Birding the Pacific Coast and La Campana National Park

Published by Albatross Birding & Nature Tours In Chile (contact AT


This report covers two day trips in the Central area of Chile. A coastal day looking for a good collection of ducks and sea birds and a second day observing endemic species I a more dramatic landscape.

DAY 1:

We picked up Frieda early morning and drove directly to Algarrobo. Our first stop was “El Membrillo Wetland”, where we made efforts to find the Stripe-backed bittern, a really cryptic bird that use the reeds to fish its meal. After several scannings, it didn´t want to show itself. Although we had very nice views of Coscoroba Swan, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-gartered Coot and Snowy Egret among others.

After this, we drove south of Algarrobo to “Pájaro niño island”, a big rock close to Algarrobo Yachting club. This place has a little nesting colony of Humboldt penguin. We got good views with the spotting-scope of some penguins who were resting over the rocks. In addition, we had very nice views of Rufous-chested Dotterel, Blackish Oystercatcher, and the first endemic bird of the trip, Chilean Seaside Cinclodes. Then, “Lalo” drove directly to Maipo river mouth, one of the most important wetlands in the central coast, recently designated as a Site of regional importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN). We started walking through the beach. The day was partially cloudy, with good light and not too much wind. We had nice views of typical reed birds like, Grass wren, Wren-likeRushbird, Many-colored Rush Tyrant, Plumbeous Rail.

Likewise, we had good observation of shorebirds, like Collared plover and two individuals of Hudsonian Godwit. Gulls were well represented with Kelp Gull, South American Tern, Brown-hooded Gull, within breeding plumage and a big group of a very interesting specie who nest in the middle of Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Gray Gull.

The lunch was at Las Cruces town in a very nice restaurant, with our table just over the sea rocks. Here, while we enjoyed a very good fish plate, we saw just in front of us the Peruvian Booby.

Finally, we visited Cordova Creek to see some tapaculos and small bush birds. We had success with the Des Murs’s wire tail and our second endemic bird, Dusky tapaculo, to finish this way an excellent birding day.

DAY 2:

We drove early in the morning from Santiago, avoiding the heavy traffic of the morning, and while a heavy rain was still falling in the city. We arrived at La Campana National Park just when the sun started to rise up.

In our first walk we already obtain the first birds that included Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Fire-eyed Diucon and Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper. This last one was confirmed by reviewing the photo files.

In addition we got the first two endemic birds of the day Dusky-tailed Canastero and Moustached Turca.

Inside the park we continued looking for other endemic birds that included: two White-throated Tapaculo and one Chilean Tinamou, walking a few meters from us, and completing the list of the endemic birds of the central area.

In a small forest area we got the chance to see Thorn-tailed Rayadito and two different woodpeckers; Chilean Flicker and Striped Woodpecker.

We could also spot some birds of prey Harris's Hawk and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle.

When we were leaving from the park, we spotted a huge flock of Chilean Pigeon within the vineyards.

After lunch, while driving to Batuco, we stopped to watch some Andean Condors flying over us, and this way completing Frieda's wish list.

During the afternoon we went through Lampa wetlands. We started at the Batuco Lagoon where we were able to add:

• White-cheeked Pintail
• Andean Goose
• Great Grebe
• Burrowing Owl

Later at Cadellada Laguna we had excellent sightings of Black-headed Duck and Silvery Grebe, completing two excellent birding days with almost 100 species in total.

Species Lists

TINAMOUS (Tinamidae)
1 Chilean Tinamou Nothoprocta perdicaria

DUCKS (Anatidae)
2 Black-necked Swan Cygnus melancoryphus
3 Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba
4 Andean Goose Oressochen melanopterus
5 Chiloe Wigeon Anas sibilatrix
6 Yellow-billed Teal (flavirostris) Anas flavirostris flavirostris
7 Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica
8 White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis
9 Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
10 Red Shoveler Anas platalea
11 Black-headed Duck Heteronetta atricapilla
12 Lake Duck Oxyura vittata

NEW WORLD QUAIL (Odontophoridae)
13 California Quail Callipepla californica

GREBES (Podicipedidae)
14 White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland
15 Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
16 Great Grebe Podiceps major
17 Patagonian (Silvery) Grebe Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis

PENGUINS (Spheniscidae)
18 Humboldt Penguin Spheniscus humboldti

BOOBIES (Sulidae)
19 Peruvian Booby Sula variegata

CORMORANTS (Phalacrocoracidae)
20 Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
21 Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii

PELICANS (Pelecanidae)
22 Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus

HERONS (Ardeidae)
23 Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
24 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
25 Great Egret Ardea alba
26 Snowy Egret Egretta thula

IBISES (Threskiornithidae)
27 White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi

28 Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
29 Andean Condor Vultur gryphus

HAWKS (Accipitridae)
30 White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
31 Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus
32 Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus
33 Variable Hawk Geranoaetus polyosoma
34 Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus

RAILS (Rallidae)
35 Spot-flanked Gallinule Porphyriops melanops
36 Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus
37 Red-gartered Coot Fulica armillata
38 Red-fronted Coot Fulica rufifrons
39 White-winged Coot Fulica leucoptera

PLOVERS (Charadriidae)
40 Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
41 Collared Plover Charadrius collaris
42 Rufous-chested Dotterel Charadrius modestus

OYSTERCATCHERS (Haematopodidae)
43 American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
44 Blackish Oystercatcher Haematopus ater

AVOCETS and STILTS (Recurvirostridae)
45 White-backed (Black-necked) Stilt Himantopus mexicanus melanurus

SANDPIPERS (Scolopacidae)
46 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
47 Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica
48 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
49 Magellanic (South American) Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae magellanica

GULLS (Laridae)
50 Brown-hooded Gull Chroicocephalus maculipennis
51 Gray Gull Leucophaeus modestus
52 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
53 South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea

PIGEONS (Columbidae)
54 Rock Pigeon Columba livia
55 Chilean Pigeon Patagioenas araucana
56 Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
57 Picui Ground Dove Columbina picui

OWLS (Strigidae)
58 Austral Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium nana
59 Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia

HUMMINGBIRDS (Trochilidae)
60 Green-backed Firecrown Sephanoides sephaniodes

61 Striped Woodpecker Veniliornis lignarius
62 Chilean Flicker Colaptes pitius

FALCONS (Falconidae)
63 Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango
64 American Kestrel Falco sparverius

TAPACULOS (Rhinocryptidae)
65 Moustached Turca Pteroptochos megapodius
66 White-throated Tapaculo Scelorchilus albicollis
67 Dusky Tapaculo Scytalopus fuscus

OVENBIRDS (Furnariidae)
68 Wren-like Rushbird Phleocryptes melanops
69 Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper Upucerthia saturatior
70 Buff-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus
71 Gray-flanked (Oustalet's) Cinclodes Cinclodes oustaleti
72 Seaside Cinclodes Cinclodes nigrofumosus
73 Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda
74 Des Murs's Wiretail Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii
75 Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail (Central Chile) Leptasthenura a. aegithaloides
76 Dusky-tailed Canastero Pseudasthenes humicola

77 Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus
78 Many-colored Rush Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra
79 Austral Negrito Lessonia rufa
80 Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola maclovianus
81 Fire-eyed Diucon Xolmis pyrope
82 Patagonian Tyrant Colorhamphus parvirostris

COTINGAS (Cotingidae)
83 Rufous-tailed Plantcutter Phytotoma rara

SWALLOWS (Hirundinidae)
84 Chilean Swallow Tachycineta meyeni

WRENS (Troglodytidae)
85 House Wren Troglodytes aedon
86 Austral (Sedge) Wren Cistothorus platensis hornensis

THRUSHES (Turdidae)
87 Austral Thrush Turdus falcklandii

88 Chilean Mockingbird Mimus thenca

PIPITS (Motacillidae)
89 Correndera Pipit Anthus correndera

TANAGERS (Thraupidae)
90 Gray-hooded Sierra-Finch Phrygilus gayi
91 Common Diuca-Finch Diuca diuca
92 Grassland Yellow-Finch Sicalis luteola

SPARROWS (Emberizidae)
93 Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis

BLACKBIRDS (Icteridae)
94 Austral Blackbird Curaeus curaeus
95 Yellow-winged Blackbird Agelasticus thilius
96 Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
97 Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca

FINCHES (Fringillidae)
98 Black-chinned Siskin Spinus barbatus

99 House Sparrow Passer domesticus