Day 1 Arrive - Lima - 10th June
Today is purely an arrival day in Lima and no activities are planned. Overnight Lima.
Day 2 Lima - Pantanos de Ventanilla - Cajamarca
This morning we will visit the nearby wetland of Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge, a 263 hectare protected habitat that will give us excellent looks at a variety of commoner birds such as Cinnamon Teal, Black Skimmer, Grey-headed Gull, Great Grebe, Andean Coot, White-cheeked Pintail, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, and a few summering shorebirds. We then move on a short bit to the beach for some seabirding with Peruvian Pelican, Inca Tern, Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Booby and Belcher’s Gull. After lunch at the airport we have an afternoon flight to Cajamarca where we will be met by our driver and check in at a nice hotel just out of town and set in a dry inter-montane valley. Night in Cajamarca.
Day 3 San Marcos - Rio Chonta
We'll start early this morning for a 90 minutes drive to San Marcos where we will look for the Northern Peru endemic Great Spinetail (NPE). We may also see Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Tropical Gnatcatcher of the minor subspecies and Black-lored Yellowthroat. On the drive back to Cajamarca we can stop at a high altitude lake for species such as Cinereous Harrier, Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant and Band-tailed Sierra-Finch. After lunch we can spend the afternoon in the Chonta Valley and look for the endangered and poorly known North Peru Endemic Grey-bellied Comet (NPE). Amongst the bushy slopes and gullies there are numerous possibilities such as Andean Swift, Black Metaltail (Peru Endemic; PE), Bronze-tailed Comet (PE), the endemic race of Tyrian Metaltail, Peruvian Meadowlark, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail (PE), Unicolored Tapaculo (PE), Pied-crested and Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, Black-crested Warbler, Golden-billed Saltator, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Piura Hemispingus, Mourning, Peruvian and Peruvian Sierra-Finches and Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail. In the afternoon we return for dinner and overnight at our comfortable hotel in Cajamarca.
Day 4 Cajamarca - La Encanada - Celendin
We start our day an hour east of Cajamarca at La Encañada where we bird woodland and scrub for Giant Hummingbird, Jelski's Chat-Tyrant, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Baron’s Spinetail, Streak-backed Canastero and Rufous-eared Brushfinch, plus we have further chances for any of our target species we may have missed on the previous day. Further on towards Cruz Conga we hope to see the cajamarcae race of Rufous Antpitta most likely to become a new species; Cajamarca Antpitta. After breakfast here we will drive towards Celendin making stops en-route and possibilities amongst the open areas and scrubby hillsides include Andean Gull, Andean Flicker, Red-crested Cotinga, Brown-bellied Swallow, Striated Earthcreeper, Rufous-webbed Tyrant, Streak-throated Canastero, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Streak-headed Antpitta, Rufous-webbed Tyrant, and Slender-billed Miner. We also have chances for the rare White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch (PE) and Rufous-eared Brush-Finch (PE) before reaching the bustling town of Celendin where we spend the night. Night in Celendin.
Day 5 Celendin - Leimebamba
We have an hour's drive to Hacienda Limon set amidst impressive scenery where we will wait for the sun to creep over the surrounding hills and begin our search for Grey-winged Inca-Finch (NPE) and Chestnut-backed Thornbird (NPE). While having breakfast we may pick up Peruvian Pigeon (PE), Black-necked Woodpecker, Marañon Thrush, Buff-bellied Tanager. We then move slowly downhill towards the Marañon river looking for Buff-bridled Inca-Finch (NPE) and Yellow-faced Parrotlet (NPE) which is usually the more difficult of the targets. Other possibilities include Striped Cuckoo, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Rufous-naped Brush-Finch, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Rusty Flowerpiercer and Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet. Scattered patches of Cactus and Bombax forest will give us chances for more birds that may include Chestnut-backed Thornbird (NPE), Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Streaked Saltator, Fasciated Wren, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Green Jay, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Purple-throated Euphonia. After lunch in Balsas we cross the Maranon river and ascend the steep eastern slope up to the Black Mud Pass at 3600m looking in the first place for Coppery Metaltail (NPE) but also other high altitude species like Andean Lapwing, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, White-chinned Thistletail (NPE), Blackish Tapaculo (race intermedius that might be a split), Blue-backed Conebill, Many-striped Canastero, Pearled Treerunner, Moustached Flowerpiercer, the insignis subspecies of Superciliared Hemispingus, Grassland Yellow-Finch and with luck Russet-mantled Softtail (NPE). Night in Leimebamba.
Day 6 Leymebamba - Abra Patricia
We start on a road just uphill from town where we look for Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Golden-headed Quetzal, Andean Condor, Red-hooded Tanager and Maroon-chested Chat-Tyrant. Amongst the morning mist we could find many other species such as Coppery-naped Puffleg (NPE), Rainbow Starfrontlet,Sword-billed Hummingbird, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Purple-throated Sunangel, the obscura race of Rufous Antpitta (possible split), and in the mixed species flocks we could see Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Barred Fruiteater, Streaked Tuftedcheek, White-chinned Thistletail, Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, White-banded Tyrannulet, White-collared Jay, Mountain Cacique, Andean Slaty Thrush, the stunning White-capped Tanager, Scarlet-bellied and Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanagers, Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch, Drab Hemispingus and Blue-and-black Tanager. We shall also visit feeders that have Rainbow Starfrontlet and Purple-throated Sunangel and possibly Sword-billed Hummingbird. We then drive along the breathtaking Utcubamba river valley where there is often a Koepcke’s Screech-Owl at day roost, Torrent Duck, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Mitred Parakeet Peruvian Pigeon (PE), White-bellied Hummingbird, Black-capped Sparrow, Black-necked Woodpecker (PE), Maranon Thrush (PE), and Buff-bellied Tanager (PE), and with some luck also Little Woodstar. In the late afternoon we will arrive at the superbly located Owlet Lodge at Abra Patricia where we have three nights. If weather allows we will make our first attempt for the amazing Long-whiskered Owlet (NPE) after dinner. In recent years this species has been seen very close to the lodge, but we still need a lot of luck!
Day 7 Abra Patricia
We have the full day day birding the lush cloudforests of Cordillera de Colan amidst the higher parts of the Abra Patricia area for species such as some extremely localised species found in just a few small sites in northern Peru and southern Ecuador such as Royal Sunangel (NPE), Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant and the extremely localised Bar-winged Wood-Wren, as well as Ochre-fronted Antpitta (NPE), Yellow-scarfed Tanager (PE), White-capped Tanager, White-eared Solitaire and a number of other more widespread species typical for the altitude. The feeders we visit today have Greenish and Emerald-bellied Pufflegs, Long-tailed Sylph, Sword-billed hummingbird, Rufous-vented Whitetip and others. The whole area holds a list of over 420 species so the possibilities are plenty including Green-tailed Trainbearer, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Sparkling Violetear and Sierran Elaenia. At Abra Patricia we look for the spectacular Royal Sunangel (NPE) dressed in royal blue, and then the recently described Lulu's Tody-Tyrant (NPE), plus Emerald-bellied Puffleg, White-eared Solitaire and Peruvian Wren (PE) are just a few more possibilities. Bar-winged Wood-Wren, White-capped, Silver-backed and Yellow-scarfed Tanagers (PE), three species of antpittas, that include Ochre-fronted (NPE), Chestnut (PE) and Rusty-tinged (NPE). As we search forest trails, mossy trees and bamboo thickets we can hope for a wealth of interesting species that may include Blue-browed, Yellow-throated, Rufous-crested and Grass-green Tanagers, Bronzy Inca, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzals, Long-tailed Antbird, Peruvian Rufous-vented Tapaculo (PE), Peruvian Tyrannulet (PE), Inca Flycatcher (PE), Rufous-tailed Tyrant, Chestnut-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Sharpe's Wren and with a lot of luck White-chested Swift or a Barred Antthrush. This evening we will make another attempt at Long-whiskered Owlet if still needed, and there's also a possibility of Cinnamon Screech-Owl and Swallow-tailed Nightjar sometimes around the lodge buildings. Night at Owlet Lodge.
Day 8 Abra Patricia
Our second full day in the Abra Patricia area begins with a walk on the forest trails behind the lodge where we hope for White-throated Quail-Dove, Black-throated Toucanet, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Chestnut and Ochre-fronted Antpittas, Variable Antshrike, Olive-tufted Flycatcher, Trilling and Rufous-vented Tapaculo (PE) and with luck also White-faced Nunbird or something rarer! We shall also drive to a slightly lower elevation for roadside birding in search of flocks that can have species such as Speckle-chested Piculet (NPE), Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Versicolored Barbet, Ash-throated Antwren (NPE), Equatorial Graytail, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet, Grey-mantled Wren, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Yellow-throated, Huallaga and Blue-browed Tanagers, and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow.
More regular species in the area include Sickle-winged Guan, Black-mandibled Toucan, White-eyed Parakeet, Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Little Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Buff-thighed Puffleg, White-bellied Woodstar, Lined Antshrike, Blackish Antbird, Rufous-rumped and Yellow-breasted Antwren, Golden-winged Manakin, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Plumbeous-crowned, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Tyrannulets, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Pale-eyed Thrush, Olivaceous Greenlet, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, Ash-throated, Yellow-throated and Grey-hooded Bush-Tanagers, Paradise, Spotted, Magpie, Orange-eared, Golden, Green-and-gold, Flame-faced, Spotted and Metallic-green Tanagers, 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. Night at Owlet Lodge.
Day 9 Abra Patricia - Waqanki
We start at the new private reserve of Arena Blanca at the foot of the Abra Patricia area where from a hide we have good chances of seeing Cinereous and Little Tinamous, Gey-cowled Wood-Rail and Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail coming to corn! The hummingbird feeders here are fantastic with over 15 species regularly recorded, among them crowd pleasers like Rufous-crested Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail, Amethyst Woodstar and Blue-fronted Lancebill, and we may also see the localised Zimmer’s Antbird here. When it starts to get to hot we move on for a few hours drive to the very nice Waqanki Lodge just outside Moyobamba. The hummingbird feeders here can be really good with many species we have already seen, but we may add Black-throated Hermit and White-chinned Sapphire to our ever-growing list. Also, Mishana Tyrannulet is often around the feeders and we shall at least hear Russet-crowned Crakes as well. At night we hope for Rufous and Spot-tailed Nightjars and Band-bellied Owl. Night at Waqanki Lodge.
Day 10 Waqanki
The forest here holds a wealth of species and we have an exciting day on the trails above the lodge planned. Amongst many possibilities we could see Tataupa Tinamou, White Hawk, Speckled Chachalaca, Band-bellied and Stygian Owls, Blue-crowned Trogon, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Golden-collared Toucanet, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Gilded Barbet, Rufous-crested Coquette, Reddish and Great-billed Hermits, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Zimmer’s, Spot-backed, White-browed, White-plumed and Hairy-crested, Brownish-headed, Fasciated, Peruvian Warbling and Spot-winged Antbirds, Short-tailed Antthrush, Plain-winged Antshrike, Lined, Plain-winged, Foothill, Yellow-breasted, Stripe-chested and Rusty-backed Antwrens, the endangered Ash-throated Wren (NPE), Scaled, Fiery-throated and with luck Scarlet-breasted Fruiteaters, Lanceolated Monklet, Fiery-capped Manakin, Stripe-necked, Pearly-vented, White-eyed and Buff-throated Tody-Tyrants,Tschudi's Woodcreeper Chestnut-throated and Cinereous-breasted Spinetails, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Mouse-coloured Tyrannulet, the local form of Mishana Tyrannulet (NPE) which is likely to be split as a new species, Roraiman Flycatcher, Grey-tailed Piha, the newly described Varzea Thrush, Short-tailed and White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrants, and Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch. Night at Waqanki.
Day 11 Waqanki - Pomacochas
We start just outside Moyobamba in open fields with some scrub. Here we look for Rusty-backed Antwren, Stripe-throated Tody-Tyrant, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-billed Seed-Finch, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Burrowing Owl and Masked Duck in a pond. Depending on what species we still need for our lists will determine our route today. Sometimes there are a pair of Koepcke's Screech-Owls at a day roost nearby, whilst other species in the surrounding area include Sparkling Violetear, Green-tailed Trainbearer, the rare Little Woodstar, Marvelous Spatuletail, Sierran Elaenia, Streak-necked Flycatcher, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Bluish and White-sided Flowerpiercers, and Silver-backed and Blue-capped Tanagers. Night at Pomacochas.
DAY 12 San Lorenzo - Huembo - Jaen
Today we have a rather streneous hike up to the San Lorenzo ridge. The habitat is quite trashed but higher up we get into patches of bamboo that has Pale-billed Antpitta which has been reliable here for a few years. We also hope to find Russet-mantled Softtail, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant and Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher. We may also see Violet-throated Starfrontlet and Chestnut-backed Antshrike and other tempeate species. After a trout lunch we have a few hours drive to Jaen. At a couple of stake outs we shall look for Little Inca-Finch and we may see Drab Seedeater and the shumbae subspecies of Collared Antshrike.
In the afternoon we come to Huembo and go straight to the feeders and look for Marvelous Spatuletail, usually one of the highlights of the trip. The feeders may also have Little Woodstar and White-bellied Hummigbird and others. Night at Huembo.
DAY 13 Tamborapo - Olmos
An hour north of Jaen is Tamborapa with nice lower Marañon dry forest. Here we look for Tataupa Tinamou, Ecuadorian Ground-Dove, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Marañon Spinetail, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Northern (Marañon) Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Chinchipe Spinetail (NPE), Yellow-cheeked Becard, Marañon Cresentchest, the chinchipe subspecies of Necklaced Spinetail and Brown-crested Flycatcher, Maranon Sparrow, Buff-bellied Tanager (NPE) and Red-crested Finch, and we get another chance for both Marañon Crescentchest and Little Inca-Finch (PE). Also here are Maranon Thrush, Brown-crested Flycatcher and chances on several species of raptors.
When this is done we have a few hours drive to Abra Porculla which is a low pass and on the west side is the dry Tumbesian bio-zone. We do some afternoon birding at Limon de Porcuya hoping to find some of the specialities and Tumbesian endemics that can be found in this arid habitat such as Pale-browed Tinamou, Red-masked Parakeet, Guayaquil and Scarlet-backed Woodpeckers, Ecuadorian Trogon, White-edged Oriole, Short-tailed Woodstar, Ecuadorian Piculet, Chapman's Antshrike, Rufous-necked and Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Piura Chat-Tyrant (PE),Tumbes Pewee, Sooty-crowned and Baird’s Flycatchers, Elegant Crescentchest, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Superciliated Wren, Black-cowled Saltator, and both Grey-browed and White-headed Brush-Finches. Once we are finished here we will head down to Olmos for the night.
Day 14 Limon de Porcuya - Bosque Pomac - Horchones
Back up to Limon de Porcuya where we shall look for Piura Chat-Tyrant, Peruvian Sheartail, Bay-crowned and White-winged Brushfinches, Ecuadorian Piculet, Henna-hooded and Rufous-necked Foliage-Gleaners, Elegant Cresentchest, Chapman’s Antshrike, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Three-banded Warbler, Black-cowled Saltator and Line-cheeked Spinetail. After a nice lunch in Olmos we head to Bosque Pomac and try to make the hitlist for tomorrow a bit shorter. The main targets among the extensive area of Mesquite forest in the reserve include Peruvian Plantcutter (NPE), Tumbes Tyrant, Rufous Flycatcher (NPE), the rare and extremely localised Tumbes Swallow and Cinereous Finch. We may also see White-tailed Jay, White-edged Oriole, Short-tailed Woodstar, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker and Grey-and-white Tyrannulet. Night at a nice hotel nearby at Horchones.
Day 15 Bosque Pomac - Chaparri
We have another morning at Bosque Pomac to look for any species we might have missed from yesterday and further possibilities include Peruvian Thick-knee, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Scarlet-backed and Guayaquil Woodpeckers, Ecuadorian Piculet, Ecuadorian Trogon, Short-tailed Woodstar, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Collared Antshrike, Baird's Flycatcher, Plumbeous-backed Thrush,Coastal Miner (PE), Necklaced Spinetail, Fasciated Wren, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Tumbesian Tyrannulet and Grey-and-white Tyrannulet. White-edged Oriole and Cinereous Finch (PE) amongst many others.
We then have a few hours drive to the very nice Chaparri Lodge in the desert. On the way in we usually see flocks of the rare Sulphur-throated Finches, which are restricted to the Tumbesian region of SW Ecuador and NW Peru. Chaparrí is a private reserve with an extensive Mesquite forest and is one of the best places to see Tumbes Tyrant (NPE) and Sulphur-throated Finch, whilst Ochre-bellied Dove is also possible here. Here is where we shall mop up what we haven’t seen yet. Tumbes Hummingbird is often coming to bath just by the dining area. Tumbes Tyrant and Rufous flycatcher is also here and at night we shall try for West Peruvian Screech-Owl around the lodge and also Scrub Nightjar. Night at Chaparri.
Day 16 Casupe - Chaparri
During our time in the reserve we will also have chances to see White-winged Guan. Other possibilities here include Lineated and Scalet-backed Woodpeckers, Purple-collared and Short-tailed Woodstars, Baird's and Sooty-crowned Flycatchers, Elegant Crescentchest and Parrot-billed Seedeater, whilst a little further afield we can still find Scrub (Anthony's) Nightjar, Grey-chinned Hermit, Pacific Elaenia, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Black-capped Sparrow. Night at Chaparri.
DAY 17 Tinajones - Chiclayo - Lima - End of tour - 26th June
On our way out we will stop at the Tinajones reservoir to look at wetland birds. Black-faced Ibis has a small isolated population here and we may see Comb Duck, Savanna Hawk, Peruvian Thick-knee, Short-tailed Woodstar, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant and Great Grebe. We then head to Chiclayo for our afternoon flight to Lima, stopping at a stake out for Chestnut-collared Swallow along the way. We should arrive in Lima in the late afternoon in plenty of time for our early evening flights back home and the conclusion of a stunning tour.