NORTHERN PERU - 780 species seen! 21 Jan to 11 Feb, 2006
During our 2006 trip to Northern Peru (21 Jan to 11 Feb) an amazing 780 species were seen, including 31 peruvian endemics. We also enjoyed the spectacular sceneries and the diverse habitats with coastal deserts, high andean mountains and lakes, the isolated Maranon canyon, lush cloudforests and the Amazon. Our group too was a great mix and there were many laughs.
Little did we know what to expect when we headed east from the desolate airport outside Cajamarca. I dare to say that no one could have guessed we were to see 780 species during our three weeks, with an additional 70 species heard! Or that the climb through the America's deepest canyon would almost put an end to the trip on the second day! That we were to see 4 species of Potoos in less than 12 hours! That a threatening landslide would turn into poetry when 10 Andean Condors passed overhead!
Peru is wild and continues to be surprising, and the birds are just spectacular. I think we all have our own favorites, but there were moments when words become superfluous. The displaying male Marvellous Spatuletail is one of South America's "Birds of Paradise", and when we saw it, there were sighs all around. We were also lucky to find a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, at the Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve, being mobbed by a squadron of birds, revealing such subtleties like Short-billed and Red-legged Honeycreepers, Mishana Tyrannulet, Orange-crested Manakin and even a Screaming Piha, sitting out in the open wondering why all the fuss. The flock of Yellow-faced Parrotlets above Balsas, perching in the bombax trees and on columnar cacti, they were so cute! We will not forget the flaming red male Black-necked Red-Cotinga, the inconspicous but beautiful Tumbes Tyrant that we found in the eleventh hour or the deafening family of White-capped Tanagers sounding and acting more like Blackbirds, and the list could go on.
Northwest lowlands and subtropics 23 April -1 May 2006 by Roger Ahlman
This trip report covers the west slope of Ecuador and a day-trip to Cotopaxi (6 days total). The main site for this trip was the Canandé reserve in the Chocó lowlands where we spent four nights and three full days. The subtropics were only visited during one and a half day. The trip ended with a day at Cotopaxi. We recorded altogether 381 species and drove 850 km (which gives 0.45 species per km!)
PHIL EDWARDS TOUR. Led by Jonas Nilsson, Nov 16-Dec 15 2006
In Phil's words, "Just wonderful – every day. List includes 12 species of Antpitta, 67 Hummingbirds, 16 Cotingas (including Black-necked Red-Cotinga and Long-wattled Umbrellabird), 90 species of Tanagers and 24 species of Parrots. Also, Grey Tinamou, Marbled Wood-Quail, Rufous Potoo; Great, White-eared, Yellow-billed, and Purplish Jacamars; Collared Puffbird, White-plumed and Lunulated Antbirds; female Black-and-White Tanager (at Tapichalaca at a higher altitude than published in Ridgley), and a first for Ecuador – Wilson’s Warbler"!
WEST MEXICO SURPRISES. Thanksgiving 2006
Charlie spent Thanksgiving 2006 in Puerto Vallarta and 2 weeks recon in W Mexico. Highlights included 4 oriole species, Orchard, Hooded, Streak-backed and Black-vented as well as 2 Rufous-bellied Chachalacas just behind our hotel in Nuevo Vallarta, Golden-winged Warbler at Puerto Los Mazos Antenna road (only 4 records from W Mexico), Mountain Pygmy-Owl and Eared Poorwill seen beautifully at Volcan de Fuego, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper at Barranco Rancho Liebre (not on Howell's list) as well as many great looks of Tufted Jays. A lingering scope view of a pair of Lesser Roadrunners at Tacambaro. Common Ground-Dove, Cooper's Hawk, and Black-and-white Warbler were also seen but are not on Howell"s list.
SOUTHERN SURPRISES. Fall 2006
Charlie led 2 tours late Sep-early Oct to southern Ecuador. Just above Tapichalaca Reserve with Ed Mayer and Younga Henessey, we watched 2 "cinnamon-colored" Becards with darker, bushier crests and a thin grey loral line, which Niels Krabbe asserted can only be Crested Becards! First seen in Ecuador here and 1 collected in Jan 1998. The nearest population found 1000km south in S. Peru. Also seen well the next day was a female Black -and-white Becard, new for the Tapichalaca list. I had brought a bottle of rum for evening warmth, but after these sightings, was afraid that Niels would accuse me of hitting the Becardi bottle! On the lower Cuenca-Puerto Inca Hwy at 800m, 6 Eastern Kingbirds were seen well. There are few records in NW Ecuador, furthest S previously recorded at Tinalandia, 270km to the N. White-tailed Kite is expanding southward. Previously known as far south as Sto. Domingo. With Tony Menart et al. we sighted one S of Naranjal, a 290km extension. New for the list at Buenaventura was, Bicolored Hawk, Pacific Pygmy-Owl, Southern Yellow Grosbeak and Yellow-rumped Cacique.
Southern Ecuador Bend Bird Club
June 2005 with Jonas Nilsson