PERU, JULY 2019
The highlands of central Peru offer spectacular scenery and a wide diversity of bird species inhabiting elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m elevation. Our trip specializes on the high Andes, although we include a day on the coast near Lima to find Pacific favorites such as Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Booby, Red-legged Cormorant, Blackish Oystercatcher, Kelp Gull, and Inca Tern, and also will spend a few days in mid-elevation cloud forests where we hope to find a variety hummingbirds, antpittas, tanagers, and specialties such as White-rumped Hawk and Yungas Pygmy-Owl. We also will visit Lake Junin (4,080 m) to view the flightless Junin Grebe, which is endemic to the lake and has a global population of about 250 individuals, and the Junin Rail, which is variously treated as an endemic subspecies of Black Rail, or as a full species in its own right, with a global population of fewer than 2,500 individuals. Another mega-rarity we hope to encounter is the White-bellied Cinclodes, no more than 250 of which are endemic to boggy habitats above 4,400 m on the west slope of the Peruvian Andes, which thankfully are the same places we hope to find the spectacular Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. Other endemics that we stand a good chance of seeing include Black-breasted Hillstar, Coppery Metaltail, Black-necked Woodpecker, Chestnut Antpitta, Bay-vented Cotinga, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Junin Canastero, Cactus Canastero, Dark-winged Miner, Rusty-crowned Spinetail, Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch, Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch, and Great Inca-Finch, to name but a partial list of endemics Jeff saw well during his visit in July 2018. The food is exquisite, with local dishes served in the field for breakfast and lunch, sometimes while Andean Condors soar overhead! Our itinerary is somewhat off the beaten path and not offered by many of the well-known birding tour companies.
Dates: 10–24 July 2019 (14 nights)
Group size: Minimum of 6, maximum of 8, with one expert local guide and Jeff Marks
Contact Jeff Marks for more information, including an annotated itinerary: firstname.lastname@example.org, 406-396-3331.