Thursday, 5 December 2019

Colombia - Medellin Endemic Birding

After leaving Cali I flew north a short way to Medellin in Antioquia, Colombia in search of regional endemic birds. In order to find these I got the help of my friend and excellent local bird guide Ivan. Can't recommend him highly enough and I owe him a huge thanks! Look forward to the next time we can go birding again.

We had a bit of time birding around Medellin and headed out to Jardin for some birding there too, and a couple of other areas. Connected with loads of our targets, some pics of some of the birds are below... and there were plenty that I didn't get pics of! Some of the highlights that I photographed included Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, Antioquia Wren, Beautiful Woodpecker, White-mantled Barbet, and Red-bellied Grackle (see below). 

There was also plenty of other birds that are highly-sought in South America, such as Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Torrent Duck, Stygian Owl, Tanager Finch, Brownish Twistwing, Chesnut-naped Antpitta, Yellow-headed Manakin, Jabiru, Horned Screamer, and Black-capped Donacobius. 

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant

Antioquia Wren

Beautiful Woodpecker

White-mantled Barbet

Red-bellied Grackle

Stygian Owl

Tanager Finch

Bat Falcon

Black-and-chestnut Eagle

Black-capped Donacobius

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager

Brownish Twistwing

Buff-tailed Coronet

Chestnut-naped Antpitta

Collared Inca

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Whitestart

Golden-headed Manikin

Grass Wren (very local endemic subspecies)

Great Thrush

Greater Ani

Green-and-black Fruiteater

Inca Jay

Large-billed Seed Finch

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture

Mountain Velvetbreast

Horned Screamer

Olivaceous Piculet
Squirrel Cuckoo

Steely-vented Hummingbird
Torrent Duck

White-capped Dipper

Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant

Yellow-headed Manakin 

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Colombia - CALI & SAPAYOA

I've been lucky to have birded in Colombia a few times over recent years. This trip wasn't about racking up tonnes of species (which is very easy to do in this amazing country), but more about targeting a few specific birds and regional endemics. I met with excellent local guide and good friend Giancarlo for the section around Cali and had a great time. Birding in Colombia is just so awesome.

The main target of the trip was finding the monotypic Sapayoa family. It was a fun trip getting to the area, but well worth it to get into some amazing forest habitat. On our first morning in the forest we took an exciting walk along a trail where in a mixed flock we found our target Sapayoa (an adult with a young bird - see pics below) along with numerous other birds. Check out my ebird list for the day here:

Sapayoa adult

Sapayoa juvenile bird

A couple of the other big targets included Black-tipped Cotinga and Saffron-headed Parrot. 

Black-tipped Cotinga - a very distant record shot

Saffron-headed Parrot - one of a small flock we found

Some of the other birds I managed photos of included:

Black-breasted Puffbird

White-whiskered Puffbird

Black-chested Jay

Choco Trogon

Lemon-spectacled Tanager

Purple-throated Fruitcrow

Rufous-tailed Jacamar 

Scarlet-rumped Cacique

Scarlet-rumped Cacique

Tawny-crested Tanager

White-tailed Trogon

White-tailed Trogon

Yellow-throated Toucan

After the excellent birding around the Cali area with Giancarlo I jumped on a plane and headed north to Medellin.... more awesome birds were around the corner...