Wednesday, June 6th: We again left the hotel around 5am. We made an early morning attempt to find Koepcke's Screech-Owl, but were unsuccessful. Then we headed back to Huascaran National Park. We had breakfast in the same spot as yesterday.
We did some birding while breakfast was being prepared and the table set up. We got some good looks at Striated Earthcreeper, I missed a possible life Andean Hillstar, and Stripe-headed Antpitta continued to give us problems. After our pancake breakfast, we headed up the hill. We made a couple of stops for photos on the way up, and a stop after the the antpitta was finally spotted. We also added Plumbeous Sierra-Finch here. Mainly, we headed up and up through the switchbacks.
As we got higher, we noticed some snow sprinkles on the ground, probably left over from last night. The views were just stunning, and by themselves worth the long trip up and over the pass. The pass itself, Portochuelo de Llanguanuco, (15,580 feet or 4750 meters) came as a bit of a surprise. I thought it would be slightly higher, but they have a narrow roadcut through the bottom of the pass. Suddenly we were through and into the Marañon drainage.
Our first stop on the Atlantic side yielded a couple of Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrants. A stop further down had White-throated Tyrannulet. Finally, at our lunch spot, two White-cheeked Cotingas responded to playback. We also saw Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, and Many-striped Canastero there. A Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch put in an appearance, as did many Tit-like Dacnises.
We made one more stop on our way back up, hoping for Tawny Tit-Spinetail. We did find a White-winged Diuca-Finch. A birding group that we had seen a couple times earlier today was eating lunch there, and we passed on some information about what we had seen downslope.
We added a few more species to the day on the way back to the hotel, but nothing significant.
My species total for today was 40. My trip list increased by 6, including 2 lifers. My current trip total is 134 species, including 44 life birds.
Andino Club Hotel, Huaraz