Trip report: Northern Colombia (March 2021) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Jose Illanes. This was a set-departure tour.

After a break for a year, due to the global lockdown, it was wonderful to be able to run this tour again in 2021. The tour started out at Salamanca National Park, where Sapphire-bellied and Sapphire-throated Hummingbirds and Bicolored Conebills all featured. Before the end of this day, we had also added Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Bicolored Wren, Russet throated Puffbird, Bare-faced Ibis, Green-rumped Parrotlet and the rare Northern Screamer. Moving onto the Guajira Peninsula, we observed some cracking species, like White-whiskered Spinetail, Lance-tailed Manakin, Black-backed Antshrike, Tocuyo Sparrow, Orinoco Saltator, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird and Vermilion Cardinal. On our third day of birding we visited Tayrona National Park, clocking birds like Military Macaw, Whooping Motmot, the White-bellied Antbird before making our way up into the Santa Marta Mountains for an extended stay. This yielded a series of specialists of this mountain range, like White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Antbird, Santa Marta Foliage-Gleaner, Santa Marta Brushfinch, Hermit Wood-Wren, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Santa Marta Screech-Owl Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, White-lored and Santa Marta Warblers, Yellow-crowned Redstart. Other highlights in this area included Groove-billed Toucanet, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Lined-Quail-Dove and Sierra Nevada Brushfinch. Following this time in El Dorado Reserve in the mountains we descended to Minca, which held avian treats of its own, like Scaled Piculet, Coppery Emerald and the endemic Golden-winged Sparrow. The tour ended close to Barranquilla city, with one more specialty, the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca that closed out the tour.

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