West slope and Northwestern Lowlands – with Per Ovin, 31 Mar-11 Apr.
Charlie led a Swedish birder for 12 days on the West slope and NW lowlands totaling 380 species with 363 seen. We arrived late from the airport to Yanacocha reserve which was slow but we did see Sickle-winged Guan and Golden-crowned Tanager among others. At Bellavista I spotted a White-faced Nunbird perched over the research station road as we were returning for breakfast. It sat for awhile giving us gripping views. We also had great luck with White-throated Quail-Dove, 2 views of Ocellated Tapaculo, Green-and-black Fruiteater and a pair of Tanager Finch. Powerful Woodpecker, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan and Toucan Barbets were very active and visible in the area.
After scoring Giant Antpitta, Dark-backed Wood-Quail and Olivaceous Piha, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet at Paz de las Aves we decided to visit the Oilbird cave and had a powerful experience seeing 20 of them perched and flapping about as well as 100 White-collared Swifts plastered on the chasm wall.
A good morning at Septimo Paraiso yielded Gray-headed Kite soaring high above at a record 1900m, a Plumbeous Forest-Falcon dashed overhead twice in response to playback and the Scaled Antpitta seen beautifully. Later we hiked behind Mindo Loma and waited 1 ½ hours for Hoary Puffleg to finally appear.
Rio Silanche was prolific with Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail running across the trail, dark morph Double-toothed Kite, Black Hawk-Eagle, Griscom’s and Checker-throated Antwren, Yellow-margined Flatbill. Rio Palenque birdy as ever brought us Pallid Dove, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Slaty-winged Foliage-Gleaner and Whiskered Wren.
Canande reserve provided King Vulture, juvenile dark morph Short-tailed Hawk, juvenile Bicolored Hawk as well as Plumbeous Hawk. Barred Forest-Falcon was seen well and giving a unique call which I have uploaded to the Xeno-canto website. We had luck with Blue-fronted Parrotlet on the entrance road and Rose-faced Parrots seen numerous times as well as Red-capped Manakin, Black-tipped Cotinga (see Charlie’s photo). Also Black-throated Trogon, Barred, White-whiskered Puffbird and Lanceolated Monklet, Lita Woodpecker, Northern Barred- Woodcreeper and Black-striped Woodcreeper, as well as Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant and Song Wren, Fulvous-vented Euphonia and Chestnut-headed Oropendola.
On the Milpe Road we studied a Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, a lifer for Charlie, as well as Glistening-green and Moss-backed Tanager. Rufous Mourner sat in the canopy at the lower end of the road and Thrush-like Schiffornis and Spotted Nightingale-Thrush skulked in the forest of the San Jorge de Milpe entrance trail.
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