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Fabrice Schmitt reports from the Santa Marta (Colombia) tour

February 08: Fabrice Schmitt reports from the Santa Marta (Colombia) tour

This was another fantastic tour to escape the boreal winter, spending a week in the tropics, enjoying wonderful Caribbean food, staying in fantastic lodges, and seeing around 300 birds species!!

The Sierra Nevada Cordillera and the Guajira Peninsula are home to an amazing list of restricted-range species, and we had excellent views of (just to name a few…) White-whiskered Spinetail, Chestnut Piculet, Vermilion Cardinal, Orinocan Saltator, White-lored Warbler and Black-backed Antshrike!

Female Vermilion Cardinal are as cute as their mates!

Obviously, we had a long list of “Santa Marta” species, such as Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Antbird, Tapaculo, Antpitta, Foliage-gleaner, Woodstar and Brushfinch!

The Santa Marta Brushfinch is a common endemic of the cordillera

This year two Santa Marta Antpittas were fed by the guard of the San Lorenzo biological station

Besides these very local species, we also enjoyed stunning encounters with Northern White-fringed Antwren, the lovely Blue-naped Chlorophonia coming to the fruit feeders, a pair of the critically endangered Blue-billed Curassow, the charismatic Russet-throated Puffbird, a beautiful pair of Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Golden-winged Sparrow, and so many more great sightings!

Blue-naped Chlorophonia is one of the cutest birds coming to the feeders at Mountain House Lodge 

While Crowned Woodnymph is one of the most sparkling ones!

Russet-throated Puffbird is common in the Guajira lowlands

Our eBird trip report can be seen here:

A happy group birding the dry shrubland of the Guajira Peninsula 

Enjoying sunset and birds coming to the feeders at Mountain House Lodge

We also enjoyed an endless list of butterflies, moths, nice reptiles including good views of Green Iguana, and a few mammals such as Colombian Red Howler, and Cotton-top Tamarin.

Some of the plants and animals photographed during the tour can be seen on the iNaturalist trip report here:

The beautiful sunrise on the snow-capped peaks of the Santa Marta mountains

Posted: February 08, 2024