DETAILED ITINERARY - MANU PARK LODGE
Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days:
Amazon Trip Peru Day 01:
Cusco manu Cloud Forest – Pilcopata Manu Park USCO .
We pick up from your hotel very early in the morning from 5:30 a.m. at 6:00 a.m. in our comfortable and private bus. On the way, we visit the funerary towers or Chullpas de Ninamarca at 3750 meters above sea level and a brief visit to Paucartambo, a folkloric town, a colonial bridge. We ascend to the upper area of Paucartambo, the Acjanaco sector. (4000 m.s.n.m) This is the point of entry to the Manu National Park. Then we descend through the mysterious cloud forest, which hosts a great variety of flora and fauna, full of beautiful orchids, heliconias and primitive ferns. We toke a walk to give you the opportunity to witness the Cock of the Rocks (Rupícola Peruviana) in the ritual of mating. There are also possibilities to observe Trogones (Trogon sp.), Quetzales (Pharomachrus sp.) In addition, much more and if we are lucky we can observe Spectacled Bear (Tremantus Ornatos). In the afternoon, we arrive at a village Pilcopata at 550 meters above sea level in our typical lodge that is outside the town with private bathrooms and showers where we will spend the night.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 02:
Pilcopata – Atalaya Port – Boca Manu Lodge – Manu Blanquillo .
After the delicious breakfast we continue our trip 45 minutes by bus to watchtower on the way we see coca plantations and fruit trees and orchids, we embark on a boat motorized by the high river Madre de Dios. On the way, we can see a variety of birds, such as herons, Kingfisher and always the presence of vultures of which the most spectacular is the condor of the jungle, the king of vultures (Sarcoramphus papa). The Jaguar (Panther Onca) we also have a stop in natural hot springs, to take medicinal baths, if we still have time we visit the Native community of Diamante to see their typical constructions of houses and see the wild fruits they have. In the afternoon, we arrive at the village of Boca Manu (280 m.s.n.m.) and continue our trip to blanquillo where we have the accommodation. lodgel with showers and bathrooms.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 03:
Manu Blanquillo ( Macaw Clay Lick ) to Boca Manu .
After taking the delicious breakfast we went to the hiding place in front of the MACAW, your guide explains the reason for the presence of parrots and macaws here. Little by little dozens of parrots begin to descend to the Collpa, many times they have even seen hundreds of them. Then the most colorful are the macaws (Ara sp.). After this spectacular “show” we continue our tour by boat on the impressive Madre de Dios River where we can appreciate the natural biodiversity. We will spend the night in an ECOLODGE DE BOCA MANU.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 04:
Boca Manu – Manu Reserve – Cocha Otorongo – Cocha Salvador .
After breakfast we enter the reserve area where we will have a better opportunity to observe the biodiversity that the Manu offers, a brief stop in the rangers stations. The boat trip continues and one begins to realize why Manu is so famous for its wildlife. On the banks of the river, there are groups of turtles, white alligators (Cayman cocodrylus) or perhaps some ronsocos (Hydrochoerus, hydrochaeris) and many more. In the afternoon we arrived at our safari camp in Cocha Otorongo, (250 m.s.n.m.) (double beds inside platforms) shortly after we organized a walk to visit the lake and the observation tower of 30 meters from where we have the opportunity to observe the river giant otters. Here in the Manu the animals have never suffered hunting persecution by men. Night in safari camping on platforms with roof double beds with mosquito net. Showers and shared bathrooms.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 05:
Manu Bisophere -Cocha Otorongo – Cocha Salvador to manu Park .
– today the group visits Cocha Salvador, which is 30 minutes away from Cocha Otorongo. Today they explore walking in the virgin primary forest; we visit the lake to paddle silently on a catamaran that gives us the chance to observe the river wolves again and a variety of strange birds, the sultana (Porphyrula Martinica or Garza Agami). (Agamia), and monkeys of different species are almost certainly observed 9 species of the 14 species. We visit matchiguenka house to buy some jungle crafts, later we walk on the main trails with the guide to learn the operation and secrets of the forest In the afternoon we return to our campsite in Cocha Otorongo, night in camp on platforms with a roof, beds with mosquito net, showers and shared baths available, optional night walk.
Amazon Trip Peru DAY 06:
Manu Biosphere Cocha Otorongo to Boca Manu – Manu Park .
Today we woke up with the howling of the cotomonos, (Alouatta seniculus) unfortunately we have to start our return to Boca Manu, we will also have the option to see many other species of birds and more depending on luck and what nature want to offer, we visited cocha brasco to observe giant otters. Optional a night walk around the lodge. Night in hostel. Showers and shared bathrooms.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 07:
Boca Manu to Rainforest Lodge – Manu Park .
We continue back by boat on the Alto Madre de Dios River. On the way we have again the option to see many birds and likewise with good luck animals. In the afternoon, we are arriving at our Paititi lodge. We spent the night in the hostel. Showers and private bathrooms available.
Amazon Trip Peru Day 08:
Manu Rainforest Lodge -Atalaya Port to Cusco .
This day is very sad because we have to leave our wonderful jungle full of mysteries and return by boat to Atalaya, then we will travel by bus to Cusco. On the way, we will be able to observe the Cloud Forest again, with immense variety of flora and fauna. In addition, arrive at the city at 6:00 p.m. at 6:30 p.m.
End of the services of Manu Park Lodge - Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
Included in the Tour Amazon Trip Peru :
- Private land transport.
- Private river transport.
- Specialized professional guide.
- With telescope and binoculars.
- Food, D.A.C. and snack.
- Security team
- Hosting in comfortable hostels and private bathrooms.
- First aid kit
- Mineral water.
Does not include in Tour Amazon Trip Peru :
- Breakfast on the first day
- Alcoholic beverages, soft
- drinks and water the first day.
- Extra mone
What we recommend to take Amazon Trip Peru :
- Thick clothes (cold sunrise by the river)
- Rain gear
- Water bottle
- Flashlight or torch with extra batteries
- Hat or hat
- Shirt with long sleeves and long pants
- Mosquito repellent at least 10% deet
- Sandals, swimwear and towel
- Personal hygiene equipment (toilet paper)
- Professional crew and crew member
- Professional chef
- Revenue ticket to tourist attractions.
- Recharge of batteries to solar panel.
- A pair of hiking boots.
End of the services of Manu Park Lodge - Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
OUR LODGE FOR Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 daysK
INFORMATIONS ABOUT AMAZON TRIP PERU .
Manu National Park benefits from its privileged location and size, as well as almost half a century of uninterrupted commitment by dedicated governmental staff, non-governmental organizations and Peruvian and international
researchers. Many observers plausibly argue that the hostile and in some cases deadly indigenous responses to intrusions have likewise discouraged illegal access in remote areas and thus contributed to maintaining an exceptional state of conservation. The acute and direct threats to the property continue to be modest by the standards of most protected areas. Likewise, the management effort and effectiveness in the national park is by no means alarming. At the same time, the land and resource use dynamics have dramatically changed since the creation of the national park and the more recent World Heritage inscription. A quickly advancing development frontier has changed large tracts of a previously remote landscape. Major road infrastructure has been facilitating
access and legal and illegal natural resource extraction. This development represents significant threats to the property in the medium and long terms, the effects of which are starting to become visible and are likely to be aggravated by anticipated climate change. There is an ever more urgent need to balance the inevitable trade-offs between economic development and social, cultural and environmental objectives. The numerous protected areas which are still functionally connected across vast territories and across boundaries with neighboring countries need to be better understood and maintained. This may well constitute one of the only available instruments to increase resilience and to reduce vulnerability to anticipated climate change in the long term. It is also the
only chance for the cultural survival of some of the last completely self-sufficient forest-dwelling peoples in the world. It is for these imminent threats and the absence of an adequate response and preparedness that the outlook is overshadowed by significant concerns, only seemingly in contradiction to the still exceptionally high integrity
Manu Park Lodge Peru
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End of the services of Manu Park Lodge - Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
TOUR MAP: Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
End of the services of Manu Park Lodge - Amazon Trip Peru – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
FREE INFORMATION TURISM - MANU PARK LODGE
Manu Rainforest Reserve – Macaw Clay Lick 8 days
The Manu is widely known as one of the great tropical Manu Rainforest wilderness areas accessible to birders. Few sites in the world offer such an incredible altitudinal transect of contiguous forested landscapes where each day brings a range of new birds from comfortable lodges. The 2008 tour to the Manu was one of the most successful to date, recording an impressive 725 species of birds Manu Park . Only in the cloud forest was our birding hampered by rain and we otherwise had mostly good weather during our travels in southeastern Peru. Manu Rainforest We had some superb encounters with birds such as Agami Heron, Orinoco Goose, Razor-billed Curassow, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Solitary Eagle, Andean Potoo, Greybreasted Mountain-Toucan, and our bird-of-the-trip, Chestnut-crested Cotinga Manu Rainforest Reserve . There were also many regional specialities such as the enigmatic Amazonian Parrotlet, a family group of White-throated Jacamars, the shy Semicollared Puffbird, two sightings of Scarlet-hooded Barbet, the bamboo-splitting Peruvian Recurvebill, both Amazonian and Red-and-white Antpittas, a Rufous-fronted Antthrush walking across our path, and the endemic Masked Fruiteater below Machu Picchu. Spectacles such as the Blanquillo macaw clay lick and lekking Andean Cock-of-the Rocks were impressive as always, as were the large numbers of nesting birds along the pristine sandbars of the Manu River. In addition to being a great place for macaws, the Manu basin is also a very special place for mammals. Most memorable were the nine species of monkeys seen, some on a daily basis, the family of ferocious . Giant Otters at Cocha Salvador and a close encounter with a large herd of bellowing, tooth-clacking White-lipped Peccaries. This year we had time for two different day trips from Lima. The first to Lomas de Lachay was successful in finding Cactus Canastero, Thick-billed Miner and Least Seedsnipe and the final day of the tour was spent birding the avifauna of the rich Humboldt current where highlights included Surf (Peruvian Seaside) Cinclodes, Humboldt Penguin .We began with an early flight to the historic city of Cusco, and soon upon arrival we set off for nearby Huacarpay Lake where we enjoyed a nice day of birding. Our first Peruvian endemic, the Bearded Mountaineer, was practically the first bird seen upon descending from the bus and was a great way to start the trip, Bienvenidos a Peru! Here in the arid scrub we found a nice selection of more widespread birds that included Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Giant Hummingbird, Green-tailed Trainbearers, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Blueand-yellow Tanager and after a bit of searching we had very good views of the endemic Rusty-fronted ( Manu Park Lodge )
2 Birdquest Manu Rainforest Reserve : The Manu 2008 Canastero. The lake had a selection of waterfowl that included Puna and Speckled Teals and Yellowbilled Pintail and in the surrounding marsh we saw Plumbeous Rail, Wren-like Rushbird, Rufousnaped Ground-Tyrant and Andean Negrito. Manu Rainforest Most were pleasantly surprised by the great picnic lunch, accompanied by a chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc put on the table by our crew today, making it very easy for us to sit back and enjoy the scenery. The next day we began our journey to the Manu Biosphere Reserve aboard our expedition bus Manu Rainforest . An unsurfaced mountain road took us through several typical Quechua villages where colourfully dressed highlanders worked the rugged landscape. In the arid inter-Andean valleys along the way we were successful in finding the two very distinctive endemics we sought here. First the handsome Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch and later the Creamy-crested Spinetail, both species that are always well-liked. There were other more widespread high Andean birds such as Mountain Caracara, Spot-winged Pigeon, Shining Sunbeam, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Peruvian, Mourning and Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches and from a patch of more humid scrub a surprise White-capped Dipper was found bobbing in a cold mountain stream. Soon we reached a wall of cold moisture at the 3800 metre pass of Acjanaco, the starting point from which we would begin to descend the eastern Andean slope. Actually, it was pouring down in buckets and the very heavy rain made for extremely bleak birding here in the elfin forest, but we still managed to find Moustached Flowerpiercer, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant and Plain-coloured Seedeater Manu Park Lodge . Luckily, a bit further down in the temperate forest the rain had let up and we spent the night in a comfortable camp set up for us by our cheerful crew who did not disappoint with delicious Andean soup and Chilean cabernet in plastic cups. That evening we spotlighted two female Swallowtailed Nightjars but unfortunately calling males were always too distant. Fine mist and rain continued at upper elevations for most of the next day, but this didn’t stop us from birding. Stunted forests and paramo here held Puna Thistletail, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrants, Scarlet-bellied and Hooded Mountain-Tanagers and the superb Golden-collared Tanager. Most bizarre was a troubled Andean Snipe that came zooming past us and oddly circled around for us to get a second quick look. The high temperate forests a bit lower down produced the endemic Marcapata Spinetail Manu Park Lodge , in addition to Barred Fruiteater, White-collared Jay, Fulvous Wren (split from Sepia-brown) and the exquisite Maroon-chested Chat-Tyrant (split from Slaty-backed). A Crimson-mantled Woodpecker was hard to beat, and among the hummers we saw such shimmering species as Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Mountain Velvetbreast and Long-tailed Sylph. None of us will forget when a blur of rufous coloured feathers that hurtled past our bus’s windscreen quickly materialized into a diurnal Yungas Pygmy-Owl which we subsequently saw brilliantly through the scope. A Golden-headed Quetzal impressed with its dazzling plumage, a very obliging pair of Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucans proved this species is not always shy, and after lunch we succeeded in seeing the endemic Red-and-white Antpitta. The first of our Manu lodges was the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, an aptly named place as just a fiveminute walk took us into a semi-open hide from which we watched one of the most amazing Manu Park Lodge avian spectacles in the Neotropics, the amazing displays at an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek. We watched the bright orange and unearthly shaped males strut Manu Rainforest Reserve , curve their wings and dip their crested heads in the hope of attracting a mate. Another lekking bird, the gaudy Yungas Manakin, relentlessly delivered its rhythmic calls in the vicinity of the lodge, but luckily the lusty males took time out to visit the banana feeders along with such gems as Golden and Golden-eared Tanagers. Though one of our mornings was a near wash-out due to rain, the lodge feeders and flowering shrubs were still attracting a nice set of thirsty hummers that included Wire-crested Thorntail (a male at close-focus range!!), Booted Racket-tail, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Violet-fronted Brilliant and Wedge-billed Hummingbird. For three days we drove up and down the road that transects the cloud forest, stopping for mixed flocks and sampling a wide array of elevations. Against the breathtaking scenery of unbroken cloud
3 Birdquest: The Manu 2008 Manu Rainforest. Manu Rainforest steep mountainsides and deep valleys, swirling tanager flocks made their rounds, holding such jewels as Capped Conebills and Saffron-crowned, Beryl-spangled, Blue-and-black, Yellow-throated and Slaty Tanagers. The ethereal song of the Andean Solitaire filled the air, both Inca and Olive Flycatchers were also seen well and the dense understorey produced such middle elevation species as Striped Treehunter, Spotted Barbtail and Pale-legged Warbler. Most impressive though was a Solitary Eagle that soared past our group, proving once again the Manu cloud forest is one of the better sites on the continent for this magnificent raptor. One evening we were thrilled by eye-level views of Rufescent Screech-Owl, but even with good weather conditions at our usual stakeout, the usual male Lyre-tailed Nightjar was only heard from a very great distance Manu Rainforest Reserve . Some consolation was a fortunate tip-off the next day allowing us to have great scope views of a female with young roosting under a roof eave! We enjoyed great close-ups of Slaty Gnateater, a Highland Motmot stolidly perched above the road and fruiting trees attracted Plumbeous Pigeons, noisy Blue-banded Toucanets and Plum-crowned Parrots. Mixed flocks held the gorgeous Versicoloured Barbet, the recentlydescribed Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, the foothill-restricted Yellow-breasted Antwren, sharplypatterned Chestnut-backed Antshrikes, interesting tyrannids such as Bolivian Tyrannulet and Fulvousbreasted Flatbill and the lovely Blue-naped Chlorophonia among others. One afternoon as we walked the road, our attention was drawn to an exposed road cut where a covey of Rufous-breasted WoodQuail dumbly stared down at us for what seemed like an eternity and then filed past one by one. None of us could believe our eyes! This wasn’t our only magic moment in the cloud forest however, for on our last afternoon above the lodge, the group discovered three Chestnut-crested Cotingas perched and foraging in a roadside tree. Yet another absolutely superb sighting!
Leaving the cloud forest behind, we descended into the tropical foothill zone where numerous bamboo patches held such goodies as skulking Cabanis’s Spinetail, the impressive looking Bamboo Antshrike, and delicate Ornate and Stripe-chested Antwrens. A calling male Crested Quetzal perched out beautifully for us and though little was flowering, a little perseverance yielded a few flighty Peruvian Piedtails at their lek. A short session on the Atalaya ridge produced a pair of Blue-headed Macaws flapping overhead and some of us spotted Fiery-capped Manakin and Chestnut-capped Puffbird. Late in the afternoon we finally descended upon Atalaya where we switched modes of transportation to our motorized dugout for the short ride across the Rio Madre de Dios. As dusk fell we arrived by foot in the clearing at Amazonia Lodge to enjoy a refreshing welcome drink of local citrus. Though we lost most of one morning at Amazonia Lodge due to rain, the hospitality of our hosts and the many good birds we saw here made for a memorable stay. Amazonia Lodge is a place that is often crawling with birds. Not far from the lodge clearing we had such surprises as American PygmyKingfishers hunting over shallow forest pools and a Cinereous Tinamou seen crossing a trail still dripping with raindrops. We spent some quality time on the mahogany veranda, a very pleasant place to enjoy some relaxed birding. The lodge gardens had Masked Crimson Tanagers and Redcapped Cardinals on the feeders, furnariids such as Pale-legged Hornero, Speckled (yes, Speckled!) and Plain-crowned Spinetails and nesting Chestnut-fronted Macaws and Yellow-rumped Caciques. We enjoyed a parade of hummers that included Golden-tailed Sapphire, Blue-tailed Emerald, Forktailed Woodnymph and Rufous-crested Coquette on the vervain shrubs. Grey-breasted Sabrewings mostly dominated their forest feeder, but our patience was eventually rewarded with a handsome Koepcke’s Hermit and the gorgeous Gould’s Jewelfront. A great variety of antbirds were found in the mosaic of habitats located in the surrounding floodplain where we had good views of red-eyed Great and Plain-winged Antshrikes, understorey denizens such as White-lined, Chestnut-tailed, Blackthroated and Goeldi’s Antbirds and for some a vocal Thrush-like Antpitta. We successfully called in a pair of Rusty-belted Tapaculos for great views as they patrolled the forest floor and had good looks at the diminutive Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant and a cooperative Hauxwell’s Thrush. Nor did we have to go far to see two major specialities, the amazing Scarlet-hooded Barbet and a seriously eleventh-hour Fine-barred Piculet. More testament to the area’s productivity was the fact that on a single day we had very good views of four cracids: Speckled Chachalaca, Spix’s Guan, Blue-throated Piping-Guan
4 Birdquest: The Manu 2008
and a pair of Razor-billed Curassows! We also climbed up into the hill forest where we enjoyed an active lek of Round-tailed Manakins, allowing for breathtaking views of the exquisite males dancing side-by-side on a mid-story twig. We had one mixed flock with Tschudi’s Woodcreeper (split from Ocellated), Olive Tanager and Golden-bellied Warbler and saw canopy birds such as Striolated Puffbird and White-throated Woodpecker. Next we took a short ride down the Alto Madre de Dios, where Fasciated Tiger-Herons patiently standing in the rapids were commonplace. Eventually the distant contours of the Pantiacolla Range grew closer and closer, and by mid-morning we disembarked at the hospitable Pantiacolla Lodge. During our limited time here we concentrated on the bamboo stands where activity was unfortunately slower than usual. Our best finds included Rufous-breasted Piculet, Striated Antwren, Rufous-capped Nunlet, Red-billed Scythebill and Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner. After listening to a protracted vocal exchange between two groups of Pale-winged Trumpeters, we tiptoed quietly into the forest to spy on these enchanting creatures with good results. The next day we began our boat journey on the Rio Alto Madre de Dios just after dawn seeing Blueand-yellow and Scarlet Macaws in flight and with birds such as Broad-billed Motmots and Violaceous and Purplish Jays also making appearances. Our boat took us beyond the forested ridges to the lowlands and after a brief stop in Boca Manu we began our journey up the meandering Manu River into the actual park boundaries, an area still unaffected by deforestation, egg collecting and other forms of human disturbance. All of our travels up until now had been in the buffer zone of this immense national park. The high concentration of breeding birds along the wide sandbars is a spectacle difficult to find elsewhere in the Amazon basin. We rode past miles and miles of sandy beaches, nearly all of them with their compliment of Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings and Collared Plovers. Our boat slid past sunbathing Horned Screamers taking slow steps on these serene beaches, our passing seemingly just a curiosity to them. This year we again found high numbers of Orinoco Geese with seemingly each new bend in the river bringing another individual of this declining species into view. Further spectacle was provided by multitudes of Sand-coloured Nighthawks roosting on the numerous fallen crowns of giant emergent trees naturally brought down during the previous rainy season. During our stay inside Manu National Park we birded the floodplain surrounding Cocha Salvador as well as the nearby terra firme forests. The forest trails here once again proved to have an interesting mix of species, foremost among them probably the confiding Amazonian Antpitta seen so well near our camp this year. We had very good looks at an Amazonian Pygmy-Owl called into view by day and a Barred Forest-Falcon calling at mid-morning required some clever footwork but was eventually seen quite well. One night we enjoyed a Crested Owl peering down at us in the spotlight right outside our rooms. Our first antswarm of the tour did not disappoint with White-chinned Woodcreeper, White-throated Antbird and Black-spotted Bare-eye attracted to the smorgasbord of invertebrates and very obvious also were the roving flocks of understorey birds relentlessly led by the ever-vigilant Bluish-slate and Dusky-throated Antshrikes. A variety of antwrens occupy different strata and foraging niches within these flocks and familiarizing ourselves with these tiny birds cloaked in a variety of greyish, brownish and reddish colours was an obligatory feature of each encounter with such a party. A male Band-tailed Manakin at his lek was a very pretty sight, and the splendid Musician Wren was spied on a fallen, mossy log by some of our group. One afternoon we were slowly paddled around tranquil Cocha Salvador to observe its rich bird life. As soon as we embarked on our heavy wooden catamaran, the shy Agami Heron was spotted hunting at the lake margin mere feet away from the jetty where we had just been standing! There were Green Ibis and Limpkin here as well, several unobtrusive Sungrebes swimming by at close range, stunning Green-and-rufous Kingfishers in the afternoon light and flocks of lovely Rose-fronted Parakeets. We had the wonderful experience of watching a family group of Giant Otters enjoying some rough play very near their den and at one point we had a second Agami Heron and several Giant Otters in the same binocular view!
5 Birdquest: The Manu 2008
Next we retraced our boat journey back to Boca Manu and a short distance down the Madre de Dios. During the journey we saw about a dozen Jabiru and at a short stop for lunch we were successful in tracking down the localized Johannes’s Tody-Tyrant. We also had fabulous views of Cream-coloured Woodpeckers, easily-observed Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaners and as a bonus there were two surprises, a boreal migrant Buff-breasted Sandpiper and an austral migrant Slaty Elaenia. By late afternoon we arrived at Manu Wildlife Centre, another fine lodge providing access to a wide variety of Amazonian habitats, where we ended the day with a Band-tailed Antbird. Our first morning was spent at the Blanquillo macaw clay lick where we enjoyed one of the great parrot spectacles of the world. There were hundreds of shrieking Blue-headed Parrots and smaller numbers of Orange-cheeked, Yellow-crowned and Mealy Parrots and Dusky-headed, Tui and Cobaltwinged Parakeets present. Unfortunately, a perched Laughing Falcon prevented them from descending to the clay near our hide. In the meantime, the grassy Tessaria beach around our hide was good for passerines and we picked out Dark-breasted Spinetails, the smart little River Tyrannulet, the much requested Little Ground-Tyrant, and both Double-collared and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters. The short wait for the macaws was well worth it and after some initial hesitation around 60 Red-andgreen Macaws descended to the wall to break off chunks of the hard clay they so desperately crave. This macaw spectacle lasted for well over an hour and provided some great photographic opportunities but eventually we had to tear ourselves away. This was a wise choice, as moments later we were all standing with mouths agape as a Rufous-fronted Antthrush slowly walked across the trail in front of our stunned group. With this very localized near-endemic securely in the bag we continued on this streak of good luck with a pair of Amazonian Parrotlets perched midstorey in a Cecropia over the trail. Here in the bamboo we also had good looks at the retiring Peruvian Recurvebill, whopping Great Antshrikes, agile Manu Antbirds, sneaky Moustached Wrens and chunky Purus Jacamars. We spent two early mornings on different canopy platforms placed in giant kapok trees easily accessed by sturdily secured staircases. A splendid Curl-crested Aracari appeared at close-quarter, Cuvier’s and Yellow-ridged Toucans uttered their distinctive yelps and croaks from distant tree tops, and other goodies here included Purple-throated, Plum-throated and Spangled Cotingas, three species of tityras, and a fine assortment of tanagers and dacnises. Our only pair of perched Blackcapped (Rock) Parakeets added to our score of regional specialities, King Vulture, Grey-headed Kite and Red-throated Caracaras perched nearby and a Slate-coloured Hawk came gliding by our tree. There were White-necked and Pied Puffbirds, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatchers and an adrenalincharged mixed flock passed right by our tree with Chestnut-shouldered and Sclater’s Antwrens, Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner and Yellow-crested Tanager. We also visited a second oxbow lake where we found such localized species as Pale-eyed Blackbird and Black-billed Seed-Finch. There were Purus Jacamars perched ridiculously close to our catamaran, loud-mouthed Black-capped Donacobius foraging in floating vegetation, Wattled Jacanas doing their daily business in spite of fierce Black Caimans lurking nearby, and clumsy Hoatzins clambering about the viney lakeside vegetation. We worked the lodge’s huge network of forest trails finding some great Amazonian birds such as Red-necked Woodpecker, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher and a handsome male Pavonine Quetzal. Another memorable sighting was that of a Semicollared Puffbird perched in a swath of trailside lianas. We located a major flock in the floodplain forest in which we found Rufous-tailed Xenops, Long-tailed Woodcreeper and Zimmer’s Flycatcher among others. There were also plenty of birds in the lodge garden, including many hummingbirds such as White-bearded Hermit, Black-eared Fairy, Long-billed Starthroat, White-chinned Sapphire and Band-tailed Barbthroat. A night walk produced a male Ocellated Poorwill motionless on his nest and finally on our last afternoon we found an easily observed Bartlett’s Tinamou with its tiger-striped juvenile in tow. Our next port-of-call was the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado, where the afternoon was all about White-throated Jacamar, a great reward for a day spent on the river. We ended the day at a grove of Moriche palm where we saw Red-bellied Macaw and a Point-tailed Palmcreeper. After a final
6 Birdquest: The Manu 2008
morning of Amazonian birding near town that featured a perched White-bellied Parrot, we took a commercial jet flight back to Cusco where we had lunch in the plaza before setting off to our lodge in the Sacred Valley. The next morning we boarded our train to Machu Picchu and before we could even depart we were already watching Torrent Duck on the Rio Urubamba. All enjoyed the very scenic train ride and quickly after arriving at Aguas Calientes we took advantage of the cool morning hours to get some birding in before our tour of the ruins. We saw many of our targets in quick succession, with everything from Ocellated Piculet to Silvery (Silver-backed) Tanager, Sclater’s, Ashyheaded and Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulets, Oleaginous Hemispingus, garrulous Inca Wrens and our ultimate prize, the endemic Masked Fruiteater. We then toured the famed ruins of Machu Picchu with our informative interpretive guide under clear blue skies. A delicious buffet lunch followed and in the afternoon we enjoyed a busy set of feeders with numerous Green-and-white Hummingbirds, Chestnut-breasted Coronets and Booted Racket-Tails among others. Our second male Cock-of-theRock of the day made an appearance as did a very welcome Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet and feeling very happy with the day’s results we boarded the afternoon train back to Cusco. Upon our return to the coastal capital of Lima, we quickly set off for the Lomas de Lachay National Reserve, a hill formation in the midst of the Atacama desert. Here in a verdant desert valley covered in seasonal fog vegetation we saw a nice variety of coastal endemics and specialities such as Oasis Hummingbird, Peruvian Sheartail, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant, Cactus Canastero and Thick-billed Miner as well as more widespread species such as Purple-collared Woodstar, Mountain Parakeet, Bandtailed Sierra-Finch, Collared Warbling-Finch and Black-lored Yellowthroat. On the flowering desert floor we had good views of Coastal Miner and Least Seedsnipe whilst Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles cruised back and forth and the air was filled with the song flights of Yellowish Pipits. Later we experienced a very special evening meal at an excellent family run trattoria where we enjoyed ourselves over some nice Chilean wines. Our last day was spent along the coast south of Lima at the colourful fishing village of Pucusana, a place where birds are always plentiful. A short ride around the bay and past the tall sea cliffs was incredibly productive as usual, allowing us to have the unbeatable experience of feeding hundreds of Inca Terns following our boat. There were also large numbers of diving Peruvian Booby, some stunning fly-bys of Red-legged Cormorants and some incredibly close Guanay Cormorants resting on the summer home sea walls. We also enjoyed some wonderful views of not only Humboldt Penguins walking out on the open rock shelves near our boat but also a foursome of Peruvian Diving-Petrels at rest on a nearby patch of calm water. Elliot’s Storm-Petrel, Red Phalarope, Black Oystercatchers and Surfbirds could all be found around the bay itself and special mention should be made of the Surf (Peruvian Seaside) Cinclodes we saw so well. We then made a couple of successful stops for Amazilia Hummingbird, Peruvian Thick-knee and Peruvian Meadowlark out in the desert and enjoyed the delicious Peruvian cuisine of Don Cucho at lunchtime. At the Villa marshes Whitecheeked Pintail, Great Grebes, Killdeer and Black-necked Stilts graced the waters. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean we added Royal Tern, Parasitic Jaeger and American Oystercatcher to our tally of birds, and so rounding off this memorable tour.