Tuesday, June 12th: What a difference a day makes! I kept warm and slept well. Once again Andean Snipe were calling when early. This time I knew what they were, but it was still dark and I didn't end up seeing them.
I feel a lot stronger than yesterday. Today's focus is on the two remaining Bosque Unchog specialties, the Rufous-browed Hemispingus and Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager. The plan was to look for the hemispingus on the down, and get to the tanager spot while most of it was still shaded.
We accomplished both. But we did not see the hemispingus. We did add Golden-collared Tanager on the way down, possibly in the same flock we encountered yesterday (with a Pardusco flock and others). We again waited and waited for the tanagers. No luck. Eventually, we headed back up the hill.
Once again, two got rides on mules before we reached the final pitch. However, I was feeling much stronger today, and had already been skipping some of the stops, and was above them when they got on the mules. I let the first one pass, but the second was still getting loaded. I didn't feel like waiting for it, so I headed on. I kept pace with the first mule, and even closed the gap some, but was reluctant to try to catch them as I didn't want to upset the mule.
After we reached the top, the mule stopped for a drink. I took the opportunity and passed. I did not relinquish my lead, and was the first one back to camp. However, camp was almost gone. The crew had been disassembling it and packing it back to the trucks.
However, they had lunch for us. After we ate, they tore down the rest and we all headed back to the trucks. We then returned to Cochabamba and our bus and long-waiting driver. It was still a long drive down the hill to the Central Highway, and then to our hotel in Huánuco.
Missing two of the three main target birds was disappointing, but it was an amazing experience. I also enjoyed getting in a good uphill hike on the final day.
My species total for today was 19. My trip list increased by 1, a lifer. My current trip total is 238 species, including 75 life birds.
Grand Hotel Huánuco, Huánuco