Birding the Pacific Coast
Leaving early from Santiago we will head towards the coastal city of San Antonio. Our starting point for a day of birding the Pacific coast of Chile. Just south of the city we will visit a recently created reserve on the Maipo river estuary. This reserve protects one of the most important wetlands in central Chile. Here we’ll be able to enjoy large groups of gulls, Black Skimmers, terns, pelicans and shorebirds.
The reedbeds at the reserve entrance are a great place to see the stunning, but skulking, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird, as well as Yellow-winged Blackbird and Sedge Wren.
On the beach, seawatching can add sightings of Red-legged and Guanay Cormorants, Peruvian Boobies, and even Chilean Skuas.
After scanning the masses of migrant shorebirds on the mudflats in search of potential rarities we will pay some more attention to the passerines. We’ll be looking for the rare Ticking Doradito (a recent split from the Warbling Doradito), Spectacled Tyrant, Correndera Pipit and the Chilean endemics Dusky Tapaculo and Dusky-tailed Canastero.
Driving north along the coast we will have lunch at a seaside restaurant on the rocky shoreline. This location is also a great spot to find another Chilean endemic, the Chilean Seaside Cinclodes.
In the afternoon we will visit more protected wetlands, looking for Spot-flanked Gallinule, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swan, Plumbeous Rail, Black-headed Duck and maybe even the secretive Stripe-backed Bittern.
We will also stop near a Peruvian Pelican colony where a few Humboldt Penguins are also breeding.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Birding
Private trips can be organized on any day throughout the year.
- Large flocks of shorebirds and very birdy coastal wetlands
- The stunning Many-colored Rush-Tyrant
- The secretive Stipe-backed Bittern
- Relaxed pace; short easy walks
Ease of Birding
- Most species show easily, with some trickier skulking species
- Transport: SUV for 1-3 people, minivan for 4-6 people
- Pick-up/drop-off at your hotel in Santiago
- English speaking guide with birding equipment
- Snacks (fruit, nuts, cereal bars, water)
- Lunch at seaside restaurant
- Park entrance fees
- eBird checklists for the day’s stops
Birding the Pacific Coast
Starting time: pick-up at your hotel in Santiago around 6:30 a.m. Note that starting may vary slightly depending on time of sunrise.
See map insert for an overview of the route and main hotspots visited during the tour.
Ending time: drop-off at your hotel in Santiago around 5:30 p.m.