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COLOMBIA

Saturday 28th February - Sunday 22nd March 2015

János Oláh

Buffy Helmetcrest (János Oláh)

Buffy Helmetcrest (János Oláh)

Colombia has the biggest bird list in the world and one of the prime destinations for birdwatchers! Birdquest has been operating tours to this endemic-rich corner of South America since 1998 and has focused on this remarkable destination since it appeared on the ‘safe and possible’ birding scene. It takes several tours to see most of the special birds of this remarkable country and any single tour just scratches the surface. However, our tour does gave it a good scratch targetting as many possible endemics on a single tour as possible within reasonable logistics. The number of endemic birds is steadily rising in this country almost every year and our recent tour was highly succesfull again recording 52 of the currently recognised or widely accepted country endemics such as Cauca Guan, Colombian and Chestnut-winged Chachalacas, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Bogotá Rail, Tolima Dove, Yellow-eared Parrot, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Green-bearded and Buffy Helmetcrests, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, 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 Alto Pisones Tapaculos, Antioquia Bristle-tyrant, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Apical Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Piha, Apolinar’s and Antioquia Wrens, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold and Gold-ringed Tanagers, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Turquoise Dacnis, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Sierra Nevada-, Santa Marta and Yellow-headed Brush-Finch, Sooty and Crested Ant-Tanagers, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, White-lored and Santa Marta Warblers, Red-bellied Grackle and Velvet-fronted Euphonia. Two additional birds were seen which are likely to become endemics soon, the Santa Marta and Bangs’s Wood-Wrens in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Some of these endemics have not even been officially described yet (Santa Marta Screech Owl and Alto Pisones Tapaculo) while others are results of recent taxonomic changes (Santa Marta Antbird, Green-bearded and Buffy Helmetcrest) but nevertheless they are only found in Colombia! A few others are not included in our count but should deserve ‘endemic’ status include Santa Marta Rufous Antpitta as well as Santa Marta Toucanet. We also had a fantastic selection of 52 near-endemics such as Northern Screamer, Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Saffron-headed Parrot, Violet-tailed Sylph, Bronze-tailed Thronbill, Black-thighed, Golden-breasted and Coppery-bellied-Pufflegs, Brown Inca, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Velvet-purple Coronet, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Red-billed and Coppery Emeralds, White-tipped Quetzal, Toucan Barbet, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Uniform Treehunter, Bar-crested Antshirke, Bicoloured Antvireo, Moustached, Yellow-breasted and Bicoloured Antpittas, Pale-bellied, Choco and Narino Tapaculos, Agile Tit-Tyrant, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Slender-billed Ineziat, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Club-winged and Yellow-headed Manakins, Sooty-headed Wren, Black Solitaire, Flame-rumped Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Purplish-mantled-, Glistening-green-, Grey-and-gold-, Scrub- and Rufous-throated Tanagers, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Tocuyo Sparrow, Tanager Finch, Dusky Bush-Tanager, Ochre-breasted Tanager, Golden-fronted Whitestart and Yellow-collared Chlorophonia. But the list does not stop here as many other spectacular non endemic or near endemic birds were also seen like Stygian Owl, Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Flammulated Treehunter, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Ocellated Tapaculo or Rosy Thrush Tanager just to name but a few. We recorded a total of 736 species on this action-packed and truly memorable tour!

Slate-crowned Antpitta (János Oláh)

Slate-crowned Antpitta (János Oláh)