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Gavin Bieber has recently returned from a successful trip to northern Colombia

March 16: Gavin Bieber has recently returned from a successful trip to northern Colombia

We started off in the Caribbean lowlands of far North Colombia, where in the arid scrub at the base of the Guajira Peninsula we found this handsome White-fringed Antwren to be quite cooperative.  Some feeders put out nearby allowed us excellent views of the quite local Orinocan Saltator

as well as a greedy Green Iguana that really seemed to like Papaya. 

Around our tranquil lodge at Finca la Jorara

we were surrounded by forest, and among many birds we were happy to find this quietly perched Russet-throated Puffbird

and busy Red-tailed Squirrels.  In the foothills of the Santa Marta Mountains we stayed at a small ecolodge with excellent feeders.  Here we found our first Steely-vented Hummingbirds

and White-necked Jacobin

as well as the flashy Yellow-tailed Oriole,

several almost unbelievably colourful Blue-naped Chlorophonia

and some bright and tropical looking butterflies like this Clysonymus Longwing.

The second half of the trip covered the upper stretches of the San Lorenzo Ride, a series of peaks that lie just off the central ranges of the Santa Marta, topping off at a little over 9000 feet.  Our lodge for this section of the trip is the ProAves owned and operated El Dorado, a wonderful location with a newly constructed ridgetop restaurant

that offers amazing views of the mountains.  

The lodge feeders were always busy, with tanagers such as Black-capped Tanager, and an array of hummingbirds, such as the very common but stunning Crowned Woodnymph,

and the endemic and spectacular White-tailed Starfrontlet. 

Near the lodge we enjoyed multiple views of the near endemic White-tipped Quetzal

at a staked-out nest site, quite tame Sickle-winged Guans

and daily encounters with a family group of Masked Trogons. 

Along the ridgetop we found virtually all of the accessible Santa Marta endemics including the furtive but colourful Santa Marta Warbler. 

As always in the tropics there is life abounding at all strata in the forest, and in the understory we often came across interesting creatures as well, from this amazing wasp mimic Moth in the genus Isanthrene,

this Leopard Moth,

an array of endemic frogs such as this Ground Robber Frog

and the rarely encountered Savage’s Mushroomtongued Salamander. 

In all we tallied over three hundred species of birds in a very enjoyable week of birding, accompanied by some very comfortable lodges, excellent food and a really fun group of participants.

Posted: March 16, 2022