Birding & hiking along the Trocha Union – Heart of Manu Cloud Forest

1 de junio de 2018by Guadalupe Lodge0
In 2012 March We were a small group of birders headed for the Manu Cloud Forest for a day of birding. We began a trek along with the “Trocha Union” in the heart of the cloud forest of Manu National Park these trails start from elevations above 3800 meters and the transect is narrow and steeply. According to the chronics, this path was a former Inca Trail heading to kosñipata Valley in the Incas times, and also, it had been used in the conquest period by the Spaniards to explore the further Amazon.
The day we started was a somewhat sunny day that commenced with a cool morning, as We could be accommodated at the checkpoint “Acjanaco” and also we were driving the 8 km by rangers to the lookout called “Tres Cruces“, as they have planned to patrol the Trocha Union (no used frequently by people by now).
Firstly we had seen a mountain deer running by the mountains, once we were on the top of the mountain and we also enjoyed the view of the Amazon the landscape below with the serpent-like rivers, waterfalls, and cascades flowing to the amazon, this was an amazing sunrise while the temperature was warming up.
Our first stop was along this high elevation where we checked out small birds on the grass that flew along the trail ahead. we were able to identify the bird as a Lined Fronted Canastero, paramo seedeater and in quick succession at the same stop, we identified sedge wren, puna thistletail.
We heard calling, where we soon found more couple of Great Sapphire wing, shining sunbeam and many mustached flower-piercers, capped cone-bills, white-browed chat-tyrant.
From the sign (Trocha Union) we gradually walked the mountains down. We remained here for the first hours of the morning where Tanagers; golden collared, Scarlet bellied mountain hooded, blue and black, chestnut bellied tanagers were the dominant colorful birds, the Little trilling Tapaculo.
Were busy inside the fully covered bushes as every plant is coated with a dense layer of moss and lichens it mostly prevents to see clearly, then we got a good view of this small and reclusive bird, rufous and undulated Antpitta was calling and busy setting up territories in the deeper chusquea bamboo forest.
We moved lower, downhill the landscape looks eroded, this caused by the previous rainy season where the wearing away of the land surface was affected.
Obviously, we have been forced to walk off the trail in some parts.
A mixed flock species (green grass, blue-capped tanager, spectacled red stars, citrine warblers, strong billed woodcreeper, pearled tree runner, streaked tuftedcheek)suddenly flew across entertained while we ate.
After lunch we explored much lower of the mountains as we hiked was easy to see how the ecosystem has changed from dense forest to scrub bush, where we found plenty of pale-footed swallows, were flying around and there was also white-throated quail-dove were perched on the trees.
We proceeded slowly down, where we were rewarded by seeing a pair of grey breasted mountain-toucan, oleaginous Hemispingus, barred becard, black-throated tody-tyrant, rufous pygmy tyrant, streaked necked flycatcher, barred & band-tailed fruiteater.
The erosion caused by the annual rains along the trail has dug deep channels producing some stretches and dark transects along the trail, all adventure by now!We finished the day with a list of 70 species and a satisfied group of birders headed to our lodge and very pleased by the birding walk in the mountains of this section of the Manu Cloud forest.

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