Friday 23rd August – Tues 10th Sept 2019
Our Colombia - Andes & Santa Marta tour has just finished with over 550 species seen including 12 antpittas and 70 hummingbirds amongst a mouth-watering selection of other iconic South American birds. Our tour followed a special route across the majestic Andes beginning with a number of sites around Bogota seeing Bogota Rail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Blue-throated and Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Rufous-browed Conebill, Silvery-throated Spinetail, White-chinned Thistletail, Spillmann's Tapaculo, Plushcap, and more! Moving on to Otun-Quimbaya we were treated to Colombian Screech-Owl, Hooded & Moustached Antpittas, and Multicoloured Tanager for some. Montezuma and the fabled forests of Tatama National Park held numerous flocks with such iconic birds as Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Gold-ringed, Purplish-Mantled, Rufous-throated & Black-and-gold Tanagers, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Munchique Wood Wren, Olive Finch, Crested Ant-Tanager etc. The hummer feeders at the lodge were mind-boggling with Rufous-gaped Hillstar, Green Thorntail and Empress Brilliant being stand-out birds. Rio Blanco was next up and lived up to all of our expectations with Bicoloured, Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned, Slate-crowned, and a major surprise in an awesome Undulated Antpitta all being seen at incredibly close range. The endemic Buffy Helmetcrest at Nevado del Ruiz followed, and then we visited yet more antpitta feeding stations where Rufous and the super-scarce Crescent-faced Antpitta showed incredibly well. We also birded Jardin for Yellow-eared Parrot, explored Barranquilla and the Guijara Peninsula for a suite of very localised birds before reaching the fabled Santa Marta Mountains. It just doesn't get much better than cracking views of Rusty-breasted Antpitta and Santa Marta Antpitta here although there's so much more to see here and Santa Marta Woodstar & Santa Marta Blossomcrown were also seen well. What a tour!