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venezuela advice (1 Viewer)

cassowary

Well-known member
Greetings

I intend to be traveling by car around Henri Pittier, Merida and los llanos for 3 weeks in March this year.

Q: Any reasonably priced car rental place in the Caracas area? Do they exist?

Q: If possible I would like to hook up with local birders -know of any - please let me know. (I haven't received a reply back from Venezuelan Audubon)

Q: Any hot-spots for tricky species Bird/Animal (that aren't well published) in this area would be appreciated.

Q: Quickest way by road from el Cedral to Henri Pittier (I have conflicting maps)

Q: I am considering driving South from San Fernando to Puerto Paez and then to Puerto Ayacucho (amazonas). - Is there a car ferry to el burro? - Is this area easy to bird?

Q: any tit bits of general info for this area. Hotels/dining/potenial problems etc..for the areas mentioned above.

Your input is appreciated

Good luck and Good Birding
 

Xenopsaris

Active member
Hi Mike
Hiring a car in Venezuela? Good luck to you. The usual hire car firms are there but the cars are very expensive and in poor shape. I hired a couple of times and had numerous break-downs and they'll charge heavilly you for any little scratch.
Regards, DT
 

cassowary

Well-known member
A reply!! Thanks, xenopsaris. Fortunately I have also been able to get some feedback from other birders who have birded this area and hopefully things will work out.

I am still looking for a reasonably priced bird guide for from March 2-6 for the henri pittier area.
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hello Mike!

Just to clarify, Venezuela Audubon is very much alive and kicking and does still run tours. However, the Society no longer functions as an information service for visiting birders - this took up a lot of time and eventually cost the Society a lot of money that could have gone into conservation. For information on the Venezuela Audubon Society contact Juan Vega on [email protected] or +58-212-9922812 / 9923268. If you are thinking of planning your own trip, the best thing to do is perhaps to get hold of Mary Lou Goodwin's "Birding in Venezuela" and do some research to fill in the gaps. Most of the British tour companies now offer Venezuela tours, some of which provide excellent value for money.

Good luck with your travels, Chris
 

cassowary

Well-known member
Oops I meant shortest distance from Hato Cedral to Hato Pinero (not henri pittier). Anyway Chris thanks for the PM/e-mails.
 

Xenopsaris

Active member
Hi Mike
My hot spot suggestion would be Yacambu national park. A place not too many people get. I've had some great birding there. There's a local birder near there name of Pepe Clavijo who can help you. He works exclusively with Chris Sharpe and the Birding Venezuela people. Sharpe has a handy little bird guide to that area with tips on seeing some of the specialties like great antpitta and so forth. You should contact Chris anyway as his Venezuela knowledge is second to none and he might be available to guide you if he's not leading at the time. I dont have his details to hand but youll find him on the Net.
Regards, DT
 

cassowary

Well-known member
Dave; Xenopsaris, thanks for your input, particularly as I haven't had time to really do my 'homework'. I looked up Yacambu and immediately got to Chris Sharps website - small world.
Anyway hopefully I will spend a couple of nights here.

By the way, still looking for a guide (definately for the 2nd and 3rd of march) near Henri Pittier (I have a rented a car)

By the way I went through a tour company and got a 2007 4x4 fully insured for 3 weeks for significantly less han hertz and avis were asking for an uninsured compact. Hopefully this will work out.
 

cassowary

Well-known member
Back in the USA - car rental (with a tour company - Natoura) was a success despite numerous attempts by Venezuelan drivers and the roads.
I didn't have time to read up and didn't have mary lou goodwins book with me. However, I created playlists of calls from bosmans CD on itunes using hiltys distribution maps and used calls effectively for a number of species. Probably the most unexpected callback was highland tinamou at choroni pass (henri pittier). I didnt use a guide for most of the trip so a lot of lbjs and lgjs remained just that. Still managed 80% of my target species (mostly easily identifiable birds).

Biggest surprise bird (see picture attached) (digiscoped and used an HID flashlight at approx 20 yards)
 

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Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hello Mike!

Glad you had a good trip! It's not unusual to hear Highland Tinamou in the pre-dawn, or just afterwards, at the ChoronĂ­ Pass, though seeing it there is a challenge because of the terrain. If you have time to hike a bit, the Pico Guacamayo Trail above the Rancho Grande Biological Station provides an easier opportunity to find it together with some of the other specialities more readily found at higher altitudes (Caracas Tapaculo, Black-throated Spinetail, Scallop-breasted Antpitta, "Rufescent" Screech-Owl). Great photo!

Happy birding! Chris
 

cassowary

Well-known member
Thanks Chris;

Anyway I created a quick spreadsheet for birds that I might see in various areas in Venezuela (I used someone else's base spreadsheet to start), its not completed but I found this useful as a quick reference guide as to what birds can be seen in the areas that I was going. The remarks and area crosses were made quickly and almost solely from hilty so could use some work. I hope someone finds this spreadsheet a useful base-plate. Also helpful for compiling song play lists for different areas.

if anyone wants the xls file (Bird forum doesn't support uploading xls files) i can e-mail it.
 

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