Northern Peru Endemics special!
Tuesday 28th January - Saturday 15th February
Northern Peru offers one of those very special places where over 30 northern endemics can be exclusively found, and in addition to these sought after species we have a chance of another 10 more widespread Peruvian endemics as well as numerous Tumbesian and montane specialties that are only found in N Peru and S Ecuador. Our tour through this wonderful part of the country will visit dry desert and Mesquite forest at Bosque de Pomac and Chaparrí, in strong contrast to the lush cloudforests of Cordillera del Colan. As we visit the breathtaking Marañon river gorge and follow the eastern foothills which reach down to the Amazon basin, highlights could include such enigmatic birds as Marvellous Spatuletail, Peruvian Plantcutter, White-winged Guan, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Rusty-tinged and Ochre-fronted Antpitta (with luck!), Koepcke's and Cinnamon Screech-Owls, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, 3 species of Inca-Finches, Gray-bellied Comet, Royal Sunangel, Lulu's Tody-Tyrant, Marañon Crescentchest and White-capped Tanager. We even have a chance of seeing the mythical Long-whiskered Owlet, a bird seen by very few birders but now possible in the Abra Patricia area. With very few companies offering this superb part of Peru, you are unlikely to find anything better. Join this very special Zoothera tour in search of a wealth of rarely seen endemics and specialities.
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This morning we will take an early flight from Lima to Cajamarca, a beautiful city set in a dry scenic valley. We head directly for Otuzco where we look for the endangered and poorly known Gray-bellied Comet, our first North Peru Endemic (NPE). Also possible amongst the bushy slopes and gullies are White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Black Metaltail (Peru Endemic; PE), Bronze-tailed Comet (PE), the endemic race of Tyrian Metaltail, Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail (PE ), Unicolored Tapaculo (PE), White-winged Cinclodes, Pied-crested and Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, Chiguanco Thrush, Cinereous Conebill, Piura Hemispingus, Peruvian Meadowlark, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Vermilion Flycatcher, Southern Yellow Grosbeak, Peruvian and Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches, Black-crested Warbler and Giant Hummingbird. With a lot of luck we may also be able to get to an area that holds another endangered bird the Great Spinetail. In the afternoon we return for dinner and overnight at our comfortable hotel in Cajamarca.
In the morning we will bird around El Chillo. The rare Little Woodstar has been seen a few times in their garden, together with Andean Emerald and Spot-throated Hummingbird. We then have a couple of hours drive to Pomacochas, also called Florida. Here we visit a lek of one of South Americas most amazing birds; Marvellous Spatuletail (NPE). It is a hummingbird well worth its name! Displaying males wield their rackets like medieval knights jousting for their damsels, while their gorgets flare like gems in the undergrowth. Other noteworthy birds include Rufous-capped Antshrike, Silver-backed Tanager and a chance on the rare Chestnut-crested Cotinga. Late afternoon we arrive at our Hotel situated next to lake Pomacochas. Possible in the marshy fields and surrounding reed beds are Puna Snipe, Plumbeous Rail, White-cheeked Pintail, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Peruvian Meadowlark and the rare Subtropical Doradito. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Pomacochas.
We continue to bird the Cordillera del Colan and exploring the lower elevation tropical forests around Afluentes for mixed species flocks. Several gaudy Tanagers including the endemic Black-bellied Tanager (PE) mingle together with Versicolored Barbet, Speckle-chested Piculet (NPE), Ash-throated Antwren (NPE), Equatorial Graytail, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner and Gray-mantled Wren. More regular species include Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Paradise, Spotted, Magpie, Orange-eared, Golden and Green-and-gold Tanagers, Yellow-breasted Antwren, White-eyed Parakeet, Black-mandibled Toucan, Little Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Lined Antshrike, Blackish Antbird, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Golden-winged Manakin, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Plumbeous-crowned and Ecuadorian Tyrannulets, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Olivaceous Greenlet, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, Pale-eyed Thrush, Bronze-green Euphonia, Yellow-rumped Cacique and both Crested and Russet-backed Oropendolas. More skulkers await us and with luck we might see Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Equadorian Piedtail, White-crowned Tapaculo and Vermilion Tanager. In the afternoon we continue to Moyobamba for the night. Dinner and night at Moyobamba.
Morning birding in the Mishkiyacu area before we head west. We Make a stop at the nice Yacumama site and look for Point-tailed Palmcreeper with a slight chance on Buckley’s Forest-Falcon. In the afternoon we come back to The Owlet lodge at Abra Patricia for another night. Night Abra Patricia.
Day 12 Abra Patricia - Jaen
We start at the higher parts of Abra Patricia and look for birds we may have missed. Emerald-bellied Puffleg, White-eared Solitaire and Peruvian Wren (PE) are just a few more possibilities. Then we have a rather long drive through the Utcubamba Valley to Jaen in the Marañon lowlands. Stops along the way should find us Marañon Spinetail, Speckle-breasted Wren, and Mottle-backed Elaenia, and as the valley opens up in to wide open plains and Cactus covered desert, we will use the afternoon to search out more special birds such as Chinchipe Spinetail (NPE), Chestnut-throated Seedeater, the endemic Little Inca-Finch (PE), Red-crested Finch, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Marañon Cresentchest, Scrub Blackbird and Collared Antshrike. Night in Jaen.
Day 13 Jaen - Olmos
This morning we will go birding just outside Jaen for specia such as Tataupa Tinamou, Marañon Slaty-Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Drab Seedeater, Chinchipe Spinetail (NPE) and another chance for both Marañon Crescentchest and Little Inca-Finch (PE). Later we search for the cryptic Marañon Spinetail. Also here are Maranon Thrush, Brown-crested Flycatcher and chances on several species of raptors. In the afternoon we will drop down into the Pacific lowlands on our way to Olmos looking for Bare-faced Ground-Dove and Andean Condor along the way. Dinner and overnight in Olmos.
An early start today as we head back east to the lowest pass in the northern Andes - Abra Porculla - a great place for tumbesian endemics. We hope to encounter Red-masked Parrotlet, Rufous-necked and Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner, Piura Chat-Tyrant (PE), Tumbes Pewee, Black-cowled Saltator, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Chapman's Antshrike, Three-banded Warbler, Elegant Crescentchest, Ecuadorian Piculet, Bay-crowned and White-winged Brush-Finch and Gray-chinned Hermit (which is now a possible split, Porculla Hermit). After Porculla pass we drive to Horchones near Bosque Pomac, looking for Peruvian Thick-knee in the hotel garden at dusk. Night in Horchones.
We have less than an hour drive to Bosque Pomac, our morning destination. This reserve protects an extensive area of Mesquite Forest with some very unique species. Peruvian Plantcutter (NPE) and Rufous Flycatcher (NPE) are still fairly common here, both very rare in general due to deforestation and overgrazing. This place provides excellent birding and we continue looking for Peruvian Thick-knee, Coastal Miner (PE), Scarlet-backed and Guayaquil Woodpeckers, White-tailed Jay, Short-tailed Woodstar, Oasis Hummingbird, Ecuadorian Trogon, Necklaced Spinetail, Tumbes Swallow, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant, Gray-and-white Tyrannulet, Baird's Flycatcher, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Cinereous Finch (PE) and White-edged Oriole among others. Afternoon drive to Chaparrí with possible Andean Ibis along the way. Night at Chaparrí.
Day 16 Pampa de Chongoyape
A very early start as we traverse the Pampa de Chongoyape. On the way we look for Anthony's Nightjar, West Peruvian Screech-Owl and Pacific Pygmy-Owl. Reaching the higher parts before sunrise we will lcheck this recently discovered site for really wild White-winged Guans. With some luck we should find it here. Many Tumbesian endemics are present such as Tumbes Hummingbird, Tumbes Tyrant (NPE), Tumbes Sparrow, White-headed Brush-Finch, White-tailed Jay, Collared Warbling-Finch as well as Ecuadorian Trogon, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Pacific Elaenia, Speckle-breasted and Superciliated Wren and King Vulture. In the afternoon we return to Chaparrí. Night at Chaparrí.
Day 17 Chaparri - Lima
Chaparrí is a private reserve with an extensive Mesquite forest. It is one of the best places to see Tumbes Tyrant (NPE) and Sulphur-throated Finch. Ochre-bellied Dove is also possible here. We will then take an afternoon drive to Chiclayo for an evening flight to Lima. Night in Lima.
Day 18 Lima - End of Tour - Friday 14th February
Today depending on your flight time we will transfer to Lima airport in time for your international flight.
Leaders: Steve Bird, Gina Nichol & Roger Alhman
Air prices will vary greatly on time of booking and route and airline used.
Single Supplement: £275.00
Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 6 and a maximum 9.
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms mostly en-suite, all meals including picnic lunches where necessary, bottled water, all entrance fees, transport throughout, and services of local guides and leaders.
Not included: International airfare, insurance, departure tax, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: The hotels used during this tour range from good to standard, most with en-suite facilities. We will stay in the best available lodges/hotels which are as close to the birding sites as possible in order for us to maximise our time in the field.
Tour Code: This is a relatively intense tour as we make early starts and have long days in the field, although we usually take a couple of hours off where possible to relax over the midday period. Some long drives are necessary but the roads are mainly paved now and our transport is comfortable and well maintained. The weather is variable at this time of year, but expect it to be hot and humid in the lowlands, ranging to cold and wet in higher areas.
Please note that this tour will specialise on finding many of Northern Perus specialities and endemics and a wider variety of species will be seen as well.
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