BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

Guyana: 19th November –  5th December 2010

Report by Eustace Barnes, edited by Jon Hornbuckle with some additions

Guyana, the only English-speaking nation in South America, gained independence from Britain in 1966. It is sparsely populated except along the coastal strip and so still contains a considerable expanse of lowland rain forest, an increasingly scarce resource. It holds a lot of range-restricted and difficult to see birds of the Guianan Shield that it shares with neighbouring Suriname, French Guyana, northeastern Brazil and southeastern Venezuela but has only recently come on to the world-birding map. It has some good accommodation, the people are very friendly and safety is not an issue. We had a great trip exploring a variety of habitats, from tropical savannas to gallery forests along rivers, and especially lowland rainforest. The mountainous west of the country was not visited.

The trip was organised and very ably led by Eustace Barnes, assisted by Chris Abrams, using Wilderness Explorers www.wilderness-explorers.com as the ground agent throughout. Mostly, the logistics worked very well, which is saying a lot in a country where both infrastructure and transport are problematic. There were several late starts and mechanical problems with vehicles, which nearly cost us some key species. My (JH) main complaint was that the tour was very expensive – it is an expensive country, unless you are willing to use public transport (possible for most of the route) and basic accommodation/ camping, but one cannot help but think W.E. are exploiting their position by block-booking key accommodation to snooker any competition. We were obliged to add a day to the original schedule because Delta Airlines changed our flights, and this resulted in WE increasing their charge by some £500 per person for the one extra day, refusing to heed Eustace’s pleas for a reduction.

Birding was good for most of the time with nearly all the likely specialities seen, notably Sun Parakeet, Guianan Red Cotinga and Red Siskin, except for White-winged Potoo, Crimson Fruit-Crow and Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock. Bonuses included Orange-breasted Falcon and Amazonian Pygmy-Owl while Red-winged Ground-Cuckoo and Blue-backed Tanager were among the difficult birds missed. The group of 12 plus Eustace appeared to be rather large but was rarely an issue. Although the weather was mostly OK for birding, one disappointment was that on both occasions when there was time available to take a flight to see the spectacular Kaiteur Falls, the weather was deemed to be unsuitable. 

Sincere thanks are due to Wilderness Explorers and the tireless energy of the numerous local guides that assisted us in our endeavours. We also thank the drivers who carted us around on our insane missions with speed and good humour as well as the kitchen staff who fed us very well throughout.

 

ITINERARY

Day 1/18th  : Departed London Heathrow on Delta flight to JFK at 5pm. 

Day 2/ 19th : Arrived Georgetown 8am. Afternoon at the botanical gardens. Night  Cara Lodge.

Day 3/20th : Abary River trail (KM 66), Hope Beach and branch road; botanical gardens after lunch.  Night Cara lodge, Georgetown.

Day 4/ 21st : Drove to Essequibo river. Depart 5.45am and arrive 4pm. Night Iwokrama River lodge.

 Day 5/22nd :  Full day Iwokrama River lodge. Night Iwokrama River lodge.

Day 6/23rd :  Early morning visit to Mori Scrub. Afternoon on Atta entrance track and along main road. Night Atta Rainforest lodge.  

Day 7 /24th :  Morning road and Canopy Walkway, pm lodge grounds and Canopy walkway. Night Atta Rainforest lodge.

Day 8/25th:  Canopy Walkway and trails am, road pm.  Night Atta Rainforest Lodge.  

Day 9/26th :  Drove to Surama with stops for Corkwood trail and Harpy Eagle trail. Pm trails at Surama. Night Surama.  

Day 10/27th : Morning Surama & Prince Charles trail. Afternoon Rock View and main road. Night Rock View Lodge.

Day 11/28th : Morning Ginep Landing to Karanambu with stops, last 90 min by boat. PM Lake trip.  Night Karanambu.

Day 12/29th : Morning Capuchinbird lek & trails. Wetland and savannas late afternoon. Night Karanambu.

Day 13/30th :  Buffalo pond and woodland trails. Transfer to Lethem. Night Savanna Inn.

Day 14/1st : Takatu & Ireng rivers for Rio Branco Antbird & Hoary-throated Spinetail. Night Savanna Inn.

Day 15/2nd :  Karasabai for Sun Parakeet quest. Night Lethem.

Day 16/3rd  :  Saddle Mountain Ranch for Red Siskin quest. Night Savanna Inn.

Day 17/4th :  Local birding am. Pm delayed flight to Georgetown and botanical gardens.  Night Cara lodge.

Day 18/5th :  Flight home. Departed 10.15am.

 

DAILY DIARY.

After a rapid check-in and smooth US transit at New York, we arrived in Georgetown at 8am the following morning. By contrast the immigration procedure in Guyana was quite tortuous. We then headed off to our rather magnificent colonial Cara Hotel, lunch and an afternoon of birding in the Botanical Gardens. Birding here got us off to a fine start with a number of Snail Kites, Gray Hawk, Great Horned Owl, numerous Brown-throated Parakeets, Yellow-chinned Spinetails, Spotted Tody-flycatchers, Wing-barred Seedeaters and Carib Grackles. Of rather more interest was the profusion of psittacids patrolling the park.  Noisy flocks of Orange-winged and Yellow-crowned Amazons were eventually joined by a few Festive Amazons; a somewhat rare species the ‘provenance’ of which must be in question here. Mention should also be made of the Red-shouldered Macaws, Yellow Orioles and White-bellied Piculets we saw in the course of our several visits to this popular, if grubby little spot.

The following morning at 4.30 we headed east to the Abury River trail at Km66. On arrival a pair of Rufous Crab-Hawk perched by our breakfast spot and after a sandwich or two we were paid visits by White-bellied Piculets and a pair of Blood-coloured Woodpecker.  We made a number of false starts along the track, being delayed by a Mangrove Cuckoo, Little Cuckoo and our first Black-crested Antshrikes. Once on our way we found numerous Ochre-lored Flatbills, a single Boat-billed Tody-Tyrant and several Pale-tipped Inezias in the low scrub. A heavy shower cut short our stay and we began our way back to Georgetown, stopping to check out a number of suitable spots for Point-tailed Palmcreeper which we eventually found, and a group of Hoatzin.  Another stop at Hope Beach to scan the mudflats and mangroves found a couple of Scarlet Ibis, Black Skimmers, a Brown Pelican, numerous Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and a pair of Clapper Rail; the latter an uncommon species in Guyana. The waders helped pad the list with good numbers of peeps, Willet, Dowitchers, Plovers and so on.  It was beer o’clock and time to get back to base. Another afternoon visit to the Bot Gardens was unrewarding apart from a White-throated Kingbird.

Day three. Our next journey took us south to the Essequibo river and the Iwokrama River Lodge that sits on its south bank. We were told the drive time was 5 hours but the countrywide rate is one Guyanan hour for two Standard English hours. As such, easy calculations can be made as to how long it will take to get anywhere by doubling local estimates, to obtain standard western timings with remarkable accuracy. Hence, instead of five hours, it took us ten hours to reach the Essequibo river. There was a magical moment that may have lasted fifteen minutes during which we saw a ‘troop’ of Grey-winged Trumpeters drying off in the road. On arrival at the Iwokrama River lodge we watched Pied Plovers, Skimmers, Crested Ororpendolas, a number of Amazons and the setting sun.

A night in the forest, a short rest and we were set. Our morning began with the reassuring chorus of parrots, toucans and woodcreepers, followed by a full morning unpicking the marvel of ecological complexity that is South America. On the trails a rattling churr gave away the presence of Cinereous Antshrikes and we were on to a mixed flock. Dusky-throated Antshrike, a second flock leader, accompanied Brown-bellied, Grey and White-flanked Antwrens in their frantic search for food along with Plain-brown, Buff-throated and Chestnut-rumped Woodcreepers. Along the track toucans and parrots yelped, croaked and shrieked overhead while woodpeckers drummed out their claims. We picked out Black-necked Aracari, White-throated and the cryptic Channel-billed Toucan amongst Ringed and Yellow-throated Woodpeckers. A faltering sequence of deep notes gave away a Spotted Antpitta and within no time we were face to face with a territorial bird watching us closely. This was undoubtedly a trip highlight that made for another great day. Afternoons are rarely productive but we did manage to find an Amazonian Pygmy Owl high in the canopy and watched it for some time. JH returned early to the lodge grounds to look for Marail Guan in the Cercropias and was rewarded by one at dusk. The others had brief views of a Ferruginous-backed Antbird before turning back for dinner, beer and the list.

Central Guyana is covered by a vast swathe of rainforest, housing much of the country’s biodiversity. Rainforests may appear to be uniform but, in reality, are comprised of a complex mosaic of microhabitats. One such microhabitat is White Sand forest; a type of forest that developed on relictual dune systems deposited as the Amazon basin extended eastwards from the rising Andes. The Mori Scrub is such an area of White Sand forest close to Iwokrama and we started day five right there with several Black Manakins, a Cinnamon Attila and a few Rufous-crowned Elaenias. These and a few other species are only found in white sand forests, which have recently received a lot of attention from biologists with the discovery of new species in Peru.  We also found a large mixed flock at this site and a troop of Weeping Capuchins accompanied by a Double-toothed Kite. This symbiotic relation is a specialism in which the kite preys upon passerines disturbed by the Capuchins and the kite in turn alerts them to the presence of predators. 

We then continued on our way to the Atta Rainforest lodge and after lunch found a pair of Guianan Red Cotinga, a stunning frugivorous species restricted to the Guianan region. Along the nearby road and around the lodge clearing we worked our way through innumerable parrots, including the now rare Blue-cheeked Amazon. At dusk we saw Blackish Nightjar and Short-tailed Nighthawk along the road.

The forests around the Atta Lodge are excellent for birds. The canopy walkway is, of course, a major attraction and we visited it a number of times as well as the nearby road and trails around the lodge. In the course of two days we found Painted and Golden-winged Parakeets, Black-headed, Dusky, Caica and Red-fan Parrots and Blue-cheeked, Orange-winged, Yellow-crowned and Mealy Amazons; a very impressive list of parrots reflecting a rich and varied forest. We also saw Guianan Puffbird, Waved, Yellow-throated and Golden-collared Woodpeckers, and Spangled and Pompadour Cotingas.   The walkway, by contrast, was rather quiet but we did see the rare Dusky Purpletuft, Spangled Cotinga, Todd’s and Spot-tailed Antwrens and a number of tanagers and flycatchers in the few mixed flocks we encountered. A number of Chapman’s Swifts were spotted amongst Grey-rumped and Band-rumped Swifts circling around the hill above the walkway. This is yet another poorly known species with a spotty distribution. The clearing around the lodge was great for Black Curassow and close by we found two family parties of Grey-winged Trumpeters stalking through the forest. These species have disappeared across much of their range and are now local and rare so it was heartening to see them here in good numbers. A fruiting tree near the lodge produced a confiding pair of Guianan Toucanet and several Spix’s Guan, Red-fan Parrot, Great and Paradise Jacamars, Guianan Puffbird, Green and Black-necked Aracaris along with Guianan Warbling Antbird, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Golden-sided Euphonia and Yellow-green Grosbeak. It was full moon during our stay and we tried hard to see White-winged Potoo. Although it was calling every night and morning we failed to see it properly.  The other major attraction in Iwokrama is mammals and we did very well with exceptional views of Guianan Saki Monkey, Guianan Red howler Monkey and a distant Jaguar!  The latter was seen crossing the road on our second afternoon at the lodge. Two were seen by a few members of the group and another smaller animal was very briefly seen by local guide Cassius.   

Reluctantly, we had to leave Atta and head south through the Iwokrama Forest reserve to Surama on the edge of the southern savannas. Travelling in a huge military Bedford truck we stopped at the Corkwood trail but the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock was not present. The females had departed with their young and the attendant males had therefore dispersed as well.  A little further along the road we had more luck with Harpy Eagle at its nest and we were able to watch a well-grown bird tearing a monkey to bits. This spectacular top predator kept us entertained for some time during which we also watched a Painted Tody-flycatcher attending its nest above the Harpy Eagle nest. Along the trail a Capuchinbird called high in the canopy, we saw a Blue-crowned Motmot, taped in a very cooperative Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner and found a few White-plumed Antbirds. We then continued to Surama for a late lunch. In the afternoon we explored the silent flood-plain forest nearby finding a Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, several Purple-throated Fruitcrows and quite a number of Cayenne Jays. A forest island near the lodge held our first Southern White-fringed Antwrens, Guianan Slaty Antshrikes, a Spotted Puffbird and a couple of Finsch’s Euphonias. The savanna gave us Wedge-tailed Grassfinch, Grassland Sparrow, Least and Lesser Nighthawks and after dinner a very cooperative White-tailed Nightjar, so ending another very birdy day. 

A short walk through the forest near the lodge added little except Chestnut Woodpecker and the somewhat cryptic Yellow-crowned Eleania, although we did find a couple of mixed flocks. We then returned to the Prince Charles trail in taller rainforest where we found a small mixed flock with Guira, Paradise and Opal-rumped Tanagers as well as a family group of Purple-throated Fruitcrows, a number of Black Nunbirds and a Paradise Jacamar. After lunch at the Rock View Lodge, we relaxed, some cooling down from the very hot afternoon with a swim in the outdoor pool, then drove out to the open savannas. Here we found Buff-necked Ibises, a large flock of Woodstorks, nesting Double-striped Thick-knee, a rare pair of Xenopsaris, Slate-headed Tody-flycatcher, our only Grey-necked Wood-Rail and a Green Ibis. We then retired for dinner and a few drinks.

Our transport at Rock View consisted of a traction engine disguised as a truck. We rumbled in a cloud of blue smoke south to the Ginep Landing, birding as we went. We devoted some time to the wetlands and found Jabiru, Wood Stork, Black-collared Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Brown-throated Parakeet and Orange-backed Troupial.  A distant falcon turned out to be an Orange-breasted Falcon, a very welcome surprise and another trip highlight. We then travelled by boat to the Karanambu Ranch to be met by the famous Diane McTurk, owner of the ranch, with her two habituated Giant Otters. After rum punch cocktails, lunch and a siesta during another very hot afternoon, we took a boat trip to a series of ox-bow lakes to visit a huge heronry. Boat-billed Herons were very common along with Little Blue, Striated and Cocoi Herons, Snowy, Great and Cattle Egrets and Anhingas. A vast lagoon, almost choked by giant water-lily leaves, had good numbers of Purple Gallinules. We enjoyed sundowners while watching a spectacular sunset and hawking Lesser and Band-tailed Nighthawks.  We then returned to our lodgings in the dark for a superb dinner and more rum punch cocktails.

The Karanambu ranch is famous for its Capuchinbird leks. The Capuchinbird is the oddest-looking member of the cotingids with its booming call that sounds like a cross between a chain-saw and a cow. The following morning, a short walk from the lodge and we were beneath these weird-looking birds bellowing out their extraordinary calls, and enjoyed superb views of a number of males displaying just above our heads. This must be one of the most extraordinary birding highlights in the neotropics and certainly one of ours. We then returned for a hearty breakfast followed by a visit to another area of stunted woodland where we saw White-bellied Antbird, Guianan Slaty Antshrike, several White-fringed Antwrens and a Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant.  These light woodlands are also good for the nominate form of Blue-backed Manakin, of which we saw a good number near the lodge.  A mixed flock held Striped, Olivaceous and Buff-throated Woodcreepers as well as Black-capped Becard, Ashy-headed Greenlet, and Dusky and Black-chinned Antbirds. As is usual throughout the neotropics the procession of new birds showed no sign of slowing and in the heat of the day a few of us went in search of mixed flocks, finding a number of antbirds and a Red-legged Tinamou, called in to obtain great views. In the late afternoon we headed out onto the savanna in three vehicles that lacked brakes and functioning clutches. Stopping was interesting; it took about two hundred meters or an island of shrubs and trees to bring us to a grinding halt. We were in search of the near-threatened Bearded Tachuri, a pretty little tyrannid that has declined across its wide range. It was therefore very pleasing to find three or four and have excellent views of both males and females, followed by Burrowing Owls a bit further on. We also saw a Pinnated Bittern, Snail Kites and Purple Gallinules but few other wetland species. As it had rained so much this year the savannas were very wet and the waterbirds spread very thinly. After dark we found a number of Nacunda Nighthawks, a single Spot-tailed Nightjar and a perched Common Potoo that we were able to approach within 3 or 4 meters of.  Another excellent day came to a close with more rum punch at the ranch.

An early morning boat trip to Buffalo pond produced a pair of Lesser Razor-billed Curassow feeding on an open bank. This is a rare and shy Cracid that can be hard to see well. Of equal note was a male Brown-bearded Saki Monkey, a rare and infrequently seen species those in the second boat were thrilled to find. Along with the usual profusion of wetland species and two Sunbitterns, a few of us saw an Agami Heron in the flooded forests along the Rupununi River. Another was seen by Jeff along the creek edge near the lodge, and a Sungrebe, a pair of Black-chinned Antbird and the usual Southern White-fringed Antwrens were also along here. Late morning, without lunch, we headed to Lethem across the baking savannas, with a long stop for a radiator to be repaired, then a few stops for Jabiru and other waterbirds while crossing an extensive wetland. We arrived in Lethem around 5pm and celebrated the day’s birding with some much needed drinks in this rather spartan border town developing on the back of fiscal disparities between Guyana and Brazil; a supermarket as big as Georgetown international airport sat by the highway selling nothing more than shoes! Since a lot of the locals did not wear shoes it must have existed to provide for a prodigious demand from Brazilians across the river.    

A fantastic day of birding lay ahead of us as we turned our attention to finding the highly threatened Hoary-throated Spinetail and Rio Branco Antbird. They occur in gallery forest along the Takatu and Ireng Rivers which are being seriously degraded on the Brasilian side. After the usual ‘double time’ journey we arrived at the junction of the Takatu and Ireng rivers and our first site. The Spinetail is found here in acacia woodlands and scrub on sandy riparian woodlands. We also saw Tropical Gnatcatcher, Barred and Black-crested Antshrikes and Pale-tipped Inezias here. Another half an hour up the Ireng river and we found a Rio Branco Antbird, one of the prettier Cercomacra Antbirds. These were our targets and we were very pleased to have found them but the boat trip was far more productive with a great many raptors and waterbirds being seen.  We saw Capped Heron, Roseate Spoonbills, Muscovy Ducks, Skimmers, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns along with a spectacular selection of raptors. These included a close King Vulture, couple of Peregrines, a Bat Falcon and a Merlin - one of very few records for Guyana. We also found several Zone-tailed, a couple of White-tailed, three Short-tailed, a single Broad-winged and numerous Savanna Hawks as well as a Crane Hawk. Less obvious was the presence of northern Turkey Vultures amongst the commoner Neotropical form.

The next day was certainly a quest. The truck arrived 90 min late, then we made our way north to Karasabai on the border with Brazil to look for one of the rarest birds in South America: the Sun Parakeet. Thirty years ago, this species was not uncommon across the Guianas but today it is down to about 2000 birds. The ‘road’ was very rough as there had been unseasonal rains and many sections of it were damaged or non-existent, just as well we were in a military truck. On the way we saw Maguari Stork, Muscovy Duck, clouds of Crested Bobwhite, Orange-backed Troupial and many other savanna species. Pressing on to our destination was well worth it as once on site our local guide took us to a place where birds had recently been seen. We were in luck and found a pair of stunning adults preening in a tall tree for 20 min and three in an adjacent tree, definitely one of the major highlights of the trip. The birds then departed in a screeching flock down valley to an unknown feeding area. After lunch in the village, with good views of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and Bicolored Wren, we then retraced our steps along the boulder route, seeing Hooded Tanager, Chestnut-vented Conebill and Burnished-buff Tanager. Needless to say we arrived back at Savanna Inn rather late but we had succeeded where many had failed to see one of South America’s rarest birds.

Another early start took us across the palm savannas to look for yet another highly endangered bird: the Red Siskin. This spectacular bird has been decimated by the cage bird trade and reduced to near extinction until it was discovered in Guyana. This tiny remnant population is now the subject of an intense conservation project to save the species. Our chances seemed slim as it had been raining throughout the dry season and much of the savanna was under water.  After a rather circuitous series of diversions and crossing a couple of wide rivers we reached our site and quickly headed to a nearby wooded ridge in search of our quarry. Walking around the base of the ridge we saw Lesser Eleania, Northern Scrub Flycatchers, Burnished Buff Tanagers, Finsch’s Euphonias, a Little Chachalaca and good numbers of Orange-winged and Yellow-crowned Amazons. We could hear the distinctive calls of Siskins for some time before finding a stunning male. We then located another couple of males, an immature male and a female. Finding yet another species on the brink of extinction was a real thrill and one of the main highlights of the trip.  We then returned to the ranch for lunch and then headed for Lethem getting stuck on several occasions. Crossing the savannas we saw a few White-throated Kingbirds, a Pearl Kite, a few Yellow-throated and many Fork-tailed Flycatchers, several flocks of Blue and Yellow Macaws and a pair of Brazilian Teal. We had been very lucky to have such capable and determined drivers and local guides getting us to this site and on arrival in Lethem it was time for a celebratory drink. Indeed we had something to celebrate as we had succeeded in finding some of the rarest and most enigmatic species on the continent.       

After a leisurely morning and an early lunch we headed to the airport for our flight to Georgetown. On arrival some of us went to the Botanical Gardens for some last minute birding and others had a rest at the hotel. The only addition to the list was a single Plain-bellied Emerald around the hotel.  Early the following morning we took our leave and headed to the airport for our homeward flights and so the end of the trip.

Eustace Barnes, December 2010.

 

 

BIRD LIST

All birds seen by the group unless specified as follows:

H = Heard only, L = Leader only, NL = Non-leader. () = notes on some missed species.

Names in bold are Star birds.

A total of 428 species was seen and heard. 22 were heard only, most of which are common, widely distributed species. As the total list one might reasonably expect is 587 our total is a good proportion of what was available. This number excludes many species mapped as occurring but which are not recorded on this itinerary. Needless to say, species usually found above 1000m but erroneously recorded on this itinerary are not included. We found the majority of our targets including Blood-coloured Woodpecker, Rufous Crab Hawk, Harpy Eagle, Orange-breasted Falcon, White-bellied Piculet, Spotted Antpitta, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Black Manakin, Guianan Red Cotinga, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Dusky Purpletuft, Pompadour Cotinga, Capuchinbird, Lesser Crested Currassow, Bearded Tachuri, Sun Parakeet, Red Siskin, Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetail.  The only species we recorded which I would not have thought likely was Merlin. We failed to find a number of species I did think we should have found and these included Guianan Cock of the Rock, Crimson Fruitcrow, Red-billed Woodcreeper and Black-throated Antshrike. It is possible that the extended rains meant that the distribution of food or the breeding season was disrupted since these species are normally present and or vocal at this time of year but of course we were not at the zoo either.     

 

TINAMOUS

H - Great Tinamou (Tinamus major) Heard at Iwokrama River lodge and Atta Rainforest lodge.

H - Cinereous Tinamou (Crypturellus cinereus) Heard Iwokrama River lodge.

Red-legged Tinamou (Crypturellus erythropus) One bird watched at length at Karanambu. Also, heard en route to Saddle Mountain.

H - Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus) Heard en route to Saddle mountain.

 

PELICANS

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) Up to 10 along the coast.

 

DARTERS

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) Common south of Iwokrama.

 

FRIGATEBIRDS

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) Up to 15 along the coast.

 

HERONS AND EGRETS

Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus) 1 seen at Karanambu wetlands and in the wetland en route to Lethem.

NL - Rufescent Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum) 1 immature bird seen at Karanambu.

Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi) Seen at Iwokrama. The common large heron. Formally called White-necked Heron but the IOC deemed it Cocoi.

Great Egret (Ardea alb)  Common along the coastal road. 

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Likewise, common alog the coast.

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) Common along the coast where up to 60 at Hope beach.  Also seen at Karanambu.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)  Several seen along the coast.

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) Abundant around Georgetown. Fairly common in the south.

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus) Common on the coast and at Karanambu. Often seen perched on power lines in town.

Agami Heron (Agamia agami) 1 seen along the Rupanuni river and another nearer Karanambu lodge by Geoff only.

Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus).  6 along the Takatu river.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 2 in the Botanical gardens and many more at Karanambu.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)  Up to 25 seen at Hope beach.

Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) Abundant at Karanambu where up to 25 immature birds seen.

 

IBIS

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) 2 immature birds at Hope beach.

Sharp-tailed Ibis (Cercibis oxycerca) 2 at Karanambu and also heard there flying over the Capuchinbird lek.

Green Ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) 1 at Rock View lodge,

Buff-necked Ibis (Therstictus caudatus) A few at Rock View lodge and commoner on the southern savannas.  

Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)  A few along the Takatu river.

 

AMERICAN WOOD STORKS

Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) Seen over Atta, Surama and a few near Karanambu.

American Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana Common in the south.

Maguari Stork (Ciconia maguari) 1 on the way from Karanambu to Lethem and near Karasabai.

 

NEW WORLD VULTURES

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) Small numbers throughout.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)  Small numbers throughout.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  A few around Georgetown. A number of birds seen along the Takatu River were of the North America race.

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus) Common over the grasslands.

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes melambrotus) Several near Linden and reasonably numerous over rainforest at Iwokrama,

 

DUCKS AND GEESE

White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) A small flock on the Ruperuni savannas.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) 1 along the Takatu river.

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) A few along the Abury river trail which may have been ‘dodgy’ in Jon’s words. 1 Karanambu and many others along the Takatu River.

Brazilian Duck (Anas brasilianum) 1 near Karasabai and 2 en route to Lethem from Saddle Mountain ranch.

 

HAWKS AND EAGLES

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) A few seen throughout.

Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii) 1 seen near Lethem. 

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) Only one near Lethem.

Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) Common along the coastal road, at the Botanical gardens and in savanna wetlands in the south.

Double-toothed Kite (Harpagus bidentatus) 1 accompanying a troop of Weeping Capuchins at the Mori scrub. A fascinating specialisation in which birds follow the troop and pick off disturbed passerines.

Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis) A few seen throughout.

Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) 1 seen Karanambu, 2 along Takatu river.

White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis) 1 Atta. 

Rufous Crab-Hawk (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) One of Guyana’s specialities. We saw at least 5 along the Abury River trail with outstanding views of most. This is a very localised species that is hard to find in Venezuela or Brazil.

Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) A few along the coast.

Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga) A common raptor in Georgetown,

Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) Scattered records in cleared areas for cattle pasture. Somewhat common and seen at the nest near Ginep landing.

Grey Hawk (Buteo nitidus) Seen most days. The SACC says “AOU (1998) followed Pinto (1938), Stresemann & Amadon (1979), Amadon (1982), and Sibley & Monroe (1990) in using the monotypic genus Asturina for this species, rather than including in Buteo (as in e.g., Hellmayr & Conover 1949, Friedmann 1950, Phelps & Phelps 1958a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970); Amadon (1982) provided reasons why Asturina might be closer to Leucopternis than to Buteo. However, this is generally not followed (e.g., Thiollay 1994, Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001) because of this species' proposed close relationship to Buteo magnirostris and other buteos.

Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris) Seen throughout.

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) 1 along Takatu river.

Short-tailed Hawk - Buteo brachyurus. Up to 3 along the Takatu river.

Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) Several seen of this Vulture imitator around Karanambu.

White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) Seen throughout the south and the common Buteo of open country.

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) We all had good looks at a large young bird on the nest at Surama.

Black Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) 3 seen at the Iwokrama forest.

Black and White Hawk Eagle (Spizatur melanoleucus) A pair at Atta.

 

FALCONS AND CARACARAS

Black Caracara (Daptrius ater) Seen Iwokrama River lodge and elsewhere in forested areas.

Red-throated Caracara  (Ibycter americanus) Common at Iwokrama with several noisy family groups.

Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriwayi) Common throughout the north and south. As there are no true Crows in South America, caracaras occupy that niche as omnivorous scavengers. Formerly placed in the genus Polyborus but this species has been switched to the genus Caracara.

Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima.) Absent only from Iwokrama.

H - Collared Forest-falcon (Micrastur collaris) Heard at Karanambu.

H, NL - Lined Forest-falcon (Micrastur gilvicollis) Heard at Surama early morning.

Laughing Falcon (Herpetetheres cachinnans) Heard at Iwokrama River Lodge and a few seen in open areas throughout the south.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  Fairly common on the Rupununi savannas.

Merlin (Falco columbarius) 1 seen along the Takatu River.  Very few records in Guyana.

Bat Falcon (Falco rufogularis) 1 bird seen along the Takatu river.

Peregrine Falcon (Falcon peregrinus) Up to 5 along the coast. This northern migrant is of the form tundrius. We watched several hunting waders at Hope Beach and found at least two others along the Takatu River.

Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus) 1 at Ginep Landing was a surprise.

 

GUANS AND CURRASOWS

Little Chachalaca (Ortalis motmot) A few seen at Iwokrama, heard at Karanambu and 1 seen at Saddle Mountain. 

NL - Marail Guan (Penelope marail)  1 seen at dusk at Iwokrama River lodge by Jon. Similar to Spix’s Guan but much smaller and with a reduced wattle. A number heard at dusk along the main road throughout Iwokrama.  A somewhat rare species described as common by some.

Spix’s Guan (Penelope jacquacu) Several noted throughout the Iwokrama.

Lesser Razor-billed Currassow (Mitu tomentosa) 2 seen at Buffalo Pond and another pair seen nearer Karanambu. A species increasingly hard to find.

Black Currasow (Crax alector) A couple seen along the road near Atta.  Up to 6 at the lodge clearing at the Atta Forest lodge.

 

QUAILS AND WOODQUAILS

Crested Bobwhite (Colinus cristatus)  Common in the savannas.

 

RAILS AND ALLIES

Crakes and rails seem oddly hard to find in Guyana, given both the habitat and possibilities. A good deal more fieldwork is needed here to find suitable localities. 

Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris pelodramus) Great views of 2 at Hope Beach. An infrequenly seen species in Guayana.

Grey-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides cajanea)  1 near Rock View lodge.

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica).  Quite a number seen at Karanambu and a few near Karasabai.

 

FINFOOTS

Sungrebe (Heliornis helias) 2 seen at Karanambu. A very pretty waterbird found throughout the Neotropics. 2 claimed en route to Saddle Mt.

 

SUNBITTERNS

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Heard Atta. Three seen Karanambu.

 

LIMPKINS

Limkin (Aramus guarauna) Fairly common on the southern savannas.

 

TRUMPETERS

Grey-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans) Great views of a group of 13 near Iwokrama River lodge and several other smaller groups seen at Atta Rainforest lodge. This is an increasingly rare species that is very hard to find across most of its range. Trumpeters are related to Cranes and Rails and have a well developed social behaviour, patrolling their territory in family groups, keeping in contact with low purring and whooping calls which escalate into the full song of guttural humming notes if they sense danger. They sing at full moon also, and eat insects, fallen fruits, lizards and snakes. Many Amerindian groups keep Trumpeters as pets in their villages as they are good at killing snakes.

 

THICK-KNEES

Double-striped Thick–knee (Burhinus bistriatus) Seen near Rock View, including distraction display, on Karanambu airstrip and on the Rupununi savannas.

 

PLOVERS

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) A few along the coast and the southern savannas.

Pied Plover  (Haploxypterus cayanus)  Seen at Iwokroma Field station, where they are found on the lawn, at Karanambu and along the Takatu river.

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)  4 on the mudflats along the coast.

Semi-palmated Plover (Charadrius semipalamatus) Several hundred at Hope beach.

Collared plover (Charadrius collaris) Seen along the river at Iwokrama River Lodge and along the Takatu river.

 

JACANAS

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana) Common along the coast, at Karanambu and the southern savannas.

 

SANDPIPERS

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca ) Common along the coast.

Lesser Yellowlegs  (Tringa flavipe ) Fairly common along the coast,

Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria ) A few in the Botanical gardens and others on the rather wet savannas in the south.

Willet (Caroptrophorus semipalmatus) Fairly common at Hope Beach.

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) Fairly common.

Hudsonian Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus) Common on the mudflats at Hope beach. Zink et al. (1995) proposed a return to earlier classifications that considered New World hudsonicus to be a separate species from Old World populations based on genetic distance. Although plumage pattern also differs substantially, vocalizations are evidently very similar.

Sanderling (Calidris alba) A few at Hope Beach.

Semi-palmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) Several hunded on the rising tide at Hope Beach.

Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) About 15 at Hope Beach.

Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) Good numbers amongst the Semi-Ps at Hope Beach.

White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) 2 at Hope Beach.

Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus) Several small groups at Hope Beach and Abury road.

Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) A small flock at Hope Beach.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) 2 at Hope Beach.

South American Snipe (Gallinago paraguaiae). Seen near Lethem.

 

GULLS AND TERNS

Large-billed Tern (Phaetusa simplex) Several on the Rupuruni and Essequibo rivers.

Yellow-billed Tern  (Sterna superciliaris) 2 on the Essequibo river.

Black Skimmer (Rhychops niger) 4 at Hope Beach, 15 at Iwokrama River lodge and 12 on the Rupununi River.

 

PIGEONS AND DOVES

‘Feral’ Pigeon (Columba livia) Common around Georgetown.

Scaled Pigeon (Patagioenas speciosa) Seen at Atta Rainforest lodge.  Recent research shows that the genus Columba is paraphyletic, with New World taxa being more closely related to Streptopelia than to Old World Columba pigeons. This is consistent with differences between New World and Old World Columba in terms of morphology, serology and behaviour. The suggestion was made to place all New World forms in the genus Patagioenas, and the AOU recently adopted this change in its latest checklist supplement.

Pale-vented Pigeon (Patagioenas cayennensis). Common

Ruddy Pigeon (Patagioenas subvinacea) Seen at Iwokrama River lodge.

H - Plumbeous Pigeon (Patagioenas plumbea) Heard at Atta.

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) Common on open savanna country south of Rock View. The form here is stenura.

Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerine). A few along the coast and in the savannas.

Plain-breasted Ground-Dove (Columbina minuta) Not uncommon on the savannas.  Perhaps commonest en route to Karasabai

Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpacoti) Common.

Blue Ground-Dove (Claravis pretiosa) 2 seen near Atta.

White-tipped Dove (Leptoptila verreauxi ) A few at Abury road,

H - Grey-fronted Dove (Leproptila rufaxilla) Heard in Iwokrama. This species replaces the former in thick humid forest.

 

PARROTS

Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloropterus) Seen in small numbers throughout the Iwokrama forests.

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Small numbers every day in Iwokrama.

Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauana) A flock of 14 along the Essequibo river, several smaller groups seen overhead in Iwokrama and up to 15 also seen near Lethem in palm savannas.

Red-bellied Macaw (Ara manilata) Several small flocks seen in the south.

Red-shouldered Macaw (Ara nobilis) Common in Georgetown and a few further south.

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis) We saw 5 birds after an entertaining journey from Lethem. We were able to watch 2 at length and enjoy superb views of this magnificent species. Sun Parakeet is restricted to central Guyana and Roraima state, Brazil, and may previously have occurred in Suriname. Though fairly common until the 1970s in the Rupununi-Roraima savannas of western Guyana and adjacent Brazil, it has since been extirpated there, presumably by trappers, and it is now very scarce or absent across its former range. In Guyana evidence of nesting has been found in the Karasabai area where 50-80 individuals were seen in 2003, and c.25 km from this site there are recent records from Karanambo (c.30 km from the Brazilian border at Bonfim) and on the West Bank of Demerara. Its population probably now numbers no more than a couple of thousand individuals. Due to high demand in the pet trade this once common species has declined dramatically during the last twenty years. It has been heavily exported from Guyana during this time, leading its virtual extirpation from that country. Trappers from Guyana and French Guiana have since travelled over the border to Brazil to buy birds for export. An annual export quota of 600 birds was set by Guyana in the 1980s and it is thought that more than 2,200 were imported into the United States between 1981 and 1985-6. Trade is ongoing, and due to the ease with which birds can be attracted to bait (e.g. corn) and the large distances they will travel, it is easy to trap all the individuals in an area. Endangered.

Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax) Common parakeet of open areas.

Painted Parakeet (Pyrrhura picta picta) Common at Iwokrama. A recent paper by Leo Josephs has split the Painted Parakeet complex into many species and Restall (2006) notes the bird we saw in Guyana as range a restricted species.

Green-rumped Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) Several small flocks seen in the north and south.

Golden-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris chrysopterus) Small numbers at Iwokrama.

Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephala) Several seen and many more heard at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Caica Parrot (Pionospitta caica) Seen at Atta. The name derives from the Carib Indian name for Parrot.

Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus) Small numbers seen at scattered sites.

Dusky Parrot (Pionus fuscus) Fairly common at Atta Rainforest lodge.

Blue-cheeked Amazon (Amazonas dufresniana) This is a rare parrot and we were heartened to see a total of 20 or so at Atta. Named after the French Conchologist L. Dufresne (1752-1832). It is considered  Near thretened

Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala) Common.

Orange-winged Parrot (Amazona amazonica) Common.

Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinose) Fairly Common.

Festive Amazon (Amazona festiva) Several pairs in Georgetown Botanical gardens.  Maybe a relictual population or escapees?

Red-fan Parrot (Deroptyrus accipitrinus) 4 at Atta. A group of 3 at Surama.

 

CUCKOOS AND ANIS

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) 1 seen and photographed at Abury road. Evidently not a common species here and this bird could have been a northern migrant

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)  Seen throughout the rainforest.

Black-bellied Cuckoo (Piaya melanogaster) A couple seen very briefly in Iwokrama.

Little Cuckoo (Piaya minuta) Several seen along the Abary River trail.

H - Striped Cuckoo (Tapera naevia) A few heard in open country.

Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) Common throughout disturbed areas

Greater Ani (Crotophaga major) Common along the coast and the Takatu river.

Hoatzin (Opistocomus hoazin) A few seen near the coast. Evidently a very localised species in Guyana.

 

OWLS

H - Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba) One heard at Karanambu. The SACC says - Recent analyses of genetic and vocal differences (König et al. 1999, Wink et al. 2008) confirm a major division of the screech-owls into New World Otus (except O. flammulatus) and Old World groups, as noted by Amadon & Bull (1988).

H - Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) Heard at Atta.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) 1 seen in the Botanical gardens and another heard in gallery woodlands near Rockview lodge. The southern populations central Peru south, Bubo magellanicus is a proposed split from B.virginianus (König et al.1999; Jaramillo 2003); SACC awaits analysis and proposal.

Amazonian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium hardyi)  Several heard and 1 seen superbly well at Iwokrama River lodge.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) Heard at Karanambu and one seen at Karasabai.

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) 2 seen at Karanambu and another at Saddle mountain.

 

NIGHTJARS AND NIGHTHAWKS

Short-tailed Nighthawk (Lurocalis semitorquatus) 1 at Iwokrama River Lodge and several at Atta Forest Lodge.

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis) Common on the Rupununi Savannas.

Least Nighthawk (Chordeiles pusillus) Common at Surama and easily seen in open areas.

Band-tailed Nighthawk – Nyctoprogne leucopyga: A group of 20+ at dusk on the Rupununi River near Karanambu.

Nacunda Nighthawk (Podager nacunda) A few on the airstrip at Karanambu.

Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) 1 along the Abury Road trail. Heard distantly at Atta.

White-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus cayenensis) 2 seen at Surama.

Blackish Nightjar (Caprimulgus nigricens) 1 seen at Atta Rainforest lodge.

Spot-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus maculicaudatus) 1 seen at Karanambu.

 

POTOOS

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) Heard at Atta. Commonly heard and one seen at Karanambu.

H - White-winged Potoo (Nyctibius leucopterus) 2 or 3 heard at Atta Rainforest lodge and heard during every night and pre-dawn session. Despite an intense effort only glimpsed in flight from the canopy walkway.

 

SWIFTS

White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris) A few seen at Atta.

Short-tailed Swift (Chaetura brachyuran) Scattered records.

Chapman’s Swift (Chaetura pelagica) Up to 5 seen from the canopy walkway at Atta.

Band-rumped Swift (Chaetura spinicauda) Common over forest at Iwokrama.

Grey-rumped Swift (Chaetura cinereiventris) Fairly common.

Neotropical Palm Swift (Tachornis squamata)  Fairly common.

 

HUMMINGBIRDS

Low hummingbird diversity in comparison to countries with Andean cloud forests.

‘Eastern’ Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus) Many records of birds zipping about but ony 1 seen well by some of us. SACC proposal passed to change English names from "Western Long-tailed Hermit" to "Long-billed Hermit for P. longirostris and from "Eastern Long-tailed Hermit" to "Long-tailed Hermit" for P. superciliosus.

Reddish Hermit (Phaethornis ruber) Seen at Iwokrama.

Little Hermit (Phaethornis longeumareus)  A single bird seen at Karanambu.

Crimson Topaz (Topaza paella) Heard and seen unsatisfactorily zipping about at Atta.

White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) Around the clearing at Atta Rainforest lodge.

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) Seen near Saddle Mountain Ranch.

Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) A few seen at Iwokrama and on the coast.                Fork-tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata) 1 at Iwokrama River Lodge.

Rufous-throated Sapphire (Hylocharis sapphirina) Fairly common at Atta Rainforest lodge.

White-tailed Goldenthroat (Polytmus guainumbi) A few seen in the south.

White-chested Emerald (Amazilia chionopectus) Seen around Georgetown.

Plain-bellied Emerald (Amazilia leucogaster) 1 seen on our last morning at Cara lodge. A locally common range-restricted species.

Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata) Seen throughout.

Black-eared Fairy (Heliothryx aurita)  A few seen at Atta.

Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris) Singles at Iwokrama River lodge, at Atta and on the Takatu or Ireng rivers

 

TROGONS

White-tailed Trogon (Trogon viridis) A few seen at Iwokrama and heard at many sites.

Violaceous Trogon (Trogon violaceus) Fairly common.

Black-tailed Trogon (Trogon melanurus) Several at Iwokrama River lodge.

 

MOTMOTS

Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota) 1 seen along the Harpy trail near Surama.

 

KINGFISHERS

Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) Common.

Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazonaa) Not as common as the former but conspicuous.

Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle Americana) Several noted.

Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda) 1 Surama.

American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea)  One along the coast

 

JACAMARS

Green-tailed Jacamar (Galbula galbula) A few seen at Atta rainforest. Jacamars are butterfly specialists and can often be seen in sunny clearings waiting for their prey. They snip off the wings with their scirror-like bill before eating.

Paradise Jacamar (Galbula dea) A few seen in the Iwokrama forest. Always perched on exposed branches of high trees

Great Jacamar (Jacamerops aureus) 1 at Iwokrama River lodge and 2 at Atta Rainforest lodge.

 

PUFFBIRDS

Guianan Puffbird (Notharchus macrorhynchos) 2 seen at Atta. The taxon swainsoni of the Atlantic forest region was formerly (e.g., Cory 1919, Pinto 1937) considered a separate species from Notharchus macrorhynchos, but Peters (1948) treated them as conspecific; this was followed by most subsequent classifications. Rasmussen & Collar (2002) elevated swainsoni to species rank (Bar-bellied Puffbird), and Alvarenga et al. (2002) provided rationale in support of that treatment. SACC proposal passed to elevate swainsoni to species rank. The hyperrhynchus subspecies group was also formerly (e.g., Ridgway 1914, Cory 1919, Pinto 1937) considered a separate species, but it was also treated as conspecific with N. macrorhynchos by Peters (1948). Rasmussen & Collar (2002) also suggested that the hyperrhynchus group might also warrant species rank. SACC proposal passed to elevate hyperrhynchus to species rank; SACC proposals passed to apply English name "Guianan Puffbird" to narrowly distributed macrorhynchos and to retain "White-necked" for widely distributed hyperrhynchus. Found in the Guianas and Brazil north of the Amazon.

Pied Puffbird (Notharcus tectus) Heard in Iwokrama.

Spotted Puffbird (Bucco tamatia) 1 seen at Surama.

Black Nunbird (Monasa atra) Common in the Iwokrama Rainforest reserve.

Swallow-winged Puffbird (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) Common.

 

BARBETS AND TOUCANS

Black-spotted Barbet (Capito niger) Seen at Atta Rainforest lodge. Another Guianan Shield endemic. We saw several groups of this lovely species.

Green Aracari (Pteroglossus viridis) Several groups seen near Atta. “Arasari” is a Brazilian Amerindian name for a small toucan.

Black-necked Aracari (Pteroglossus aracari) Common. In Greek Pteroglossus means “feather-tongued”, a reference to the slim feather-like tongues of toucans and aracaris.

Guianan Toucanet (Selenidera culik) A few at Atta. Restricted to the Guianas and Brazil north of the Amazon. “culik” is the Cayenne creole name for Guianan Toucanet.

Channel –billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) Common.

White-throated Toucan (Ramphastos tucanus) Common.

Toco Toucan (Rhamphastoc toco) 2 seen along the Takatu river.

 

PICULETS AND WOODPECKERS

Golden-spangled Piculet (Picumnus exilis ) A few seen at Karanambu. Another Guianan shield species.

White-bellied Piculet (Picumnus spilogaster) Common along the Abary trail. A pair in the Botanical gardens on the last day

Lineated Wodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) Found throughout.

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus) Uncommon.

Blood-coloured Woodpecker (Venilornis sanguineus) Two along the Abary trail and three together along the branch road.  Not seen in the Botanical gardens.

Golden-collared Woodpecker (Venilornis cassini) Several at Atta Rainforest lodge where fairly common by voice.  Another Guianan Shield endemic.

Yellow-throated Woodpecker (Piculus flavigula) 2 seen several times in the Atta area.

Chestnut Woodpecker (Celeus elegans) Several seen at Atta and another at Karanambu.

Waved Woodpecker  (Celeus undulates) Seen at Iwokrama River lodge, Atta and Surama lodge.

H - Cream-colored Woodpecker (Celeus flavus) Heard at Karanambu and Surama.

Ringed Woodpecker (Celeus torquatus) A pair at Iwokrama River lodge.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) Seen and heard throughout.

Red-necked Woodpecker (Campephilus rubricollis) Heard at Atta Rainforest.

 

OVENBIRDS

A poorly represented family in the Guianan region with a striking paucity of forest and open country species throughout.

Pale-legged Hornero (Furnarius longirostris) Seen by some along the Takatu river and at Lethem on our last morning.

H - Pale-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis albescens) Commonly heard along the Takatu river.

Hoary–throated Spinetail (Poecilurus kollari) Up to 4 seen at two sites along the Takatu river. A very localised species classed as endangered.

Yellow-chinned Spinetail (Certhiaxis cinnamomea) Common in wet areas even in Georgetown city.

Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-Gleaner (Philydor pyrrhodes) 1 seen along the Harpy trail near Surama. It performed well for a species that is usually rather skulking.

Plain Xenops (Xenops minutes) Seen at Iwokrama Forest.

Point-tailed Palmcreeper (Berlepschi rikeri) Seen spectacularly well on the coast near Georgetown.

 

WOODCREEPERS

Interestingly, a species range equivalent to that found in the Amazon in sharp contrast with Furnarids sensu strictu.  The regional speciality, however, the Red-billed Woodcreeper, was neither heard nor seen during our six days in Iwokrama.

Plain-brown Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) A few seen at Iwokrama River lodge. This is the nominate race of this army ant follower (non-obligate).

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus) A common forest woodcreeper.

Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus griseus) Seen at Atta. The SACC says Sittasomus griseicapillus almost certainly consists of multiple species (Hardy et al. 1991, Ridgely & Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1995, Ridgely & Greenfield 2001, Hilty 2003), with at least five subspecies groups possibly deserving separate species status (Marantz et al. 2003).

Long-tailed Woodcreeper (Denchonychura longicauda) Seen at Iwokrama.

H - Strong-billed Woodcreeper (Xiiphorhynchus promeropirhynchus) Heard at dusk from the Atta canopy walkway.

Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes certhis) Seen at Iwokrama river lodge.

H - Black-banded Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) Heard at Atta.

Straight-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus picus) A few seen around Georgetown and along the coast.

Striped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) Seen at Karanambu.

Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus pardalotus) A few at Iwokrama.

Buff-throated Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) Fairly common.

Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper (Dendrexatastes rufigula) A few seen and several heard at Atta.

H - Lineated woodcreeper (Lepidocolpates albolineatus) Heard from the canopy walkway.

 

ANTBIRDS

Unfortunatley no ant-swarm was found and so contact with the obligate ant-swarm followers was somewhat fleeting.

Fasciated Antshrike (Cymbilaimus lineatus) Seen at Iwokrama. A common canopy antshrike heard more than seen.

H - Great Antshrike (Taraba major) A single bird was heard near Atta.

Black-crested Antshrike (Sakesphorus Canadensis) Common at Abury Road trail. Saksephorus is Greek and means “shield bearing” referring to the black breast patch of this species. Canadensis referring to Canada is erroneously used here and should have been “cayanensis

Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus) Seen along the Takatu river and others heard.

Mouse-colored Antshrike (Thamnophilus murinus) Commonly heard and seen throughout Iwokrama area.

Northern Slaty Antshrike(Thamnophilus punctatus punctatus) Seen at Surama where very common. Called "Guianan Slaty-Antshrike" in Isler et al. (1997), but see Isler et al. (2001). Thamnophilus atrinucha, T. stictocephalus, T. sticturus, T. pelzelni, and T. ambiguus were formerly (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1924, Pinto 1937, Peters 1951, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered conspecific with T. punctatus, with the broad species known as "Slaty Antshrike," but see Willis (1982) and Isler et al. (1997) for recognition as species, based mainly on vocal differences. Genetic data (Brumfield & Edwards 2007) indicate that atrinucha and punctatus belong to separate groups within Thamnophilus. Ridgely & Greenfield further recognized leucogaster of the Marañon Valley as a separate species; this taxon was tentatively retained as a subspecies of T. punctatus by Isler et al. (1997), with further evidence confirming subspecies status presented by Isler et al. (2001). Genetic data (Lacerda et al. 2007) indicate that ranking pelzelni and ambiguus as species is consistent with levels of divergence within this group.

Amazonian Antshrike (Thamnophilus amazonicus) A few at Atta where fairly common by call.

Dusky-throated Antshrike (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) A flock leader at a number of understorey flocks throughout Iwokrama.

Cinereous Antshrike (Thamnomanes caesius) Fairly common flock leader throughout the Iwokrama area.  

H - Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyuran) Common canopy antwren, although not seen.

Guianan Streaked Antwren (Myrmotherula surinamensis) Seen at Iwokrama.

Rufous-bellied Antwren (Myrmotherula guttata) Several at Atta. Very pretty Guianan speciality.

Brown-bellied Antwren (Myrmotherula gutturalis) Quite common at Iwokrama.  A dead leaf cluster specialist as many of this genus with spotted throats are.

White-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula axillaris) Common mid-storey antwren. Willis (1984b), Ridgely & Tudor (1994), Hilty (2003), and Zimmer & Isler (2003) noted that vocal differences among several subspecies of Myrmotherula axillaris suggest that more than one species is involved.

Long-winged Antwren (Myrmotherula longipennis) Common member of understorey flocks. This taxon is quite distinct vocally from those south of the Amazon and almost certainly warrants specific status in line with many other revisions within Thamnophilidae.

Grey Antwren (Myrmotherula menetriesii) Common member of numerous understorey flocks. The form here is pallida with no black throat.

Spot-tailed Antwren (Herpsilochmus sticturus) Along with the next species, common in canopy mixed flocks and easily seen from the Atta canopy walkway. This one of the few areas where two similar looking Herpsilochmus occur together.

Todd’s Antwren (Herpsilochmus stictocephalus) Very common throughout Iwokrama.

Southern White-fringed Antwren (Formicivora grisea) Very common in the south. Seen at Surama where found in woody savanna islands. Common at Karanambu, along the Takatu river and in wooded areas in the southern savannas. Zimmer & Isler (2003) suggested that Formicivora grisea may consist of more than one species. Hilty (2003) described major vocal differences between intermedia and grisea in Venezuela and treated them as separate species.

Ash-winged Antwren (Terenura spodioptila) Common vocally but difficult to see in the canopy, but one was eventually seen.

Grey Antbird (Cercomacra cinerascens ) Seen from the canopy walkway. A vine-tangle specialist.

Dusky Antbird (Cercomacra tyrannina) Common in the understory.

Rio Branco Antbird (Cercomacra carbonaria) A superb male seen along the Ireng River near Letham. Now rare and very localised. Considered Near threatened. A second bird was thought to be there

White-browed Antbird - Myrmoborus leucophrys)  Singles at Iwokrama River Lodge and Karanambu.

Guianan Warbling-Antbird (Hypocnemis cantator) Seen at Atta where quite common. Formerly part of the Warbling Anybird species, Ridgely & Tudor (1994) and Zimmer & Isler (2003) noted that the yellow-bellied (flavescens) subspecies group is almost certainly a separate species from Hypocnemis cantator (as treated by Cory & Hellmayr [1924] and Pinto [1937]). Following Zimmer (1932a), they have been treated as conspecific. Vocal differences and documentation of syntopy and parapatry among taxa formerly ranked as subspecies (Isler et al. 2007) indicate that H. Cantator actually consists of at least five species, including H. cantator. SACC proposal passed to revise species limits.  Guianan (H.cantator), Imeri (H.flavescens), Yellow-breasted (H.saturata), Peruvian (H.peruviana), Rondonia (H.ochrogyna) Antbirds.

Black-chinned Antbird (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)  Seen at Atta, always near water, and common at Surama.

Silvered Antbird (Sclateria naevia) Heard frequently and one seen by Jon at Atta when we walked along the creek on other side of main road.

White-bellied Antbird (Myrmeciza longipes) Commonly heard in dense scrub and woodlands. A couple seen at Karanambu.

Ferruginous-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza ferruginea) Fairly common at Iwokrama. One of the most beautiful in the family in the Guianas.

Spot-backed Antbird (Hylophylax naevia ) One at Surama.

Scale- backed Antbird (Hylophylax poecilinota) 1 seen at Atta by some.

White-plumed Antbird (Pithys albifrons) A few seen by some along the Harpy trail.  No ant swarm was found and so seeing these birds was rather difficult.

Rufous-throated Antbird (Gymnopithys rufigula) 2 seen at Atta.

 

GROUND ANTBIRDS

Spotted Antpitta (Hylopezus macularis) Several heard at Iwokroma. We watched one at length off the trails getting stunning walk-away views. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip.

H - Thrush-like Antpitta (Myrmothera campanisoma) Commonly heard at Iwokrama.

H - Rufous-capped Anthrush (Formicarius colma) Many heard at Atta.

 

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS

Slender-footed Tyrannulet (Zimmerius gracilipes acer) Seen at various sites in Iwokrama. The form acer represented in the Guianas may be a separate species; the Guianan Tyrannulet. A poor choice of name, given that Phylloscartes virescens is often referred to by the same English name. This split is accepted by Clements.

White-lored Tyrannulet (Ornithion inerme) Seen and heard at Iwokrama.

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum ) Common in the Botanical Gardens. A few at Karanambu and in the Lethem region,

Mouse–colored Tyrannulet (Phaeomyias murina)  Common at Abury river with a few at Rock View and around Lethem.

Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (Tyrannulus elatus) Heard and seen at Iwokrama. Commonly heard uttering its well known call ‘free beer!’

Forest Elaenia (Myiopagis gaimardii)  Heard at many sites, with a few seen.

L - Greenish Eleania (Myiopagis viridicata) 1 seen and heard at Karanambu. A difficult species to identify.  

Yellow-crowned Eleania (Myiopagis flavivertex) Seen at Surama. Another inconspicuous tyrannid of varzea understorey.

Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster) Seen throughout in open country and savannas.

Plain-crested Elaenia (Elaenia cristata ) Less common than the previous species on

the savannas.

Small-billed Eleania (Eleania parvirostris) A few seen a scattered sites.

Lesser Eleania (Eleania chiriquensis) Common at Saddle Mountain.

Rufous-crowned Elaenia (Elaenia ruficeps)  Several  seen at the Mori scrub near Atta Rainforest lodge.  A white sand forest specialist.

Northern Scrub flycatcher (Sublegatus arenarium) Common at Saddle Mountain and small numbers seen elsewhere.

Pale tipped Inezia (Inezia caudate) Seen and heard at Abury road and common at sites throughout the south. Formally called Pale-tipped Tyrannulet.

Bearded Tachuri (Polystictus pectoralis) At least 3 seen in the tall grasslands at Karanambu. Near-threatened.

H - Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (Mionectes oleaginous) Heard at many locations in Iwokrama.

(Olive-green Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes virescens) Not seen and clearly neither common nor well known to the local birders).

H - Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant (Myiornis ecaudatus) Heard at Atta Rainforest lodge.

H - Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant (lophotriccus vitiosus) Recorded near Mori scrub.

Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant (Lophotriccus galeatus) Common.

Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant (Lophotriccus pilaris) Very common at Karanambu.

Boat-billed tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus josephinae) 1 seen by some after searching at Abary River trail.

Slate–headed Tody-Flycatcher (Poecilotriccus Sylvia) Quite common from Ginep landing to Karanambu.

Common Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum) Commonly recorded.

Spotted Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum maculatum) Common in the Botanical gardens and a few seen in the south.

Painted Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum pictum) One at a nest above the active Harpy Eagle nest.

Yellow-Olive Flatbill (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) Various sightings of individuals of race exortivus. This is another species under study that may involve more than one species. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) used the English group name "Flatbill" for the species of Tolmomyias, returning to a name used by Cory & Hellmayr (1925).

Zimmer’s Flatbill (Tolmomyias assimilis) Seen at Atta Rainforest lodge and Karanambu.  Ridgely & Greenfield (2001), followed by Hilty (2003), considered populations of Central America and trans-Andean South America to represent a separate species, T. flavotectus, from Tolmomyias assimilis; they restricted the name "Yellow-margined Flycatcher/Flatbill" to the latter and called the Amazonian species "Zimmer's Flatbill." The latter is also likely to consist of more than one species (see Ridgely & Greenfield 2001). Fitzpatrick (2004) concluded that further research was needed before any changes are made to current species limits.

Ochre-lored Flatbill (Tolmomyias virdiceps) Many seen and heard at Abury road The SACC says “Tolmomyias flaviventris almost certainly involves more than one species; see Bates et al. (1992) and Ridgely & Tudor (1994). The subspecies viridiceps is almost certainly a distinct species, and was so considered by Ridgely et al. (2001) and Hilty (2003). However, Zimmer (1939a) considered them conspecific because the subspecies he considered the subspecies subsimilis and dissors to represent taxa that were intermediate between the two, and this treatment was followed by Fitzpatrick (2004) in the absence of publised data supporting a split.” We saw the collingswoodi subspecies. Formerly known as Yellow-Breasted Flycatcher.

White-crested Spadebill (Platyrinchus platyhynchos) 3 seen at Atta; a pair with a youngster.

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Common with many displaying males noted on the southern savannas.

Pied Water-Tyrant (Fluvicola pica) A few in the Botanical gardens and others elsewhere in suitable habitat.

White-headed Marsh-Tyrant (Arundinicola leucocephala)  Common in most wetlands visited. 

Cinnamon Attila (Attila cinnmomaeus) 1 at the Mori scrub.  

Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus) Seen and heard at Atta. The SACC says - Leger and Mountjoy (2003) found major vocal differences between South American and Middle American populations of Attila spadiceus, strongly suggesting that at least two species are involved, but did not adequately sample populations from west of Andes in South America; these are vocally similar to the Middle American flammulatus group.

H - Greyish Mourner (Rhytipterna simplex)  Commonly heard at Iwokrama Forest.

H -Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer) Heard at Surama.

Short-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus ferox) Seen commonly.

Brown-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus) Fairly common in the south.

Swainson’s Flycatcher (Myiarchus swainsonii) Seen at Saddle Mountain ranch.

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) Recorded throughout the trip, usually in open or edge habitat.

Lesser Kiskadee (Philohydor lector) A few in the Botanical gardens and at Karanambu.

Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua) Several scattered pairs.

Rusty-margined Flycatcher (Myiozetetes cayanensis) Very common.

Yellow-throated Flycatcher (Conopias parva) Heard at Surama and seen near Lethem.

White-throated Kingbird (Tyrannus albogularis) 1 seen in the Georgetown Botanical Gardens and several near Lethem. A species fond of palm savannas.

Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) Common and widespread.

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) Common in Georgetown only.

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) 3 along the Abury road and common in the southern savannas.

 

TITYRAS

In this classification, the genera Tityra through Phibalura were formerly placed tentatively in the Cotingidae, following Prum et al. (2000). They had formerly been scattered among the Tyrannidae, Cotingidae, and Pipridae. Prum and Lanyon (1989)and Sibley & Ahlquist (1990) found that Tityra, Schiffornis, and Pachyramphus formed a distinct group, separate from the rest of the Tyrannidae; Sibley & Ahlquist (1990)proposed that they were most closely related to core Tyrannidae than to other tyrannoid families such as the Cotingidae or Pipridae. More recent genetic data (Johansson et al. 2002, Chesser 2004, Barber & Rice 2007) confirm that the genera Tityra through at least Pachyramphus form a monophyletic group, but Chesser (2004) found that this group is more closely related to the Pipridae than to the Cotingidae or Tyrannidae. SACC proposal passed to remove from Cotingidae (and place as Incertae Sedis or as separate family, Tityridae). Barber & Rice (2007) not only confirmed the monophyly of the group but also proposed elevation to family rank. SACC proposal passed to recognize Tityridae. Within this group, Barber & Rice (2007) found genetic evidence for two major groups: (a) Laniisoma, Laniocera, and Schiffornis, and (b) Iodopleura, Tityra, Xenopsaris, and Pachyramphus.

Cinereous Mourner (Laniocera hypopyrra) One seen at Surama

Dusky Purpletuft (Iodopleura fusca) 2 at Iwokrama Forest Lodge and three at the Atta Rainforest lodge. A rare, localised species only known from a handful of widely distributed sites.

White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus) Seen from Abury road throughout.

Black-capped Becard (Pachyramphus marginatus) Several seen at Iwokrama.

White-naped Xenopsaris (Xenopsaris albinucha) A vocal pair seen near Rock View. A species only recently found to occur in Guyana and generally rather uncommon and infrequently seen.

Cinereous Becard (Pachyramphus rufus) Seen in the Botanical gardens, with a pair at Georgetown airport (JH).

Black-tailed Tityra (Tityra cayana) Seen at Atta.

Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor) A few at Iwokroma. Inquisitor is Latin for “investigator or searcher”, presumably from the habit of Tityras to peer into and investigate holes in dead trees.

 

COTINGAS

(Guianan Cock-of-the Rock (Rupicola rupicola) Not seen at one of its usual haunts at Corkwood which is a nesting site where, when the females are attending young, immature males hang around. The birds are usually present at this time of year at this site. We could not get to the Kaiteur Falls owing to bad weather and so missed the lek there and another well-known lek proved too complicated to visit within our schedule. Rupicola is Latin for “Rock Dweller”).

Guianan Red Cotinga (Phoenicircus carnifex) A superb pair watched at length along the Atta entrance track. Others heard at Corkwood trail and the Harpy trail. A rather infrequently seen species that is also very thinly distributed.

Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana)  Seen on numerous occasions.

Screaming Piha (Lipaugus vociferans) Very common and vocal.

Pompadour Cotinga (Xipholema punicea) One or 2 seen daily along the road at Atta. Punicea is Latin for “Purple/red”.

(Crimson Fruitcrow (Haematoderus militaris) Not found at its favourite localities as there were no fruiting trees. This was possibly caused by the unusually long wet season).

Purple-throated Fruitcrow ( Querula purpurata) Seen at Atta. A common and conspicuous Cotingid.

H - White Bellbird (Procnias alba) Heard clanging away at Atta Rainforest lodge.

Capuchinbird (Perissocephalus tricolor) Seen by some along the Harpy Eagle trail and at Karanambu where we all had spectacular views of up to 6 males lekking with a few females.  Called “cowbird” in Guayana, due its cow-like calls at the lek. Perissocephalus in Greek means “extrodinary or marvellous” referring TO the head and bare face of this species.

 

MANAKINS

Black Manakin (Xenopipo atronitens) Several males and females seen at the Mori scrub, a bird tied to scrub on sandy soils. A very localised species often hard to find.

L - White-throated Manakin (Corapipo gutturalis) A female seen along the road near Atta.

Blue-backed Manakin (Chiroxiphia pareola pareola) Common in dense woodlands at Karanambu. This species may well comprise a number of species with well-differentiated vocal repertoires and morphological characters.

Golden–headed Manakin (Pipra erythrocephala) Common at Atta Rainforest lodge along the road and a few elsewhere.

White-crowned Manakin (Dixiphia pipra) Seen at the Mori scrub and heard elsewhere throughout the Iwokrama forest. Another species that likes nutrient-poor soil.

H - White-bearded Manakin (Manacus manacus) Heard at Atta Rainforest lodge.  

Tiny Tyrant Manakin (Tyranneutes virescens) Heard at Atta, with one seen by JH.

 

VIREOS AND GREENLETS

Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis) Seen in Iwokrama and heard elsewhere in the south.

H - Slaty-capped shrike Vireo (Vireolanius leucotis) Heard in Iwokrama.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) We saw two subspecies – the red eyed migrants and the non red-eyed resident chivi race. The SACC says Some classifications (e.g., Pinto 1944) have considered the South American chivi group as a separate species ("Chivi Vireo") from V. olivaceus, or as conspecific with V. flavoviridis (Hamilton 1962), but see Hellmayr (1935), Zimmer (1941d), Eisenmann 1962a, Johnson & Zink (1985), and Ridgely & Tudor (1989). Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) suggested, however, that more than one species may be involved within the South American chivi group.

Lemon-chested Greenlet (Hylophilus thoracicus) The common greenlet in Guyana. Many heard and  seen.

Ashy-headed Greenlet (Hylophilus pecdtoralis) Fairly common at Abury river trail.

Buff-cheeked Greenlet ( Hylophilus muscicapinus) Common at Atta and Karanambu.

 

JAYS

Cayenne Jay (Cyanocorax cayanus) Fairly common at Surama.

 

SWALLOWS AND MARTINS

Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera) Common along the Runununi and Takatu rivers.

Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea) Abundant throughout.

White-winged Swallow (Tachycineta albiventer) Common near water.

Black-collared Swallow (Atticora melanoleuca) Common at the Iwokroma Field Station. Always on rocks in fast flowing rivers.

Southern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) Seen in the south in reasonable numbers.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) A few seen in the southern regions. The New World populations of Hirundo rustica were formerly (e.g., Ridgway 1904) treated as a separate species, H. erythrogastra, from Old World populations.

 

WRENS

Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapillus) seen in most wetland areas in small numbers.

Bicoloured Wren (Campylorhynchus grieus) A spectacular wren that we found to be common on the Rupununi savannas and at Karasabai.

Coraya Wren (Thryothorus coraya) Heard and seen at a few sites.

Buff-breasted Wren (Thryothorus leucotis) The common wren in the south.

Southern House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) Not as common as elsewhere in the Neotropics. Many authors (e.g., Hellmayr 1934, Pinto 1944, Phelps & Phelps 1950a) formerly treated Neotropical mainland populations as a separate species T. musculus; see also Brumfield and Capparella (1996); this treatment was followed by Brewer (2001) and Kroodsma & Brewer (2005).

 

GNATWRENS, GNATCATCHERS

Long-billed Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus melanurus) Common in tall forest.

Tropical Gnatcatcher (Polioptila plumbea) Seen along the Takatu river.

 

THRUSHES

Pale-breasted thrush (Turdus leucomelas)  Common garden thrush in Georgetown and at Surama and Rock View lodge where a pair fed nestlings with red berries.

Cocoa Thrush (Turdus fumigates) A couple seen at Atta.

Bare-eyed (Spectacled) Thrush (Turdus nudigenis) A few heard and a few seen flying across our path but only seen very fleetingly. Called "Bare-eyed Robin" in AOU (1998) and Dickinson (2003). Called "Naked-eyed Thrush" by Ridgway (1907), "Yellow-eyed Thrush" by Clement (2000), and "Spectacled Thrush" by Collar (2005). To call it "Bareeyed Thrush," as in AOU (1983), Ridgely & Tudor (1989), and Hilty (2003), confuses it with African T. tephronotus, which has the same English name. SACC proposal passed to change to "Thrush." SACC proposal passed to change "Bare-eyed" to another name.  SACC proposal passed to change name to "Spectacled Thrush."

Black-billed Thrush (Turdus ignobilis) Seen at Surama.

Pale-eyed Thrush (Turdus leucops)  Seen at Abury road.

White-necked Thrush (Turdus albicollis) 1 seen at Atta.

 

MOCKINGBIRDS

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus) Common around Georgetown and in the savannas in the south.

 

PIPITS

Yellowish Pipit (Anthus lutescens) A few on the Karanambu savannas although never seen well.

 

WOOD WARBLERS

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) Fairly common, especially in the Botanical gardens.

 

BANANAQUITS

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) A few seen at drier wooded sites.

 

TANAGERS

Bicolored Conebill (Conirostrum bicolour) One seen along the Abary River trail.

Chestnut-vented conebill (Conirostrum speciosum) Several seen near Karasabai.

Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira) We saw a number of pairs in Iwokrama and at Karanambu.

Yellow-backed Tanager (Hemithraupis flavicollis)  A pair in a canopy flock at Atta.

Hooded Tanager (Nemosia pileata) A few seen near Karasabai.

White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) A few seen near Gorgetown.

Flame-crested Tanager (Tachyphonus cristatus) Fairly common at Atta in canopy flocks.

White-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus luctuosus) Seen at Surama.

Lowland Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava) Seen at Saddle Mountain Ranch and Rock View Lodge. Piranga spp are grosbeaks (Cardinalidae), or "tanager-grosbeaks", but not tanagers (Thraupidae)(Burns et al. 2003, Klicka et al. 2007). Meyer de Schauensee (1966) and Ridgely & Tudor (1989) proposed that this species probably consists of two or three separate species; two occur in South America: nominate flava of southern and eastern South America, and the lutea group of the Andes region (and also Panama and Costa Rica) – Tooth-billed Tanager. 

Silver–beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo) Commonly recorded.

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) Common.

Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum) Common.  Nests in the roof at the Iwokrama Field Station.

Finch’s Euphonia (Euphonia finschi) Common in the south.  

Violaceous Euphonia (Euphonia violacea) The common euphonia in northern parts of the country.

Golden-sided Euphonia (Euphonia cayennensis) A few in Iwkorama.

Turquoise Tanager (Tangara Mexicana) Seen throughout the north.

Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola) Fairly common in Iwokrama.

Burnished-buff Tanager(Tangara cayana) Common at savanna edge in the south, and 2 near georgetown airport (JH).

Opal-rumped Tanager (Tangara velia) 1 seen in a mixed flock in Iwokrama.

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) Surprisingly uncommon with only a few seen in one mixed flock at Iwokrama.

Spotted Tanager (Tangara punctata)  Two singles at Iwokrama.

Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana) Common in mixed canopy flocks.

Black-faced Dacnis (Dacnis lineate) Several seen at Atta.

Green Honeycreepr (Chlorophanes spiza) Several in mixed flocks.

Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus) The commonest honeycreeper.

Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) A few seen in Iwokrama.

 

EMBERIZINE FINCHES

Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) Seen in small numbers throughout.

Plumbeous Seedeater (Sporophila plumbea) Common on the savannas.

Wing-barred Seedeater (Sporophila Americana) A few in the Georgetown Botanical gardens.

Ruddy-breasted Seedeater (Sporophila minuta) Common in the savannas areas.

Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila castaneoventris) 1 seen near Iwokrama Field Station.

Lesser Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus angolensis) A few seen along the road through Iwokrama.

Grassland Yellow-Finch (Sicalis luteola) Common on the Karanambu savannas.

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola) A few on the savannas.

Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis) Common on the savannas, often on fence lines.

 

GROSBEAKS AND SALTATORS

Greyish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens) Seen in the Botanical Gardens and near Ginep landing.

Yellow-green Grosbeak (Caryothraustes Canadensis) At least one party seen at Atta.

H - Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanacompsa cyanoides) Heard at Atta.

Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis) Abundant.

 

BLACKBIRDS

Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna) Common on the savannas.

Red-brested Blackbird (Sturnella militaris) Common on the savannas.

Carib Grackle (Qiscalus lugubris) Common around Georgetown.

Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) Very common around Georgetown.

Giant Cowbird (Molothrus oryzivora) A few seen throughout.

Moriche Oriole (Icterus chrysocephalus) A few at Iwokrama Field Station.

Yellow Oriole (Icterus nigrogularis) Very common along the coast.

Orange-backed Troupial (Icterus croconotus) Seen at Ginep landing and a couple of other sites near Lethem. The SACC says Icterus icterus, I. jamacaii, and I. croconotus were formerly treated as a single species by many authors (e.g., Hellmayr 1937, Blake 1968, Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Ridgely & Tudor 1989, Dickinson 2003), although others have treated them as three species (Hilty 2003, Ridgely & Greenfield 2001) or as two species (croconotus as a subspecies of I. jamacaii; e.g., Hilty & Brown 1986, Sibley & Monroe 1990, Omland et al. 1999). SACC proposal passed to split into three species. The range map in Restall is incorrect  and the above species is found throughout southern Guyana, where it generally uncommon.

Yellow-rumped Cacique (Cacicus cela) Common throughout.

Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) Common.

Green Oropendola (Psarocolius viridis) Fairly common in primary rainforests.

 

CARDUELINE FINCHES

Red Siskin (Carduelis magellenica) Up to 5 seen south of Lethem. A very rare species now with trapping for the bird trade having reduced populations to small isolated pockets.  The male must be one of the most attractive finches and was certainly a major trip highlight for us all.

 

MAMMALS

Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)  Disappointingly, only 1 seen rather distantly near Lethem.

Tufted Capuchin Monkey (Cebus apella paella) The nominate race sometimes splits as Guianan Brown Capuchin.

Weeping Capuchin (Cebus olivaceus) Several troops seen, with one at the Mori scrub attended by a Double-toothed Kite. 

Brown-bearded (Satanic) Saki Monkey (Chiropotes satanus) A couple seen at Karanambu. A rare and localised species now, subject to intense hunting pressure across much of its range.

White-faced (Guianan) Saki (Pithecia pithecia) Easily picked up by call, several groups found in the Iwokroma area. Again this is a rare and rapidly declining species that is hard to see. Great to see this bizarre primate.

Red-faced Spider Monkey (Ateles paniscus) Split from Black Spider Monkey, this form is found from Brazil to Guyana and French Guiana.

Guianan Red Howler Monkey (Alouatta macconnelli) Fairly common in the Iwokrama forests. Often considered conspecific with Red howler Monkey (A.senicula) Native to Guyana, Trinidad, French Guiana and Brazil.

Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus) A few seen.

Crab-eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous) 1 seen near Lethem. Originally called a Savanna Fox. The animal was a pale sandy brown and had a very bushy tail, whereas C.thous is generally grey and has a thinner tail. However, only Crab-eating Fox is mapped as occurring in northern South America. 

(Giant Otter (Pteronura brasilensis) 2 rescue animals at Diane McTurk’s Karanambu ranch on the Rupuruni River. However, although there are now said to be 8 families nearby we did not see any, possibly because the water levels were so high).

Red-rumped Agouti (Dasyprocta leporine) A few seen at several sites.

Jaguar (Panthera onca) 2 seen by most of the group along the road near to Atta Rainforest lodge, after another crossing the road had been seen briefly by our local guide who was looking the other way from the rest of us.

Guianan Red squirrel (Sciurus aestuans) 1 seen at Atta.  Very few squirrels are ever seen on this itinerary.

 

REPTILES

Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) A few seen.

White Caiman (Caiman crocodiles) The common Caiman species.

Yellow-necked Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) Seen along Takatu and Rupunini rivers.

Yellow-footed Tortoise (Geochelone denticulate) 1 seen near Lethem, a giant beast.                                                    Fer-de-lance (Bothrops spp) Seen at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Vine Snake  1 at Atta Rainforest lodge.                                                                         

Iguana.  Fairly common along river edges.      

 

 

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