2010 started with a nice trip. An endemic birding trip of 27 days resulted in 670 species and 46 endemics!
Most of the endemics were seen by all participants.
Most special bird was Pavonine Cuckoo. This bird, which was until recent not even recorded in Colombia was seen on
2 different sites!
You can read it all in the lovely and honestly written trip report of David Geale:
Colombia Birding trip: Januari 2010.
Special thanks to the guides David Geale and Pablo Florez, who guided this trip in an excellent way.
Next year we offer an improved version of this trip with the same guides.
2009 was a quiet year. We had a few small tours in January and February and a trip in July.
On the last trip we explored new areas and were the first to take tourists into the Perija Mountains!
You can read it all in our trip report: July 2009
The birding season 2007-2008 has finished with 6 fantastic trips!
In this way I like to thank all the persons that have helped me realising these trips.
The trips wouldn't have been possible without
the organising help of Jose Gustavo Leon (Venezuela) and Walberto "Waly" Naranja (Santa Marta)
local guides: Juan David Ramirez, Diego Calderon, Oswaldo Cortes, Paulo Pulgarin, Sergio Ocampo,
the drivers Juan Carlos and Evencio (Venezuela) and Julio, Dora and Heber (Colombia),
my wife Juanita, who arranged many things and was an excellent cook at Cuchilla San Lorenzo,
and all participants.
From each trip I have placed some spontanious comments from the participants that I found in the trip
reports or that was send to us by email.
These are the trips:
November 2007: NE-Colombia trip
with Dutch/Belgian group (6 participants).
Jan Vermeulen (6600 lifers): "...I cannot praise Jurgen Beckers enough – it was an absolutely fabulous trip
without any significant difficulty - pulled off in a difficult country. Jurgen tried his utmost to find
all the birds in the areas that we were visiting. Having Trogon Trips arrange our trip was by far the best
decision we could have made. ..."
January 2008: 2 groups in N-Venezuela. The NW-Venezuela trip (fortnight only) was
leaded by me (Jurgen Beckers). The other one, a 3 week N-Venezuela trip
was leaded by David Geale. On both trips an impressing number of species were seen:
470 species (14-day trip) and 580 for the 3-week trip.
Rob Goldbach: "In all aspects the bird trip was a great success, and hence Trogon Trips
(and surely David Geale) is highly recommended."
February 2008: A 24 day Colombia endemic trip.
A more detailed trip report and many pictures from the participants can be seen at their website:
Extreme birding trip Colombia 2008.
"...Our trip was planned and organised by Jurgen Beckers of Trogon Trips.
The trip proved that he had done an excellent job, we rarely encountered problems,
were able to travel fast and we managed to see many special birds!
We can highly recommend him! ..."
March 2008: A 27 day Colombia endemic trip.
Both trips ended with over 40 endemics and 11 species of Antpitta seen!!!
Jon King: "...Many thanks indeed for the excellent trip report, which looks like a
really good summary of the trip. ... Thanks again for a great trip. I finished with
exactly 540 species personally seen, plus a few heard only, with just under 200 lifers. But
the quality was much more important than the quantity of course."
Martyn Bailey: "...Thank you once again for a great trip, it was strenuous but very worhtwhile."
April 2008: NE-Colombia trip. On this trip we had perhaps the least number of species, but
what fantastic views!
Halsey Bradford: "Thank you. It was a very good trip."
You can read/download all the trip reports by clicking on the links above.
N-Venezuela Trip March 2007
This tour was organised for Birder's Abroad.
There were 8 British participants and 2 guides.
The trip ended with a good total of 511 species seen and an additional 21 heard.
Best bird of the trip was undoubtely the Ocellated Tapaculo (seen by ALL!)
Other good birds were:
Venezuelan Wood-quails, Horned & Northern Screamers, Chestnut Piculet, Citron-throated Toucan, Pale-headed Jacamar,
White-tipped Quetzal, Military Macaws, Red-eared & Rose-headed Parakeets, Pygmy Palm-Swift, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird,
Spangled Coquette, Buffy Hummingbird, Violet-chested Hummingbird, Golden Starfrontlet, Merida Sunangel,
Bearded Helmetcrest, Amethyst Woodstar, Nacunda Nighthawk, Little Nightjar, Lined Quail-dove,
Black-&-chestnut Eagle, Maracaibo Tody-flycatcher, Northern Scrub-flycatcher, Slender-billed Inezia,
Venezuelan Bristle-tyrant, Rufous-lored Tyrannulet, Amazonian Black-tyrant, White-bearded Flycatcher,
White-naped Xenopsaris, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Ochre-browed Thistletail,
White-whiskered Spinetail, Guttulated Foliage-gleaner, Black-whiskered Vireo, Spotted Nightingale-thrush,
Chestnut-sided Warbler, White-fronted Whitestart and White-eared Conebill.
Pictures of the trip can be seen on this page: nven2007.htm
Download here the complete trip report: nven2007.pdf
Birding Trips 2006
In 2006 we organized only 2 birding tours.
A N-Venezuela trip in February and a Northern-Colombia Trip in March.
It was the first time we organised the latter.
Both trips were very nice. In North Venezuela it was dry and with the
help of many excellent eyes, we reached 501 species at the end.
Same can be said of the N-Colombia Trip. The Dutch participants
were superspecialists in identifiying waders.
We could add a new species for Colombia (Long-billed Curlew).
Januari 2005: N-Venezuela Birding Trip
A few days before the first participants arrived, I was already in Caracas and I noticed that the weather was
very strange for the time of year.
Even in the semiarid scrubby areas we had rain! What was it going to be in the wet part (La Azulita) of the Andes?
But we were very lucky there. Just a day before we arrived here, the weather changed.
The group consisted of 8 participants.
But we were lucky that one of the participants - Paul Scharf - had already been a few times in Venezuela and
knew the birds very well. His good eyes helped us - despite the wet January -
to see 477 species (+ a dozen only heard).
Thanks again, Paul.
Februari 2005: E-Venezuela Birding Trip
We were even more unlucky with the weather on this tour. Of the 21 days we had only 6 without rain.
So a lot was umbrella birding and we had to make a few detours for flooded roads.
We heard that it was even worse around Merida.
Perhaps we hadn't the highest number of species (400), but we had some real good ones. Esp. fruiteaters,
such as cotingas and manakins (8 species!) were well seen.
No-one who joined the tour will forget the adventures we had to reach some species.
March 2005: N-Venezuela Birding Trip
As last year we organised a classical N-Venezuelan Birding Trip for the Dutch EcoTourist Services.
Very dry weather (and even extremely hot around Maracaibo) produced a good list of nearly 500 species.
With a second guide we would have passed the 500 easily.
N-Venezuela Trip 2004
This tour was organised for the Dutch Ecotourist Services.
With only 5 participants we were able to see 440 species in just 20 days.
Nobody will forget the views of the nearby feeding Ornate Hawk-Eagle,
the half million Dicksissels flying over our heads, the Military Macaws
in the morning, the Slender-billed Kite from the boat,
Spangled Coquette in the flowering tree and many more in the Perija mountains.
The trip report has as well 3 AVI- movies!
Central-Colombia Trip 2004
Also this trip was a succes. Only 4 participants and just 14 days. The aim was to see the (near-)endemics.
We found nearly all the special birds we wanted to see. And nearly 400 species in a bit over 2 weeks!
The trip report has as well 2 AVI-movies!
Colombia tours Nov 2002 and March 2003
Due to a general strike in Venezuela we had to cancel all trips to this country.
This gave us time to organise an extra trip in Colombia. I deal with the 2 tours
together as they cover the same areas.
Northern Venezuela-tour 2002
This French group, which was organised in co-operation with
counted more participants (10) than on other trips.
Nevertheless this was no objection and we had a lot of fun.
Roughly the trip could be devided in 3 parts: a week in Henri Pittier,
a week in Los Llanos (Hatos El Frio & El Cedral) and then
a last week in the Andes with a happy ending in the Catatumbo lowlands.
Though we focused on good (and close) views of birds
(numbers were less important),
we still managed to see nearly 400 species in 21 days.
Henri Pittier NP/ Andes-tour
This fortnight tour with 5 participants was very nice.
At the end we counted a total of 336 species seen.
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