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Post Info TOPIC: Colombia

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25 September - 6 October 2022

This holiday had been in the offing for three or four years but finally came to fruition in September, after delays due to covid and other issues. The five lads from Blackburn finally added Colombia to their travels after previously birding in Spain (2010), Bulgaria (2012) and Texas (2015).

The whole trip was done on a budget of around £1150, including flights, accommodation, food and vehicle hire. It helped that one of the lads resides in Colombia now, after having lived in the United States for 25 years or so. For six nights, we stayed in his finca, just outside the village of San Antonio, 25 miles south west of the capital, Bogotá but about two hours away in travel time.


Finca near San Antonio Del Tequendama - 6 nights
Hotel Habitel, Bogotá- 1 night
Finca Suasie, nr Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza (www.fincasuasie.com) - 4 nights

Field Guide

Birds of Colombia by Steven L Hilty

Main Areas Birded

- San Antonio Del Tequendama. Rolling farmland, fields, woodland and pools, elevation 4,500 ft.
- Santandercito. Habitat as above, elevation 4,500 ft.
- Laguna Dario Valencia. Lagoon surrounded by scrub, fields and woodland, elevation 4,500 ft.
- Laguna El Tabacal. Lagoon surrounded by dense woodland, elevation 4,500 ft.
- Jardin Encantado, San Francisco. Small garden with hummingbird feeders, elevation 4,500 ft.
- Parque Natural Chicaque. Cloud forest, elevation 6,500 to 9,000 ft.
- Parque La Florida, Bogotá, elevation 8,600 ft.
- Parque Humedal de Córdoba, Bogotá, elevation 8,600 ft.
- Reserva Suasie, edge of Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza, finca and high altitude surroundings, elevation 10,000 ft.
- Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza. High Andean & Sub Andean Forest, Moorland ecosystems & Paramo. Elevation
9,500 to 12,000 ft.
- Observatorio de Colibries. Gardens with several hummingbird feeders, elevation 9,000 ft.

There are 32 Departments in Colombia plus the Capital District of Bogotá. We stayed entirely within the district of Cundinamarca when we werent in the capital itself. As such, we were essentially in the mountains of the Eastern Andes at altitudes of between 4,500 and 12,000 ft. The scenery was delightful and, at times, very out of the way. A high clearance AWD vehicle was an absolute necessity.

A total of 283 species were seen, which we were quite happy with bearing in mind the habitual was always similar (no marshes, wetlands, large lakes or coastal areas) and I managed just short of 200 lifers. Rather than list all the species seen, the following is an idea of the types of birds we saw :-

- 28 spp hummingbird
- 2 spp wader
- 5 spp heron
- 10 spp raptor
- 2 spp owl
- 3 spp kingfisher
- 2 spp toucan
- 8 spp woodpecker
- 3 spp antpitta
- 6 spp ovenbird
- a multitude of flycatchers, sparrows, wrens, warblers and other family groups.

My top 5 favourite birds, in no main order and for no main reason were :-

- White-necked Jacobin
- Sword-billed Hummingbird
- Black-bellied Mountain-Toucan
- Undulated Antpitta
- Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant

The photos attached are of :-

- White-necked Jacobin
- Thick-billed Euphonia
- Sword-billed Hummingbird
- Sparkling Violetear
- White-bellied Woodstar
- Red-crested Cotinga

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