Saturday, June 9th: As usual, we gathered at 5am. This time we were headed to the Paty Trail, which is about 20 minutes north of the Carpish Tunnel. Before doing the Paty Trail, we had to have breakfast. There wasn't a good place nearby, so we drove up the road until we found a good spot. As the crew prepared breakfast, we did some roadside birding.
Although the habitat looked good, it was hard to find many birds. Eventually, we found a Blue-and-black Tanager, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant (maroon-belted form), a Slaty Finch, Andean Solitaire, and a group of Black-and-white Seedeaters. Then it was time for breakfast.
After breakfast, we drove to the trailhead, which is down the road from a school. Before we got down to the trail itself, we spotted some birds on the school grounds, most notably Blue-capped Tanager and the dark-capped form of Dusky-capped Flycatcher.
We continued down the trail, adding Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner. Rufous-browed PeppershrikeGolden-headed Quetzal (heard), and the endemic Inca Flycatcher.
Birding was tough today. Many birds remained high, and the lighting made identification diffcult. Others stayed hidden down low, even when their songs were played. We did see Russet-crowned Warbler, and Streaked Tuftedcheek. Some Gray-breasted Wood-Wrens called loudly, but we didn't track them down. After a struggle, I got a decent look at a female Long-tailed Antbird. A Capped Conebill looked almost black due to backlighting. We encountered two or three Common Bush-Tanagers. These are marked as lifers because my checklist considers this southern form a separate species from the other forms of Common Bush-Tanager.
Although I got decent looks at the Rusty-winged Barbtail fairly quickly, it took a while for everyone to see it. A Black-and-white Becard was rather more cooperative. A Peruvian Tyrannulet stayed high, but did call, while a Masked Trogon called but remained unseen. We had heard Rufous-vented Tapaculo earlier, and tried to bring it in with a tape several times. The bird remained mostly hidden, and I only caught a glimpse of it.
At some point the crew brought our lunch down the trail, and we ate at the base of a large electric transmission tower. After lunch, White-eared Solitaire called a couple of times. We got ok looks at Flame-faced Tanager. Later one, as we climbed back up, a flock fed close to the trail in short trees, and everyone got great views. Saffron-crowned Tanager put in an appearance just before we turned around and headed back up to the road.
On the way back, I caught sight of two flyover Barred Parakeets. A Tricolored Brush-Finch called in a slide area, but remained hidden. We found a nice White-bellied Woodstar and a few other birds near the soccer field. Just a little farther up we completed our climb of perhaps 1000 feet.
On the way back, we made a roadside stop near some flowering Inga trees. Several birds were present, including Palm Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, and White-bellied Hummingbird (seen poorly yesterday, but well today). We was still light for once when we got back to our hotel (about 5:15).
My species total for today was 46. My trip list increased by 29, including 8 lifers. My current trip total is 218 species, including 64 life birds.
Grand Hotel Huánuco, Huánuco