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Marvelous Spatuletail, 40 hummingbirds and Long-whiskered Owlet.


Marvelous Spatuletail - Dustin Chen

Marvelous Spatuletail and Long-whiskered Owlet Get-away

If you want to see Marvelous Spatuletail, but have very little time, this is the best program for you without being rushed and which will give you a number of other good birds, including a chance to see the enigmatic Long-whiskered Owlet. Please note that the Spatuletail leks between November and April, but that perfect males can be seen throughout the year. Having said that, July-August is generally molt season for the males, so in some years perfect males have not been seen on these short trips this time of year. 

This trip also gives many visits at bird feeders - especially hummingbird feeders - which provides excellent opportunity for bird photography. Some 40 species of Hummingbirds can be seen on the trip. 

We offer this program every week, when there is a minimum of two people. We can even run it for just one person with a $1000 surcharge and single supplement. Note, that we do not include the entrance fees to feeder stations in this trip because of tax purposes (we don't get tax receipts for the entrance fees). You pay the nominal value directly to the resources. 

  June 26 - 2024
January 5 - 2025

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

Long-whiskered Owlet - Foto Alex Durand

Day 0. Arrive in Tarapoto on the evening flight

Flight to Tarapoto at 16:59 or 20:05. Hotel in Tarapoto. Dinner not included.

Day 1: Tarapoto-Rioja. Birding Yurimaguas Road, Tunnel Area and Morro Calzada. Dotted Tanager and Oilbird

Travel to the tunnel area on the Yurimaguas road. Here we find a number of special upper tropical species such as Blackish Pewee, Dotted Tanager and with luck the localized Plumbeous Euphonia. We also often see Andean Cock of the Rock, Swallow-tailed Kite and Paradise Tanagers. Later we continue to ACONABIKH where there are hummingbird feeders that attract Koepcke's Hermit, Gould's Jewelfront, Black-bellied Thorntail, and Black-throated Brilliant  and many more. A short hike take us to a lek with Golden-headed Manakin. There are also a number of other Amazonian forest birds here.

Around noon 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 Nightjars and often calling Common Potoo, as well as Stygian Owl.

We spend the night at Waqanki Lodge, in Moyobamba. . 

Day 2: Birding Waqanki to Owlet Lodge

Those who are fit may want to try the ridge trail above Waqanki for Scarlet-breasted and Fiery-throated Fruiteaters, Ash-throated Antwren, Chestnut-throated Spinetail and many more. 

The hummingbird-feeders at Waqanki are fantastic. It is often possible to get over 15 species of hummingbirds in only a couple of hours. The star species is Rufous-crested Coquette and Black-throated Hermit. 

We continue over the Myobamba/Rioja plain checking out ponds and rice paddies for Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-capped Donacobious, Least Grebe and Black-billed Seed-Finch. 

Later at 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, as well as Wire-crested Thorntail, but there are loads of other hummers too. 

The white-sand forest is very interesting with Northern Chestnut-tailed (Zimmer's) Antbird, Varzea ThrushMishana Tyrannulet and Black-bellied (Huallaga) Tanager.

We end the day at Fundo Alto Nieva with the hummingbird feeders which often attract Royal Sunangel and Rufous-vented Whitetip. the feeding station for Ochre-fronted Antpitta, and at night a first try for Long-whiskered Owlet at the Owlet Lodge. 
Night at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge

Day 3. Afluentes - Abra Patricia

The trails at the Owlet Lodge are good for 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.

Midmornig we transfer to the birdy Afluentes area. The flocks in the subtropical roadside forest can be very impressive. Vermilion Tanager, Subtropical Cacique, 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.

We shall get a second chance for Long-whiskered Owlet if necessary or try for Cinnamon Screech-Owl. 

Night at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge. 

Day 4: Birding at Long-whiskered Owlet Lodge. Ochre-fronted Antpitta and Lulu’s Pygmy-Tyrant

Another morning at the Owlet Lodge.

The feeders have Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Peruvian Rackettail, Bronzy Inca, Violet-fronted Brilliant and Collared Inca. From the lookout one may often see White-capped Tanager.

We continue mid-morning to Pomacochas where we spend some time practicing bird photography at the Hummingbird feeders at Huembo with close-up views of the Marvelous Spatuletail and other hummers such as Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Sparkling Violet-ear, White-bellied Woodstar, White-bellied Hummingbird and Bronzy Inca. A rare visitor is Little Woodstar.

Those who are fit enough may want to try for Pale-billed Antpitta up the track to San Lorenzo. Also you can take the vehicle all the way to San Lorenzo, other birds that may be encountered, are Chestnut-crowned Cotinga, White-capped Tanager, Rusty-tinged Antpittaschulenbergi race of Plain-tailed Wren and Russet-mantled Softtail.

Night: Huembo Birding Lodge

Day 5: Hummingbirds at Huembo and Pomacochas and drive to Jaen. 

We shall be visiting a lek site for Marvelous Spatuletail in the morning or have some additional time for photographing the Spatuletail in the morning. The lek is active on and off between November to April but some luck is also needed.  Later we drive to Jaen with selected stops on the way for Peruvian Pigeon, Marañon Thrush and perhaps Buff-bellied Tanager.  

We arrivie to Jaen for a late lunch in the field while we look for Little Inca-Finch, Marañon Crescentchest, Marañon (Northern) Slaty-Antshrike, Chinchipe Spinetail and with luck Marañon Spinetail

The flight to Lima is at 17:15.

If you have more time, add a night to look for Peruvian Screech-Owl and have a better chance for Little Inca-Finch the next morning before the flight to Lima. 

Reversed Itinerary. 

The idea is that this program shall be run every week. In order to make the operation as cost effective as possible and avoid exessive driving the order will be reversed every other week. 

The reversed program looks like this. 

Day 1. Flight to Jaen at 5:19 AM. Jaen to Pomacochas. Night in Huembo. 
Day 2. Huembo-Abra Patricia
Day 3. Abra Patricia area
Day 4. Alto Nieva - Waqanki, Moyobamba
Day 5. Waqanki-Tarapoto. Flight to Lima at 18.49

If you want to add extensions for some iconic birds in Northern Peru we recommend the Scarlet-banded Barbet and White-masked Antbird expeditions as pre tours. One may also continue birding from Jaen via Porculla pass - and next day look for endemics such as Peruvian Plantcutter and White-winged Guan and flu back to Lima in the evening from Chiclayo. 


DAY 1 Tarapoto-Rioja. Birding Yurimaguas road Tunnel area and Morro Calzada. Dotted Tanager and Oilbird.
DAY 2 Waqanki, Aguas Verdes to Owlet Lodge
DAY 3 Birdwatching Afluentes-Abra Patricia
DAY 4 Abra Patricia to Huembo. Marvelous Spatuletail
DAY 5 Huembo to Jaen.

Option: Long-whiskered Owlet and Marvellous Spatuletail 5 days get-away. Days: 5
Price: US$ 1990 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 130 US$

Include flights, hotels, all food, guiding, transport, checklists, safe treated water.

Does not include: entrance fees, bottled drinks with meals, tips and personal expenses. 

Trips originating in Jaen are $40 less

Price is based on 5 people. 

If only one person there is a $1000 surcharge plus single supplement.
If only two people there is a $500 surcharge/person
If three people there is a $250 surcharge/person
If four people there is a $90 surcharge per person.

There are some community and reserve fees that you pay directly to the reserves. Since we do not get tax receipts from many of the reserves and feeder stations we can no vouch for the expense in our accounting. Therefore, it is easier and cheaper for everyone if this is paid at the spot by the clients. 

Approximate costs: 

AKONABIKH Km 24 near Tarapoto - Kopecke's Hermit reserva $15, 
Aguas Verdes Arena Blanca $15
Llanteria - afluentes. $10
Royal Sunangel feeders $10
San Lorenzo fee $7
Yanahuanca $7
Fundo Alto Nieva $30 (+ $30 if you want to look for Long-whiskered Owlet there instead of at the Owlet Lodge)



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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