Lowland Amazonia Rainforest Specialties
The Diverse Peruvian Amazon
Photographer: Rob Tizzard
A relaxing birding tour based at comfortable lodges in the extremely diverse rainforests of southeastern Amazonian Peru. We have a great number of easily accessible lowland rain forest habitats close to our lodge the historic Explorers Inn recently upgraded and remodeled, where pioneers of Peruvian Ornithology such as Ted Parker did much of their research. This was the first ever lodge in the southern Peruvian rainforest and still is today one of the best 40 years later. A week at one lodge – no packing or unpacking and getting to know the birds and other wildlife well with daily siestas in the heat of the day.
Day 1: Arrive in Lima and transfer to our hotel in Lima. Overnight at our hotel close to the airport. B: L: D
Day 2:Flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado we will drive to the Tambopata River Port. This forty-five-minute drive will take us to the port where we catch the lodge boat with lunch aboard to Explorers Inn. As we eat lunch on the boat, we may see: Pied Lapwing, Collared Plover, King Vulture, Bat Falcon, Olive and Russet-backed Oropendolas and Ringed Kingfisher and Amazon Kingfisher. Overnight at Explorers Inn. B: L: D
Day 3-8: Settle in!!!We’ll explore the extensive trail system that goes through all forest types and microhabitats thus giving us a shot of all the lowland forest birds of South-East Peru. Among the variety of habitats found here one of the most amazing is the bamboo forest, a favorite of the late Ted Parker at Explorers Inn. Ted Parker, one of the best tropical ornithologist of his time, spent several seasons studying the avian fauna of the Tambopata region at Explorer’s Inn. He had the unique and uncanny ability to detect very subtle differences in behavior and other patterns among birds. He noticed that in those bamboo patches there was “something happening” with the group of birds that occurred in those patches and nowhere else.
He defined as “obligate bamboo users” those specialists entirely restricted to living in bamboo habitats – we will visit this habitat at the lodge but also one day we’ll visit Tres Chimbadas 20 minutes by boat from the lodge. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine Giant River Otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, Hoatzin and Horned Screamers, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-billed Seed-Finch, Purus Jacamar, Amazonian Streaked Antwren, Silvered and Band-tailed Antbird’s. But first, leaving lake side birding behind, we will focus on bamboo specialists. We will look for the endemic White-cheeked Tody Tyrant, Peruvian Recurvebill, Red-billed Scythebill, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-breasted Piculet, Brown-rumped Foliage Gleaner, Large- headed Flatbill, Dusky- tailed Flatbill, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Flammulated Bamboo-tyrant, Dot- winged and Ornate Antwren, White-lined Antbird, Rufous capped Nunlet, Pheasant Cuckoo and Striped Cuckoo.
One day we visit the parrot clay lick, which is a 10-minute boat ride from the lodge. A clay lick is an exposed area of clay with higher concentrations of salts and other important minerals, where parrot species converge to eat allowing observation of various species of parrots and parakeets. We will also visit a 42-meter-high tower in order to enjoy the spectacular views of the sunset and surroundings. We have the chance to see a variety of fauna species, including 3 species of big Macaws and smaller types of macaws, parrots, toucans and monkeys.
On the lodge trails there are too many possibilities to list, this is habitat for Starred Wood Quail, Pale-winged Trumpeter, several Trogons, Foliage-gleaners, Black-tailed Leaftosser, many Woodcreepers, Antbirds, Flycatchers, Manakins, and much more. Mixed species flocks are especially diverse with understory flocks led by Bluish-slate Antshrike and Red-crowned Ant-Tanagers. They often contain up to 30 species (or more!) including: Plain-winged Antshrike, Dusky-throated Antshrike, White-eyed Antwren, Plain-throated Antwren, Gray and White-flanked Antwren. Canopy mixed flocks are equally as diverse are led by White-winged Shrike Tanager. Others we bump into and look for include Thrush-like Antpitta, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper and Spix's Woodcreeper. Cocacocha Lake which we may make a day trip to with a packed lunch holfs Agami Heron, Rufescent Tiger-heron, Pygmy and Green-and-rufous Kingfishers, and Sunbittern. After hikes we can continue to bird within the confines of the lodge clearing where canopy flocks, Squirrel Cuckoo, Masked Crimson Tanager, Cinammon- throated Woodcreeper, Speckled Chachalaca, Buff-throated Saltator, Grayish Saltator, Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Crested and Russet-backed Oropendolas, Piratic Flycatatcher, Yellow-billed Nunbird and Yellow-tufted Woodpecker are present. Terra firme forest not affected by yearly floods contain a totally different set of birds and we may happen across an Army Ant swarm with its attendant obligate Army Ant following birds.
We will explore older river created habitats– forests of Cecropia and Balsa Wood with a bamboo understory. This is the habitat of the rare Rufous-fronted Anthrush, and the Lemon-throated Barbet, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Cabani’s Spinetail, Amazonian Antpitta, Blackish Antbird, Fuscous Flycatcher, Guira Tanager and Orange-backed Troupial. As we exit the forest, we will bird on grassy areas with Tessaria and young Cecropia trees. These are not very diverse for birds but are the main habitat for Plain-crowned and Dark-breasted Spinetails, Mottle-backed Elaenia, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Thrush, Orange-headed Tanager, and Seedeater species amongst others. A visit to the palm swamp may allow us to spot the Cinereous and Great Tinamou, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Silvered and Plumbeous Antbirds, White-eyed Attila, Sulphury Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Palm Swift and Pectoral Sparrow. Some evenings for those that wish, we will venture out near the lodge to spot-light Pauraque, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Great Potoo, Long tailed Potoo, Ocellated Poorwill and if we are lucky a Mottled Owl or Crested Owl. There is also the possibility of taking macro shots of American Bullfrogs, Horned Frog, tree frogs and other creatures of the night. B: L: D
Day 9: We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado and catch the flight to Lima and connecting international flights (or to Cusco if desired)
Does not include air Lima - Puerto Maldonado – Lima but we will purchase these on request. The price depends on when we get your full name, deposit and passport numbers – you can check current prices at www.LATAM.com