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CENTRAL PERU

Tuesday 9th July - Saturday 27th July 2013

Pete Morris

Our bird of the trip - the spectacular Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager (Pete Morris)

Our bird of the trip - the spectacular Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager (Pete Morris)

This was the second time that I have had the privilege of leading this wonderful tour to some of the more remote and definitely more scenic parts of Peru’s central Andes. With a somewhat quicker vehicle and some efficient back-up, the tour went surprisingly well. We had very few logistical problems, the journeys went much more quickly in our faster vehicle and the weather was largely good. Best of all though were the birds, and in this department we were truly spoilt, with just about all of the targeted specialities showing very well, and a few surprises too! Pride of place must go to the stunning Golden-backed Mountain Tanager, that was inevitably our bird of the tour, but the supporting cast was strong. High up tiny Diademed Plovers, Puna Tinamous and critically endangered White-bellied Cinclodes were particularly popular, whilst the little-known Junin Crake and Junin Grebe both excited us. Bay-vented and White-cheeked Cotingas both obliged, Masked, Band-tailed, Barred and ‘Huánuco’ Fruiteaters added colour, a whole suite of poorly-known tapaculos showed well, Stripe-headed, Bay, Chestnut, Rufous and Undulated Antpittas all gave great views and other rarities included Andean Snipe, Taczanowski’s Tinamou, stunning Orange-breasted Falcons, Fiery-throated and Coppery Metaltails, Bronze-tailed Comet, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Ash-breasted and Unstreaked Tit-Tyrants, Rufous-breasted and Plain-tailed Warbling Finches, Rufous-backed and Great Inca Finches, Pardusco and the stunning Rufous-browed Hemispingus. And that’s just a few of the highlights we managed while not gazing open-jawed at the incredible scenery! We also managed a little time on the coast where we successfully saw the birds at Lomas de Lachay, including the endemic Raimondi’s Yellow Finch and Cactus Canastero, and nearby we also enjoyed some rare Peruvian Terns. Out on the ocean, Hornby’s (or Ringed) Storm Petrel was the pick of the bunch, but other goodies included Peruvian Diving Petrel, Humboldt Penguin and Swallow-tailed Gull.

The critically endangered Junin Grebe (Pete Morris)

The critically endangered Junin Grebe (Pete Morris)