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COLOMBIA: FROM THE CHOCO TO AMAZONIA

Saturday 9th January - Thursday 11th February 2016

Pete Morris

Chestnut-crested Antbird (Pete Morris)

Chestnut-crested Antbird (Pete Morris)

Well, this was the first time that we had run our revised Colombia With a Difference tour – now aptly-named Colombia: From the Choco to Amazonia. Complete with all the trimmings, which included pre-tour visits to San Andreas and Providencia and the Sooty-capped Puffbird Extension, and the post tour Mitu Extension, we managed to amass in excess of 850 species. Travelling to the Caribbean, the Pacific Coast, the High Andes and the Amazon all in one trip really was quite an experience, and the variety and diversity of species recorded, at times, almost overwhelming! Picking out just a few highlights from such a long list is difficult, but here’s just an appetizer! The islands of San Andres and Providencia both easily gave up their endemic vireos – two Birdquest Lifers! The Sooty-capped Puffbirds were all we hoped for and a male Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird a bonus! A sneaky trip to Sumapaz National Park yielded several Green-bearded Helmetcrests and Bronze-tailed Thornbill. On the main tour we saw a huge number of goodies. Blue-throated, Dusky and Golden-bellied Starfrontlets (all stunners!); the rare Humboldt’s Sapphire was a Birdquest lifer; nightbirds included Black-and-white Owl and White-throated, Cinnamon and Choco Screech Owls; and a random selection of other favourites included Gorgeted Wood Quail, the much appreciated Brown Wood Rail, Beautiful Woodpecker, Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, Black Inca, the brilliant Rusty-faced Parrot, Citron-throated Toucan, Recurve-billed Bushbird, Urrao Antpitta, Niceforo’s and Antioquia Wrens, the amazing Baudo Oropendola, Crested and Sooty Ant Tanagers and the rare Mountain Grackle. And that really is just the tip of the iceberg! On the Mitu Extension, Chestnut-crested Antbird was a real highlight, and a few of the other goodies included Tawny-tufted Toucanet, the hulking Bar-bellied Woodcreeper, the rare Grey-bellied Antbird and the seldom-seen White-bellied Dacnis.

Cinnamon Screech Owl (Pete Morris)

Cinnamon Screech Owl (Pete Morris)