Arrive in Guyana and transfer to Georgetown. Overnight at Cara Lodge. No meals included.
Depart hotel and travel along the coast to the Mahaica River. We will take a boat on the river to see Guyana’s national bird the Hoatzin, which is found in abundance along this river system. On the way back we will stop and bird as opportunities arise for Black-capped Donacobius, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Moriche Oriole and Rufous Crab Hawk. This afternoon we will the extensive and beautiful Botanic Garden, where an ornithological highlight is the Blood-colored Woodpecker, an astonishingly colorful Veniliornis found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens also host Pinnated Bittern. Brown-throated Parakeet, Great Horned Owl, Golden-spangled Piculet, White-bellied Piculet. Black-crested Antshrike, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher and Wing-barred Seedeater. A number of macaw and parrot species are also present, including the Festive Parrot. Overnight at Cara Lodge. Only BL included. You can have dinner on your own either at the Lodge or at one of Georgetown’s other restaurants.
This morning we will see dawn rise over the extensive and beautiful Botanic Garden, where, if we are lucky, the trip’s first ornithological highlight will be the Blood-colored Woodpecker, an astonishingly colorful Veniliornis found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens host Snail Kite, Gray Hawk, Pearl Kite, Carib Grackle, Red-bellied Macaw, Red-shouldered Macaw and a host of parrots including the Orange-winged and Yellow-crowned Parrot and the Festive Parrot. We will walk on trails in the back on the gardens and may see Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Black-crested Antshrike, Short-tailed Swift, Ruddy Ground Dove, Grayish Saltator, Silver-beaked Tanager, Buff-breasted Wren, Piratic and Ashy-headed Greenlet. You may also see the Golden-spangled Piculet, White-bellied Piculet, Great Horned Owl, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Pinnated Bittern, Wing-barred Seedeater and Brown-throated Parakeet. After breakfast we will transfer to the airport at nearby Ogle, where Red-breasted blackbirds sing and Snail kites patrol, we’ll fly by scheduled aircraft for Annai. Transfer by Bedford truck to the Iwokrama River Lodge for lunch.
This afternoon we will bird along the Screaming Piha Trail near the River Lodge, is home to Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Amazonian Antshrike, Gray Antbird, and Strong-billed Woodcreeper. We may also see Gray-winged Trumpeter, Black-tailed, White-tailed, Violaceous and Collared Trogons, Plain-brown, Wedge-billed, White-chinned, Buff-throated, Chestnut-rumped and Barred Woodcreepers. As the day ends we will look for Ladder-tailed Nightjar; Great and Common Potoo and the rarer Rufous Potoo and White-winged Potoo. Overnight at the Iwokrama River Lodge. B, L, D included.
Making another early start we will embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate Indian House Island giving us a chance for dawn song on the river including five species of Tinamou, Marbled Wood-Quail, Band-rumped Swift, White-banded and Black-collared Swallows, and Guianan Streaked-Antwren before returning to the Field Station for breakfast.
We then set out by boat for half an hour or less to the foot of Turtle Mountain. Along the way Harpy Eagle have been seen and we may also see Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, King Vulture, Gray-headed, Double-toothed and Plumbeous Kites and Black-faced Hawk. Here we explore the trails for a few hours first visiting Turtle Ponds where anis, herons and Green and Rufous Kingfisher hunt and then climbing to an elevation of 900 feet for a view of the forest canopy below and chances of Green Aracari, White Bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of Eagles. The trails may reveal Little Chachalaca, Marail Guan, Black Curassow, Squirrel and Black-bellied Cuckoos, Eastern Long-tailed and Reddish Hermits, Blue-crowned Motmot, Guianan White-necked Puffbird, Collared Puffbird, Pygmy, Todd’s, Spot-tailed, White-flanked, Gray, Long-winged, Rufous-bellied, and Brown-bellied Antwrens, White-lored Tyrannulet and Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant.
On the return trip we will bird as we go and hopefully spot Caica, Blue-headed, Blue-cheeked and Mealy Parrots, Cocoi Heron, Bat Falcon, Lined Forest-Falcon and Pied Lapwing. We’ll visit Fair View, a nearby Amerindian village and in late afternoon we’ll take a walk on trails around the Field Station to look for Swallow-winged Puffbird, Black-spotted Barbet, Golden-collared, Yellow-throated, Crimson-crested and Red-necked Woodpeckers, Guianan Toucanet, Black-headed, White-browed, Ferruginous-backed, Warbling, Scale-backed, White-plumed, and Rufous-throated Antbirds, Ringed Antpipit, Black-tailed Tityra and Thrush-like Schiffornis.
Finally, after dark, we’ll set out on the river once more, in hopes of finding one or another of its four species of caiman, and listen for nightbirds such as Spectacled Owl, Long tailed Potoo, Zigzag Heron or Blackish Nightjar. Overnight at the Iwokrama River Lodge at Kurupukari. B, L, D included.
This morning we will bird along the Greenheart and Woodcreeper Trails close to the Iwokrama River Lodge. Quill rattling by Spix’s Guan or Crestless Curassow may start us off and then we will look for Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Eastern Slaty-Antshrike, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet and Tiny Tyrant Manakin.
This afternoon we will take a boat trip to Stanley Lake for birdwatching along the banks a locale for Sunbittern, Green Ibis, and Capped Heron. During our three night stay at Iwokrama we will also be looking for Black Nunbird, Blue Dacnis, Spangled and Pompadour Cotingas, Red-eyed Vireo, White-shouldered, Blue-backed and Turquoise Tanagers, Buff-cheeked, Lemon-chested and Tawny-crowned Greenlets, Brown-throated Parakeet, White-crowned and Golden-headed Manakins, Violaceous, White-vented, and Golden-sided Euphonias, Fasciated, Mouse-colored, Dusky-throated, and Cinereous Antshrikes and Guianan Red-Cotinga, Black-necked Aracari, Rufous-capped and Black-faced Antthrush, Gray-crowned and Yellow-margined (Zimmer’s) Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, White-breasted Wood-Wren, Spotted Puffbird and Musician Wren. Overnight at the Iwokrama River Lodge. B, L, D included.
Before dawn we will transfer by Bedford Truck along the road through the heart of the Iwokrama Forest, where there is a good chance to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky! The road also offers excellent birding, including a locality known as Mori Scrub, characterized by an unusual low, sandy forest. This supports an interesting assemblage of bird species, among them Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Black Manakin and Red-shouldered Tanager. We will stop along the road at numerous locations and look for species such as Guianan Red-Cotinga, Pompadour Cotinga, Blue-backed Tanagers, White-winged Potoo, Olive-green Tyrannulet, Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo and Marail Guan. Continue onto the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway with birding along the road as we travel. Here we can bird watch from the vantage of 35 Metres up in the canopy. Caica Parrots, Painted Parakeets, Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Plumbeous Pigeon, Red-and-green Macaw, Screaming Piha and a host of crown specialists come within our view.
Continue by 4×4 Bedford Truck, eventually reaching the Rupununi and Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland. It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive. Indeed, one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort. Needless to say, the birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rainforest. Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Savannah and Black Collared Hawks patrol the grassland. Arrive at Rock View Lodge for a late dinner. Overnight at Rock View Lodge. B, L, D included.
This morning we will devote the morning hours to a location know as Moura Bridge for the opportunity to view the Amethyst Woodstar, White-chinned Sapphire, Long-billed Starthroat and several Hermits as they patrol around the grounds. Nearby forest patches are home to Amazonian Scrub Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a variety of antbirds. Afternoon again we set out on the road to Camundi Bach, for Cinereous Mourner, Reddish Hermit, Rufous-bellied Antwren and Yellow-billed Jacamar, Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Savannah and Black Collared Hawks as they patrol the grassland. At dusk as nightjars and nighthawks tumble over the grasslands we will look for the Nacunda Nighthawk and White-tailed Nightjar. Overnight at Rock View Lodge. B, L, D included.
This morning you can bird around the resort or in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail for Cinereous Mourner, Reddish Hermit, Rufous-bellied Antwren and Yellow-billed Jacamar.
After an early lunch we will take a chartered flight to Kaieteur, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Though Venezuela’s Angel Falls are greater in total height, their filamentous drop occurs by stages whereas Kaieteur is a single, massive, thundering cataract 100 meters wide created as the Potaro River makes a sheer drop of 228 meters, nearly five times the height of Niagara. The spectacle is the more impressive for its remoteness and it is altogether possible that we’ll be the only persons viewing it. Here we will hope to find White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts swirling over the gorge, and perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to see the astonishingly colorful Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Orange-breasted Falcon, White-tailed Goldenthroat or Musician Wren. Flight continues back to Ogle. Transfer to Hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Cara Lodge. B, L, D included.
Transfer to the airport for the flight home.
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