NORTHERN ROUTE BIRDING TOUR
|Duration:||15 days, 13 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
DAY 1 - LIMA
Arrive at international airport in Lima and transfer to your hotel near the airport. Night at Manhattan Inn Airport Hotel.
DAY 2 - CHICLAYO & CHAPARRI
Morning flight to Chiclayo followed by transfer to Chaparri Reserve near Piura with some birding en route, arriving mid-day. Chaparri is a private reserve in the Tumbes Endemic Area of northeastern Peru. Habitat is dry scrub and semi-deciduous forest. Some 39 Tumbesian endemics are found in the reserve. A few are rare or only seasonally present, but most are resident and many are common or fairly common. The reserve was established to protect the endangered White-winged Guan, easily seen there, and Spectacled Bear, also usually seen. Mid-day view hummingbirds and other birds coming in to feeders. Possibilities include Oasis Hummingbird, Short-tailed Woodstar, and Tumbes Hummingbird. Afternoon birding around the grounds looking for specialties such as White-winged Guan, Collared Antshrike, Necklaced Spinetail, Gray-and-white Tyrannulet, White-tailed Jay, White-headed Brushfinch, and White-edged Oriole. Optional birding after dark looking for Peruvian Screech-Owl, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, and Striped Owl. Night at Chaparri Ecolodge.
DAY 3 - CHAPARRI RESERVE & BOSQUE DE POMAC
Morning birding higher elevation cloud forest along the Casupe-Tocmoche Road, about an hour's drive from Chaparri. This is a relatively unexplored birding site offering chances to see birds such as Ecuadorian Trogon, Ecuadorian Piculet, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Piura Chat-Tyrant, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Gray-and-gold Warbler, Black-cowled Saltator, and Black-capped Sparrow. Mid-day transfer to Pomac and bird Pomac Forest Reserve. Aside from the interesting ruins, the dry forest and scrub habitat is excellent for a number of good birds. The primary target species is the endemic Peruvian Plantcutter, which can usually be found in dry scrub along the road. Other birds of special interest include Tumbes Tyrant, Rufous Flycatcher, Baird's Flycatcher, Tumbes Swallow, and Tumbes Sparrow. Night at hotel in Olmos.
DAY 4 - LIMON DE PORCULLA & JAEN
Morning transfer to Jaen with birding stop at Limon de Porculla, gateway to the northern Peru Andes. Several interesting birds are present there including Ecuadorian Piculet, Chapman's Antshrike, Piura Chat-Tyrant, Black-cowled Saltator, and White-headed Brushfinch. Afternoon birding outside Jaen looking for Marañon endemics such as Marañon Slaty-Antshrike, Marañon Crescentchest, and Marañon Spinetail, as well as Chiguanco Thrush, Buff-bellied Tanager, and Black-capped Sparrow. Also of interest is the localized "Shumba" subspecies of Collared Antshrike, and the "Marañon" subspecies of Tropical Gnatcatcher, both possible future splits. Some early evening birding could yield Scrub Nightjar if not already seen at Chaparri. Night at hotel in Jaen.
DAY 5 - JAEN & POMACOCHAS
Optional pre-dawn birding outside Jaen to look for West Peruvian Screech Owl, a possible future split. After dawn birding dry forest looking for Marañon Spinetail if not seen earlier, Chinchipe Spinetail and local forms of Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Northern Slaty-Antshrike, and Black-capped Sparrow, all possible future splits. Stop at paddy fields outside Jaen looking for Spotted Rail and other open country birds. A site just outside town is the best place to find Little Inca-Finch. After lunch transfer to Pomacochas with birding en route along the Utcubamba River. Night at hotel in Pomacochas.
DAY 6 - POMACOCHAS, HUEMBO CENTER, & ABRA PATRICIA
Early start to bird San Lorenzo Trail. The primary target species is the rarely seen endemic Pale-billed Antpitta. Also present is the "gray-browed" subspecies of Plain-tailed Wren, a probable future split, along with the endemic Russet-mantled Softtail and Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant. Other possibilities include Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Brown-backed Chat Tyrant, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Smoky Bush-tyrant, Yellow-breasted Brushfinch, Grass-green Tanager, and Blue-backed Conebill. Birding near Pomacochas Lake to look for Plumbeous Rail and other wetland birds. After breakfast visit Huembo Center near Pomacochas. The main attraction is Marvelous Spatuletail, perhaps the world's most spectacular hummingbird. Typically one or two males and females visit the feeders there. Other interesting hummingbirds often there are Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Velvet-fronted Brilliant, Purple-throated Sunangel, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, sometimes Little Woodstar, and White-bellied Hummingbird. Other Other birds may include Peruvian Pigeon, Speckle-chested Piculet, Speckle-breasted Wren, Bar-winged Wood-Wren, Green-throated Tanager, and Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia. Transfer to Abra Patricia arriving late afternoon. Night at Owlet Lodge.
DAYS 7-8 - ABRA PATRICIA
Full days birding trails around Abra Patricia and nearby areas including Garcia Bridge. An extensive trail network through cloud forest and roadside birding offer numerous specialties. There's an excellent chance of seeing endemics such as Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Johnson's Tody-Flycatcher, Golden-browed Chat-Tyrant, and White-eared Solitaire. Other localized specialties known mainly from inaccessible sites in southern Ecuador are readily accessible by road here are Royal Sunangel, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant, and Bar-winged Wood-Wren. Trails through pristine cloud forest offer Uniform Antshrike, Streak-headed Antbird, the endemic Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Spotted Barbtail, Rufous Spinetail, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, the endemic Peruvian Tyrannulet, Sharpe's Wren, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, and Red-hooded Tanager. Roadside birding offers the possibility of mixed flocks comprised of species such as Common Chlorospingus, Rufous-crested Tanager, Oleaginous Hemispingus, Vermilion Tanager, a key target species, Lacrimose Mountain Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain Tanager, Yellow-throated Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, and Metallic-green Tanager, the scarce Blue-browed Tanager, another target species Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Capped Conebill, Masked Flowerpiercer, and Gray-hooded Bush Tanager.
One morning will be spent birding the drier forests downslope near Affluente, which features upper tropical forest. This is good habitat for Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Many other new species are possible including Ecuadorian Piedtail, Versicolored Barbet, Little Woodpecker, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Rufous-rumped Antwren, White-crowned Tapaculo, Streaked Xenops, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Black-billed Treehunter, Equatorial Graytail, Ash-browed Spinetail, Golden-winged Manakin, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Scaled Fruiteater, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Ornate Flycatcher, Olivaceous Greenlet, Gray-mantled Wren, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Yellow-throated Chlorospingus, Ashy-throated Chlorospingus, White-winged Tanager, Orange-eared Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Golden Tanager, and Deep-blue Flowerpiercer.
Interesting hummingbirds attracted to lodge feeders include Green-fronted Lancebill, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Greenish Pufflet, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Mountain Velvetbreast, Sword-billed Hummingbird, and Chestnut-breasted Coronet.
We may visit nearby Fundo Alto Nieva. This reserve is the most reliable site for seeing the mysterious Long-whiskered Owlet, a tiny highly localized owlet almost never seen until 2007. Thanks to research by local rangers, a few territories are now identified where this prized species is regularly seen. Trails through the white-sand forest in the reserve offer possibilities such as Speckle-chested Piculet, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Johnson's Tody-Flycatcher, White-capped Tanager, and the rare Yellow-scarfed Tanager. Hummingbird feeders offer the best place in Peru to see the prized Royal Sunangel and the rare Rufous-vented Whitetip. Night at Owlet Lodge.
DAY 9 - AGUAS VERDES & WAQANKI RESERVE
Depart for a private nature reserve near Aguas Verdes. A blind near some feeders offers views of usually difficult species such as Cinereous Tinamou, Little Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, and Orange-billed Sparrow. Nearby hummingbird feeders attract Blue-fronted Lancebill, Many-spotted Hummingbird, occasionally Little Woodstar, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Reddish Hermit, and Gray-breasted Sabrewing. Nearby forests feature Peruvian Warbling-Antbird, Zimmer's Antbird, Yellow-margined Flycatcher, Short-crested Flycatcher, Orange-backed Troupial, Black-bellied Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, and Guira Tanager. Afternoon transfer to Moyobamba with birding stops en route as time permits. Night at Waqanki Lodge.
DAY 10 - WAQANKI RESERVE & MOYABAMBA
Morning birding trails around Waqanki Reserve, also known as Quebrada Mishquiyacu. Key target species in this forest reserve are Painted Manakin as well as the "San Martin" form of Mishana Tyrannulet, a likely future split. Other specials include Band-bellied Owl, Spot-tailed Nightjar, Fiery-capped Manakin, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Varzea Thrush, and Red-shouldered Tanager. Numerous other upper tropical zone species are also present, including Blue-crowned Trogon, Lafresnaye's Piculet, Tschudi's Woodcreeper, Plain-winged Antshrike, Stripe-chested Antwren, Foothill Antwren, White-browed Antbird, Spot-winged Antbird, Wing-barred Piprites, Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, Forest Elaenia, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Olive-faced Flatbill, Coraya Wren, Fulvous-crested Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Masked Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, and Buff-throated Saltator. Hummingbird feeders attract Black-throated Hermit, Great-billed Hermit, Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-throated Mango, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Emerald, White-chinned Sapphire, Golden-tailed Sapphire, and Fork-tailed Woodnymph. Lowland sites near Moyabamba can be good for Masked Duck, Russet-crowned Crake, Stygian Owl, Rufous Nightjar, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Amazonian jTrogon, Amazonian Motmot, Sulphury Flycatcher, Rusty-backed Antwren, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Red-capped Cardinal, Black-faced Tanager, and White-browed Purpletuft. Night at Waqanki Lodge.
DAY 11 - WAQANKI RESERVE & PLATAFORMA
Morning birding at Waqanki Lodge looking for any species missed previously. Drive toward Tarapoto. En route a deep roadside canyon offers excellent views of Oilbirds, one of the easiest places in the world to see them. Continue on rough road to Plataforma the most accessible site in the world to see the highly localized endemic Scarlet-banded Barbet. The road has improved substantially from previous years but still takes 3 hours to drive 45 miles beyond Tarapoto. NIght at guesthouse near Plataforma.
DAY 12 - PLATAFORMA
All day birding Plataforma area. Trails can be very muddy so rubber boots are advisable. The barbet is reliably seen at Plataforma but may take some time to find. Also present is the recently discovered Plataforma Antbird, a second target species there. Other good species likely to be seen include Rose-fronted Parakeet, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Short-tailed Antthrush, Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Gray-tailed Piha, Yungas Manakin, Foothill Schiffornis, Amazonian Umbrellabird, and Blue-browed Tanager. Early evening birding could well produce views of Foothill Screech-Owl near the lodge. Night at nearby guesthouse.
DAY 13 - PLATAFORMA & TARAPOTO
Morning birding the forest reserve, another chance at both target species before returning to Tarapoto in the afternoon. Night at hotel in Tarapoto.
DAY 14 - CORDILLERA ESCALERA & LIMA
The Cordillera Escalera north of Tarapoto, also known as the Tarapoto Tunnel area, is an important lowland birding site north of Tarapoto featuring a mix of lowland and foothill species. Birding on either side of the 100m long tunnel is mainly along the road in remnant forest patches. The most desired target species is the seldom seen Dotted Tanager. Other interesting species include Koepcke's Hermit at feeders at Aconabikh Centre, the near endemic Rose-fronted Parakeet, and others such as Ocellated Woodcreeper, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, and Oriole Blackbird. Late afternoon flight to Lima for connection with international flights home. End of tour at Lima Airport.
DAY 15 - ARRIVAL
Arrive home from overnight flight.