BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

RIBERALTA, BOLIVIA: July 1997

The town of Riberalta in the far north of Bolivia lies at the confluence of the rivers Beni and Madre de Dios, at the boundary on Pando and Beni, some 80km from the border with Brazil. It is easily reached by air from La Paz or Trinidad, although flights are not daily. Sjoerd Mayer put the area on the ornithological map by finding the rare Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant and Spotted Antpitta Hylopezus macularius, previously known only from northern Pando, Peru and Brazil. He also discovered that the latter sings differently from the better known population, warranting specific status as H. auricularis, which he named Masked Antpitta. From July 15 - 20 I birded the area with Robin Brace and Paul St Pierre, and following Sjoerd’s directions, saw both species well. We had missed Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant in April 96 at Noel Kempff Mercado NP, its main known stronghold – perhaps it is a migrant as we found it easily here.  

 

We flew from La Paz with TAM, the military airline, booked the previous day and at $103, cheaper than the two civil airlines. It stopped on the way at Cobija in Pando, surrounded by forest – we should have had a couple of days there had we realised. In Riberalta we walked the few 100m from the termainal to the basic but comfortable Residencial Los Reyes, $4 per person in a 3-man room. Note that there is no bank at La Paz airport and it is very difficult to change travellers cheques in Riberalta.

 

There are three sites to visit:-

 

HAMBURGO

This low-lying area of patchy riverine forest and scrub between the town and the Rio Beni, is a 30min walk or 10min motorbike ride away, past the brick-making plants on the western edge of town. As well as the Antpitta, it holds Johannis’ and Spotted Tody-Tyrants, Ashy-headed Greenlet and Chestnut (Purus) Jacamar.

 

ANTOFAGASTA

A left turn down a sandy track off the main Guayaramerin road immediately after the disused check-point at the edge of town, accessed by motorbike (taxi), goes to the small village of Antofagasta. Beyond there, trails lead through Amazonian forest to a small river. We saw White-browed Hawk, Leaden and Streaked Antwrens, Rufous-tailed Flatbill and Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin. There are doubtless many other good species to be found here - eg I believe I briefly saw Amazonian Royal Flycatcher O.(coronatus) coronatus.

 

KM 36

There are occasional km marker posts along the Guayaramerin road but the 36km post is difficult to see. On the bus it is reached some 30 mins after the military camp / checkpoint – a wide track on the right, sign- posted Quela 2km, goes through mature savanna of San Lorenzo de Pampas. Four pairs of Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrants were present in the grassland near the first 2 km of track, and we also saw 7 White-rumped Tanagers, 10 White-bellied Parrots and 2 Horned Sungems, but no Cock-tailed Tyrant which might be expected. Sjoerd was told that there was extensive undisturbed savanna along the road to Santa Rosa, 1-2 hrs away by motorbike. 

 

ITINERARY

July 15  La Paz – Cobija - Riberalta, 09.00 – 12.00. Hotel and airline office. 16.30-18.00 Hamburgo.

 

July 16  Guayaramerin bus to Km 36, 06.35-07.30. Bird savanna till 12.00. Hour wait for lift back, in a pick-up. Late afternoon at Hamburgo – gripping views of Antpitta.

 

July 17  Motorbikes to Antofagasta 06.05-07.00. Bird trail to river and along river till 11.00. Walk back to village for bike pick-up at 12.00. Hamburgo late afternoon, walked back in dark.

 

July 18  Bikes to Antofagasta 05.45, birded till 13.00. Afternoon at Hamburgo lake – gripped off on Chestnut Jacamar.

 

July 19  Hamburgo plus lake 06.15-12.00. Siesta at hotel then back to Hamburgo late afternoon – still no Jacamar.

 

July 20  Hamburgo 06.30-08.30. To airport at 09.00 for 10.00 LAB flight to Trinidad ($67), departing at 12.30 with stop at Guayaramerin on Brazilian border.

 

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF BIRDS

Taxonomy and names follow Birds of the World: A Checklist by JF Clements (1991 + updates). A cross means the species was seen and “H” that it was only heard.

 

 

LOCALITY

Hamburgo

Antofagasta

Km 36

Crypturellus soui

LITTLE TINAMOU

 

x

 

Crypturellus undulatus

UNDULATED TINAMOU

H

H

 

Crypturellus parvirostris

SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU

 

 

x

Rhynchotus rufescens

RED-WINGED TINAMOU

 

 

x

Anhinga anhinga

ANHINGA

x

 

 

Chauna torquata

SOUTHERN SCREAMER

x

 

 

Cairina moschata

MUSCOVY DUCK

 

x

 

Syrigma sibilatrix

WHISTLING HERON

 

 

x

Ardea cocoi

COCOI HERON

x

 

 

Casmerodius albus

GREAT EGRET

x

 

 

Bubulcus ibis

CATTLE EGRET

x

 

 

Butorides striatus

STRIATED HERON

x

x

 

Mesembrinibis cayennensis

GREEN IBIS

 

H

 

Mycteria americana

WOOD STORK

 

x

 

Coragyps atratus

BLACK VULTURE

x

x

 

Cathartes aura

TURKEY VULTURE

x

x

 

Cathartes burrovianus

LESSSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE

x

 

 

Cathartes melambrotus

GREATER YELLW-HEADED VULTURE

 

x

 

Sarcorhamphus papa

KING VULTURE

 

x

 

Elanoides forficatus

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE

 

x

 

Rostrhamus sociabilis

SNAIL KITE

x

 

 

Ictinia plumbea

PLUMBEOUS KITE

x

 

 

Leucopternis schistacea

SLATE-COLOURED HAWK

x

 

 

Leucopternis kuhli

WHITE-BROWED HAWK

 

x

 

Buteogallus urubitinga

GREAT BLACK-HAWK

x

 

 

Busarellus nigricollis

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK

x

 

 

Buteo magnirostris

ROADSIDE HAWK

x

x

x

Falco femoralis

APLOMADO FALCON

 

 

x

Falco rufigularis

BAT FALCON

 

x

 

Odontophorus stellatus

STARRED WOOD-QUAIL

 

H

 

Micropygia schomburgkii

OCELLATED CRAKE

 

 

H

Aramides cajanea

GREY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL

x

 

 

Jacana jacana

WATTLED JACANA

x

 

 

Vanellus chilensis

SOUTHERN LAPWING

x

 

 

Phaetusa simplex

LARGE-BILLED TERN

x

 

 

Sterna superciliaris

YELLOW-BILLED TERN

x

 

 

Columba speciosa

SCALED PIGEON

 

x

 

Columba cayennensis

PALE-VENTED PIGEON

H

 

 

Columba subvinacea

RUDDY PIGEON

x

x

 

Columbina talpacoti

RUDDY GROUND-DOVE

x

 

 

Columbina picui

PICUI GROUND-DOVE

x

 

 

Claravis pretiosa

BLUE GROUND-DOVE

 

x

 

Leptotila rufaxilla

GREY-FRONTED DOVE

 

x

 

Ara macao/ chloropterus

SCARLET/ RED-AND-GREEN MACAW

 

x

 

Ara severa

CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW

x

x

x

Aratinga leucophthalmus

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET

x

 

x

Aratinga aurea

PEACH-FRONTED PARAKEET

 

 

x

Forpus xanthopterygius

BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET

x

x

 

Brotogeris chiriri

YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET

 

x

 

Brotogeris sanctithomae

TUI PARAKEET

x

 

 

Pionites leucogaster

WHITE-BELLIED PARROT

 

 

x

 

LOCALITY

Hamburgo

Antofagasta

Km 36

Pionus menstruus

BLUE-HEADED PARROT

 

x

 

Amazona farinosa

MEALY PARROT

 

x

 

Piaya cayana

SQUIRREL CUCKOO

 

x

 

Piaya minuta

LITTLE CUCKOO

 

x

 

Crotophaga ani

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI

x

 

x

Guira guira

GUIRA CUCKOO

X

 

 

Tapera naevia

STRIPED CUCKOO

H

 

 

Otus choliba

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL

H

 

 

Nyctibius griseus

GREY POTOO

H

 

 

Chordeiles acutipennis

LESSER NIGHTHAWK

x

 

 

Nyctidromus albicollis

PAURAQUE

x

 

 

Caprimulgus parvulus

LITTLE NIGHTJAR

H

 

 

Chaetura brachyura

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT

x

 

 

Tachornis squamata

FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT

x

 

 

Phaethornis hispidus

WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT

 

x

x

Phaethornis ruber

REDDISH HERMIT

 

x

 

Florisuga mellivora

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN

x

 

 

Heliactin cornuta

HORNED SUNGEM

 

 

x

Trogon melanurus

BLACK-TAILED TROGON

 

x

 

Trogon viridis

WHITE-TAILED TROGON

 

H

 

Trogon curucui

BLUE-CROWNED TROGON

 

H

 

Trogon collaris

COLLARED TROGON

 

x

 

Trogon violaceus

VIOLACEOUS TROGON

 

H

 

Ceryle torquata

RINGED KINGFISHER

x

 

 

Chloroceryle amazona

AMAZON KINGFISHER

 

x

 

Chloroceryle americana

GREEN KINGFISHER

 

x

 

Chloroceryle aenea

AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER

 

x

 

Momotus momota

BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT

 

x

 

Galbula ruficauda

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR

x

x

 

Galbalcyrhynchus purusianus

CHESTNUT JACAMAR     (PSP)

x

 

 

Bucco macrodactylus

CHESTNUT-CAPPED PUFFBIRD

 

x

 

Nystalus striolatus

STRIOLATED PUFFBIRD

 

x

 

Monasa nigrifrons

BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD

 

x

 

Chelidoptera tenebrosa

SWALLOW-WING

 

x

 

Ramphastos tucanus

RED-BILLED TOUCAN

 

x

 

Picumnus albosquamatus

WHITE-WEDGED PICULET

x

 

 

Melanerpes candidus

WHITE WOODPECKER

 

 

x

Melanerpes cruentatus

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER

 

x

 

Venilornis passerinus

LITTLE WOODPECKER

 

x

 

Piculus rubiginosus

GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER

x

 

 

Deconychura longicauda

LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER

 

x

 

Xiphorhynchus picus

STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER

 

x

 

Furnarius leucopus

PALE-LEGGED HORNERO

 

x

 

Furnarius rufus

RUFOUS HORNERO

x

 

 

Synallaxis gujanensis

PLAIN-CROWNED SPINETAIL

x

 

 

Hyloctistes subulatus

STRIPED WOOHAUNTER

 

x

 

Philydor erythrocercus

RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER

 

H

 

Xenops rutilans

STREAKED XENOPS

 

x

 

Taraba major

GREAT ANTSHRIKE

x

 

 

Thamnophilus doliatus

BARRED ANTSHRIKE

x

 

 

Thamnophilus aethiops

WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE

x

 

 

Thamnophulus murinus

MOUSE-COLOURED ANTSHRIKE

x

 

 

Thamnophilus punctatus

EASTERN SLATY ANTSHRIKE

x

 

 

Thamnophilus amazonicus

AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE

 

x

 

Thamnomanes schistogynus

BLUISH-SLATE ANTSHRIKE

 

x

 

 

LOCALITY

Hamburgo

Antofagasta

Km 36

Myrmotherula surinamensis

STREAKED ANTREN

 

x

 

Myrmotherula assimilis

LEADEN ANTWREN

 

x

 

Cercomacra cinerascens

GREY ANTBIRD

x

H

 

Cercomacra nigrescens

BLACKISH ANTBIRD

x

 

 

Myrmoborus leucophrys

WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD

x

 

 

Hypocnemis cantator

WARBLING ANTBIRD

 

x

 

Hypocnemoides maculicauda

BAND-TAILED ANTBIRD

 

x

 

Sclateria naevia

SILVERED ANTBIRD

 

x

 

Myrmeciza atrothorax

BLACK-THROATED ANTBIRD

x

x

 

Formicarius analis

BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH

 

H

 

Hylopezus (macularius) auricularis

MASKED ANTPITTA

x

 

 

Lipaugus vociferans

SCREAMING PIHA

 

x

 

Cotinga maynana

PLUM-THROATED COTINGA

 

x

 

Querula purpurata

PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW

 

x

 

Neopelma sulphureiventer

SULPHUR-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN

 

x

 

Elaenia flavogaster

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA

x

 

x

Elaenia parvirostris

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA

 

 

x

Zimmerius gracilipes

SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET

x

 

 

Tyrannulus elatus

YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET

x

 

 

Euscarthmus rufomarginatus

RUFOUS-SIDED PYGMY-TYRANT

 

 

x

Myiornis ecaudatus

SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT

 

x

x

Hemmitriccus iohannis

JOHANNIS’ TODY-TYRANT

x

 

 

Todirostrum maculatum

SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER

x

 

 

Ramphotrigon ruficauda

RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL

 

x

 

Terenotriccus erythrurus

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER

 

x

 

Cnemotriccus fuscatus

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER

x

 

 

Contopus cinereus

TROPICAL PEWEE

x

x

 

Pyrocephalus rubinus

VERMILION FLYCATCHER

x

 

x

Colonia colonus

LONG-TAILED TYRANT

x

 

 

Myiarchus tuberculifer

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER

 

x

 

Myiarchus tyrannulus

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER

 

 

x

Tyrannus melancholicus

TROPICAL KINGBIRD

x

x

x

Megarhynchus pitangua

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER

x

x

 

Myiodynastes maculatus

STREAKED FLYCATCHER

 

x

 

Myiozetetes similis

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER

x

x

 

Philohydor lictor

LESSER KISKADEE

x

 

 

Pitangus sulphuratus

GREAT KISKADEE

x

x

x

Pachyramphus polychopterus

WHITE-WINGED BECARD

 

x

 

Vireo olivaceus

RED-EYED VIREO

 

x

 

Hylophilus pectoralis

ASHY-HEADED GREENLET

x

 

 

Hylophilus ochraceiceps

LEMON CHESTED GREENLET

 

x

 

Turdus amaurochalinus

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH

x

x

 

Turdus ignobilis

BLACK-BILLED THRUSH

x

 

 

Turdus hauxwelli

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH

x

x

 

Campylorhynchus turdinus

THRUSH-LIKE WREN

x

 

 

Cistothorus platensis

SEDGE WREN

 

 

x

Thryothorus genibarbis

MOUSTACHED WREN

 

x

 

Thryothorus guarayanus

FAWN-BREASTED WREN

x

 

 

Troglodytes aedon

HOUSE WREN

x

 

 

Tachycineta albiventer

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW

x

 

 

Phaeoprogne tapera

BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN

x

 

 

Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW

x

 

 

Ammodramus humeralis

GRASSLAND SPARROW

 

 

x

Ammodramus aurifrons

YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW

x

 

 

 

LOCALITY

Hamburgo

Antofagasta

Km 36

Paroaria gularis

RED-CAPPED CARDINAL

x

 

x

Coereba flaveola

BANANAQUIT

 

x

 

Conirostrum speciosum

CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL

 

x

 

Schistoclamys melanopis

BLACK-FACED TANAGER

 

 

x

Cypsnagra hirundinacea

WHITE-RUMPED TANGER

 

 

x

Hemithraupis guira

GUIRA TANAGER

x

 

 

Nemosia pileata

HOODED TANAGER

x

 

 

Lanio versicolor

WHITE-WINGED SHRIKE-TANAGER

 

x

 

Tachyphonus luctuosus

WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER

 

x

 

Tachyphonus cristatus

FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER

 

x

 

Ramphocelus carbo

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER

x

x

x

Thraupis sayaca/ episcopus

SAYACA / BLUE-GREY TANAGER

x

x

x

Thraupis palmarum

PALM TANAGER

X

x

x

Tangara mexicana

TURQUOISE TANAGER

X

x

 

Tangara velia

OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER

 

x

 

Dacnis lineata

BLACK-FACED DACNIS

 

x

 

Chlorophanes spiza

GREEN HONEYCREEPER

 

x

 

Volatinia jacarina

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT

X

 

x

Sporophila castaneiventris

CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER

 

 

x

Saltator maximus

BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR

 

x

 

Saltator coerulescens

GREYISH SALTATOR

x

 

 

Cyanocompsa cyanoides

BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK

H

H

 

Psarocolius decumanus

CRESTED OROPENDOLA

 

x

 

Cacicus solitarius

SOLITARY CACIQUE

x

 

 

 

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