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COLOMBIA

Saturday 17th February - Sunday 11th March 2018

János Oláh

Yellow-eared Parrot (János Oláh)

Yellow-eared Parrot (János Oláh)

We had yet another great tour to Colombia with a great selection of special birds! We had a few changes to our classic itinerary again, just like on most of the recent tours to this most diverse country. Birding sites rapidly emerge and so do endemic species with the continuous changes in taxonomy so we always need to monitor what we can still squeeze into our number one Colombia tour. This year we visited a new site for the critically endangered Fuertes’s Parrot as well as some new places near Ibague. We also decided to spend more time in the Santa Marta Mountains as the number of endemics almost doubled there in the last 15 years and certainly more time is required to see all those specialties. Colombia has the biggest bird list in the world and one of the prime destinations for birdwatchers in recent years. It takes several tours to see most of the special birds of this remarkable country but our tour includes a good portion of the endemics which can be targeted on a single tour within reasonable logistics. This year we had a superb tour for endemics and managed to find 54 of the currently recognised or widely accepted country endemics such as Cauca Guan, Colombian and Chestnut-winged Chachalacas, Bogotá Rail, Tolima Dove, Yellow-eared Parrot, Santa Marta and Rufous-fronted Parakeets, Fuertes’s Parrot, Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Green-bearded and Buffy Helmetcrests, Santa Marta and Tolima Blossomcrowns, Black-backed Thornbill, White-tailed and Dusky Starfrontlets, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Santa Marta Woodstar, White-mantled Barbet, Greyish Piculet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Streak-capped, Silvery-throated and Rusty-headed Spinetails, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta Antbird, Parker’s Antbird, Santa Marta and Brown-banded Antpittas, Santa Marta-, Stile’s -, Brown-rumped and Tatama Tapaculos, Antioquia Bristle-tyrant, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Apical Flycatcher, Apolinar’s and Antioquia Wrens, Munchique and Hermit Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold and Gold-ringed Tanagers, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, Turquoise Dacnis, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Sierra Nevada-, Santa Marta and Yellow-headed Brush-Finch, Crested Ant-Tanager, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, White-lored and Santa Marta Warblers and Red-bellied Grackle. Just before our tour finally the Santa Marta Screech Owl was officially described as a new species. A few others we saw should deserve ‘endemic’ status like Santa Marta Rufous Antpitta as well as Santa Marta Toucanet but they are not recognised yet.

Black-fronted Woodquail (János Oláh)

Black-fronted Woodquail (János Oláh)