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Chile: Birds of Central Chile
Chile: Birds of Central Chile
Explore the contrasting habitats of central Chile, relishing opportunities to see diverse birdlife and some of the country's most coveted endemic species. The Chile tour includes mountain habitats, broadleaf forests, Matorral scrub and rocky coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean.
Please Note: This trip starts in Santiago, Chile. We recommend you arrive the day before the trip starts.
Crested Duck © Claudio Vidal
Chilean Swallows © Enrique Couve
Chilean Tinamou © Enrique Couve
Fire-eyed Diucon © Enrique Couve
Kelp Gull © Enrique Couve
Sanderling © Enrique Couve
Spectacled Tyrant © Enrique Couve
Chile: Birds of Central Chile Itinerary
Andes: El Yeso Valley
Meet your birding guide and depart for a full day exploring El Yeso Valley in the Andean foothills. Watch for sightings of the endemic crag chilia, plus Andean condors, black-chested buzzard-eagle, black-winged ground dove, grey-flanked cinclodes, black-billed shrike-tyrant, grey-hooded sierra finch and yellow-rumped siskin. Near the reservoir, scan the grasslands and streams for stunning diademed sandpiper-plover. As we enjoy the mountain scenery, watch for grey-breasted seedsnipe and passing flocks of mountain parakeet. Spend tonight at Hotel Galerias or similar. (L)
Maipo Estuary / Laguna El Peral Nature Reserve / Quintero
While exploring the mouth of the Maipo River and El Peral Nature Reserve, watch for stripe-backed bittern, the brood-parasitic black-headed duck and many-coloured rush tyrant. We also have a chance to find local ticking doradito. On a sunset stroll, watch along the ricky coasts for endemic Chilean seaside cinclodes and endemic seabirds of the Humboldt Current such as red-legged and guanay cormorants, Peruvian booby, grey gull and the stunning Inca tern. Spend two nights at Hotel Yachting or similar. (B,L,D)
La Campana National Park / Cachagua
Early in the morning, visit La Campana National Park. Look for an array of endemic birdlife Chile, such as dusky-tailed canastero, moustached turca, dusky tapaculo and white-throated tapaculo. La Campana's slopes and gullies are blanketed by cacti, Puya, an endemic bromeliad, and abundant matorral scrubby vegetation. During our hikes we hope to see Chilean pigeon, striped woodpecker, giant hummingbird and green-backed firecrown. This afternoon, explore the coastal areas north of Quintero, visiting a protected breeding colony of Humboldt penguin. With luck, see the scarce and range-restricted southern sea otter. Stop at a coastal marsh, seeing waterfowl such as red shoveler, yellow-billed pintail, speckled teal and Chiloe wigeon, all three lowland species of coot, spot-flanked gallinule and plumbeous rail. (B,L,D)
Lampa Marshes / Farellones / Valle Nevado
Drive to near-by marshes looking for South American painted snipe, rosy-billed pochard, white-cheeked pintail and cocoi heron. Head into the mountains near Farellones, watching for Andean species such as mountain caracara, white-sided hillstar, rufous-banded and creamy-rumped miners, cinereous, black-fronted, white-browed and rufous-naped ground tyrants. The area's other abundant species include greater yellow finch, band-tailed sierra finch and condor. Also look for the endemic Chilean tinamou and Chilean mockingbird before returning to Santiago. Overnight at Hotel Galerias or similar. (L)
After breakfast, depart on flight home or add another of IE's Chile birding tours. (B)