Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Moving on to Villa Tunari

We left Cochabamba and headed up into the hills and over a high pass, and the road then dropped steeply until we reached a narrow track that led through the cloud forest. We picked up a number of new birds beginning with Scarlet-bellied and the rather more uncommon Chestnut-bellied Mountain-tanager. A Bolivian Tyrannulet quickly followed, as did Rust-and-yellow Tanager, Spectacled Redstart, Montane Woodcreeper, and an untypically obliging Maroon-breasted Chat-tyrant

Maroon-breasted or Maroon-belted Chat-tyrant

Beside a fast flowing river we had a Golden-crowned Flycatcher, followed a little later by Streak-necked Flycatcher, Glossy-black Thrush, Dusky-green Oropendola and a brief Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper. After a picnic lunch we drove back up to the main road and spent the rest of the afternoon driving down into the valley, making frequent stops. A huge Black-and-chestnut Eagle was a bonus, as was a Sunbittern seen on yet another tumbling mountain stream. Other goodies included a pair of Saffron-crowned Tanagers, brief Blue-banded Toucanet, Western Wood Pewee, Chestnut-collared Swift, White-throated Kingbird and finishing off with a Fasciated Tiger-heron.

Bolivian Brush-finch

The day was all about quality and good views of most things, but there was also a fine supporting cast and other highlights included Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Light-crowned Spinetail, Red-crested Cotinga, Tyrian Metaltail, Bolivian Brush-finch, White-winged and Fawn-breasted Tanagers. It was a pleasant surprise to find our accommodation at Villa Tunari was amongst the best of the whole tour and even came complete with Russet-backed Oropendolas nesting in the garden.

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