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COLOMBIA: FROM THE CHOCO TO AMAZONIA

Monday 22nd January - Sunday 18th February 2018

Dani Lopez-Velasco

Blue-billed Curassow (Dani Lopez-Velasco)

Blue-billed Curassow (Dani Lopez-Velasco)

This was the third time that we have run our revised Colombia With a Difference tour under the new name and itinerary: From the Choco to Amazonia. Our main tour is designed to get a superb insight to this bird-packed country but as no single tour can do justice to such an amazingly varied location like Colombia we have created a second tour where we try to see most other gettable special birds of this amazing place. However the itinerary is always changing as new destinations, locations and birds are being found. Unfortunately, this time we couldn’t visit Colibri del Sol, as the place has just recently closed. Instead, we visited the Chestnut-capped Piha reserve, where the birding was excellent. We can say that our second Colombia tour is a specialist one as we target some key birds around the country which require more travel then just visiting the regular circuit. Nevertheless the effort is well worth it as the number of rare and hard to find birds on this tour is simply amazing and of course it gives a chance to see a wide range of widely distributed endemics too. We recorded a staggering total of 817 species on the main tour plus the exciting post tour Mitu Extension. Travelling to the Pacific Coast, the High Andes and the Amazon in one trip was quite an experience, and the variety and diversity of species recorded, at times, almost overwhelming! Highlights on the main tour included the critically endangered Blue-billed Curassow, the rarely-seen Wattled Guan, Northern Screamer, Semiplumbeous Hawk, the skulking Brown Wood Rail, Brown-breasted or Flame-winged Parakeet, perched Rose-faced and Rusty-faced Parrots, Tolima Dove, Lined Quail Dove, Dwarf Cuckoo, White-throated, Cinnamon and Choco Screech Owls, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Short-tailed Emerald, Lazuline Sabrewing, the endemic Black Inca, Chestnut-bellied, Green-bellied, Shining-green and Indigo-capped Hummingbirds, the rare Humboldt’s Sapphire, White-mantled Barbet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, the subtle but unique Sapayoa, the endangered Recurve-billed Bushbird in the last minute, Parker´s Antbird, an all-too brief Cundinamarca Antpitta, Yellow-headed Manakin, Bare-crowned Antbird, Chestnut-capped Piha, Niceforo’s Wren, Double-banded Graytail, Magdalena Antbird, Apical Flycatcher, Baudo Oropendola for some, superb Crested and Sooty Ant Tanagers, Black-and-gold Tanager, Velvet-fronted Euphonia, Red-bellied Grackle and the very rare Colombian Mountain Grackle. And that really is just the tip of the iceberg! On the Mitu Extension in Amazonia we had an amazing list of highlights, including Fiery-tailed Awlbill, Tawny-tufted Toucanet, Pavonine Quetzal, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Yellow-throated Antwren, Bar-bellied and White-chinned Woodcreepers, Collared and Brown-banded Puffbirds amongst an incredible 12 species of puffbirds seen during the whole tour, the rare Grey-bellied Antbird, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, the superb Chestnut-crested Antbird, Black Bushbird, Azure-naped Jay, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Striated Antthrush, White-bellied Dacnis, Fiery Topaz, and Plumbeous Euphonia.

Recurve-billed Bushbird (Dani Lopez-Velasco)

Recurve-billed Bushbird (Dani Lopez-Velasco)