Spent a few hours early this morning birding some dry deciduous forest and scrub along the west side of the Río Mayo near Juan Guerra. This area is meant to be good for the near-endemic Northern Slaty-Antshrike of the endemic Huallaga race. I had seen a couple of birders (showing characteristics of northern temperate origin) in the area a few weeks ago as we sped past on the motorbike – should have stopped to speak to them really.
Approximately 800 metres from Puente Colombia on the Shapaja track I stopped and entered a short trail which ended in dense scrub. This proved to be productive area with a male Haullaga Slaty-Antshrike, White-browed Antbird (pr), Stripe-chested Antwren (m), Long-billed Gnatwren, Barred Antshrike (f), Buff-breasted Wren, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher (1-2), and Great Antshrike (pr).
A walk along the track above the Río Mayo provided Ashy-headed Greenlet, Hoatzin, White-necked Thrush, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Red-eyed Vireo, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Buff-throated Saltator, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Drab Water-Tyrant, Gray-breasted Martin, White-banded Swallow and Buff-breasted Wren alongside more some common species typical of open/degraded areas including Ruddy-Ground Dove, Great Kiskadee, Smooth-billed Ani, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Blue-gray Tanager and Palm Tanager. Above a visible cleared hillside with the usual American Black and Turkey Vultures were Hook-billed Kite and Short-tailed Hawk.
A forest patch about 700 metres from the bridge included an actively feeding Bluish-fronted Jacamar, a pair of White-lined Tanagers, a pair of exceptionally approachable White-browed Antbirds, a pair of Yellow-breasted Flycatchers and a Rufous Casiornis.
About 1km from the bridge there is obvious trail on the left which follows a steep, dry ravine. This site allowed great views of two pairs of Huallaga Slaty-Antshrikes, a couple of Mishana Tyrannulets, a nervous Tataupa Tinamou, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Little Cuckoo, White-tailed Trogon, some noisy Black-fronted Nunbirds, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Speckled Chachalaca, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Buff-rumped Warbler, Buff-breasted Wren, Red-eyed Vireo, Drab Water-Tyrant, Squirrel Cuckoo, Magpie Tanager, and Silver-beaked Tanager.
Noted along the road back to Tarapoto in the rice fields and agricultural area: Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Greater Ani, Eared Dove, Turkey Vulture, American Black Vulture, Tropical Kingbird, Ruddy Ground Dove, Common Thornbird, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Blue-and-white Swallow, Rufous-collared Sparrow and Smooth-billed Ani.
Thanks to Armando for the lift by motorbike!
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