February 4th – Chingaza National Park again   Leave a comment

Today we visited an area on the far side of Chingaza. This meant we would have to take the main road out of Bogotá towards the Llanos and Venezuela which is descends some 1700m to our turn off, and is full of hairpin bends and crawling lorries. Even leaving at 0345 didn’t spare us from the lorry jam and it took three hours to reach our destination.

Birding, if measured by the number of forest species seen, was very good but we didn’t see any birds that were lifers for me. Three or four fast-moving flocks tested our identification skills (mine were certainly found wanting) as we picked up birds with wonderful names like Oleagenous Hemispingus and Montane Foliage-gleaner.

Surprises came in the form of the tree-dwelling Masked Trogon picking up gravel off the track and the skulking, ground dwelling Lined Quail-dove walking out in open in front of us. The bird we really wanted to see was the Cundinammarca Antpitta, a species only discovered in the late 80’s and then not seen for many years as this area was in Fark guerillas hands. We heard several, one very close to the road, attempts to tape it in brought it to within a few feet of our group, yet it remained invisible, you could even hear the leaves rustle as it moved !

Much of the rest of the morning was spent trying to find another more responsive bird but to no avail. It has been very dry in this area recently and perhaps they are not breeding, or perhaps too many birders have tried to tape out the same few birds and they won’t play ball anymore.



We were most surprised to see this Masked Trogon on the road ……


… but not as surprised as we were to see the mega-skulking Lined Quail-dove striding up the path.


An Andean Toucanet seen plucking a fruit and catching it in its bill. I only took my pocket camera and my ageing Lumix camera on this trip. I think the Lumix will be retired on my return.



Posted February 5, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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