After getting some favorable reports about conditions on the ground, we made our first international trip since the pandemic began, to central Colombia with Mark Pretti Nature Tours and several friends. Our visit focused on birding the cloud forests and páramo of the western and central Andes, including Las Tángaras and Yellow-eared Parrot Reserves, Río Blanco Reserve, Los Nevados National Park, and Termales del Ruiz. And Liza was eager to try out her new camera in the field!Continue reading Central Colombia – June 2021
January 2020 we returned to Chile, part of the deal Liza made with Robert for her 60th birthday (party or trip? trip!). We wanted to return to the lakes district and stay in Puerto Varas, where we had finished a cycling tour in 2017. Building on that idea we also wanted to go birding and do some wine tasting. Our itinerary took us from central Chile to southern Patagonia, and over the Andes to Mendoza, Argentina.Continue reading Chile (and Argentina) – Jan 2020
In November we returned to Argentina for birding (not to mention a little wine-tasting), this time to the northwest to the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, followed by a quick trip into Uruguay. Robert will be writing a detailed birding account; following is a general summary of the trip.
Chile is an enchanting country with a unique long and narrow shape and a sea-to-sky topographic profile that gives it a great variety of climates and landscapes. From the deserts of the north, the vertiginous Andes and its glaciers to the east, the vast Pacific Ocean to the west, and the unforgiving Drake Passage and Antarctic to the south, Chile is isolated from the rest of South America. When it comes to bird species, Chile may not have the diversity of the neotropics to the north, but instead it offers endemism with an array of unusual birds. From large tapaculos to a backyard cotinga, Chile offers an offbeat birding experience. The highlights of this particular trip included a four albatross day at sea and a four tapaculo day in the Andes! Read more below or visit the photo galleries.
In January we were happy to return to Chile for an extended vacation, this one combining just about everything we love – birding, cycling, traveling with friends, enjoying fine wine – and as a bonus briefly escaped winter (such as it is for us in Arizona) for beautiful summer weather.
In October 2016 we rejoined Mark Pretti on another of his tours, this one to the heart of the Amazonian rainforests near Manaus. Here the world’s largest river, the Amazon, meets its largest tributary, the Rio Negro.
We had been thinking for some time of a trip to Chile – birds and wine, what’s not to like? Our usual tour companies didn’t quite go where we wanted to, so in late October 2014, we embarked on a trip on our own to central Chile, preceded by five days or so in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Timing had the benefit of being their late spring, being as far south of the equator as Los Angeles is north. Click here for a trip summary and links to lots of photos! There is also a trip report Birding Argentina and Chile.
In June 2013 we rejoined nature tour guide Mark Pretti on his inaugural tour of northern Colombia. We had been thinking of Colombia for years, dating back to our 1993 trip to Venezuela with Steve Hilty of VENT, who wrote the “Birds of Columbia” book – but our thoughts were always “gee, too bad we can’t go”. You know, drug cartels, nasty business, State Dept advisories, etc. Well, wait long enough and things change! Read more about it!
In August 2012 we returned to Brazil with naturalist and bird guide Mark Pretti. We had last been to Brazil with VENT back in 2003 to the state of Mato Grosso. This trip took us to Rio de Janeiro and the Atlantic rainforest, ending with a jaunt down to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine side of the Brazil/Argentina/Paraguay border. Read more about it!