Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Siberia to Cochabamba

It was amazing how much more activity there was in Siberia forest this morning, compared to yesterday afternoon and we soon started notching up new birds. No sooner had we jumped out of the bus than a Great Thrush and Red-crested Cotinga were teed up in the scope. A Tyrian Metaltail perched just long enough for us to get on to and a pair of Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrants were rather cooperative. We spent most of the morning walking along a trail into the cloud forest and were accompanied by flocks of Scaly-naped Parrots frequently flying over. 

Trilling Tapaculo

At the first corner a Trilling Tapaculo showed incredibly well, Bolivian Brush-finch appeared, a beautiful Spotted Nightingale-thrush was seen by a few of us and an Andean Tyrant appeared. Moving on we had Speckled Hummingbird, Variable Antshrike and a Light-crowned Spinetail along the trail. Then, a random bit of owl call from the ipod resulted in a few birds coming in to check us out, with 3 Blue-winged Mountain-tanagers, Masked Flowerpiercer and Fawn-breasted Tanager being the pick of the bunch. 

Blue-winged Mountain-tanager

But when a Yungas Pygmy-owl began calling back from the nearby moss-encrusted trees we spent an age trying to find it but eventually succeeded in getting this little beauty perched on a number of occasions. A Blue-backed Conebill also flew in to check out all of the commotion, as did both White-crested and Highland Elaenias, and a Bar-bellied Woodpecker was seen by just a few lucky group members. 

Wedge-tailed Hillstar

With time running out we walked on a bit further and had a fine Blue-and-black Tanager and a pair of Andean Slaty-thrushes as well before it was time to leave and set out on the long journey to Cochabamba. The road passed through several more arid inter-Andean valleys and we made a few stops along the way. The first notable one produced a Rock Earthcreeper calling away from the top of a cliff and we were also privileged to see the endemic Wedge-tailed Hillstar perched in a small bush. Miguel picked up a Creamy-breasted Canastero, whilst White-backed Chat-tyrant, Yellow-billed Tit-tyrant, Bronze-winged Cowbird, Plumbeous Sierra-finch, Chiguanco Thrush and Giant Hummingbird were all new additions to our list here. A little later an Andean Flicker caused a quick stop and at our final stop a pair of superb Black-headed Sierra-finches were seen, along with Ash-breasted Sierra-finch and a few flyby Andean Gulls.

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