Endemics Bonanza Tour

Dates: September 8 to September 29, 2019.

Limit: 7 persons

Endemics Bonanza Tour in Colombia in its third consecutive year, in the 22 days tour we observed 55 endemics birds of the 625 that were in total. Visiting the northern part of the Central Cordillera, Valle del Cauca, Magdalena, Choco region and the Caribbean region, including SIERRA NEVADA DE SANTA MARTA

Day 1:  Arrive in Bogota.

Your international flights are likely to arrive in the early morning or late afternoon and you will be taken to your hotel.

Day 2: La Florida park and transfer to Ibagué

We depart around 5.30 for the La Florida park on the edge of Bogota for the Bogota Rail and the Apolinar’s Wren at the edge of the wetland (Both are endemics), also we will look for Silvery-throated Spinetail, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, and small numbers of Spot-flanked Gallinule. Then we will head to the Magdalena Valley, stopping for Velvet-fronted Euphonia and Apical Flycatcher on route.

Day 3: Combeima Canyon 

In the Combeima Canyon, we will look for the elusive and endemics Tolima Blossomcrown, Tolima Dove and Yellow headed Brush-finch another notables include Colombian Chachalaca, Andean Motmot, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Rufous-naped Greenlet and Whiskered Wren.

Day 4: Rio Claro Reserve 

We will spend a day at Rio Claro where we will look we will look for 5 endemic birds: Magdalena Antbird, Antioquia Bristle-tyrant, Beautiful Woodpecker, White-mantled Barbet and Sooty Ant-tanager. Plus another Mid-Magdalena´s Valley goodies

Day 5-6: Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve

The reserve has a great trail system that is well marked, there we will be searching for the endemics Chestnut-capped Piha, Colombian Chachalaca, Parker’s Antbird, Red-bellied Grackle, Multicolored Tanager and Stiles’s Tapaculo; The near-endemics Sooty-headed Wren, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Scarlet-and-white Tanager and Bar-crested Antshrike. Also, we will be looking for Guira Tanager, Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner, Black-winged Saltator, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Pale-edged Flycatcher, Green-fronted Lancebill, Speckled Tanager, Green-crowned Brilliant, Olive-backed Woodcreeper and Yellow-throated Chlorospingus.

Day 7-8: Jardín Area

We will bird the excellent Jardin town Area in the Western Andes. Our main target will be the endemic and endangered Yellow-eared Parrot. Also, the place is full of several species of Tanagers and Hummingbirds.

We´ll also visit the site which is perhaps the best spot to see Andean Cock-of-the-rock. It is Lek (an aggregation of male animals gathered to engage in competitive displays) into a private property right next to the town.

Day 9: Cauca´s Valley (Bolombolo area) & Transfer to Manizales

We will leave Jardín early and make birding stops in the Cauca valley, more specifically in the Bolombolo area, where we hope to find three endemics: the Greyish Piculet, Apical Flycatcher and Antioquia Wren. Plus the near-endemic Scrub-tanager and several low-altitude species as Squirrel Cuckoo, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Bay-headed Tanager, Scrub Greenlet and many more.

We will then continue up the valley and enter to the bird rich central Andes of Colombia.

Day 10: Rio Blanco Reserve

Rio Blanco is one of the best birding sites in Colombia, In particular it is a mecca for lovers of skulking species. Rio Blanco was the first birding location in Colombia to develop feeders for birds especially for antpittas. Our targets there include the Streak headed antbird, masked saltator, green and black fruiteater, Ash colored tapaculo, ocellated tapaculo and grey browed brush finch. Further searching should reveal Black collared jay, streaked xenops, yellow billed cacique, olive sided flycatcher, bar bellied and crimson mantled woodpecker, slaty brush finch, chestnut capped brush finch, lacrymose mountain tanager.

Day 11: Los Nevados National Park

Paramo del Ruiz is a protected area situated below the Ruiz Volcano between 2800 m and 4000 m. It is a combination of paddocks, elfin forest, patches of bamboo and Paramos.

Main target there is the endemic hummingbird Buffy Helmetcrest. The elfin forest and paramos of this massive park are home to other specialties including the endemic, rare and local Rufous-fronted Parakeet, and the near-endemic Black-thighed Puffleg. Small roving flocks may include golden fronted Whitestart, Sedge wren, Plain-coloured Seedeater, Paramo Seedeater, Andean pygmy-owl, White-browed Spinetail, Brown-backed Chat-tyrant, Andean Tit-spinetail and White-chinned Thistletail. Also here should be the vocal and often showy Tawny Antpitta, alongside Stout-billed Cinclodes, Andean Tit-spinetail, Crowned Chat-tyrant, and Many-striped Canastero.

Day 12: Otun Quimbaya Reserve

Taking a walk along an open quiet road we hope to connect with several sought after birds including the impressive Red ruffed fruitcrow, the endemic Cauca guan, black winged saltator, Hooded antpitta, Stiles tapaculo, Moustached puffbird, black billed mountain toucan, Golden plumed parakeet followed by such delights as the Highland motmot, white napped brush finch and white capped tanager, white winged becard, saffron crowned, fawn breasted, flame rumped tanagers, green fronted lancebill, marble faced and variegated bristle tyrants and Rufous breasted flycatchers.

Days 13-14: Tatamá Reserve (Montezuma Lodge)

We will spend two full days at Montezuma where we hope to find many cloud forest species. One day will be spent at higher elevations looking for Munchique Wood-Wren, Chestnut-bellied  flowerpiercer. On a second day we will bird at lower elevations where we may come across Gold-ringed and Black-and-Gold Tanagers, Black Solitaire and OIlivaceous Piha. We will also take time to enjoy the hummingbird feeders which hold such species as Velvet-purple Coronet, Violet-tailed Sylph and White-tailed Hillstar.

Day 15: Transfer to Minca, Magdalena

we will leave Montezuma in the morning and take a flight to the city of Santa Marta and from there we will go to a nearby town called Minca. In the afternoon, we will look for the White-vented Plumeleteer, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango and Whooping Motmot at the restaurant´s bird feeders. All of them can be photographed easily.

Day 16: Salamanca National Park & Minca

The Salamanca National Park is adjacent to the Ciénaga Grande, right in the middle of the Barranquilla- Santa Marta highway. Targets there are: Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Bicolored Conebill, Black-crested Antshrike, Golden-green and Red-rumped Woodpeckers, Pied Puffbird, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Bronzed Cowbird and Striped-backed Wren and the American Pygmy Kingfisher.

Minca, is a little village located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We´ll be looking for Golden-winged Sparrow, Scaled Piculet, Red-billed Emerald, Keel-billed Toucan, Pale-eyed Pygmy-tyrant, Rufous-and-white Wren and Black-headed Tanager. The restaurant Hummingbird feeders attract White-vented Plumeleteer, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin and Black-throated Mango with Whooping Motmot

Day 17 – 18: El Dorado Bird Reserve 

We’ll spend the morning birding around Minca and climb up to the ProAves flagship El Dorado Bird Reserve and spent two nights here for 20 endemics, including Santa Marta Parakeet, Blossomcrown, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Woodstar, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Foliage Gleaner, Sierra Nevada Brush-finch and the new Santa Marta Screech Owl.

Day 19: Transfer to Los Flamencos Flora and Fauna Sanctuary

We´ll try as much as possible to clean up all the Sierra Nevada specialties, so in day 19 we may either go back to San Lorenzo Ridge or to lower elevation towards Minca if we missed any target the days before. We also may spend time on the feeders and the compost pile of El Dorado Lodge, where Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Lined quail-dove, Sickle-winged guan, Band-tailed guan and the gorgeous Blue-naped Chlorophonias are common visitors.

Day 20: LosFlamencos Refuge

This afternoon we go to the Guajira desert for near endemics at Los Flamencos Refuge, including Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Tocuyo Sparrow and Vermillion Cardinal.

Day 21: Tayrona National Park Area

Tayrona is one of the most important National Parks in Colombia, well-known for their superb beaches, but also it is home of a variety of wildlife. Lance-tailed Manakin, White-bearded Manakin and Buff-breasted Wren are quite easy to see, plus the White-necked Puffbird, White-fringed Antwren, and Golden-headed Manakin. The elusive, endemic and critically endangered Blue-billed Curassow is also possible to see there in the early mornings.

Day 22: Sumapaz Paramo

Sumapaz Paramo, is considered the largest páramo ecosystem in the world. Our target there include: Bearded Helmecrest, Apolinar’s Wren, Bogota Rail, Bronze Tailed Thornbill, Chestnut Winged Cinclodes, Many Striped Canastero, Andean Tit Spinetail, Paramo Seed-eater, Plain Coloured Seedater and Black Chested Buzzard Eagle