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Big Month part 7: Birding Central Peru


Birding Central Peru Part 7 of Big Month Peru

Star birds include Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, Cloud-Forest Screech-Owl and Black-spectacled Brush-Finch, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and White-bellied Cinclodes. Visiting Satipo road, Oxapampa, Junin Lake, Unchog, Marcapomacocha and Santa Eulalia in a brutal pace. 

We expect takers of only this part to be at domestic arrivals at 9.40 pm to coordinate with driver. Speed is essential. Please note that there will be driving through the night. We recommend you carry a travel pillow you have tested before, because you will rely on it a lot.

Although pace will be fast, we shall try to SEE as many of the endemic birds as possible. Other more widespread birds will have less importance and no particular effort will be done to call in common birds. As for skulking endemics, we shall set a time-limit how much time we spend doing playback. The nature of the game is such that we may have to let some go with a heard only, but we shall give each a try at least. 

We recommend you to also carry bird calls and a small speaker so you can try on your own to call out the skulkers which the rest of the group may have given up on. 

For the full month, including the 4 days prep in Puerto Maldonado, 35 days of birding the early bird price is $7500 until Aug. 19th, later it shall be $8800. Apart from Kolibri Expeditions's founder Gunnar Engblom, who is leading the tour, with Trevor Hardaker, Noah Strycker and Diego Calderón as a special birding celebrity guest invited on different sections of the month long tour. It'll be like Birding With The Starswink

No Departures for this Tour

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


Oct 24: Lima - Andamarca

Those who are doing the Iquitos program are arriving in Lima at 21:59 and if not you should meet up with our driver in the airport parking lot no later than 21:45. We shall drive all night on the Central Highway towards Concepcion, before heading on the old Satipo road and detour to Andamarca. You need a traveller sleeping pillow to be able to catch some sleep. We shall also rotate in the van every 90 minutes to allow so that the most comfortable seats can be shared.

Oct 25: 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 whose calls are completely different here and may well warrant species status.

Other specials include White-winged Black.Tyrant, Black-backed Grosbeak, Golden-billed Saltator, Black-and-White Seedeater and others. We shall also 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 such as 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. At night, we shall look for Lyre-tailed Nightjar and White-throated Screech Owl.

Oct 26: Calabaza - La Merced

We shall spend most of day looking for flocks along the Satipo Road proper. The possibilities are enormous. Some say it is as diverse as Manu road. These include Sunbittern, Peruvian Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Versicolored Barbet, Solitary Eagle, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzal, 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 high and then driving to La Merced after dark arriving at 9 pm or so. 

Oct 27: La Merced - Oxapampa

Above La Merced there is good habitat for Creamy-bellied Antwren, Fiery-throated and Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, and 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: 
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. 

After looking for Cloud-forest Screech-Owl at two different spots we'll drive towards Junin. Possible overnight would be either La Merced (if we are late) or Tarma if we get the Owl early. 

Oct 28: 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, and also some of the endemics possible here such as Black-breasted HIllstar and Dark-winged Miner, and also Correndera and Short-billed Pipits. 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. Drive to Huanuco arriving around 8 pm.

Oct 29: Unchog - Travel to La Oroya

Departure at 3:00am. It is necessary to do an early start to have a chance before daybreak for Swallow-tailed Nightjar and Andean Snipe. Key species are Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager. Pardusco.  Rufous-browed Hemispingus and Bay-vented Cotinga are rare but very conspicuous when perched.

Other birds include Coppery Metaltail, Neblina and Large-footed TapaculoPlenge´s Thistletail, Many-striped and Line-fronted Canastero, Paramo Seedeater and White-collared Jay.

In the afternoon as we drive via Huariaca to La Oroya where we shall look for Brown-flanked Tanager, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant.

Oct 30: San Mateo - Santa Eulalia Canyon

We continue via Ticlio for White-bellied Cinclodes, Diademed Plover, Puna Snipe, Rufous-bellied and Gray-breasted Seedsnipes, Olivaceous Thornbill and White-winged Diuca-Finch.  Then on the side road to Marcapomacocha to target Diademed Sandpiper Plover before we descend the Santa Eulalia canyon. Stopping by the Polylepis we have a good chance to see 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, White-winged Cinclodes, Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Streaked Tit-Spinetail. 

Those who continue for the last day of the Big Month will fly to Arequipa with Avianca 20:13pm and stay in hotel in Arequipa.

Option: Big Month Part 7: Birding Central Peru -- Days: 7
Price: US$ 1880
Priced based on minimum 5 guests, per-person sharing


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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