarca-Satipo road. Calabaza. Colibri Lodge.
We're in the Andamarca valley a warm and dry valley in the Mantaro drainage. New species to science have been found here in recent years , some still remain to be named. They are Black-spectacled Brush-Finch, a new Thryothorus wren "Mantaro Wren" and a new undescribed species of Thornbird "Mantaro Thornbird". Also, the form of Azara's Spinetail calls completely different here and may well warent species status. Other species include White-winged Black.Tyrant, Black-backed Grosbeak, Golden-billed Saltator, Black-and-White Seedeater and others. Also, we spend some time trying to Apurimac Screech-Owl, described as subspecies of Koepcke's Screech-Owl. Heading over the pass towards the Satipo road proper we get into a more humid temperate area, where hopefully we find Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Unstreaked Tit-Spinetail, Taczanoswski’s Slaty Brush-Finch (a likely split from the ssp in Ecuador) and the white-crowned weskei ssp of Marcapata Spinetail. Later we shall be looking for Satipo road specials like Fiery-throated Metaltail, Eye-ringed Thistletail, obscura form of Rufous Antpitta (certainly a good species), Bay Antpitta, and the undescribed "Millpo" and Tchudi’s Tapaculo. We stay at the basic community lodge at Calabaza Colibri Lodge supporting the local community this way. At night, we shall look for Lyre-tailed Nightjar and White-throated Screech-Owl.
Oct 3. Calabaza to La Merced.
We shall spend most of day looking for flocks along the Satipo road proper. The possibilities are enormous but lets just say it is as diverse as Manu road. Some of these are Sunbittern, Peruvian Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Versicolored Barbet, Solitary Eagle, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Golden-headed and Crested Quetazal, Cock-of-the-Rock, Torrent Duck, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer and many more. We deliberately stay as long as possible on the Satipo road where the diversity is so high and then drive to La Merced after dark arriving at 9 pm or so.
Oct 4. La Merced to Oxapampa.
Above La Merced it is good for Creamy-bellied Antwren, Fiery-throated and Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater. Undoubtedly many other subtropical birds here. After a stake-out for White-browed Hermit, we continue to Oxapampa.
Here are some of the birds we shall be looking for in the vecinity of Oxapampa.
Cloud Forest Screech-Owl and Olive-tufted Flycatcher, Andean Guan, Scaly-naped Parrot, Black-winged Parrot, Barred Parakeet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Pasco Antpitta, Bay Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Lachrymose Tanager, Peruvian Wren and Strong-billed Woodcreeper.
Oct 5. Oxapampa-Junin-Huanuco.
Although this is mostly a travel day, we shall make the best of it to also try to hit some good birds such as Ornate Tinamou and various species of Canasteros such as Streak-backed and Cordilleran Canastero, in the afternoon we shall bird the Junin lake, principally for Junin Grebe and Junin Rail, but also some of the endemics possible here such as Black-breasted HIllstar and Dark-winged Miner, and also Correndera and Short-billed Pipits. In the late afternoon we drive to Huanuco again arriving around 8 pm.
Oct 6. Unchog. Travel to Huariaca
Start driving at 3 AM. I didn't say this was a holiday! It is necessary to do an early start to have a chance before break of dawn on Swallow-tailed Nightjar and Andean Snipe. Key species is naturally Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager. Pardusco is usually easy. Rufous-browed Hemispingus is time consuming and Bay-vented Cotinga rare but very conspicuous when perched.
Other birds include Coppery Metaltail, Neblina and Large-footed Tapaculo, Plenge´s Thistletail, Many-striped and Line-fronted Canastero, Paramo Seedeater and White-collared Jay
In the afternoon as we drive to Huariaca we shall look for Brown-flanked Tanager, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant. Night is Huariaca.
Oct 7. Huariaca to San Mateo via Ticlio
We make a stop at the Polylepis forests at Quichas for Stripe-headed Antpitta, Giant Conebill, Baron´s Spinetail, Thick-billed Siskin and Striated Earthcreeper. We'll be looking out for White-winged Cinclodes close to La Oroya, before we continue towards Ticlio for White-bellied Cinclodes, Diademed Plover, Puna Snipe, Rufous-bellied and Gray-breasted Seedsnipes, Olivaceous Thornbill and White-winged Diuca-Finch. Also the exploring the side road to Marcapomacocha to try to Diademed Sandpiper Plover before we descend to San Mateo for dinner at to spend the night.
Oct 8. San Mateo-Santa Eulalia Canyon.
If we missed any species at the end of the day yesterday, we have a chance to pickup this morning. Regardless we aim to be at the Polylepis woodland on the Santa Eulalia road by 8 AM for bes chance of White-cheeked Cotinga. Other Polylepis specialists include Striated Earthcreeper, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Thick-billed and Black Siskins, Giant Conebill, Black Metaltail, etc.
More birding in the upper part of Santa Eulalia valley. Species we search for here include Canyon Canastero and Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch (rare). On the way to Lima we have the chance of running into the following species: Black-necked Flicker, Oasis Hummingbird, Peruvian Sheertail, Bronze-tailed Comet, Great Inca-Finch, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Canyon Canastero, Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch, Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch, White-winged Cinclodes, Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Streaked Tit-Spinetail -
Those who continue the BIg Month will continue with evening flight flight to Chiclayo with LATAM 19:35 and stay in hotel in Chiclayo.