Birding in Central Chile
from Santiago to Temuco
Birding in Central Chile from Santiago to Temuco
During this trip, we will visit all the main habitats of central Chile and see most of the birds living here, including 6 Chilean endemics. We will travel from the highlands above Santiago, to Nothofagus forests farther south, and bird interior and coastal wetlands. We will even go on a Humboldt Current pelagic trip. The scenery of this trip is spectacular, accommodation is comfortable, plus food is tasteful and world famous Chilean wine unforgettable. The climate on this trip varies a lot – from a Mediterranean in the Santiago area to temperate beech forests farther South. This trip concentrates on Chilean endemics and near-endemics.
3rd Nov - 11th Nov 2017
2nd Nov - 10th Nov 2018
Pre-Tour: Easter Island or Robinson Crusoe Island
Post-Tour: Falklands Islands or Puma Safari
2017 Tour Price Per Person: US$2965 (Double occupancy, price excludes domestic flights)
Single Occupancy Supplement: US$400
This tour is limited to 8 participants with one leader, and 9-10 with 2 leaders.
List of all participants has to be presented 3 months before the tour takes place and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Included in the price:
-9 nights in hotels/lodges
-Pelagic trip: Valparaiso
DAY 1: BIRDING AT FARELLONES ROAD AND VALLE NEVADO
We will take a morning drive to the Andes to look for high altitude specialists like Greater Yellowfinch, Rufous-Banded and Creamy-Rumped Miners and White-Sided Hillstar among other special Andean birds. Massive Andean Condors should be flying above and sometimes below us. We are hoping to see Variable Hawk, Black-Chested Buzzard Eagle and Mountain Caracara. We will also be birding in lower altitudes, looking for 5 endemics: Chilean Tinamou, Moustached Turca, White-Throated and Dusky Tapaculos, Crag Chilia and Dusky-Tailed Canastero. This is a great day with fantastic scenery.
DAY 2: FULL DAY ON THE COAST
We will start this day very early and will head to the coast. We should see a wide variety of species including Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans, 3 species of Coot, Spot-Flanked Gallinule, Plumbeous Rail, Lake Duck, Great Grebe, Many-Colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-Like Rushbird and other ducks and grebes. At the Maipo estuary we will be looking for a variety of Gulls, Black Skimmers and a number of Terns, including the rare Snowy-Crowned Tern, with the hope of the beautiful White-tailed Kite and a good number of other shore and marsh birds. The marshes hopefully give us chance to see the Ticking Doradito and the noisy little endemic Dusky Tapaculo. Leaving the estuary we will drive gradually towards north along the coast. We will stop for lunch in a restaurant, which is next to the sea and is a great place to look for the endemic Seaside Cinclodes. Along our way to Valparaiso there are various birding sites.
DAY 3: PELAGIC TRIP OFF VALPARAISO AND COASTAL BIRDING
Early in the morning we will sail out of the port and go around 19km (12miles) out into the ocean. We will have the chance to see several species of Albatrosses, including Salvin's, Black-browed, Buller's, Northern and Southern Royal and Chatham. Tubenoses are main feature of this pelagic trip and we will hope to spot Southern Fulmar, Masatierra and Westland Petrels, Peruvian Diving-Petrel as well as White-chinned and Northern Giant Petrels, Wilson's Storm-Petrel (local sub-species is Fuegian), Red Phalaropes, Guanay, Red-legged Cormorants, Kelp Gull and South American Tern. After our pelagic trip and delicious lunch, we will continue birding watching along the coast to look for any of the species we might have missed the day before.
DAY 4: COASTAL BIRDING AND LAMPA WETLANDS
After a final hunt along the coast we will go back to Santiago with our main bird target being the rare Great Shrike-Tyrant. We will stop in Lampa wetlands, which is located in north-west of Santiago. Here we will be looking for the secretive South American Painted Snipe along with a host of waterfowl species that we may have missed on the coast, especially Rosy-billed Pochard, the rare Black-headed Duck, Wilson´s Phalarope, Cinereous Harrier and Burrowing Owl. We will then continue our trip to Santiago.
DAY 5: EL YESO VALLEY AND THE HIGH ANDES
Today we will leave our hotel early to avoid the rush hour traffic and head to the very scenic Maipo valley from where we will take the road to El Yeso dam. The bog at 2500m (8202ft) is favourite site of Chile´s number one bird target the rare and charismatic Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. We will look for endemic and beautiful Crag Chilia and the fast running Moustached Turca, in the lower parts of the Valley. We will see a variety of Sierra-Finches and Furnarids here; the latter includes Grey-Flanked Cinclodes, Rufous-Banded Miner, Creamy-Rumped Miner and Scale-Throated Earthcreeper. Ground-Tyrants are everywhere, including White-Browed, Ochre-Naped, Black-Fronted, Cinereous and Spot-Billed. We will also look for Torrent Ducks, which are regular on the streams. One of the hummers we will be looking for is White-Sided Hillstar, and we will have a chance for Black-Billed Shrike-Tyrants as Grey-breasted Seedsnipe.
DAY 6: VILCHES AND COLBÚN LAKE
We will drive towards south to Talca and continue our trip to Colbún Lake, where our main targets are the large, spectacularly colourful and very noisy macaw Burrowing Parakeet and beautiful Spectacled Duck. Hopefully we will also find a good number of other interesting ducks, grebe species and opportunity to see Spectacled Tyrant and Andean Gull. We will then make short trip to north to spend the rest of the day and all of the following day in the Altos de Lircay National Park. This is old Nothofagus forest with spectacular tree, plant life and interesting geological rarities along with forest bird species. At dusk we will look for the hard to see Rufous-Legged Owl before spending the night in quiet and comfortable forest lodge in Vilches.
DAY 7: NATIONAL PARK ALTOS DE LIRCAY
We will spend full day in Altos de Lircay to explore the extensive forest. We will be looking for the nasal scolding of Chile's least known Tapaculo and Chestnut-Throated Huet-Huet. We will also be looking for more Nothofagus forest’s specialities such as Austral Parakeet (the world's most southerly parrot species), Chucao Tapaculo with its explosive voice, Magellanic Tapaculo and Patagonian Sierra-Finch. This will be our first opportunity to see the truly spectacular Magellanic Woodpecker, and there is a chance to spot rare and difficult to find Chilean Hawk. After a long day we will return to Vilches.
DAY 8: CERRO ÑIELOL AND TEMUCO
We will travel to Temuco and Cerro Ñielol where we can see Black-throated Huet-Huet, Rufous-Tailed Hawk, Des Mur's Wiretail, Chucao Tapaculo, Slender-billed Parakeet and Ochre-Flanked Tapaculo.
DAY 9: ARAUCARIA FOREST
We will head to higher altitude Nothofagus and Araucaria forest with excellent mountain views, where we will look for Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper, along with Magellanic Tapaculo, Austral Parakeet, Striped Woodpecker, Chilean Flicker, White-Throated Treerunner and other forest species. After a full day of birding we will drive to Temuco’s airport for the short evening flight to Santiago.