Left the lodge at 5.45am and headed to the start of the Old Coroico road some 30 minutes away and began the ascent. It was an incredibly slow and quiet start enlivened only by a displaying Plumbeous Kite and a singing Southern Beardless Tyrannulet. A little higher up we found a Rusty Flowerpiercer and shortly afterwards a pair of Upland Antshrikes were called in to give great views. Nearby a Yungas Dove walked across a branch of a Cecropia tree and a Small-billed Elaenia appeared. We kept driving up a couple of hundred metres in elevation before walking a long transect and repeating the process over and over.
In this way we covered a lot of ground quite quickly and easily and around our lunch stop we saw White-necked Thrush, a cracking Variable Antshrike that came in quite close and a pair of Spotted Tanagers showed well, along with Blue-and-black Tanager, Slate-throated Whitestart, and both Golden-rumped and Orange-bellied Euphonia.
Walking on and Cinnamon Flycatcher became quite common, a few Andean Solitaires were seen, followed by Blue-banded Toucanet, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Golden-crowned and Streaked Flycatchers, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Mountain Wrenand Red-eyed (Chivi) Vireo.
And then the forest became silent. We birded from 2500m up to the top at 3000m and it was dead. I mean dead.
We saw a couple of Amethyst-throated Sunangels, a brief Streak-necked Flycatcher, Masked Flowerpiercer, a pair of Barred Fruiteaters, had decent looks at Slaty-backed (Maroon-belted) Chat-Tyrant, Gould’s Inca and that was it. So we cut our losses and headed back to La Paz, stopping at Pongo where a pair of Plain-coloured Seedeaters were seen.