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A Report from

Peru South April 1999,

John van der Woude

Birding in Peru will get a new impulse with the field guide by Clements & Shany. Here is a summary of John van der Woude's report of his independent trip to the South of this country: Tambopata tropical lowlands, high Andes and coastal desert. The full report is at There you will also find photos of the scenery of the birding sites, and several sounds (in mp3 format).

Peru South 9-30 April 1999

Summary of trip report by John van der Woude, The Netherlands.

This April trip was at the transition from the wetter to the drier season. We had little rain, but especially in the Andes it had been very rainy just before we came there. We visited three totally different regions, with very few bird species overlapping: a. the Amazonian lowland forest at the Tambopata reserve near Puerto Maldonado (9 days), b. the Andes near Cuzco (1 week), c. the Pacific coast S of Lima (Paracas, Villa marshes; 3 days). In the Amazonian lowland we had temperatures of nearly 30 degrees Celsius, but on the last days we had an early friaje, a cold wind from the South (they even say from Patagonia), and the temperatures dropped to 20 C in midday. In the Andes we stayed at altitudes mainly between 2800 and 4000 m, and the temperatures ranged from near freezing point in the early morning high up, to a pleasant 18 C or so in midday at 2800 m. The coast is a desert, although with a cool breeze all day.

The Explorer's Inn lodge in Tambopata has a nice setting in a clearing in the forest reserve, and consists of several 4-room bungalows on both sides of the main building, all wooden buildings of course. There is no generator so no noisy motors at any time of the day or night. A few lights in the main building work on solar power, the fridges etc. run on butane. In the rooms are candles. Each room has its own bathroom with cool ('refreshing') shower. On average there were 15 to 20 guests, but this can be over 70 in the high season (August I think). The trails around the lodge were still muddy from the wet season, further from the lodge they were better. They will dry up in a month or so. Wellington boots are provided but we always bring our own.

In the Andes our stay was centered at Ollantaytambo, for visits to the famous Abra Malaga pass and Macchu Picchu. At the coast we enjoyed our stay at the Paracas hotel, and when back in Lima we still got several lifers at the Villa marshes near the town.

Species highlights in the tropical lowlands of Tambopata (Explorer's Inn mainly) for us were: Bartlett's Tinamou, Slate-coloured Hawk, White-winged (Pale-w) Trumpeter, 5 macaw species (including Red-bellied Macaw), Orange-cheeked Parrot, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, White-bearded Hermit, Needle-billed Hermit, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Brown-mandibled Aracari, Red-stained Woodpecker, Golden-green Woodpecker, Red-necked Woodpecker, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Bar-bellied Woodcreeper, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Olive-backed Foliage-gleaner, Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner, Rufous-tailed Xenops, White-shouldered Antshrike, Plain-winged (Black-capped) Antshri, Dusky-throated Antshrike, Bluish-slate Antshrike, Sclater's Antwren, Plain-throated Antwren, White-eyed Antwren, Chestnut-shouldered Antwren, Black-faced Antbird, Band-tailed Antbird, Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Plumbeous Antbird, Band-tailed Manakin, Dusky-tailed Flatbill, Sirystes, Musician Wren, Lawrence's Thrush, White-winged Shrike-tanager, Slate-coloured Seedeater, Epaulet Oriole.

Some species highlights in the Andes were: Torrent Duck, Mountain Caracara, Spot-winged Pigeon, Mountain Parakeet, White-tufted Sunbeam, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Common Miner, Slender-billed Miner, Tawny Tit-spinetail, White-browed Tit-spinetail, Puna Thistletail, Marcapata Spinetail, Streak-throated Canastero, Unicoloured Tapaculo, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Smoky Bush-tyrant, Inca Wren, Black-capped Hemispingus, Parodi's Hemispingus, Golden-collared Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Mountain-tanager, Silver-backed (Silvery) Tanager, Plushcap.

Some specials at the coast were:

Great Grebe, Humboldt Penguin, Cape Petrel, Guanay Cormorant, Red-legged Cormorant, Plumbeous Rail, Peruvian Thick-knee, Peruvian Tern, Coastal Miner, Surf (Peruvian Seaside) Cinclodes.

For more details see the full report at


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