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CHECKLIST

RUPUNUNI SAVANNA

GUYANA
LOCALE

# Species*:197
# Excl Vagrants*:197
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:1
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Savanna

ABOUT THE BIRDING

The Rupununi Savanna extends from Iwokrama Forest Reserve southwards along the Rupununi River. The main road between the coast and Lethem traverses the savanna. The northern section between Iwokrama and Karanambu is more fertile and somewhat more lush than the southern area toward Lethem. The latter is fairly barren and dusty, although scattered waterholes attract large numbers of Jabirus. Driving the main road south from Karanambu to Lethem offers limited birding opportunities. It's mainly a means of getting between locales. The main road between Surama Village and Rock View is excellent for birding, as is the road to Ginep Landing on the Rupununi River. Surama village is located on the edge of the savanna, nestled among several forest hills and just south of Iwokrama Forest Reserve. Birding around the village is described on the Surama page. Karanambu Ranch is located in the mid-section of the savanna, south of Rock View and Annai. Birding at the ranch is described on the Karanambu page.

Rock View Lodge is situated near Annai toward the northern end of the Rupununi Savanna. The lodge offers welcome comfort and relaxation as well as excellent hospitality and food. It is arguably the finest lodge in the interior of Guyana and is owned and operated by Colin Edwards, a prominent resident who settled in Guyana many years ago. There is some birding on the premises, where Buff-necked Ibis and Burnished-Buff Tanager are reliably seen. Several hummingbirds come to the feeders, including Blue-chinned Sapphire, Blue-tailed Emerald, and White-tailed Goldenthroat.

Birding along the road between Rock View and Ginep Landing is very worthwhile, especially during early morning. The rare Orange-backed Troupial was regularly seen around Rock View and along the road until 2009 but was absent in 2010. Toco Toucan is very uncommon in Guyana but is sometimes seen en route to Ginep Landing. A marshy area along the road north from the lodge toward Surama is a good place to find Cinnamon Attila. It's also a good area for Guianan Warbling Antbird. Other birds often seen include Aplomado Falcon, Little Chachalaca, Red-and-green Macaw, Guianan Puffbird, Green-tailed Jacamar, and White-throated Toucan.

A notable though steep trail near the lodge known as Panorama Trail leads to a good vantage point above the savanna on a hillock. Several woodland birds can be found along the trail including Green-tailed Jacamar and Variegated Flycatcher.

LOCATION OF SITE

The Rupununi Savanna is a natural savanna lying between the village of Surama and Dadanawa in the interior of Guyana. The area is reached by flights into the airstrip at Rock View or by the main road going south from Georgetown. The road is wholly passable in the dry season, though a pulley-operated ferry is needed to cross the Essequibo River near Iwokrama Field Station. During rainy season, much of the road is impassable without 4-wheel-drive vehicle and may be underwater, especially between Karanambu and Lethem.