Kolibri Expeditions is pioneering new areas. And we found this! A road as good as more renowned Manu road. Simply an awesome birding experience. Not much in terms of accommodation, but but we camp in village schools which for conservation is a beneficial form of local interaction which gives both income and new ideas of sustainable landuse to the locals. There is very little traffic on this road, which makes roadside birding great. Best of all is that it accessible without expensive flights.
In the Andamarca valley we found what appears to be a new taxon of a Thryothorus Wren, as well as the newly described Black-spectacled Brush-Finch. There is also an undescribed species of Thornbird here.
At Oxapampa several species that are usually found at lower altitudes of the Carpish range can be found, including the endemic Creamy-bellied Antwren.
We will stop at Junin Lake for Junin Grebe.
In Carpish we set out to see the emblematic Golden-backed Mountain Tanager, as well as good number of subtropical species.
Additionally, we make a visit to the oilbird caves near Tingo Maria, where we also often see Blue-headed Macaw and the endemic Huallaga Tanager.
The trip can be split if 18 days are too many.
There is still very little infrastructure in lodges in this area. Kolibri Expeditions take pride in supporting the local communities by giving contributions while we camp in conjunction to village schools. There is a project underway with Kolibri and the communities to get funding to build community-owned lodges that can be used in the future. Your presence now supports this development.
Day 1. Santa Eulalia Canyon.
We will make a 4 AM start straight for Santa Eulalia Canyon in order to be in position when the rare Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch is more active. There are many west slope specialties here, such as Black-necked Flicker, Oasis Hummingbird, Peruvian Sheartail, 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 and many others. We will stay at a newly built hotel in Huachopampa at 2900m.
Day 2. Polylepis-Ticlo-Junin.
In the early morning we will be at the look out to spot Condors flying out from their overnight cliffs. At the Polylepis forest we have been very successful with White-cheeked Cotinga in the past. Also present are Striated Earthcreeper, Streak-headed Antpitta and maybe we spot White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant found here twice. We will continue over the 4900m pass to the Milloc bog for things like Puna Tinamou (rare), Giant Coot, Gray-breasted and Rufous-bellied Seed-snipes, Puna Snipe, Southern Pochard (twice) and of course all the targets Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, White-bellied Cinclodes, Olivaceous Thornbill, Black-breasted Hillstar, Dark-winged Miner, Junin Canastero, Ground-Tyrants and many more. In the afternoon we shall drive Tarma for an overnight stay at lower altitude.
Day 3. Junin Lake and travel to Huanuco and on to Unchog.
During the months of April-September it is usually possible to see the Junin Grebe from shore, while water levels are high. We have been lucky recently near Carhuamayo town. Other birds here include a number of water birds as well as Correndera Pipit, Common and Dark-winged Miner.
After breakfast we shall continue towards Huanuco passing Polylepis forest on the way with possible species such as Thick-billed Miner, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Giant Conebill, Stripe-headed Antpitta and others.
In the afternoon we shall be driving to the camp near Bosque Unchog arriving just in time for the flight of the Swallow-tailed nightjar, while camp is being set up.
Day 4. Bosque Unchog.
Key species is naturally Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager - the cover species of the old “Birds of Peru". 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 Rufous (Fulvous) Antpitta (this form warrants species recognition). Camp.
Day 5. Unchog and Paty trail.
Unchog AM and at around midday we shall break camp and bird our way back to Huanuco. On the way we shall look out for the endemic Brown-flanked Tanager and Baron’s Spinetail and near endemic Black-crested Tit-Tyrant. Near the Huallaga River one can easily find Fasciated Wren and White-bellied Hummingbird. Camping at the Paty trail start in conjunction to the village school. Night birding can get Rufous-banded Owl and Andean Potoo.
Day 6. Paty trail.
Paty trail with a large number of possible birds like Peruvian Tyrannulet Masked and Band-tailed Fruiteater, Masked Saltator, Drab Hemispingus, White-eared Solitaire, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Inca Flycatcher, Bay Antpitta, Buff-browed Foliagegleaner, Orange-breasted Falcon and Chestnut-breasted Wren. At occasions we have seen Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and Masked Saltator here. At the bottom of the trail at Ñuapamarca there is a good population of Cock-of-the Rock. At dusk Lyre-tailed Nightjars make display flights over the forest only a few hundred meter from the village school were we will sleep.
Day 7. Paty Trail to Tinga Maria.
Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, Blue-browed Tanager are additional possibilities as we walk up the Paty trail again. In the afternoon birding near Tingo Maria for species like Hoatzin, Spot-breasted Woodpecker and Solitary Cacique. Night in hotel in Tingo Maria.
Day 8. Oilbirdcave in Tingo Maria and drive to Carpish.
Birding in Tingo Maria in the morning. We will continue to the Tingo Maria National park for Oilbird, Huallaga Tanager and Blue-headed Macaw as well as many other lowland birds. In midmorning we continue to the Carpish area. Additional birds to look for especially near the Carpish tunnel include Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Tchudi’s Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Brush-Finch, Rufous Spinetail, Peruvian Wren, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Orange-breasted Falcon, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrots and hopefully Chestnut Antpitta. Night in hotel in Huanuco.
Day 9. Huanuco-San Ramon.
Birding the dry scrub for Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Brown-flanked Tanager and then continue to San Ramon via a stop at the Polylepis forests again. Night in San Ramon.
Day 10. San Ramon-Oxapampa.
Birding between San Ramon and Oxapampa to camp above Oxapampa on the Antenna road. Here we will be night-birding for Cloud Forest Screech Owl, White-throated Screech-Owl and Andean Potoo.
Day 11. Additional birding above Oxapampa.
This area is a stronghold for the localized Chestnut-crested Cotinga. Lower down the unusual Olive Tufted-Tyrant can be found. Mixed flocks with Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheeks, multitudes of tanager, Montane Foliage-gleaner and Montane Woodcreeper should be found. The Peruvian race of Black-winged Parrot is another specialty to look out for as well as the undescribed form of Chestnut Antpitta that seems to be a good species (“Pasco Antpitta”).
in the afternoon we will bird Oxapampa-Villa Rica road. Remarkably good birding along this road. Things seen here include: White-capped Tanager, Golden-headed Quetzal, Long-tailed Sylph, Olivaceous Greenlet, Bay Antpitta, Red-throated Caracara, White-winged Becard, Blue and Black Tanager as well as the endemic Creamy-bellied Antwren. In the late afternoon we will reach Villa Rica that has a splendid view over Laguna Oconal, which will be explored for Least Grebe, Blackish Rail and Wattled Jacana. Night in Villa Rica.
Day 12. Drive to Satipo.
An early morning start will soon take us through shade coffee plantations with Yellow-cheeked Becard, Black-goggled Tanager, White-browed Antbird, Coraya Wren and many others. Many species of Tanagers and Hummingbirds will be added to our exploding lists. We will stay at a hotel in Satipo.
Day 13-15. Satipo rd
We will principally bird very good tracts of temperate and subtropical forest. The possibilities are almost never ending with spectacular birds such as Golden-headed and Crested Quetzal, Torrent Duck, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Andean Solitaire, Yellow-throated Tanager and Versicolored Barbet to name a few.
One of the days we will change our camp to the Andamarca valley. Key bird here is the newly described Black-spectacled Brush-Finch. But there are many undescribed birds here. We found a new taxon of a Thryothorus wren - apparently a good species. Also a new species of Thornbird and the undescribed Apurimac form of Koepcke’s Screech-Owl, which possibly is a good species. On the way back to Apaya we shall see many typical Andean birds such as Andean Flicker, Andean Goose, Andean Lapwing and Andean Gull. It is possible also to see the rare Andean Ibis. In scrub Creamy-crested Spinetail is readily found. At the highest part of this scenic journey back to Apaya we will make a stop to try to see the yet undescribed "Millpo Tapaculo". In the bamboo patches further down at Carrizales an hour from Apaya one finds Eye-ringed Thistletail, obscura form of Rufous Antpitta (“Fulvous Antpitta”) and Fire-throated Metaltail. Camping at village schools in Apalla and Andamarca valley.
Day 16. Drive to San Ramon.
After lunch we will break camp and continue to San Ramon birding on the way.
Day 17. San Ramon-Lima
In the morning birding near San Ramon maybe on the road to Pampa Hermosa or the road to Alto Pichita depending what species we still are looking for. In mid-morning we drive back to Lima with selected stops on the way. Don’t schedule flight before 9PM this day. If you do, there are express taxi services that can be used at around 80-100 US$ for a private service. Much less if shared.
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