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Peru Qs

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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 17:34   #1
amears
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Peru Qs

I’ll be birding in Peru in May with Steve Preddy. We’ve booked the majority of accom and travel for the itinerary pasted below (shows daily plan -- and accom), but we’re still in the process of reading up via relevant trip reports. While we do that, any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

Does anyone have a list of splits and lumps that updates the 2nd edition of the field guide? We’re discovering them piecemeal as we research but a comprehensive list would be useful.

#We’re keen to hear of any recent developments for good species on this itinerary, e.g. new stake outs, new discoveries, new trails, anything like that.
#Do we have a realistic chance of Zig-zag Heron, and if so, where/how?
#Any recent gen on seeing a ground-cuckoo?
#Any feeding stations or habituated individual birds of which we should be aware?
#Seeing Tapir or Giant Otter would be great, any ideas on these?

We could look for DSPlover over our last 2 days. I appreciate there is 2019 BF info to read, but we’d still be interested in thoughts on this. Might we find it frustrating to head inland for such a short time for example…? And is there a good place to stay between Lima and Anta Q'asa? Our alternative is to bird the coast of course, which I’m sure would be great.

We appreciate that the itinerary would ideally have a few more days covering some of the areas we’ll visit. We felt this was a decent compromise however with the time we have, and it should let us see a fantastic range of Andean and Amazonian birds.

Thanks in advance for any info,
Andy

7th MAY, morning flight to Cusco, drive to Ollantaytambo -- Ollantaytambo
Birding Ensifera camp, night train to Machu Picchu -- Aguas Calientes
Machu Picchu and back to Cusco -- Cusco
Birding Huacarpay Lakes and back to Cusco -- Cusco
Manu Road, birding beyond Cusco -- Wayqecha Biological Station
Manu Road -- Cock of the Rock Lodge
Cock of the Rock Lodge area -- Cock of the Rock Lodge
Cock of the Rock Lodge area -- Cock of the Rock Lodge
Manu Road, boat to Amazonia lodge -- Amazonia Lodge
Amazonia Lodge area -- Amazonia Lodge
Amazonia Lodge area -- Amazonia Lodge
Boat to Manu Wildlife Center -- Manu Wildlife Center
Manu Wildlife Center and surrounds -- Manu Wildlife Center
Manu Wildlife Center and surrounds -- Manu Wildlife Center
Manu Wildlife Center and surrounds -- Manu Wildlife Center
Travel to Puerto Maldonado, evening flight to Lima -- Lima
Birding the coast around Lima or head inland -- Lima…? Or elsewhere?
Birding around ?Lima? and evening flight home -- Flight departs 2035hrs

(same Qs are on the Peru forum)
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 18:34   #2
DMW
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I would say the obvious plan for your last 2 days (assuming you have a car) is to head up the Santa Eulalia Valley. There's decent birding all the way up the valley, including some localised endemics (e.g. White-cheeked Continga), and there is at least one cheap hotel in San Pedro de Casta.

The normal plan is to bird up the Santa Eulalia Valley and continue on to Marcopomacocha (Anta Q'asa) for DSP, White-bellied Cinclodes etc, taking 2-3 days.

If your itinerary is fixed, and you arrive in Lima in the evening, then have a full day and an evening flight the following day, you are going to be pushed to do all of this, and I think you would need to decide on priorities. You also need to bear in mind that the area where you are looking for DSP is at high altitude and you will be going from sea level to 4,800m (from memory?) without having time to properly acclimatise.

One possible option would be to pick up a car at the airport and head straight to San Pedro, overnight there; next day bird the mid StE Valley, spend the night in San Pedro again; last day set off pre-dawn up to the bogs for DSP, and head straight back to Lima airport.

Last edited by DMW : Friday 14th February 2020 at 18:37.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 19:30   #3
Larry Sweetland
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You mentioned Amazonia lodge and Giant Otter. A couple of years ago I spent a few days there and saw Giant Otter. Head out along the jeep track from the clearing in front of the lodge buildings, parallel to the main river to the left and the forested hills to the right. After a couple of hundred metres there's a trail on the right that loops back to rejoin the jeep track. It meets a swampy area in a few places where it's furthest from the jeep track, and here I saw the otter and other swampy stuff including Sungrebe.

The poorly managed ridge trail up above the trail that leads to the main observation tower produced trumpeters.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 08:48   #4
amears
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Thanks Larry, your gen noted. Trumpeters are important, we’re dead keen to see them.

DMW - looks like you’ve identified the option should we want to wring every last drop of quality birding potential from the trip. If we pushed the boat out, we could even have a driver meet us at the airport to get us to San Pedro quickly and safely I guess. Many thanks, all these ideas greatly appreciated.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 11:03   #5
Larry Sweetland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amears View Post
Thanks Larry, your gen noted. Trumpeters are important, we’re dead keen to see them.
.
I'll try and describe it a bit better then. The lodge, I believe, was under relatively new management when I was there, and they were struggling a bit to maintain the trails. One trail heads up to a very tall canopy tower on a forested slope, and I'd be surprised if they don't keep that one open. When heading off on that trail there is (was) an option before you start to climb steeply, to keep left at a fork and end up on a trail that loops to the right, and ascends a ridge above and behind the canopy tower. It was along this trail that I had amazing views of a group of trumpeters, and it was indeed possibly the most exciting moment of the trip. It wasn't an easy trail to follow though, and I was worried about getting lost, so I left markers for my way back down. I really hope they have maintained it for when you guys are there. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Yesterday, 20:20   #6
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Hi Andy,
I was writing a long post and just before sending, my browser froze.*
Instead of a second attempt, I'll just name some (potential) splits and recent additions that you should check:Bearded Mountaineer, Andean Hillstar, Cuzco Starfrontlet, Rufous-booted Racket-tail, Blue-cowled Barbet, Riparian Antbird, Humaita Antbird.There are plenty of 'targets' and I have made a list for myself (I can share it if you send me your email in personal message, and also a complete checklist), but it won't be complete in terms of taxonomy and maybe is missing some birds I considered I would see easier in Bolivia or C-Peru.*
If you just see what Saturnino Llactaman saw in 4 days at Manu Birding Lodge, you won't be far off seeing everything I guess:*https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3601096
I have no recent gen on ground-cuckoos. All I can say is that I saw one and I saw it pretty well:https://peru.observation.org/waarneming/view/81968547*
Your best bet is Amazonia lodge, closely followed by Pantiacolla but unfortunately you seem to have a bit less time than I had so you are not stopping there.*
I didn't see Tapir but there was a clay lick at Manu Birding lodge. The mattresses at the hide were very very dirty though so we opted out of enduring a night in a mosquito-infested hide. The only big ground mammal we saw were White-lipped Peccaries, but of course the area is great for e.g. Emperor Tamarin and other monkeys:*https://peru.observation.org/user/li...0&export_log=0
my sightings are here, to give you an impression and maybe some info on selected species. I was with my non-birding girlfriend so I didn't bird all the time:https://peru.observation.org/user/li...0&export_log=0
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Old Yesterday, 21:34   #7
amears
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Temmie - thanks, fantastic tips and links. Wouldn’t say no to a Tayra and your ground-cuckoo shots are beyond gripping (heard first then a careful stalk? Any gentle playback employed...?)

Have sent a personal message as you suggested.
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Old Today, 10:26   #8
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One more thing to keep in mind: when reading about distribution and splits, try to understand the map with all the big Peruvian rivers, Many species occur either North or South of the Amazon, but other rivers are as much (or maybe even more) important if you want to unravel biogeographical info:
North or South of the Maranon, East or West of the Ucayali and the three biggest rivers that flow into the Ucayali: rio Ene, but especially Apurimac and Mantaro.

If you follow the Apurimac closely, you will see it is a big barrier effectively splitting the same kind of habitat that you can find on the Eastern slope Andes North and South of the river. So it's a barrier for (subspecies) you can find on the Manu road, but for example not on the Satipo road. Same, but to a lesser degree is applicable on the Rio Urubamba and Rio Ene. So the area between Cuzco in the East and Abancay / Choquequirao in the East centered around the Salkantay (in your itinerary: around Macchu Picchu, and e.g. the lower (west) side of the Abra Malaga pass) is thus quite similar to the Manu road and the Satipo, but at the same time, there are some unique birds that don't occur further North or South. You are at a crossroads and the diversity can be simply overwhelming.

The rivers in the lowlands (Madre de dios, Purus and Beni) are less important biogeographical barriers, at least for birds, but for some mammals (like Titi Monkeys and maybe some Tamarins).
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