the manu rep 11 - birding & wildlife tours, cruises

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1 Birdquest: The Manu 20011 THE MANU 23 JULY – 13 AUGUST 2011 TOUR REPORT LEADER: MATT DENTON The 2011 tour was once again very enjoyable trip with a long list of avian and mammal highlights. A chilly friaje hit the Manu lowlands during our visit but thankfully it did not deter too much from our birding and the cooler temperatures allowed us to spend full days in the field. Our total list of 666 bird species included some very lucky finds including a trio of Ornate Tinamou in the highlands; both White-throated Tinamou and Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail on night-roosts during our night walks; a Black-and-chestnut Eagle fly-by while having lunch at Acjanaco; an adult Ornate Hawk- Eagle perched low above the trail; the endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch at a new site; Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan spotted on an exposed perch; having 14 Military Macaws fly past as we watched a Lanceolated Monklet through the scope; a pair of deafening Blackish Rails seen point- blank; an Amazonian Antpitta standing stock-still for all to see; two separate sightings of Long-tailed Potoo, and much more. We also did quite well with the specialty bamboo birds of the area seeing Rufous-breasted Piculet, Peruvian Recurvebill, Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Ihering’s Antwren, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and others. More highlights included Bartlett’s and Cinereous Tinamous, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Agami Heron, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, White-browed Hermit, Peruvian Piedtail, Rufous-crested and Festive Coquettes, Black-capped (Rock) Parakeet at a forest clay-lick, Banded Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant (a Birdquest lifer), Unadorned Flycatcher, and Semicollared and Black- streaked Puffbirds. There was the spectacle of the parrot and macaw clay licks including the Blue- headed Macaw lick; fabulous nightbirds such as Swallow-tailed and Lyre-tailed Nightjars as well as Ocellated Poorwill; Round-tailed Manakins at their lek; a furtive Musician Wren showing to all while responding with its incredible song; two duelling Bearded Mountaineers over a flower patch; a Point- tailed Palmcreeper trying to claim his place as the best-ever; and the family of Inca Wrens that made our visit to Machu Picchu so perfect. Mammal highlights included South American Coati, a large herd of White-lipped Peccaries, Common Woolly-Monkey, Peruvian Spider Monkey, Kinkajou and even a Jaguarundi for some. The Manu is a classic Neotropical destination featuring some of the continent’s best known birding lodges. These lodges make travel in this wilderness area a quite enjoyable adventure into the world’s most diverse rainforest accessible to birders. The level of comfort on this tour often comes as a surprise to participants as they sit back in a comfortable seat under the shaded roof of our longboat

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LEADER: MATT DENTON The 2011 tour was once again very enjoyable trip with a long list of avian and mammal highlights. A chilly friaje hit the Manu lowlands during our visit but thankfully it did not deter too much from our birding and the cooler temperatures allowed us to spend full days in the field. Our total list of 666 bird species included some very lucky finds including a trio of Ornate Tinamou in the highlands; both White-throated Tinamou and Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail on night-roosts during our night walks; a Black-and-chestnut Eagle fly-by while having lunch at Acjanaco; an adult Ornate Hawk- Eagle perched low above the trail; the endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch at a new site; Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan spotted on an exposed perch; having 14 Military Macaws fly past as we watched a Lanceolated Monklet through the scope; a pair of deafening Blackish Rails seen point- blank; an Amazonian Antpitta standing stock-still for all to see; two separate sightings of Long-tailed Potoo, and much more. We also did quite well with the specialty bamboo birds of the area seeing Rufous-breasted Piculet, Peruvian Recurvebill, Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Ihering’s Antwren, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and others. More highlights included Bartlett’s and Cinereous Tinamous, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Agami Heron, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, White-browed Hermit, Peruvian Piedtail, Rufous-crested and Festive Coquettes, Black-capped (Rock) Parakeet at a forest clay-lick, Banded Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant (a Birdquest lifer), Unadorned Flycatcher, and Semicollared and Black- streaked Puffbirds. There was the spectacle of the parrot and macaw clay licks including the Blue- headed Macaw lick; fabulous nightbirds such as Swallow-tailed and Lyre-tailed Nightjars as well as Ocellated Poorwill; Round-tailed Manakins at their lek; a furtive Musician Wren showing to all while responding with its incredible song; two duelling Bearded Mountaineers over a flower patch; a Point- tailed Palmcreeper trying to claim his place as the best-ever; and the family of Inca Wrens that made our visit to Machu Picchu so perfect. Mammal highlights included South American Coati, a large herd of White-lipped Peccaries, Common Woolly-Monkey, Peruvian Spider Monkey, Kinkajou and even a Jaguarundi for some. The Manu is a classic Neotropical destination featuring some of the continent’s best known birding lodges. These lodges make travel in this wilderness area a quite enjoyable adventure into the world’s most diverse rainforest accessible to birders. The level of comfort on this tour often comes as a surprise to participants as they sit back in a comfortable seat under the shaded roof of our longboat
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watching the rainforest pass by. Some of our lodges featured generator-powered electricity but we also enjoyed many candlelight meals of tasty Peruvian cuisine, together with pisco sours and cold beer to add to the camaraderie of being in such a special place. Breakfast at the macaw clay-lick, catamarans rides on oxbow lakes, amazingly built canopy platforms, and well-maintained trails are all part of the Manu experience. Many of the forest birds are quite shy but surprises are always around every corner. Manu’s altitudinal transect ranging from the arid highlands down to the steamy lowlands around Puerto Maldonado ensured a steady procession of new birds for us as we explored the wonders of Peru’s department of Madre de Dios (mother of god). The tour began with dinner and a good night’s rest in Miraflores before returning to Lima’s new Jorge Chavez International for our flight to Cusco the following morning. Our flight over the Andes went smoothly and after picking up our bags we stepped out into the blinding light of Cusco and the air was thin and we were just soaking it all in. Once we arrived at nearby Huacarpay Lake, we stopped at our first patch of wild tobacco flowers that was not so good but we had our first Sharp-winged Teal (split from Speckled) and Yellow-billed Pintail as well as a Plumbeous Rail and a White-browed Chat- Tyrant perched on the fence. Then the morning revved up a gear when we found a flowering bush with a perched Bearded Mountaineer. Suddenly there were two male mountaineers in a mid-aerial clash and perching well enough for us to appreciate their indescribably iridescent beard-like gorgets. However, our next spot brought us down to earth with a drawn out battle to see several Rusty-fronted Canasteros who would not show at this particular spot. Not to worry as we were soon enjoying them dripping from the thorn scrub just around the bend. Here in the arid vegetation we also saw Black- chested Buzzard-Eagle, White-crested Elaenia, and Andean Flicker. In the reeds surrounding the lake we saw Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant, and Yellow-winged Blackbird along with a flock of Grassland Yellow-Finches. After our pleasant picnic lunch overlooking the lake we enjoyed superb views of a pair of Streak-fronted Thornbirds resting and preening on a low branch. Then suddenly a courting pair of Aplomado Falcons appeared overhead to go with our good views of Bare- faced Ground-Doves, Golden-billed Saltator and Blue-and-yellow Tanager. On and around the lake itself there were Andean Lapwings, Andean Gull, Slate-coloured Coots, Puna and Cinnamon Teals, Ruddy Duck, White-tufted Grebe and Puna Ibis. Both a Chilean Flamingo and White-cheeked Pintail were recorded which are both somewhat uncommon visitors to the lake. Afterwards we stopped in briefly at Tipón to have a look for mountain-finches but instead saw lots of Peruvian, Mourning, and Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches amidst this splendid Incan site. The next morning we left early after breakfast for the highlands taking a different route than usual to the Manu road due to road construction. Our journey took us through several Andean towns including the famous market town of Pisac. We were going to have to find a new site for the endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch as our new route did not pass our usual stake-out. Thankfully our first stop in suitable looking habitat yielded a fine result rather quickly with all of us getting a good view of the handsome endemic mountain-finch. We continued to work our way up seeing Mountain Caracaras, Spot-winged Pigeons, and interesting furnariids such as Slender-billed Miner and Cream- winged Cinclodes (split from Bar-winged). However, probably our best sighting was a trio of Ornate Tinamous flushed from near the road which provided excellent views. Moving ever closer to Manu, we birded a series of isolated inter-Andean valleys where we saw the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetail and had our first taste of humid vegetation birds such as Mitred Parakeet and the lovely Crimson-mantled Woodpecker as we approached the east slope. Reaching the pass at Acjanaco (3560mts), we had lunch at the Sven Ericson monument where we were fortunate to have a Black- and-chestnut Eagle pass in close flight for an added bonus. Here we also saw Brown-backed Chat- Tyrant before walking the road down through the elfin vegetation. Great Thrush was common and we had good views of Hooded and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanagers, and Moustached and Black- throated Flowerpiercers. A Puna Thistletail was seen by some of our group and hummers included Chestnut-breasted Coronet and Violet-throated Starfrontlet. The most memorable bird of the afternoon by far was a very cooperative Yungas Pygmy-Owl which we were able to enjoy at length
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perched near the road. We arrived in the late afternoon at our accommodation at the research station of Wayqecha, glad that we did not have to camp as in previous years. The next morning we started out pre-dawn with a walk near the station where after a bit of a wait we enticed a superb male Swallow-tailed Nightjar to rest on the path for prolonged views. As it got light we continued birding along the road where a group of Bolivian (Southern Mountain) Caciques was the highlight. After breakfast we continued birding along the station enjoying excellent sightings of Long-tailed Sylph, Tyrian Metaltail and Rufous-capped Thornbill. Then we walked down one of the station trails where activity was somewhat low due to the hot sun but nevertheless there were some quality birds here with Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Golden-browed Chat-Tyrant, White-collared Jay and Grass-green Tanager. We did our best to see a Red-and-white Antpitta but only a few of us managed to get a good view. It was still only mid-morning as we continued birding down the road through the upper temperate forest seeing Chestnut-collared and White-collared Swifts, Red-crested Cotinga and Barred Fruiteater. This upper section of the Manu road makes for very enjoyable birding as you walk along the road through good forest with trees covered in lots of epiphytes and luxurious ground cover fed by the numerous streams and waterfalls in an amazing landscape. A bit of cloud began to form which was good for mixed flock activity in which we found Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Montane Woodcreeper, Sierran Elaenia, White-banded and White-throated Tyrannulets, Streak-necked Flycatcher, Superciliaried Hemispingus and Spectacled Redstart. We also had good luck with some star birds such as Grey-breasted Mountain- Toucan, Marcapata Spinetail, and Short-billed (Yellow-whiskered) Bush-Tanager. We ended up spending nearly the entire day concentrating on the upper temperate forest seeing Masked Trogon, Trilling Tapaculo, Inca, Handsome and Cinnamon Flycatchers, Mountain Wren, Glossy-black Thrush, Blue-capped, Golden-naped and Blue-and-black Tanagers, Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Capped Conebill, Masked Flowerpiercer, Black-faced Brush-Finch, and Pale-legged Warbler. Other good specialty birds seen well included Fulvous Wren and Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager. One of the day’s many highlights was watching a quite large (12 or more) family of South American Coati dash across the road. Just when we thought they had all crossed many seconds would pass and another would dart across as if each were nervously awaiting to go down in the line of fire. As we descended to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge we still continued to pick up new species such as White- crowned Tapaculo, Gould’s Inca (split from Collared), Highland Motmot and Maroon-chested Chat- Tyrant, in what resulted in a very bird-filled day. Some of us had our first taste (or two) of Peru’s (Lima’s, actually) famous pisco sour tonight… The next morning we started out near Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge located at 1600 m/5200 ft elevation at the nearby hide which previously overlooked a very active lek of displaying Andean Cock-of-the- Rocks. It was obvious that last year’s landslide had taken away a huge swathe of forest here forcing the fittest of the males to move house. However, at least one male was still revisiting the original lek which allowed us to see just how frantic these guys are to attract a female! The lodge has been around since the late 90s when the conservation group that runs it converted their research station into the present lodge. The Rio Kosñipata runs just below creating a wide valley that stretches for many kilometres through which the road was built. As this area lies outside the park, thanks to the Cock-of-the-Rock’s conservation group’s land purchase, nearly the entire Rio Kosñipata valley was saved from destruction when it was formally made a private reserve. We spent most of the morning birding the lodge trails and garden where the feeders and flowers attracted Green Violetear, Booted Racket-tail, Violet-fronted Brilliant and Many-spotted Hummingbird. Highlights from our efforts along the trails included Olive Flycatcher, a very cooperative Slaty Gnateater and a likewise obliging Yungas Manakin. Other highlights from the Rio Kosñipata valley included Plumbeous Pigeon, Versicoloured Barbet, Streaked Xenops, Olive-backed and Montane Woodcreepers, Stripe-chested Antwren, Grey-mantled Wren, White-capped Dipper and Black-eared Hemispingus. The tanager flocks here are always good as long as it is not too sunny and thankfully we had an overcast day which made for regular sightings of Paradise, Orange-eared, Blue-necked, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-
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crowned, Golden and Spotted Tanagers. There was also a good sighting of the uncommon Golden- eared Tanager. Other more common birds included Green Honeycreeper, Slate-throated Redstart, Three-striped Warbler, Dusky-green Oropendola and Orange-bellied Euphonia. After lunch we drove up in elevation to the Rocotal area where we saw some new hummers such as Violet-throated Starfrontlet and White-bellied Woodstar and enjoyed some overall good activity which included Golden-headed Quetzal and Blue-banded Toucanet and a couple of really exciting tyrant flycatchers, namely Unadorned Flycatcher and Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant. There were other good birds this afternoon which included Montane Foliage-gleaner, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Slaty Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Yellow-throated Tanager and Olivaceous Siskin. Earlier in the afternoon we had stopped to see a day-roosting female Lyre-tailed Nightjar which was perched on a thatch roof near the road. Later that evening we waited until dusk for a spectacular show given by a displaying male Lyre-tailed Nightjar which proved to be one of the trip highlights. This morning we made a pre-dawn attempt for Rufescent Screech-Owl instead finding a roosting pair of Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail balanced on a branch over the road. This was a truly spectacular find and totally unexpected. Afterwards we birded the lower part of the valley where we encountered a totally new suite of birds which included Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Cabanis’s Spinetail, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Red-billed Scythebill, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Stripe-chested Antwren, Yellow- breasted Antwren, Yellow-breasted Warbling-Antbird, Slaty-capped and Lemon-browed Flycatchers, the recently-described Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Olive-striped Flycatcher, Two-banded and Golden-bellied Warblers, and Blue-naped Chlorophonia. We also had our first look at some of the more common lowland birds such as Turkey Vulture, Double-toothed Kite, Roadside Hawk, Squirrel Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Streaked Flycatcher and Tropical Kingbird. Our struggle with Dusky- cheeked Foliage-gleaner was more than compensated for later in the morning with sightings of 14 Military Macaws, walk-away views of Lanceolated Monklet, Peruvian Piedtail at a lek, a male Yellow-crested Tanager, and very good views of Olive Finch. We were back at the lodge for lunch adding Wedge-billed and Speckled Hummingbirds to our list as well as Yellow-bellied Seedeater. Then in the afternoon we were back up the road this time seeing the much-wanted Bolivian Tyrannulet as well as Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager and Deep-blue Flowerpiercer. Sadly, our hoped for Crested Quetzal was heard-only too far out of reach below the road. Saying goodbye to our hosts at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge we continued down the Manu road starting out the day with Scaly-naped Parrot and later we saw more Military Macaws. Soon bamboo became prominent along the roadsides where we had good luck in seeing Bamboo Antshrike perched up and we did our best to see a restless pair of Ornate Antwrens. Then we walked up a very muddy path up into the spiny bamboo where those that persevered had good views of Ruddy Foliage-gleaner. A Peruvian Recurvebill suddenly called which drew us further in. Although the recurvebill moved off all too quickly, we did have good views of the endemic Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher here as well as Pale-tailed Barbthroat. We then managed to get the tody-flycatcher to show superbly a second time to the entire group. Shortly after it was pretty much too hot for most birds and we had to content ourselves with some of the common roadside birds such as Swallow-tailed Kite, Ruddy Pigeon, Blue- crowned Trogon, Magpie Tanager and Russet-backed and Crested Oropendolas. We enjoyed a fairly birdy lunch despite the heat with a soaring Black Hawk-Eagle, Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, Dark-breasted Spinetail (for some), Montane Foliage-gleaner, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet and Bran-coloured and Short-crested Flycatchers. A migrant Large Elaenia was a nice find and a White-browed Hermit put in a brief appearance for some. The highlight though was surely the pair of Blackish Rails that showed at such close-quarter, standing and calling loudly in the shade of some overhanging vegetation. After lunch and our last bit of shopping in Pilcopata, we made our way down to Atalaya over the fairly rough road. On this very warm afternoon we had our first introduction to Amazonian birds with the likes of Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Blue-headed Parrot, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-browed Antbird, Flammulated Pygmy-Tyrant (for some), Johannes’s Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-browed Tody- Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Grey-capped and Boat-billed Flycatchers, White-winged Becard, Red-
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eyed Vireo and Purplish Jay. Eventually we got to a stream crossing that our very comfortable city bus could not manage but thankfully we had pre-arranged to hitch a ride to Atalaya on an empty tour bus that picked us up. Our river transfer to Amazonia Lodge went off without a hitch allowing us to walk into the lodge clearing just at dusk as the Hoatzins started jumping. After settling in we all enjoyed a pisco sour welcome-drink to go with our checklist session under the electric light powered by the lodge’s own hydroelectric supply. We enjoyed two full days to bird the trails and garden of Amazonía Lodge. The area around the lodge is regenerated floodplain forest after the lodge owners decided to convert their tea plantation into a birding lodge. This decision based on the advice of visiting ornithologists from the Field Museum of Chicago in 1983. On our first morning we started out in the lodge clearing with Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper before venturing out along the jeep track where we had good luck in seeing Grey- necked Wood-Rail and both Undulated and Cinereous Tinamous; understorey skulkers like Amazonian Antpitta, Rusty-belted Tapaculo and Black-faced Antthrush; and a good collection of antbirds that included Plain-winged and Bluish-slate Antshrikes, Chestnut-tailed and Goeldi’s. A rain shower sent us back to the clearing for a bit but the gardens are always a pleasurable place to enjoy from the mahogany veranda watching the hummers visit the feeders and vervain: White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango, Rufous-crested Coquette, Amethyst Woodstar (for some), Blue-tailed Emerald, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Sapphire-spangled Emerald and Golden-tailed Sapphire. A Plain-crowned Spinetail was nesting in one of the vervain hedges and had built an incredible stick nest. We soon returned to the forest seeing Dark-billed and Little Cuckoos, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, Sepia-and Olive-faced Flycatchers, Fiery-capped and Band-tailed Manakins, Violaceous Jay and Hauxwell’s Thrush. After lunch some of us managed to stave off siesta- time drowsiness to watch the Gould’s Jewelfront visiting the feeder. There was always something going on with Speckled Chachalaca, Grey-fronted Dove, Pale-legged Hornero, Red-capped Cardinal and Masked Crimson and Blue-great Tanagers always making the rounds. In the afternoon a Koepcke’s Hermit was certainly the highlight along with Scarlet Macaw, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Little Cuckoo, Black-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Little and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Plain Softtail and Thrush-like Wren. The next day we walked up into the hill forest above the lodge where the activity was pretty slow due to the heat but we still came away with some nice birds that included Spix’s Guan, Dusky-billed Parrotlet, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Rufous-tailed Foliage-gleaner, Rufous-tailed Antwren, Round-tailed Manakin, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Half-collared Gnatwren and White-winged Shrike-Tanager. Up on the tower there was very little going on but we did have nice views of Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle as well as Scarlet Macaw, Grey-rumped Swift, Opal-rumped and Green-and-gold Tanagers and Black-faced Dacnis. The big surprise was when a Plum-throated Cotinga flew onto a nearby perch as this is normally a floodplain species. That afternoon we took it easy along the Hoatzin clogged oxbow with Band-tailed and Silvered Antbirds and the nearby successional forest where we saw Emerald (Black-throated) Toucanet, Slender-billed Xenops, Plain-brown, Wedge-billed and Black-banded Woodcreepers, Pygmy Antwren, Long-winged and Grey Antwrens and Ringed Antpipit. On our last morning we started out with a Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl that was actually perched too close and after striking out with a Common Potoo we went in for breakfast. We were relieved to connect with a male Fine-barred Piculet after having struggled the previous two days. Nearby we were fortunate to come across an antswarm of sorts attended by the handsome Black- spotted Bare-Eye and the lovely Spot-backed Antbird. Back at the river we picked up Mottle-backed Elaenia and eventually we were all loaded on the boat and headed down the headwaters of the upper Rio Madre de Dios seeing numerous Fasciated Tiger-Herons perched above the stony rapids. During the boat journey of nearly three hours we saw Cocoi, Little Blue and Capped Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Swallow-wing, Drab Water- Tyrant, Bare-necked Fruitcrow and White-banded Swallow and White-winged Swallows. A trio of King Vultures feeding on carrion allowed our boat to come incredibly close, a sighting that was truly remarkable. We also had our first of many Great Black Hawks along the river edge and our second
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individual of Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle for the trip. The dainty Yellow-billed Tern was also a regular sight during the journey. Soon the massive Pantiacolla ridge appeared on the horizon and by late morning we had arrived at Pantiacolla Lodge where we would overnight. We wasted little time in heading out on the trails both before and after lunch and were well rewarded. The major highlight of today was our encounter with a family group of Pale-winged Trumpeters. We also enjoyed fabulous sightings of Striolated Puffbird, White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher and Brown-rumped Foliage- gleaner. Other highlights from today included Great Tinamou, Broad-billed Motmot, Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Rufous-headed Woodpecker (alas, only for some), Striated, Manu and White-lined Antbirds, and Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant. The next morning started off really well with a first-year Long-tailed Potoo on his call perch. After breakfast we visited a nearby clay-lick where we saw several Blue-headed Macaws perched in addition to a nice assortment of other parrots that included White-eyed Parakeet. An added bonus was our first Little Ground-Tyrant of the trip walking along the sandy river bank. Back on the lodge trails we all managed to catch up with a male Scarlet-hooded Barbet as only a few of us saw the one yesterday. This near-endemic is one of the more spectacular specialities of southeast Peru. It became immediately obvious as the morning progressed that a dreaded cold front or friaje had moved into the area dropping both the temperatures and the bird activity. These cold fronts move into the lowlands of south-eastern Peru when austral winter storms push north from southern South America. The forest was much more quiet today but we still managed to have good sightings of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Lineated Woodpecker, Cabanis’s Spinetail, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Plain-throated Antwren, and Large-headed and Dusky-tailed Flatbills. We also had an exciting (and smelly) encounter with a herd of at least 50 tooth-clacking White-lipped Peccary including a few large males. Then by late morning we continued downstream on the Rio Madre de Dios towards Boca Manu and the Manu River. The friaje made for a cold and wet journey today with most of us bundled up in our cold weather gear, not exactly the sort of temperatures you expect in the Amazon basin! We were all glad to reach the Manu park guard station by mid-afternoon where we signed in before continuing our journey up the Manu River to the newly opened Romero Rainforest Lodge inside Manu National Park. Some of the river birds seen during the journey included Horned Screamer, Bat Falcon, Pied Lapwing, Collared Plover and Black Skimmer. Everyone was delighted with the accommodation particularly with the gas-heated hot showers and we were eager to get into the surrounding forest given we were the first birders to ever stay there. Most participants had previously looked forward to birding inside the fabled Manu National Park for some time. Over the next two days we did a fairly thorough survey of the connecting trails between Romero and the Limonal ranger station walking around 8 kilometres each day sometimes more. However this distance was manageable thanks to the cool weather of the friaje. We made the most of being in the field each day by having our cook Aurelio together with our boat crew bring out a fine picnic lunch (hot!) to wherever we happened to be in the forest around midday. The forest was a mix of regenerated floodplain with some terra firme and bird diversity appeared to be quite high. One of our favourite sightings of the whole trip was from the lodge clearing where a male White-flanked Antwren sat on a low perch and shivered his wings in time with his song, marvellous! Further afield we saw some goodies in the upland bamboo stands which included Rufous-breasted Piculet, Red- billed Scythebill, Ihering’s Antwren, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner. We tried our best to find the newly described Rufous Twistwing but despite our efforts it remains unknown from this particular forest. A Razor-billed Curassow was seen out on the river bank early one morning as we set off in our boat, and in general we were able to see a nice collection of Amazonian birds during our stay at Romero. Highlights included Bartlett’s Tinamou seen on more than one occasion, a superb close-perched Ornate Hawk-Eagle (thanks Martine!), a Banded Antbird on his understorey song perch, fairly common Casqued Oropendolas, a lovely pair of Scale-backed Antbirds, the oddly wonderful Musician Wren and a very cooperative Olive-backed Foliage-gleaner. We looked far and wide along the Romero trails for Black-faced Cotinga in suitable habitat but had nary a sniff probably due to the friaje. The cold temperatures of
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the friaje seemed to fluctuate from day to day together with the bird activity but the friaje remained in place for our entire stay. It was hard to say whether it helped or hurt the bird activity but thankfully we had no rain and despite the strange weather we had some wonderful forest birds that also included Spix’s Guan, Amazonian Trogon (split from Violaceous), Cream-coloured and Scaly- breasted Woodpeckers, Purus Jacamar, Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Lineated, Jurua (split from Elegant), Amazonian Barred and Long-billed Woodcreepers, Dusky-throated and Spot-winged Antshrikes, Grey, Black-faced and Plumbeous Antbird, White-bellied Tody-Tyrant, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Dusky-tailed Flatbill, Greyish Mourner, Dull-capped Attila, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Purple- throated Fruitcrow and Scaly-breasted Wren. We spent quite a bit of time along the forest edges of the extensive oxbow lake habitat, which was a nice break from the small understorey birds (black birds in black holes for some!). This allowed us to enjoy birds like Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Pale-vented Pigeon, Laughing Falcon, Rose-fronted Parakeet, White-throated and Channel-billed Toucans, Black-capped Donacobius, Turquoise Tanager, Yellow-bellied Dacnis and Purple Honeycreeper. Even on our last morning near the lodge we continued to see new forest birds and some good ones too: Rufous-capped and Black-faced Antthrushes, Chestnut-shouldered Antwren, Zimmer’s Flycatcher, White-crested Spadebill and Greater Schiffornis. Then it was time to take another river journey, this time just about an hour downriver to sign out at the park’s Limonal ranger station and then drop off our dear friend and cook Aurelio as well as our National Park guide Danny at Boca Manu. Then we made a stop en route to Manu Wildlife Centre to try for our first Rufous-fronted Antthrush, the only problem being that the locals had built a latrine at our stake-out, which had our eyes watering as we tried to see this shy bird. Several of us succeeded in seeing the antthrush despite the stench! Arriving at the Manu Wildlife Centre dock is always a great feeling. We started off by a brief respite in the wonderful bar to enjoy a cold drink of refreshing passion fruit seeing Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits visiting the hedge as we received our introduction from the devoted lodge manager Julian. The rest of the afternoon was spent up on the lodge tower about 35 metres above the ground on a platform built in the crown of a giant kapok tree. The view was splendid but the bird activity was very slow. Still, by the end of the day we had seen some nice birds which included White-bearded Hermit, White- chinned Sapphire, Long-billed Starthroat, Festive Coquette, Cinereous Mourner and Masked Tityra. Manu Wildlife Centre has been declared by several publications to be the premier wildlife and birding lodge in the entire Amazon. The lodge chef creates surprisingly good meals despite the remote location. Attractions such as the Blanquillo macaw clay lick, oxbow lakes and two canopy towers in the surrounding area are in addition to the excellent forest birding around the lodge. All this made for a very pleasant five nights stay. We started off by visiting the Blanquillo macaw clay lick on the first day where we enjoyed a really good show provided by around 2000 deafening parrots and parakeets attending the lick as we enjoyed our pancake breakfast and coffee. The sight and sound of a parrot clay lick is an experience every birder should have. The parrots and parakeets consisted mostly of Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed and Orange-cheeked Parrots, and Cobalt-winged and Tui Parakeets. Usually the macaws take their time in coming down to the lick waiting until the parrots leave but instead we had small groups of up to 50 macaws coming down to the lick at regular intervals for over an hour until a couple of raptors, Laughing Falcon and Roadside Hawk appeared, sending the macaws back into the trees. In addition to the parrot show we had two Pale-rumped Swifts in low flight from the enormous hide and passerines included Barred Antshrike, Black-billed and Lesser Seed-Finches, and Chestnut-bellied Seedeater. On the boat journey back along the Rio Madre de Dios we spotted what surprisingly was our first pair of Orinoco Goose before stopping off along the Antthrush trail where some of us again saw the Rufous-fronted Antthrush and we all saw Peruvian Recurvebill with several getting a good view of the bill. Another nice find here in the bamboo was a pair of Rufous-capped Nunlets. Back at the lodge we had lunch and a siesta before exploring the nearby floodplain forest where right away we had a Pavonine Quetzal in the scope for all to see. Not a bad start for our first full-day at the lodge. We also had pretty good luck in seeing Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Peruvian Warbling-Antbird and White- necked Thrush.
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The next day we visited the nearby oxbow lake of Cocha Camungo where the first activity was to climb up one of the most impressive canopy towers in all of Amazonia. The tower itself is rigid thanks to its cement foundation which is reassuring as you climb 50 metres up into a truly massive kapok tree. We spent a couple of hours here watching the forest wake up. Eastern Sirystes, Swainson’s Flycatcher and a White-browed Purpletuft perching in our tree were especially nice as were our views of Pale-rumped Swift. We were quite surprised when a pair of Orange-backed Troupials arrived in our tree crown and proceeded to attack a colony of Yellow-rumped Caciques. The colony nests were quite close to our platform so we could see in detail everything that happened including the yolks dripping from the nests as the troupials eventually succeeded in breaking the eggs of nearly all the nests in the cacique colony much to their dismay. No doubt the alpha-male cacique of the colony had to step down from his position in disgrace, some defender he was! By midmorning we descended for a ride around the oxbow on the catamaran thanks to the strong paddling of Elias and Justino. Short-tailed Hawk and a Grey-headed Kite in low soaring flight were admired; both Rufous-sided and Grey-breasted Crakes were seen (“no, not that crake, the other one!”); and oxbow specialties such as Pale-eyed Blackbird and Black-billed Seed-Finch showed well. That afternoon we walked out to the lodge’s mammal clay lick hoping to see a tapir as well as any nightbirds we could find. Our walk featured such terra firme birds as White-fronted Nunbird, Gilded Barbet, Golden- collared Toucanet, Pink-throated Becard and Sooty Antbird. Once at the mammal clay lick we settled into our individual mosquito net covered mattresses with several of us drifting off to the sounds of the rainforest as night descended. The moon was quite bright this evening which usually deters the tapirs from venturing into the clay lick so we eventually called it quits and tried instead to see the calling Silky-tailed Nightjar. We gave it a good effort; even going off trail in the dark, but the forest understorey was impenetrable, preventing us from approaching the nightjar. However, all was not in vain as our torch light settled onto a White-throated Tinamou on its night roost! On the way back we saw our second Long-tailed Potoo of the tour, and eventually we got our spotlight on a singing male Ocellated Poorwill. We were also successful in calling in a Crested Owl to a high perch to conclude an overall successful night walk. Over the next two days we mostly concentrated on the forest trails at Manu Wildlife Centre. A return visit to the canopy tower was again slow with Turquoise, Opal-crowned and Green-and-gold Tanagers providing the most entertainment. Meanwhile Gill and Gwen who had opted out shared an intimate encounter with a Pale-winged Trumpeter feeding on fallen figs. In the floodplain forest we continued to add new birds with Eastern Woodhaunter, White-throated Antbird, Euler’s and Ruddy- tailed Flycatchers and Screaming Piha (finally seen well). We spent most of our last day in the terra firme where we had excellent views of Dusky-billed Parrotlet and Black-capped Parakeet visiting the mammal lick. Other good birds included Needle-billed Hermit, Great Jacamar, Semicollared Puffbird, a superb group of Curl-crested Aracari, Red-stained and Golden-green Woodpeckers, Chestnut-winged Hookbill and Blue-backed Manakin (here of the yellow-crowned regina race). One of the tour highlights was our visit to Cocha Blanco where we saw an amazing collection of waterbirds in only a couple of hours. One moment we shall not soon forget was seeing Agami Heron, Sungrebe and Sunbittern all within a span of about 20 minutes! We had good views of lots of other birds we had already seen like Limpkin, Horned Screamer, Green Ibis, White-throated and Channel- billed Toucans, Red-capped Cardinal, Lesser Kiskadee and others. The afternoon light on the forest was superb particularly when perfectly illuminated White-bellied Parrots arched across our view. All too quickly our time in Manu drew to a close as we looked forward to the hustle-and-bustle of civilization on the morrow. With the high price of gold causing a gold rush in Peru, rich local miners flush with cash occupy most charter flights out of the Peruvian rainforest these days, not ecotourists. Thankfully our local operator had a well-devised transfer planned for us that began with a three hour boat trip downriver to the town of Boca Colorado where we transferred to a caravan of 4x4 taxis which took us to the Rio Inambari. There a speedboat took us to the other side where an air-conditioned bus was waiting for
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us. The bus’s cold air certainly felt good as we made our way along the new tarmac of the Transoceanic highway which now connects Brazil to the Peruvian coast. By mid-afternoon we had arrived in Puerto Maldonado where we stopped to bird some gallery forest quickly connecting with a pair of White-throated Jacamars. Here we were also glad to see Ash-coloured Cuckoo and Gilded Barbet before retreating to the air-conditioned comfort of our Puerto Maldonado hotel. The next morning we returned to the gallery forest seeing Scaled Pigeon, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Great and Barred Antshrikes, Black-throated Antbird and Buff-breasted Wren. A short drive away on the outskirts of town we saw open country birds such as Southern Caracara, White-tailed Kite, Southern Lapwing, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Mouse-coloured Tyrannulet and Red-breasted Blackbird. Probably the highlight of the morning was our superb views of a really obliging Point-tailed Palmcreeper that sat out for ages on a nearby Mauritius palm. The last new bird of the trip from the lowlands was a Striped Cuckoo which perched right above our heads blasting his song out. Then it was time for our flight out of the jungle with some of us continuing on to Lima for flights home and with the rest of us stopping off for a couple of days in the Sacred Valley in order to visit the incomparable Machu Picchu. That afternoon we enjoyed a lovely lunch overlooking Cusco’s picturesque town square with its old cathedrals and stone streets. A dance procession with marching band was making its way energetically around the square no doubt celebrating a particular saint. Then we drove up into the highlands above Cusco before descending along the snow-peaked cordillera into the Sacred Valley to the lovely traditional town of Ollantaytambo. Once we arrived at our hotel, we had time for a bit of a stroll around the gardens with its view of the old Incan fortress overlooking the town. After a breakfast of Andean grains, fruit and fresh yogurt we enjoyed a nice start to the day in the gardens of our hotel with Bearded Mountaineers, Giant Hummingbird and White-bellied Hummingbird. Here was also Rusty Flowerpiercer, Cinereous Conebill, Hooded Siskin and Spot- winged Pigeon. Aboard our early train to Aguas Calientes we saw 25 Torrent Ducks during our journey through the spectacular Rio Urubamba canyon. This must be one of the great train rides of the world as you pass through Quechua speaking farm villages with snowy peaks looming above before descending into the humid cloud forest along the Rio Urubamba. Upon arrival we did some birding along the river below the ruins seeing Silvery, Saffron-crowned and Blue-necked Tanagers, Mottle-cheeked and Sclater’s Tyrannulets, Streaked Xenops and Slate-throated Redstart. Most of the group enjoyed an excellent tour of the ruins with our informative local interpretive guide. Meanwhile, those of us who had already visited the ruins on a prior visit walked the steep road up to the citadel finding Highland Motmot, White-throated Quail-Dove, the endemic Masked Fruiteater, Highland Hepatic Tanager and Yellow-olive Flycatcher. Afterwards we all met up for a luxurious buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Hotel located at the entry to Machu Picchu. On our return we stopped to do some more birding enjoying excellent views of Inca Wren as well as Ashy-headed Tyrannulet, Black-streaked Puffbird, Torrent Tyrannulet, Brown-capped Vireo and Fawn-breasted Tanager. Our return train ride back to Ollantaytambo went smoothly and of course there was the requisite fashion show en route featuring stylish alpaca fibre clothing and trendy runway pop tunes. The next morning we took an early flight to Lima where our driver was waiting to escort us to the Lomas de Lachay National Reserve located north of the city. We stopped along the way to look for House Sparrow which we dipped (the horror), no actually we stopped for Amazilia Hummingbird which we had great views of along with Croaking Ground-Dove. At the reserve we had good luck in finding Greyish and Thick-billed Miners along with lots of Band-tailed Sierra-Finch and Collared Warbling-Finch, but the Cactus Canasteros were obviously breeding and we had to do a fair bit of exploring before we managed to get one bird to show to all of us. Other highlights here included a perched Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and the smart-looking Short-tailed Field-Tyrant. Then we moved on to a different habitat type where we had good views of several Least Seedsnipes along with Coastal Miner. Suddenly it was time to return to Lima to prepare for our flights home as our adventure into the wonders of Peru came to a happy end.
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SYSTEMATIC LIST Species which were heard but not seen are indicated by the symbol (H). Species which were not personally recorded by the leader are indicated by the symbol (NL). Species recorded by the leader only are indicated by the symbol (LO). Conservation threat categories are taken from Threatened Birds of the World, BirdLife International’s excellent book on the status of the world’s declining avifauna, and updates on the BirdLife website: TINAMIDAE Great Tinamou Tinamus major: Our first was seen at Pantiacolla Lodge and at Manu Wildlife Centre
we had at least three other sightings of probably the same bird. One of the more primitive bird families, most tinamou species are polyandrous, a female supplying two or more males with eggs, who in a reversed role of the sexes, does all of the incubating and rearing of the precocial chicks.
White-throated Tinamou Tinamus guttatus: We made a fantastic find of a bird on its arboreal night roost during our night walk to Manu Wildlife Centre’s mammal clay lick.
Cinereous Tinamou Crypturellus cinereus: At least three birds were seen quite well on the jeep track at Amazonía Lodge.
Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui: One was seen by Peter at Cocha Blanco and we had a couple of heard-only records from second-growth forests.
Brown Tinamou Crypturellus obsoletus (H): One distant heard-only record from Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Undulated Tinamou Crypturellus undulatus: Seen each day at Amazonía Lodge. Black-capped Tinamou Crypturellus atrocapillus (H): An arresting, loud sound at Pantiacolla and
Amazonía Lodge. Sadly, much easier heard than seen, restricted to sw Amazonia. Variegated Tinamou Crypturellus variegatus (H): One individual was heard from the terra firme forest
of Manu Wildlife Centre. Bartlett’s Tinamou Crypturellus bartletti: Our stealthy trail walking paid off with at least three
sightings of this forest tinamou in the Manu lowlands. Named after Edward Bartlett, an English ornithologist who collected birds in the Amazon basin and Peru from 1865-1869.
Ornate Tinamou Nothoprocta ornata: A very nice bonus was seeing a trio of this species, which is actually a typical number for this genus, with a male usually accompanied by two females.
ANHIMIDAE Horned Screamer Anhima cornuta: Superb views of this impressive bird at Cocha Blanco where we
were able to get incredibly close to foraging birds. A species that has decreased over large parts of its range due to disturbance and hunting. Screamers are primitive relatives of swans, ducks and geese. Their vocalization ranks them amongst the loudest birds in the world.
ANATIDAE Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera: A species we don’t usually see this tour and another write-
in from our alternate route through the Cusco highlands. Orinoco Goose Neochen jubata: We had excellent views of birds on two separate days along the
Rio Madre de Dios. Good spotting Martine & François! Another sensitive species that only seems to occur in any numbers in protected or very remote areas, and that has disappeared from various parts of its former range (e.g. may now be extinct in Argentina). Classified as Near-Threatened.
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Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata: Numerous good looks at both sexes in the Manu lowlands. Another species which due to hunting pressures has disappeared from many other areas in the Neotropics. The genus name refers to Cairo, in the early mistaken belief that this Neotropical species came from Egypt.
Torrent Duck Merganetta armata: One of the great attractions of the train ride to Aguas Calientes en route to Machu Picchu. We saw at least 30 birds in the Río Urubamba.
Sharp-winged Teal Anas oxyptera: Up to 40 were seen at Huacarpay Lake on the first day and small numbers were seen at waterholes in the highlands the following day.
Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica: Our first sighting included about a dozen at Huacarpay Lake. White-cheeked Pintail (Bahama P) Anas bahamensis: A vagrant bird was seen at Huacarpay Lake. Puna Teal Anas puna: A very handsome highland duck seen at Huacarpay Lake. Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera: Just three birds were seen at Huacarpay Lake. Andean Duck (A Ruddy-D) Oxyura ferruginea: Up to five birds were seen at the marsh near Lima.
The Greek roots oxy and ur translate to sharp-tail. CRACIDAE Speckled Chachalaca Ortalis guttata: This species was most common around Amazonía Lodge
where their cacophonous symphony was often on fine display. Andean Guan Penelope montagnii: A few pairs showed pretty very well in the cloud forest, here of
the Peruvian race plumosa. Spix’s Guan Penelope jacquacu: First seen at Amazonía Lodge, but our later encounters in the forest
around Romero Lodge were better sightings. Named after Johann Baptist von Spix, the German naturalist who discovered the now sadly extinct (in the wild) Spix’s Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii.
Blue-throated Piping-Guan Pipile cumanensis: We had good views from the cocha clearings around Romero Lodge and then fairly conspicuous in the lodge clearing of Manu Wildlife Centre. Still numerous in the Manu region, this handsome guan suffers in many other areas from habitat destruction and hunting, though it is still much better off than some of its congeners such as the endangered Black-fronted Piping-Guan.
Wattled Guan Aburria aburri (H): This shy species was heard out of reach farther upslope each night up in Amazonía’s hill forest.
Razor-billed Curassow Crax tuberosa: Good looks were had of this terrestrial cracid along the shores of the Rio Manu just as we set off on our first morning there. Members of this family (cracids) of game birds are often the first to disappear when humans begin to colonize a wilderness area.
ODONTOPHORIDAE Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail Odontophorus speciosus: Sort of unbelievable if we had not witnessed
it ourselves! At Cock-of-the Rock Lodge, after striking out on the screech-owl, did some random scans with my owling torch, and then ‘hey what is that lump there above the road?’ A pair of wood-quail on their night roost! We enjoyed some really nice views of two birds. What a great find!
Starred Wood-Quail Odontophorus stellatus (LO): One eventually showed at Manu Wildlife Centre but sadly the bird came out in an unintended direction.
PODICIPEDIDAE White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland: We saw three on Laguna Huacarpay the first day. Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus: This seemed like a bumper year for this species on Cocha
Blanco where we saw at least 15 including families with young. PHALACROCORACIDAE Neotropic Cormorant (Olivaceous C) Phalacrocorax brasilianus: A common bird seen in the
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ANHINGIDAE Anhinga (American Darter) Anhinga anhinga: A few sightings of this non-buoyant, snake-necked
bird. ARDEIDAE Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum: Two sightings near Romero and a third was seen really
well at Cocha Camungo. Tiger-herons and bitterns are the only ones in the family that don’t breed in colonies.
Fasciated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum: A bird of rushing rivers and streams, with over a dozen seen in the rocky headwaters of the upper Rio Madre de Dios around Amazonía and Pantiacolla.
Agami Heron Agamia agami: We enjoyed superb studies of a fishing bird successfully spearing a fish on the banks of Cocha Blanco.
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax: A single individual was seen at Huacarpay lake near Cusco. A cosmopolitan species, here of the American race hoactli.
Striated Heron Butorides striatus: Regular sightings, especially along lake edges. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis: Three were seen near Cusco and around Puerto Maldonado we saw small
numbers. The nominate race of this highly successful species apparently invaded South America from Africa in the late 19th century, one of the most spectacular examples of avian range expansions in historic times.
Cocoi Heron (White-necked H) Ardea cocoi: Frequently seen on the Manu and Madre de Dios rivers. This species is one of the primary predators of young Black Caimans on oxbow lakes, although in recent decades humans have been much more detrimental to this endangered crocodilian.
Great Egret (G White E) Ardea alba: Regular sightings along the Manu and Madre de Dios rivers. Formerly often separated in the monotypic genus Casmerodius.
Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus: We had a couple of excellent sightings of this exquisite river heron. The buffy wash on the breast is thought to come from the powder-downs. The generic name is entirely derived from ancient Greek: pilos = cap, erodios = heron.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula: The most abundant heron seen on our river journeys. Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea: Five were seen during the trip, during the river journeys but also
one in the highlands at Huacarpay. Formerly often placed in the genus Florida. THRESKIORNITHIDAE Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi: Numerous in agricultural fields in the sacred valley and at Huacarpay
Lake. This bird is named after Robert Ridgway, US ornithologist and author of “The Birds of North and Middle America”, 1901.
Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis: Our afternoon at Cocha Blanco produced good views of four of these forest ibis. The name ‘cayennensis’ (as well as similar names such as cayana for other species) refers to Cayenne or French Guyana, an epithet that in early ornithology usually indicated a species of otherwise unknown provenance.
CICONIIDAE Wood Stork Mycteria americana: A total of 5 birds were seen both foraging and in flight during our
boat journey to Manu Wildlife Centre. CATHARTIDAE Black Vulture Coragyps atratus: Ever present near human settlements. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura: In the Manu lowlands small numbers were seen along the Madre de
Dios, but this species is seemingly absent or at best rare along the Manu River, undoubtedly due to the absence of open terrain required by this species. Small numbers were also seen in cleared areas in the foothills and along the coast.
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Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus: The most common vulture over primary rainforest.
King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa: Flying birds were seen on several occasions, with a total of 17 seen. Undoubtedly one of the tour highlights was seeing several birds feeding at a carcass along the Rio Madre de Dios. Our boat was able to approach incredibly close to these bizarre looking creatures, superb! ‘Papa’ is Latin for bishop, and the name refers to the immaculate white plumage of the adult.
ACCIPITRIDAE Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis: We had good views of this bird in flight showing its lovely
underwing pattern well. Swallow-tailed Kite (American S-t K) Elanoides forficatus: Small numbers were seen in the foothills
near Atalaya and Amazonía and several singles were seen in the Manu lowlands. White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus: Two different birds were seen perched and in flight in the Puerto
Maldonado lowlands. Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus: A few birds were seen in the lower foothills of the Manu
road, Amazonía Lodge and the Manu lowlands. Here the cis-Andean (= E of Andes) nominate race, which is rich rufous below.
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea: Numerous in the Amazonían lowlands and foothills. On one occasion we watched a bird come from quite far to snatch away a large airborne insect.
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens: Our first near Manu Wildlife Centre allowed us to approach quite close. Later during the journey to Boca Colorado we saw at least 4 more.
Slate-coloured Hawk Leucopternis schistacea: Sadly only glimpsed from the trail at Cocha Camungo for an untickable view.
Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga: A common sight during our boat journeys often perched up on driftwood along the Manu and Madre de Dios rivers.
Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis: One was spotted by Peter at Cocha Blanco. Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus: Small numbers were seen at Huacarpay
Lake. During the post-tour extension we saw two in the Machu Picchu area and had some lovely close-ups of a perched adult at Lomas de Lachay.
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris: A common driftwood and beach-combing Buteo in the Manu lowlands, a place where roads are few and far between. The Transoceanic highway which we travelled on to reach Puerto Maldonado is now all but finished, passing through Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the department, and also known as the capital of biodiversity for the world record species counts of butterflies, dragonflies and other organisms found in the surrounding area. Thankfully, the highway avoids the three nearby National Parks, which are some of the largest in the world, Manu, Bahuaja- Sonene (formerly Tambopata-Candamo) and Madidi (in neighbouring Bolivia). Although the highway passes through areas already disturbed by mining, many conservationists worry that the highway will eventually lead to side roads, deforestation and colonization in neighbouring areas, and the loss of species potentially new to science.
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus: A soaring bird over Cocha Camungo featured during our catamaran ride.
Variable Hawk Buteo polyosoma: Three seen at Huacarpay on the first day and a few were also seen during the journey over the highlands to Manu.
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizastur melanoleucus: A total of three birds seen with good views had by all beginning from Amazonía’s tower, and then singles during the boat journeys to Pantiacolla (Rio Madre de Dios) and Manu Wildlife Centre (Rio Manu).
Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus: A calling bird was seen at our lunch stop near Pilcopata; its flight; its flight silhouette distinctive.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus: Thanks to Martine for spotting a an adult perched in a low tree over the trail at Romero!
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Black-and-chestnut Eagle Spizaetus isidori: Our first at Acjanacu gave us a rather nice fly-by during our picnic lunch. Lower down in the San Pedro valley we saw a second bird from the bus on more than one occasion.
FALCONIDAE Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans: We enjoyed excellent views of a bird perched at the
edge of Romero’s cocha and later we saw a second at Blanquillo Lined Forest-Falcon Micrastur gilvicollis: A calling bird was as difficult as ever. We all saw it pass in
lightning flight but only Richard managed to see it on its perch. Southern Caracara Caracara plancus: A recent invader following deforestation around Puerto
Maldonado of which we saw several in the pastures. Black Caracara Daptrius ater: Over 20 seen mostly during our river and oxbow lake excursions
including adults (reddish facial skin) and juveniles (yellow facial skin) of this carrion- eating bird. The genus is derived from Greek and means ‘to devour’.
Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus: We had quite good views in the scope at Amazonía Lodge of these incredibly noisy birds. Sadly this species has undergone a massive decline in most of Middle America, but fortunately it seems to have decreased relatively little across its vast Amazonían range.
Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus: A total of 12 were seen in the Cusco highlands. American Kestrel Falco sparverius: Most birds were seen at Huacarpay Lake and over the inter-
Andean valleys, but a few birds were also seen along the coast. Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis: At least 5 seen and in flight during our Manu and Madre de Dios River
boat journeys. Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis: Two were seen quite well in flight just after our picnic lunch at
Huacarpay Lake and Richard had two more the following day in the highlands. One was also observed in the Cusco highlands during the extension.
ARAMIDAE Limpkin Aramus guarauna: Three birds were seen from the cocha edges around Romero Lodge and
later at Cocha Blanco we had good views of 5 birds. PSOPHIIDAE Pale-winged Trumpeter Psophia leucoptera: At Pantiacolla Lodge we had a rather large family group
of nearly 10 birds out on the path one evening. Later Gwen and Gil had a lovely close encounter with birds feeding under the big strangler fig at Manu Wildlife Centre. This species is found south of the Amazon River, and west of the Madeira River (a major dispersal barrier, the Madre de Dios River is one of its tributaries). Genetic data indicate the Gruidae (cranes) to be the sister family to the trumpeters.
RALLIDAE Grey-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea: We all saw this species at Amazonía Lodge and later at
Cocha Blanco we had amazing views from the catamaran. Uniform Crake Amaurolimnas concolor (H): This species was fairly quiet during our visit and was
only heard briefly in the evenings. Rufous-sided Crake Laterallus melanophaius: At Cocha Camungo we had a most cooperative bird
come up onto a visible perch above the grass and sing. Grey-breasted Crake Laterallus exilis: Several of us managed quite good views at Cocha Camungo
just before we saw the previous species. A second bird was seen the next day at Cocha Blanco but it was difficult.
Blackish Rail Pardirallus nigricans: We had great luck in seeing a duetting pair of this species at a marsh along the lower Manu road. Superb!
Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus: This highland rail is always quite easy to see which we found to be the case at Huacarpay Lake.
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Common Gallinule (C Moorhen) Gallinula galeata: Small numbers were seen at Huacarpay Lake and near Manu Wildlife Centre.
Slate-coloured Coot (Andean C) Fulica ardesiaca: Nearly 100 were seen on Huacarpay Lake. HELIORNITHIDAE Sungrebe (American Finfoot) Heliornis fulica: At Cocha Blanco a bird was hard to see at first hiding
in cover but then it came out for wonderful views. The smallest member in the Finfoot family, the New World Sungrebe is unique in males having marsupial-like pouches underneath the wings in which they can transport the chicks in flight. This adaptation is unique among birds.
EURYPYGIDAE Sunbittern Eurypyga helias: At Cocha Blanco we saw this species within moments of seeing Sungrebe
as well as Agami Heron! We were fortunate that the bird showed us its incredible upper wing pattern. This monotypic species is thought to be a distant relative of the Kagu of New Caledonia and their relationship is evidence for the former supercontinent of Gondwanaland.
CHARADRIIDAE Pied Lapwing (Pied Plover) Vanellus cayanus: We repeatedly admired this handsome species during
our boat trips. Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis: This recent invader is now well-established in the recently
deforested pasturelands surrounding Puerto Maldonado. Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens: We saw up to 12 around Huacarpay Lake and saw another
10 the following day in the Cusco highlands. Collared Plover Charadrius collaris: Regular on sandbars and river edges of the Rio Manu. SCOLOPACIDAE Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia: Just one seen during our chilly boat journey between
Pantiacolla and Romero at the start of the friaje. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes: A brief view of one that appeared to be injured at Huacarpay Lake. THINOCORIDAE Least Seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus: We enjoyed some lovely views of a few birds at Lomas de
Lachay, including a displaying male, here of the coastal race cuneicauda. Note that Thinocorus, derived from Greek, literally means ‘sand lark’. This species breeds here in the Lomas, but leaves the area after breeding.
JACANIDAE Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana: Small numbers were seen in the grassy margins of the oxbow lakes
and in the few wet spots that remained in the otherwise very dry pastures of the Puerto Maldonado area.
LARIDAE Andean Gull Chroicocephalus serranus: Up to 10 along the Rio Urubamba and near Huacarpay
Lake. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus: A few were seen during our drive along the coast on our last day. Also
called the Southern Black-backed Gull, and a species that has been on the increase throughout its range with the expansion of fisheries and agriculture.
Yellow-billed Tern Sterna superciliaris: Frequent sightings in the Manu lowlands, especially along the Rio Manu.
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Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex: Nearly 80 of this spectacular tern were seen during the trip, with most of them seen on the Rio Manu, here at its natural density, undisturbed by egg- collecting settlers.
RYNCHOPIDAE Black Skimmer Rynchops niger: We had many good views of this species in skimming flight over the
Rio Manu and Madre de Dios. COLUMBIDAE Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti: Six were seen in the Puerto Maldonado area. Croaking Ground-Dove Columbina cruziana: Seen during the extension, our first was seen at a petrol
station en route to Lomas. This species is seasonally fairly common in the green herbaceous ground-cover at Lomas de Lachay where we saw at least 20.
Bare-faced Ground-Dove Metriopelia ceciliae: We all had very nice views at Lake Huacarpay on the first day.
Black-winged Ground-Dove Metriopelia melanoptera (NL): This species was seen by just a few of us at Huacarpay on the first day.
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon, R Dove) Columba livia: A common sight in Cusco and Lima, and birds were also seen in Pilcopata and Puerto Maldonado.
Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa: This handsome pigeon was seen quite well in the light woodland of Puerto Maldonado.
Spot-winged Pigeon Columba maculosa: Up to 8 were seen in the arid highlands en route to the Manu cloud forest. During the Machu Picchu extension we saw two more in the highlands.
Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata: Small numbers were seen in the Pillahuata area. Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis: Sometimes fairly numerous especially along rivers and
oxbow lake margins. Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea: Our best sighting was a good scope view of one between Cock-
of-the-Rock Lodge and Atalaya. Plumbeous Pigeon Columba plumbea: Another one that was common by voice but with several seen
in the lowlands, and also regularly heard and seen as high up as the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata: Small numbers were seen in Lima and near Huacarpay Lake, but this species was particularly numerous in the Lomas de Lachay with over 20 seen. Here the white-tipped (tail) race hypoleuca.
West Peruvian Dove (Pacific D) Zenaida meloda: A common dove in Lima and along the coast. Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla: A characteristic forest sound in lowland Amazonía, and several
were also seen during the trip. Sapphire Quail-Dove Geotrygon saphirina (H): One bird was heard, but it was too far for even an
off-trail effort. White-throated Quail-Dove Geotrygon frenata: One was seen fairly well during the Machu Picchu
extension. Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana: Several birds were flushed from lowland forest trails but
unfortunately we never had this one on the deck. PSITTACIDAE Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna: Many spectacular views of this huge parrot in the Manu
lowlands. Military Macaw Ara militaris: This year we saw a total of 16 birds in the Manu foothills with a flock
of a dozen birds being most memorable. Classified as Vulnerable. Scarlet Macaw Ara macao: Many great looks at perched and preening pairs, with a very memorable
sighting of birds in flight from the Amazonía tower.
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Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloroptera: Seen on a daily basis in the Manu lowlands along with the other two large macaws. The Tambo Blanquillo ccollpa (Quechua for clay lick) provided us with a great show with nearly 30 descending to the clay wall along with the other parrots. This drama is repeated daily throughout the long dry season of southeast Peru as parrots and macaws are forced to choose from a diminishing supply of desirable seed trees, many of the seeds containing toxic defence compounds to prevent such predation. Seeds represent the bulk of a parrot’s diet and all psittacids are referred to as seed- predators. This species is also called the Green-winged Macaw.
Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severa: Common in the lowlands, and a few pairs frequented the clearing at Amazonía Lodge.
Blue-headed Macaw Propyrrhura couloni: We had superb views of this species perched up near the Pantiacolla macaw-clay lick. A near-endemic with a fairly restricted range and an unmistakable call. Classified as Endangered.
Red-bellied Macaw Orthopsittaca manilata: A total of 20 were seen in flight in the Manu lowlands. This species is almost totally dependent on the presence of Moriche Palms (Mauritia flexuosa). Moriche palm fruit is packed with beta-carotene and in any given Amazonian town it is popular either whole or in juices, ice-cream and cakes.
Mitred Parakeet Aratinga mitrata: First seen in temperate woodland just before we arrived at the Acjanacu pass. We also saw birds in flight in the Machu Picchu area. The genera Aratinga and Pyrrhura are also referred to as conures.
White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus: A dozen birds seen at the Pantiacolla ccollpa (clay- lick) was strangely our only sighting.
Dusky-headed Parakeet Aratinga weddellii: Numerous fly-bys but not until Puerto Maldonado did we all have excellent scope studies of perched birds. This widespread species is named after Hugh Algernon Weddell, a physician and botanist specializing in South American flora. In 1845 during a solitary journey through Peru and Bolivia, he succeeded in his quest to find the enigmatic fever bark tree, Cinchona (the source of quinine, an anti-malarial), and went on to describe 15 species in the genus. The seeds that he took to Paris were germinated and used to establish Cinchona forests in Java and the East Indies.
Rose-fronted Parakeet (Red-crowned P) Pyrrhura roseifrons: At Cocha Camungo we enjoyed superb scope views of perched birds from the canopy platform.
Black-capped Parakeet (Rock P) Pyrrhura rupicola: The other Manu Pyrrhura seen extremely well at close quarter at the mammal ccollpa of Manu Wildlife Centre.
Dusky-billed Parrotlet Forpus sclateri: We first saw four perched near a cavity up on Amazonía Lodge’s hill, and then enjoyed at least 20 at the mammal ccollpa (quechua for clay lick).
Cobalt-winged Parakeet Brotogeris cyanoptera: Numerous and widespread in the Manu lowlands. Tui Parakeet Brotogeris sanctithomae: First seen at Romero Lodge, and we later had good looks at
small numbers of them at Blanquillo ccollpa and the Cocha Camungo platform. White-bellied Parrot Pionites leucogaster: Our patience was rewarded at Cocha Blanco where we
enjoyed some really lovely flight views across the cocha in the golden tropical light of late afternoon. The English name caique is also used for this genus of parrots.
Orange-cheeked Parrot Pionopsitta barrabandi: Small numbers were seen quite well at the Blanquillo ccollpa.
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus: At least 1000 were present at the Blanquillo ccollpa, making for quite the spectacle of sight and sound.
Yellow-crowned Parrot (Y-c Amazon) Amazona ochrocephala: First seen at the Pantiacolla ccollpa but then very common at the Blanquillo ccollpa with nearly 100 birds seen there. This species is more common in Moriche flooded palm forests.
Scaly-naped Parrot (S-n Amazon) Amazona mercenaria: A group of 15 of these large Amazonas were seen quite well in flight below Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Mealy Parrot (M Amazon) Amazona farinosa: Around 300 were present this year at the Blanquillo ccollpa, and otherwise we found them to be fairly common in the Manu lowlands.
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OPISTHOCOMIDAE Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin: A social nesting bird, we observed groups of breeding birds at
Amazonía Lodge and later we found them to be common at Cocha Camungo and Cocha Blanco. One of the very few birds that almost entirely subsist on a diet of leaves, this odd species has some peculiar attributes, including microbial foregut fermentation to convert plant cellulose in consumed foliage into simple sugars, and a highly modified skeleton to accommodate its large crop. Once thought to be the lost link to the feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx because of the chick’s clawed wings, these claws are now considered a recent secondary adaptation to the chicks having to clamber up vegetation if they are forced to evacuate the nest due to a threat. The placement of this order is still controversial, with the most comprehensive genetic data set to date unable to resolve its relationships, there being no evidence for a close relationship to any order within the Neoaves.
CUCULIDAE Little Cuckoo Coccycua minuta: Most of us saw the bird at Amazonía Lodge that perched briefly out
of the thick cocha vegetation. Ash-coloured Cuckoo Coccycua cinerea: This austral migrant was very much a surprise sighting on
the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado. It appears to have been present here for at least a week as a group of visiting birders saw it a few days later at the same spot.
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana: Common from the lowlands into the Cosñipata valley near Cock-of- the-Rock Lodge.
Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus: One at Amazonía Lodge was seen along the jeep track.
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani: This species was most abundant in the deforested plains above Pilcopata and around Puerto Maldonado.
Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia: A very obliging individual was admired at close-range through the scope near Puerto Maldonado. The last new lowland bird of the trip!
STRIGIDAE Rufescent Screech-Owl Megascops ingens (H): Strangely, this one refused to respond after initially
responding during my pre-dawn scouting. Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl Megascops watsonii: At Amazonía we were surprised when, upon
switching on the torch, an individual was perched much closer than we had thought. Moments later we saw the same bird again perched in the lower branch of a mango tree.
Crested Owl Lophostrix cristata: We saw a perched bird high in the canopy at Manu Wildlife Centre. Band-bellied Owl Pulsatrix melanota (H): One bird was heard near Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata (H): One heard-only record pre-dawn from Amazonía Lodge. Black-banded Owl Ciccaba huhula (H): We attempted to see a calling bird at Amazonía Lodge but it
remained distant. Rufous-banded Owl Ciccaba albitarsis (H): A very distant heard-only from the Wayquecha station. Yungas Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium bolivianum: We had superb views of a close-perched bird on our
first day in the Manu cloudforest. Amazonían Pygmy-Owl (Hardy’s P-O) Glaucidium hardyi: Several were recorded in the Manu
lowlands of which some of us saw two of the birds in flight but it was not for lack of trying as our sore necks were testament. Named after J.W. Hardy, who’s published a series of audio tapes on Neotropical bird families.
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum: A singing bird at Pantiacolla was seen well in second-growth forest.
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia: Three different birds were seen along the Rio Madre de Dios and as many as five birds were seen at Lomas de Lachay.
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NYCTIBIIDAE Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis (H): Heard calling one morning pre-dawn at Amazonía. Long-tailed Potoo Nyctibius maculosus: Amazingly we saw this much-desired species not once but
twice. Our first was a first year bird at Pantiacolla Lodge which still roosts on the same perch on which it hatched. Our second at Manu Wildlife Centre was more spontaneous with a calling bird perched low over the trail one evening.
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus (H): A calling bird on the other side of Amazonía’s creek had us marching out to see it but somehow it remained hidden!
CAPRIMULGIDAE Rufous-bellied Nighthawk Lurocalis rufiventris: A calling bird swooped low over our heads just at
dawn one morning at San Pedro (Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge). It pays to be first-in-the-field! Sand-coloured Nighthawk Chordeiles rupestris: A nightly spectacle along the Rio Manu, with
excellent views of both roosting and flying birds. Pauraque (Common P) Nyctidromus albicollis: A few birds were seen in the lodge clearings and
otherwise flushed from their roosts by day. Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus: We all had quite good views of a calling male on his
song perch at Manu Wildlife Centre. Silky-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus sericocaudatus (LO): At Romero a bird flushed from near the trail
but a subsequent effort failed to turn it up. Then later during our birding in the Manu lowlands, we tried hard to see a calling bird, even going off trail in the dark into what proved to be an impenetrable understorey.
Swallow-tailed Nightjar Uropsalis segmentata: A superb close showing by a male resting on the trail had us all enthralled at Wayqecha.
Lyre-tailed Nightjar Uropsalis lyra: The other spectacular nightjar with which we had great luck, first seeing a roosting female by day and then we saw an incredible male make multiple display flights over the cloud forest road one evening.
APODIDAE Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila: Frequent encounters along the cloud forest road. Often
placed in the genus Cypseloides. Both genera form the distinctive subfamily Cypseloidinae. They all show a distinct affinity for water and waterfalls as an essential component of their nesting/roosting ecology.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris: Regular sightings of this large swift, with a few large flocks seen in the foothills.
Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris: Several groups were seen in the lowlands and foothills. Pale-rumped Swift Chaetura egregia: Two were seen along with the previous species during our clay-
lick session at Blanquillo and three more were seen the next day from the Cocha Camungo tower.
Fork-tailed Palm-Swift (Neotropical Palm-Swift) Tachornis squamata: Small groups were seen several times with our first sighting above Pilcopata along the lower Manu road. A species tied to Mauritia palms, formerly placed in the genus Reinarda. The Latin root squam (scale) refers to the pale-edged feathers on the back giving a slight scaly appearance.
TROCHILIDAE White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora: Both male and female plumaged birds were seen both in
clearings and forest at Amazonía and Manu Wildlife Centre. Rufous-breasted Hermit (Hairy H) Glaucis hirsuta: Seen once visiting the feeder at Manu Wildlife
Centre, and then a second showed well on the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado. Pale-tailed Barbthroat Threnetes leucurus: First seen along the muddy-Ruddy Foliage-gleaner track
along the Manu road, and thankfully we all caught up with a second at Amazonía Lodge. Reddish Hermit Phaethornis ruber: First seen at Romero and then very easy to see this year on the
Stachytarpeta hedge at Manu Wildlife Centre.
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White-browed Hermit Phaethornis stuarti: This speciality was first seen near Pilcopata by Richard and the leader with a second seen by others at Amazonía Lodge.
White-bearded Hermit Phaethornis hispidus: Seen well on several occasions, this species was a regular at the Manu Wildlife Centre feeders.
Koepcke’s Hermit Phaethornis koepckeae: Great views near the clearing at Amazonía Lodge. A Peruvian endemic, classified as Near-Threatened, and named after Maria Koepcke, who wrote the Dept. of Lima field guide and died in a plane crash along with 92 others in 1971. One of the sole survivors was her 17-year old daughter brought back in the rescue mission. An enthusiastic explorer and ornithological curator for the Lima museum, one of Koepcke’s most important discoveries was a new species, endemic to Peru from the highland forests of Zarate, the White-cheeked Cotinga, Zaratornis stresemanni. From Peru she described three species of birds new to science and 13 new subspecies. In addition to the hermit bearing her name, the endemic Selva Cacique, Cacicus koepckeae and the Peruvian subspecies of Horned Curassow, Pauxi unicornis koepckeae were named in her honour. A bat, Mimon koepckeae and a lizard, Tropidurus occipitalis koepckeorum, are also named after her.
Needle-billed Hermit Phaethornis philippii: One showed briefly to us in hovering flight at Manu Wildlife Centre.
Wedge-billed Hermit Schistes geoffroyi: We eventually all had good views of this species in the garden at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Green Violetear Colibri thalassinus: Three were seen in the Manu cloud forest and at least two more were seen in the Aguas Calientes area during the extension.
Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscans: At least three were regularly visiting the feeders in the cloud forest.
Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis: One showed nicely at Amazonía Lodge. Amethyst-throated Sunangel Heliangelus amethysticollis: We had excellent views of this
hummingbird along the trail below Waqanki station. Rufous-crested Coquette Lophornis delattrei: We had brilliant close-ups of female plumaged birds at
Amazonía, but no sign of the males during our visit. Festive Coquette Lophornis chalybeus: This species is now fairly regular visiting the vervain at Manu
Wildlife Centre where we saw first a female followed the next day with a cracking male. Peruvian Piedtail Phlogophilus harterti: In the lower cloud forest we all had excellent views of male
birds at their lek. Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys: Somewhat common around Cock-of-the-Rock
Lodge, this cloud forest hummingbird is reminiscent of a hermit hummingbird in appearance.
Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingi: Several sightings of both male and female birds. Named after Rear Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856), British marine surveyor, collector and traveller in the American tropics.
Green-tailed Trainbearer Lesbia nuna: We had just one good sighting in the arid scrub around Huacarpay Lake.
Bearded Mountaineer Oreonympha nobilis: A restricted-range, Peruvian endemic who performed wonderfully in an area of Nicotiana sp. (‘tree tobacco’). Our sighting of two duelling males and their iridescent beards was really special! ‘Restricted-range’ is defined by Birdlife International as a species confined to an area of less than 50,000 square kilometres. Peru has the highest number of restricted-range species in the Neotropics and is second in the world only to Indonesia.
Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina: Both males and females were seen well foraging in the area of Pillahuata, here of the deep blue-tailed race smaragdinicollis.
Gould’s Inca Coeligena inca: We had just one decent sighting on our second day in the Manu cloud forest.
Violet-throated Starfrontlet Coeligena violifer: In all we saw three of this large hummer in the Manu cloud forest.
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Chestnut-breasted Coronet Boissonneaua matthewsii: Just one seen on our first day in the upper Manu cloud forest.
Booted Racket-Tail Ocreatus underwoodii: We had brilliant close-ups of this species at Cock-of-the- Rock Lodge. Here the buff-booted race annae.
Gould’s Jewelfront Heliodoxa aurescens: One of the favourite hummers of the trip for a few of us who saw it quite well at Amazonía after a patient wait. Named after John Gould, the famous English 19th century naturalist.
Violet-fronted Brilliant Heliodoxa leadbeateri: Excellent studies of both males and females at Cock-of- the-Rock Lodge.
Giant Hummingbird Patagona gigas: At least three seen in the Sacred Valley during the Machu Picchu extension. The planet’s largest hummer, here of the race peruviana.
Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris: A fairly regular visitor to the clearing of Manu Wildlife Centre.
White-bellied Woodstar Chaetocercus mulsant: Three individuals were seen perched during our cloud forest birding.
Amethyst Woodstar Calliphlox amethystina: A male was visiting Amazonía’s vervain flowers but only a few of us saw him after a patient wait.
Blue-tailed Emerald Chlorostilbon mellisugus: Both sexes showed well at Amazonía’s vervain flowers.
Grey-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis: A regular visitor to the feeders at Amazonía. Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata: We had some nice views of the male’s incredible
iridescence. Many-spotted Hummingbird Taphrospilus hypostictus: We had repeated good views of this species
at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. White-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia chionogaster: At least three individuals were seen well at our
Sacred Valley hotel during the extension. Green-and-white Hummingbird Amazilia viridicauda: Five individuals of this endemic species were
seen at Aguas Calientes. Amazilia Hummingbird Amazilia amazilia: We had a really good look at this handsome species at
the start of our Lomas de Lachay outing during the extension. Sapphire-spangled Emerald Amazilia lactea: At least three birds were visiting the vervain shrubs at
Amazonía Lodge and later we saw one at Puerto Maldonado. Golden-tailed Sapphire Chrysuronia oenone: The common humming visiting the vervain and
clearing at Amazonía Lodge. Here the race josephinae, in which males have a green throat (not an entirely blue hood like the nominate birds some of you may have seen in Ecuador).
White-chinned Sapphire Hylocharis cyanus: We enjoyed excellent views on several occasions of this forest hummer feeding at the vervain of Manu Wildlife Centre.
TROGONIDAE Pavonine Quetzal Pharomachrus pavoninus: On our first day at Manu Wildlife Centre we were
fortunate to all have great scope views of this species in the near subcanopy. This species is the rarest of the New World quetzals.
Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps (H): Seemingly scarce this year along the cloud forest road with only one heard-only record.
Crested Quetzal Pharomachrus antisianus (H): Sadly, this quetzal was only heard far below the cloud forest road.
Black-tailed Trogon Trogon melanurus: We saw up to a dozen and more in tall forest in the lowlands.
Amazonian Trogon Trogon ramonianus: Just the one male seen at Romero Lodge, and others heard. This form and Gartered Trogon T. caligatus (Central America and northwest South America) were until recently lumped in Guianan Trogon T. violaceus.
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Blue-crowned Trogon Trogon curucui: Seen or heard fairly regularly between Amazonía Lodge and Manu National Park
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris: Two birds were seen well at Amazonía Lodge (nominate race). Masked Trogon Trogon personatus: We had good luck with this species in the Manu cloud forest
seeing a total six. ALCEDINIDAE Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata: At least four of these impressive birds were seen along the Manu
and Madre de Dios Rivers as well as at Cocha Blanco. Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona: This species is usually more numerous than Ringed
Kingfisher in the Manu lowlands. We totalled up to 10 individuals during the trip. Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana: A handful of sightings from the Manu lowlands from both
rivers and oxbows. Green-and-rufous Kingfisher Chloroceryle inda (LO): A bird along the creek at Manu Wildlife Centre
was sadly a leader-only sighting shooting off its perch. MOMOTIDAE Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum: Good spotting by Gwen and others at Pantiacolla
Lodge to find this bird in the subcanopy. Rufous Motmot Barypthengus martii (H): Heard on a few occasions in the Manu lowlands. Whooping Motmot Momotus ignobilis (H): Somewhat vocal during our stay at Manu Wildlife Centre. Highland Motmot Momotus aequatorialis: We had great luck in seeing an individual that came down
to pause on the road! Then during the extension we saw three additional birds during our train rides to and from Machu Picchu. A bigger and higher-elevation replacement of the previous.
GALBULIDAE Purus Jacamar (Chestnut J) Galbalcyrhynchus purusianus: We first saw this species from one of the
trails at Romero and we later saw more at Cocha Camungo. It is named after the Purús River, a tributary of the Amazon, which together with the Manu River form a large, roadless wilderness area home to two uncontacted indigenous groups, termed the Mashco and the Curanjeño, both living in voluntary isolation. In 1894 the Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald left the Ucayali-Urubamba watershed and crossed an overland isthmus (now known as the Fitzcarrald Arch) into what he thought was the Purús River, but which was actually the Manu River. He eventually brought a steam-ship (having to disassemble it) from Iquitos over the 10 kilometre long isthmus, terrorizing Indians along the Rio Manu as he went, an exploit dramatized, although inaccurately, by the German producer Werner Herzog's bizarre film “Fitzcarraldo.”
White-throated Jacamar Brachygalba albogularis: This localised species remains in the Puerto Maldonado area where we enjoyed good views of a pair.
Bluish-fronted Jacamar Galbula cyanescens: Another elegant member of this showy family, granting many good views.
BUCCONIDAE White-necked Puffbird Notharcus hyperrhynchus (H): Our canopy birding was fairly slow and we
were otherwise able to see calling birds. Chestnut-capped Puffbird Bucco macrodactylus: Our first along the Atalaya ridge was seen by most
of us. Then we all caught up with a very obliging bird over the trail near Manu Wildlife Centre. Note that Handbook of the Birds of the World resurrects the monospecific genus Argicus for this species (among other distinguishing features, the Chestnut-capped Puffbird lacks the ‘bifid’ bill of other species of the subfamily Bucconinae).
Collared Puffbird Bucco capensis (LO): If it were not for a tree fall, we all might have seen this one that unfortunately flushed upon our approach.
23 Birdquest: The Manu 20011
Striolated Puffbird Nystalus striolatus: Coming upon a pair of this much-wanted species on an exposed perch was one of the highlights of our Pantiacolla birding.
Semicollared Puffbird Malacoptila semicincta: It took some perseverance and an awesome spot by Martine, but we came away with superb studies of this high-quality understorey puffbird at Manu Wildlife Centre. A restricted-range species of south-western Amazonía.