Machu Picchu – Quillabamba Birding Wildlife 7 Days
Birds of Peru: Imagine a country with 1,804 species of birds … a country with more bird species than can be found throughout North America and Europe combined. Home to 120 endemic species that can not be found anywhere in the world! Imagine traveling through the land of the Incas, among the locals dressed in colorful fabrics. Here in the cradle of the Pope, visit villages with ancient traditions, savor their exquisite meals and typical dishes, and see the sophisticated folk art, just to name a few charms of this unmistakable country Peru birding.
Visualize, upon awakening, in the morning the deafening noise of thousands of parrots and macaws – an unforgettable experience – as you arrive each morning for your daily extra mud diet. Imagine seeing a beautiful Cock of the Rocks with the backdrop of the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu. Peru is “the country to explore”, a country in which no less than 42 new species of birds have been described for science in the last 30 years. Only in the white sand forest of Allpahuayo-Mishana, a reserve that is only minutes away from the city of Iquitos, three new species of birdwatching have been identified in Machu Picchu and Quillabamba.
Machu Picchu and Quillabamba Birding
Birding Day 1: Abra Malaga
In the Early evening we take a train to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo
Birding Day 2: Machu Picchu
We shall visit the citadel of Machu Picchu, and also search for the endemic Inca Wren and Green-and-White Hummingbird. After the visit we shall continue to bird the area below the ruins, which is rich in birds with many good species such as Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Mitred Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, Andean Guan, Cock-of-the Rock, Ocellated Piculet, White-eared Solitaire, Highland Motmot, Variable Antshrike, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, White-crowned, Sierran and Highland Elaenias, Saffron-crowned, Flame-faced, Rust-and-Yellow and Beryl-spangeled Tanagers, Mottled-cheeked and Sclater´s Tyrannulet and many more.
In the late afternoon we shall look for Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Night in Aguas Calientes.
Birding Day 3: We continue birding the rail track below Puente Ruinas Bridge
Additional species we seek today are Masked Fruiteater, Black-streaked Puffbird, the local race of Pale-legged Warbler which may correspond to a seperate speceis, Gould’s Inca, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail and others.
We walk and bird the rail track to Hidro Electrica untill midday (around 6km light down hill) and via Santa Teresa continue to bird our way to Quillabamba. Night in Quillabamba.
Birding Day 4: Quillabamba-Cirialo-Kiteni-Ayacucho Road
We shall make a very early start towards Cirialo. Here there is rain shadow and dry vegetation. Recent explorations around here have revealed many dry forest birds that are difficult to see elsewhere in Peru are relatively commong here such as Small-billed Tinamou, Ocellated Crake, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Rusty-backed Antwren, Plain-crested Elaenia, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Green-backed Becard and Purplish Jay, Other more common birds include Yellow-headed Caracara, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Fiery-capped Manakin, Black-faced Tanager, Red-crested Finch and Dull-coloured Grassquit.
Higher up, the dry scrub makes away for coffee and Inga trees as shaddow where it is not uncommon to find Yungas Antwren, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Streaked Flycatcher, Rufous Casiornis, Blue-crowned Trogon, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker and Bar-breasted Piculet in season Cerulean Warbler and Western Wood-Pewee. Soon we find ourselves beyond 1800m and lush cloud forest. Here is a completely different set of birds with Creamy-bellied Antwren, Unadorned and Flavescent Flycatchers, Masked Fruiteater and Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager.
In the afternoon we shall return towards Cirialo looking out for Scissor-tailed Nightjar, White-tailed Hawk and Yungas Tyrannulet.
We spend the night in a basic hotel in Kiteni
Birding Day 5: Kiteni – Ayacucho Road
A completely new birding area, where noone yeat has birded. This is the newly built road that cross the Cordillera Vilcabamba to Ayacucho. It covers altitudes between 650-2400m
Exactly what we will find we don’t really know, but studies in neighboring areas have produced the follwing: Black Tinamou, Peruvian Piedtail, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Yungas Manakin, Bolivian Tyrannulet, Blue headed Macaw, Vilcabamba Brush-Finch, Scimitar-winged Piha, Yungas Antwren and many more.
If we find bamboo patches we can expect Yellow-billed Nunbird, Cabani’s Spineatail, Peruvian Recurvebill, Crested Foliagegleaner, Ornate Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Peruvian Warbling Antbird and Large-headed Flatbill.
The following bamboo species could well also occur, especially at lower altitudes Rufous-breasted Piculet, Bamboo Antshrike, Striated Antbird, Manu Antbird, White-lined Antshrike, Yellow Tyrannulet. White-faced Todyu-Tyrant, Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant, Dusky-tailed Flatbil, etc.
The big prize, but for which one would have to cross the Pongo, would be Selva Cacique. You never know. Night in Cirialo
Birding Day 6: Additional day on the road to Ayacucho – and Return to Quillabamba
Birding Day 7: Quillabamba-Abra Malaga- Ollantaytambo.
Additional search for the Abra Malaga species that still may be missing.
We drive back toward Cusco in the late afternoon.
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