BEST OF CALI & SURROUNDINGS BIRDWATCHING TOUR (3 DAYS)

RECOMMENDED! This tour covers the best areas for birding around Cali, the city of birds. Expect here +350 species, excellent photographic opportunities, local cuisine and our unique touch, a meaningful conservation perspective.

Day 1. Sonso Lagoon & Yotoco Forest. Early birding will be at Sonso lagoon looking for marvelous aquatic species such as Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi), Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), Osprey (Pandion haeliatus), Snail kite (Rhostramus sociabilis), Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta), Neotropical cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), Striated Heron (Butorides striata), Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) and more like a good dose of sandpippers, rails and plovers. Also almost sure bets include Spectacled Parrotlet (Forpus conspicillatus), the Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) and Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus), both of which we know their exact spots!

In the afternoon we’ll look for Andean foothill birds at the very beautiful Yotoco forest. We have a good chance to see the endemic Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax) and, and other birds including Sooty-headed Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias griseiceps), Rufous-naped Greenlet (Hylophylus semmibruneus), Dusky-capped flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer), Bar-crested Antshrike (Thamnophilus multistriatus), Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus), Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira) the near-endemic Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina) and the elusive Chestnut-crowned Gnateater (Conopophaga castaneiceps). Also Howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) are at the order of the day!

Night: Hotel Posada del Oeste, Cali.

Day 2. Andes birding experience . At the morning we will go birdwatch at km 18 and visit the amazing feeders at the privately owned Finca Alejandría. The super-star of the trip is the multicolored tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima), which is feeding almost daily. Other tanagers are the golden (Tangara arthus), Saffron-crowned (T. xanthocephala), metallic-green (T. labradorides) , golden-naped (T. Ruficervix) and the fabulous Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus).  Other good birds are the Masked flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea), green honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) and the red-headed barbet (Eubucco bourcierii). The hummingbirds include the Blue-headed sapphire (Hilocharis grayi), brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae), White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora),  Fawn-breasted brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides), Speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) and with some luck a Green (Phaethornis guy) or Tawny-bellied (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) Hermit. Also there are two beautiful hummers that amaze with their tais:  the dreamy Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingii) and the Booted racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii).

Then we will go have lunch and go in  the afternoon to see the impressive Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) at lek, with more than five individuals dancing around. We will then do a 1 hour drive to el Queremal and sleep there.

Night: El campanario Hotel, Queremal, Valle del Cauca.

Day 3. Andes & Chocó birding experience At morning we will visit the productive Chocó feeders and have breakfast there. You can look at this feeders for Black-chinned mountain-tanager (Anisognathus notabilis), Silver-throated (Tangara icterocephala)  and Rufous-throated tanager (T. Rufigula), Chestnut-headed oropendola (Psarocolius wagleri), White-tailed Hillstar (Urochroa bougueri), Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii) and with luck, the impressive Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)!

We will then continue further into the Anchicayá road, considered on the best places for birdwatching in Colombia. Here we will find a lot of Chocó specialists, including the Spot-crowned barbet (Capito maculicoronatus), Long-tailed tyrant (Colonia colonus), Choco Tapaculo (Scytalopus chocoensis), Sooty-headed (Pheugopedius spadix) and White-headed Wren (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus), Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis), Baudo Guan (Penelope ortoni) and much more. A good deal of tanagers are expected such as Scarlet-browed (Heterospingus xanthopygius) Glistening-green (Chlorochryssa phoenicotis), Grey-and Gold (Tangara palmeri) and the impressive Blue-Whiskered Tanager (Tangara johannae).

Night: Hotel Posada del Oeste, Cali.

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Tour leader: Rubén Darío Palacio