Monday, 28 May 2012

The Central Highlands, Bolivia

After Saipina, we drove north to Camarapa which is at 1800m, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed up to the high Yungas cloud forest of Siberia at 2,500m, where we caught up with the endemic Bolivian Brush-Finch.

The next day was spent birding at between 2,500m and 3,600m.  It was cold in the morning, even in our thermals and many layers but soon warmed up too hot sun and t-shirt weather.  At 3,600m we were watching a Rock Earthcreeper, when Birdgirl suddenly felt sick and faint.  After some TLC and removal of some layers she soon perked up and felt much better after some Sprite and Minstrels (as they travel well - another top tip from Digby!).  Fortunately, we have bought some altitude sickness tablets in case we need them.

Birds of the day were the endemic Black-Hooded Sunbeam and Grey-Bellied Flowerpiecer and also Huayo Tinamou (which was missed by Birdgirl), White-Faced Ibis, Black-Winged Parrot and Rufous-Capped Antshrike.

The next morning was spent birding in Siberia again, catching up with a very confiding endemic Rufous-Faced Antpitta.  We were very lucky as they can often be shy and skulky.  We then headed off back to Santa Cruz, via a lunch stop back in lovely Samaipata in a hippy hangout.  Here we had an array of veggie dishes to choose from and Birdgirl tucked into pancakes with honey and popcorn.  We got back to Santa Cruz to catch our evening flight to Cochabamba, further west in the Central Highlands, at 2,500m.  Luxury again, but no time to enjoy any of the facilities.

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