After a long hiatus we finally made it out of Europe again! We had two weeks around Christmas and chose South Ecuador for a nice mix of cool birds, easy travelling and nice lodges. It proved to be a terrific neotropical delight.
A 2-week trip to Suriname for some tropical birding in a corner of South America where we hadn’t been before. After having birded in South America for 4 months already this year it felt good returning to the continent after a few months in the Netherlands. The first 5 days we rented a car and birded around Paramaribo and Zanderij. For the last 10 days we arranged transport and guiding through Fred Pansa (email@example.com) to visit Zintete Lodge (aka Fredberg) and Brownsberg. Most of the country still consists of endless forest and good birding sites are therefore reachable within a few hours from the airport. In all this made for a very relaxed birding trip that we would definitely recommend.
A 3-week trip as part of our RTW-journey to the Amazon region. This is such a biodiverse place that even with multiple trips you will still not be complete. We decided to spend some time in several places both in Peru and Brazil to experience their different habitats, each providing a different selection of birds. We started at Iquitos (Peru) where we visited the white-sand forest of Allpahuaya-Mishana and 4 lodges: Explorama, Explornapo, ACTS and Muyuna. We then travelled by boat from Iquitos to Leticia and from there into Brazil, where we spent the last part of the trip at Palmari lodge.
Tripreport in progress…
A two week trip to Central Peru followed by a week near Tarapoto for the Scarlet-banded Barbet. February is not the best time to visit Peru, but since it was part of our round the world trip and we really wanted to try for the Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager and the Barbet, we took the risk. We were still able to see most of our target species but the rain made some roads inaccessible causing delays and some dips.
The total birdlist of Chile is small compared to other South-American countries, but it has some very high quality birding to offer. Our trip to Chile is somewhat unusual compared with most trips because it was combined with a trip to Argentina (round trip from Santiago). We visited all corners of the country; from Patagonia in the South, the central part (Santiago de Chile to Chiloe island), the north around Arica and a trip to Juan Fernandez.
After hiring a car in Santiago the Chile, we crossed the border into Argentina around Mendoza and spent almost 7 weeks exploring this amazingly diverse country: From the beautiful Andean landscapes in the Northwest, crossing the dry chaco to the wet marshes around Ibera, then from Buenos Aires following the coast down south trough the endless pampas and then into the Patagonian steppe, Argentina as some awesome birding to offer.
A three-week independent trip to NE Brazil together with Marten Hornsveld and Vivian Jacobs. For logistic convenience we decided to do a roundtrip from Salvador, leaving birding around Fortaleza for a next trip. We visited the Atlantic Rainforest sites of Tamandare, Frei Caneca, Murici, Estancia, Michelin, Boa Nova, Serra Bonita and Mata do Passarinho. Furthermore, we explored the caatinga inland at Boa Nova, Chapada Diamantina, Canudos and Crato.
With almost 450 species it was a fantastic experience of all the great birding NE Brazil has to offer. Many thanks to Ciro Albano and Caio Brito whom we ran into and provided us with crucial birding information, Kevin Flesher and Alexandre Enout for arranging our visits to Michelin and Balbina. Bill, Charles Douglas, Josepha for excellent guiding and Vitor Becker for a wonderful stay at the Serra Bonita Reserve.
In our previous trips to Ecuador and Peru we became a big fan of birding in the Andes. We decided that the next South America destination would be Colombia. We were joined by Jelmer Poelstra, Sander Bot and Janne Ouwehand and together we planned a nice 2.5 week trip through the Central and Western Andes. We visited Rio Claro, Anori (Chestnut-capped Piha reserve), Urrao (Dusky Starfrontlet reserve), Bolombolo, Jardin, Apia, Montezuma road, Rio Blanco, Nevado del Ruiz and Monterrondo. Since Jelmer, Sander and Janne had a few days extra they also visited Otun Quimbaya & Parque Florida (and skipped Monterredondo).
After this Rob joined Helen and we birded Northern Ecuador for four weeks (Februari 18th- March 17):
Las Gralarias, Bellavista, Mashpi, Mindo, Angel Paz, Milpe, Rio Silanche, Mango Loma, Sani Lodge, Wild Sumaco, Gareno lodge, San Isidro/Huacamayos ridge, Papallacta (including visit to Guango lodge).
South America was high on our wishlist of birding destinations. After some research we chose the North of Peru as our first encounter with the continent (we did have some experience with the birdspecies from previous trips to Mexico and Costa Rica).
Peru is an excellent destination for an independent birding trip (although speaking some Spanish makes it easier). Beautiful varied landscape, cheap and most important: lots of endemic species. We saw 528 species in four weeks.