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Saturday 23rd July - Saturday 13th August 2011

Matt Denton

Some of the highlights (Matt Denton)

Some of the highlights (Matt Denton)

The 2011 tour was once again very enjoyable trip with a long list of avian and mammal highlights. A chilly friaje hit the Manu lowlands during our visit but thankfully it did not deter too much from our birding and the cooler temperatures allowed us to spend full days in the field. Our total list of 666 bird species included some very lucky finds including a trio of Ornate Tinamou in the highlands; both White-throated Tinamou and Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail on night-roosts during our night walks; a Black-and-chestnut Eagle fly-by while having lunch at Acjanaco; an adult Ornate Hawk-Eagle perched low above the trail; the endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch at a new site; Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan spotted on an exposed perch; having 14 Military Macaws fly past as we watched a Lanceolated Monklet through the scope; a pair of deafening Blackish Rails seen point-blank; an Amazonian Antpitta standing stock-still for all to see; two separate sightings of Long-tailed Potoo, and much more. We also did quite well with the specialty bamboo birds of the area seeing Rufous-breasted Piculet, Peruvian Recurvebill, Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Ihering’s Antwren, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and others. More highlights included Bartlett’s and Cinereous Tinamous, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Agami Heron, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, White-browed Hermit, Peruvian Piedtail, Rufous-crested and Festive Coquettes, Black-capped (Rock) Parakeet at a forest clay-lick, Banded Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant (a Birdquest lifer), Unadorned Flycatcher, and Semicollared and Black-streaked Puffbirds. There was the spectacle of the parrot and macaw clay licks including the Blue-headed Macaw lick; fabulous nightbirds such as Swallow-tailed and Lyre-tailed Nightjars as well as Ocellated Poorwill; Round-tailed Manakins at their lek; a furtive Musician Wren showing to all while responding with its incredible song; two duelling Bearded Mountaineers over a flower patch; a Point-tailed Palmcreeper trying to claim his place as the best-ever; and the family of Inca Wrens that made our visit to Machu Picchu so perfect. Mammal highlights included South American Coati, a large herd of White-lipped Peccaries, Common Woolly-Monkey, Peruvian Spider Monkey, Kinkajou and even a Jaguarundi for some.