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Antpitta and Ground Cuckoo Twitch in Peru and Ecuador 20 days.


Banded Ground-Cuckoo is staked out at the Un Poco de Choó reserve in west Ecuador. We want to take the opportunitiy to run this tour from a few years ago again.
An epic tour starting in Tarapoto, Peru ending in Quito, Ecuador. We have selected an itinerary that will visit all the best places for Antpittas in Northern Peru and Ecuador. Apart from Pale-billed, Jocotoco, Ochre-fronted, Giant, Moustached and Rufos-crowned Antpittas, we shall also be looking for Banded Ground-Cuckoo, Marvelous Spatuletail and Long-whiskered Owlet.

The birding is easy but quite intense. Lodging is generally good.throughout. Antpittas may be time consuming to see, why patience will be a virtue. Some people on our last tour preferred to spend more time looking for other birds than spending time looking for the Antpittas. There are many places with excellent hummingbird feeders why this is a good tour for bird photography. 

No Departures for this Tour

If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.

Day 1. Arrival to Tarapoto. Hotel Cumbaza or similar. Dinner not included.

Day 2. We shall bird the gallery forest at Juan Guerra for Huallaga Slaty Antshrike, Mishana Tyrannulet, Ash-headed Greenlet, Chestnut-throated Spintail and Rufous Casiornis first thing in the morning. Other birds here include White-browed Antbird , Stripe-chested Antwren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Barred Antshrike, Buff-breasted Wren, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher,Great Antshrike, Hoatzin, White-necked Thrush, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Red-eyed Vireo, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Buff-throated Saltator, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Drab Water-Tyrant, Gray-breasted Martin, White-banded Swallow, Hook-billed Kite and Short-tailed Hawk, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, White-lined Tanagers and Yellow-breasted Flycatcher. Later we head up the road towards Yurimaguas and the Tunnel. Here some of the keybirds are Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Koepcke´s Hermit, Goudld´s Jewelfront and Blackish Pewee. We continue via the Oilbird creek along the road to Moyobamba where we shall spend the night. Wakanqui

Day 3. We shall check the feeders at Wakanqui. It is not impossoble to see around 18 species of Hummingbirds in a short morning. Star hummers include Rufous'crested Coquette and Black-throated Hermit. Wakanqui is also a great place for the newly described Varzea Thrush and Mishana Tyrannulet.

Leter we bird at Afluentes with Cock of the Rock, Tanager flocks, Umbrellabird and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow among the possibilities. Other good birds include Ecuadorian Piedtail and Napo Sabrewing among the hummers, Black-mandibled Toucan, Equatorial Graytail, a not yet named formed of White-crowned Tapaculo (possibly a good species) Gray-mantled Wren, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Foothill Antwren, the endemic Speckle-chested Piculet, Versicolored Barbet and a wide variety of tanagers including perhaps the scarce Vermilion Tanager and with luck the endemic Ash-throated Antwren. 

In the late afternoon we arrive at Fundo Alta Nieva. Lodging here is somewhat more basic, but with both Royal Sunangel, Bronzy Inca and Rufous-vented Whitetip on the feeders it is a winner and makes up for any percieved discomfort. It also a great place to see Ochre-fronted Antpitta and Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant
In the evening we shall put ourself in position to search for Long-whiskered Owlet.  Other good birds in the Abra Patricia area include Cinnamon Screech-Owl and Ochre-fronted Antpitta. Cabañas Fundo Alta Nieva.

Day 4. We shall be up pre-dawn looking for the owlet if we failed the previous evening. The rest of the morning we shall look for the flocks of Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey and birds such as Rusty-tinged and Ochre-fronted Antpittas, an undescribed form of Bicolored Antvireo (possibly a good species), Chesnut Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga are other possibilities this day.  We plan to do additional birding near Abra Patricia for Lulu's Tody-Tyrant and finshing the day with the trails at the Abra Patricia Lodge for additional species such as White-capped Tanager and Chestnut Antpitta. 

Day 5. Abra Patricia most of the day. Ochre-fronted Antpitta is key species for the Antpitta lovers in this region and hopefully we shall already have gotten it., but also  Chestnut, Rusty-tinged  and Rusty-breasted (Leimebamba) Antpitta are possible. At the stunted forests over 2000m we find Peruvian Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Rufous-headed Pygmy Tyrant, Lulu's Tody-Tyrant, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-scarfed, White-capped Tanager, Metallic-green Tanagers, White-collared Jay, Bar-winged Wood-Wren and many more.  In the afternoon we drive to Pomacochas for an overnight stay in the fine Puerto Pumas hotel. We shall check the feeders at Huembo for Marvelous Spatuletail, Bronzy Inca and Little Woodstar. 

Day 6.
We shall make a  try for Pale-billed Antpitta on the Rio Chido Trail above Pomacochas. Other good birds often seen here include Russet-mantled Softtail, Schulenbergi race of Plain-tailed  Wren and Chestnut-crested Cotinga.  The rest of the day we drive to Jaen checking out rice-paddies in the way for crakes, scrub for Marañon Spinetail and the cactus scrub for Little Inca-Finch. Night in Jaen.

Day 7. Most of the day is a transport day. Drive across Peru Ecuador border from Jaen towards Tapichalaca reserve. En route we have additional chance for Marañon Spinetail, which often is tricky on the main North Peru tour. Other endemics of this region include Marañon Slaty-Antshrike, Chinchipe Spintetail and Marañon Crescentchest. We stay the night in basic accomodation in Valladolid. We plan to arrive late as the boarding crossing is still not very straight forward and took several hours last time we did this. 

Day 8. Birding Tapichalaca Jocotoco Antpitta reserve all day. Apart from starbird Jocotoco Antpitta which know is being fed with worms, there are also Slate-crowned and Rufous Antpittas, White-throated Quail-Dove and hummers such as Flame-throated Sunangel and Rufous-capped Thornbill.  Stay at the comfortable Tapichalaca Lodge

Day 9. Birding paramo at Cerro Toledo with Neblina Metaltail and Masked Mountain Tanager.  Other birds here include: Orange-banded Flycatchers, Grey-hooded Bush-Tanagers, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanagers, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, and Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Pale-footed and Brown-bellied Swallows. If we are lucky and there is some seeding bamboo we may get Maroon-chested Ground-Dove and Slaty Finch. Drive past Loja to Saraguro.

Day 10. Key bird above Saraguro is Crescent-faced Antpitta.   Also a chance to see Red-faced Parrot here. Other birds Scarlet-bellied, Buff-breasted, and Lacrimose Mountain-Tanagers, Agile Tit-Tyrant, Black-headed Hemispingus, Flammulated Treehunter, Black-crested and Citrine Warblers, Blue-backed Conebill, Golden-crowned Tanager, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, and Rufous-chested Tanager, Glowing Puffleg and Rainbow Starfrontlet, and Chusquea Tapaculo and Plain-tailed Wren. We stay in a hotel near Jiron south-west of Cuenca.

Day 11.  AM. Yungilla for the critically endangered Pale-headed Brush-Finch, continue driving across Cajas National Park for the endemic Violet-throated Metaltail. Other birds here in the Polylepis include Giant Conebill, Tit-like Dacnis and Blue-mantled Thornbill. We will probably do some night driving to get to Guayaquil to visit Cerro Blanco reserve the following morning. 

Day 12. AM Cerro Blanco with Henna-hooded Foliagegleaner, Rufous-headed Chachalaca and Saffron Siskin. If it is possible to arrange we shall try to visit an area where there is a chance to see Great Green Macaw. Rest of the day driving to San Miguel de los Bancos.

Day 13. Rio Salanche and continue to Un Poco de Choco reserve. At Rio Salanche the birds include Choco Toucan, Orange-Fronted Barbet, Pale-Mandibled Aracari, Lineated Woodpecker, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Wedge-Billed Woodcreeper, Spotted Woodcreeper, Black-Striped Woodcreeper, White-Flanked Antwren, Dot-Winged Antwren, Chestnut-Backed Antbird, Masked Tityra, White-Bearded Manakin, Band-Backed Wren, Gray-and-Gold Tanager, Tawny-Crested Tanager, Scarlet-Breasted Dacnis and more. There is a good 15 m high observation platform that may be used. We continue when activity slows down at midmorning to Un poco de Choco reserve where we hope to do some initial birding in the afternoon.  Key feature will be to locate an Army Antswarm, as the site recently has produced the rare Banded Ground-Cuckoo.  Overnight at basic Un Poco de Choco (bunkbeds).

Day 14. All day at Un Poco de Choco looking for the Banded Ground-Cuckoo.  Also here are Spotted Nightengale-Thrush and Immaculate Antbird. 

Day 15. Birding at Mango Lomas for Long-wattled Umbrellabird and Black-tipped Cotinga and perhaps with luck Rufos-crowned Antpitta.  Night in San MIguel de los Bancos.

Day 16.  All morning at the relatively new Mashpi road where we hope to find Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black SolitaireMoss-backed- and Glistening-green Tanager, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Rose-faced Parrot and flocks with many other tanagers and flycatchers, many of which are endemic to the Chocó region in northwest Ecaudor and western Colombia. Night in San Miguel de los Bancos.

Day 17. AM Great, Yellow-breasted and Moustached Antpittas at Refugio de Paz and many other birds, such as Cock-of-the-Rock, Crimson-rumped Toucanet. Continue to Quito and Yanacocha for hummingbird feeders that often include Sword-billed Hummingbird and hopefully the rare Black-breasted Puffleg. At nightfall we shall try to see Imperial Snipe above Yanacocha. Hotel in Quito.

Day 18. Papallacta pass with Tawny Antpitta and Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe on to San Isisdro Lodge, via Guango. There is a recent report of Crescent-faced Antpitta from Papallacta area. Night at San Isidro Lodge. 

Day 19-20 San Isidro Lodge and Huacamayos pass. Feeding of  White-bellied Antpitta. Particular attention will be spent looking for Peruvian Antpitta and San Isidro Owl (undescribed).

On day 20 we shall drive to the new lodge Wild Sumaco which has become a very popular as a productive birding stop-over taking the land route to Coca for birding in the Amazonian rainforest. Some birds possible here include Coppery-chested Jacamar, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Blue-rumped Manakin, Lined Antshrike, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Gray-tailed Piha, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater and Short-tailed Antthrush.  Much rarer are Military Macaw, Yellow-throated Spadebill and Gray-throated Leaftosser.  There are many hummingbirds at the feeders including  Ecuadorian Piedtail, Rufous-vented Whitetip,  Napo Sabrewing, Green and Gray-chinned Hermits, Black-throated Brilliant, Rufous-tailed Sapphire, Violet-headed Hummingbirdand and Many-spotted Hummingbird.

November to Ferbuary is is also a good month for the threatened migrant Cerulean Warbler.

Dec 21. Birding Wild Sumaco in the morning . Those continuing to La Selva will be  leaving around 11 AM with a box lunch. The rest stay at the lodge untill around 3 pm and then start heading back to Quito.

Let us know if you want to add a stay at Selva Lodge or any other lowland lodge on Rio Napo. 



Option: Antpitta and Ground Cuckoo twitch in Peru and Eciuador Days: 20
Price: US$ 7550 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 550 US$




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