12th – 15th February – El Paujil, Colombia.   Leave a comment

Leaving Ocana we drove south through the Upper Magdelena Valley. Much of this area is given over to cattle ranching but there are a few roadside marshes. In the late afternoon we turned off the main road and headed to the El Paujil reserve stopping a number times.


The strange Donocobious has changed its affiliations as often as Italy has changed governments. Once included with the mockingbirds, then the wrens, it is now placed in its own family.


Northern Screamer is restricted to a small area of northern Colombia and neighbouring Venezuela. It is the last, and by far the rarest of the three Screamer species to be added to my list.


Bare-faced Ibis


Pied Water Tyrant


White-headed Marsh Tyrant


Eventually dusk fell and we had to leave the open meadows and drive on to the El Paujil reserve.


We spent two and half days at El Paujil. The days started with a wade across the river followed by a 300m hike up the hill.


Soon we were getting good views over beautiful primary forest. It was quite warm and very humid and I found climbing the hill a bit tough.


This strange lizard was seen near our chalet.


There were plenty of moths around including this beautiful hawk-moth.


By far the best bird was the critically endangered and seldom seen Blue-billed Curassow. We had great views of a group of two males and two females on our third and final morning. This bird however is held for a captive breeding program, which at the moment is doomed to failure as they only have three females.


Roger Clifft relaxing (and fooling about) in a hammock..

Although 75 years old Roger was extremely fit and even used to go jogging at lunchtime in spite of the hot and humid conditions. However not long after leaving El Paujil he suffered severe abdominal pains which was eventually diagnosed as peritonitis. A visit to to a small hospital at our next stop in Libanon failed to diagnose the problem and he left the tour when we arrived in Medellin and he remains in hospital there today. Roger was great company and a really nice bloke to be on tour with. His illness cast a long shadow over the trip and we wish him a speedy recovery and return to the UK.

Posted March 6, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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