Birding Chile – Central Chilean endemics and Pelagic

Photographer: Fabrice Schmitt
Day 1: Santiago: Arrival in Santiago and transfer to our select hotel. D.
Day 2: Farellones and Valle Nevado: A morning drive into the Andes to Farellones to look for Crag Chilia, Dusky Tapaculo, Greater Yellow-finch, Creamy-rumped Miner, White-sided Hillstar amongst others Andean birds. Condors should be around. We'll also bird lower elevations for Chilean Tinamou and White-throated Tapaculo. A great relaxing day with fantastic scenery. We should be back in time to enjoy our first of the fabled Chilean wine. B:L:D
Day 3: Laguna El Peral, Maipo Estuary and Algorrobo: Today we head for the coast excursion. We should see a wide variety of species here including Black-necked Swan, 3 species of Coot, Spot-flanked Gallinule, the rare Black-headed Duck, Plumbeous Rail, Lake Duck, Great Grebe. Many-colored Rush-tyrant. Wren-like Rushbird and Common Diuca Finch are here too. The Maipo estuary will have a variety of Gulls and shorebirds and the Marshes sometimes hold the recently described Ticking Doradito. We'll drive to Viña del Mar on the shore for the night B:L:D
Day 4: Pelagic From Quintero Or ValpairaisoMorning pelagic 12 miles from the coast. We have the chance of five species of Albatross including Salvin's, Buller's, Northern and Southern Royal and Chatham. Tubenoses are a main feature of these Pelagics and we'll hope for Southern Fulmar, Masatierra and Westland Petrels, Peruvian Diving-Petrel as well as the more numerous White-chinned and Cape Petrels and Northern Giant Petrels. Wilson's Petrels often "foot-patter" close to the boat and we often see large numbers of Grey Phalaropes. Others include Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, Kelp Gull and South American Tern. Our post lunch excursion will be along the coast in search of the rare Great Shrike Tyrant and then drive to Olmue. Night in Olmue. B:L:D
Day 5: La Campana NP, Lampa Wetlands: La Campana National Park (350-630 m) is our destination this morning. Almost all Central Chilean endemics can be found here. Our main target is White-throated Tapaculo but we'll look for other species we might have seen already. This is a good site for Dusky-tailed Canastero, Chilean Pigeon, Striped Woodpecker and Moustached Turca but our main quest will be the endemic White-throated Tapaculo. We'll spend some time on Dusky Tapaculo, a species restricted just to this mountain range. Others include Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Giant Hummingbird, the inquisitive Thorn-tailed Rayadito, the recently described Chilean Elaenia (Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Fire-eyed Diucon, Austral Thrush, Chilean Mockingbird (a widespread endemic), Chilean and Blue-and-white Swallows, Common Diuca-Finch, Austral Blackbird and Black-chinned Siskin. Other target species include the impressive Moustached Turca (a large Tapaculo endemic to central Chile) and Crag Chilia (a sleek rock-loving furnarid of outcrops and escarpments), although there will be further opportunities to see both of these. On our return to Santiago we'll make a stop at the Lampa wetlands mainly for the secretive South American Painted Snipe and waterfowl such as Rosy-billed Pochard or Black-headed Duck. Night in Santiago. B:L:D
Day 6: El Yeso And The Andes: The high Andean bogs here at 2500 meters are a favorite site for Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and this is probably the bird El Yeso is famed for. We'll stop in the valley however before gaining height for the Crag Chilia and the lower reaches hold Moustached Turca both Chilean endemics. We see a variety of Sierra-Finches and Furnariids here; the latter includes Grey-flanked Cinclodes, Rufous-banded Miner, Creamy-rumped Miner, Scale-throated Earthcreeper. Ground-Tyrants are everywhere including Rufous-naped, White-browed, Ochre-naped, Cinereous and Spot-billed. Our best views of Andean Condor will probably be here in this valley and Torrent Ducks are regular on the streams. One of the hummers we'll be looking for up here is the White-sided Hillstar. We have a chance at both Black-billed and Great Shrike-Tyrants here. Night in Santiago. B:L:D
Day 7: Santiago to Talca And Vilches, Colbun Lake: We will drive southwards to Vilches. On the way, we will stop at Colbún lake, looking for Burrowing Parakeet and Spectacled Duck. We will spend the end of the day in the Altos de Lircay NP, looking for some forest species like Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner and the superb Magellanic Woodpecker. At dusk we will look for the hard to see Rufous-legged Owl. Night in Vilches. B:L:D
Day 8: Full Day at Altos de Lircay NP: We will have a full day to explore the extensive Nothofagus forest in the Andean foothills in the Alto Vilches national park. In particular we will be listening for the nasal scolding of Chile's least known Tapaculo, the Chestnut-throated Huet-huet, perhaps the most missed Chilean endemic on most tours. We will also be looking for more Nothofagus forest endemics such as Austral Parakeet (the world's most southerly parrot species), the plump Chucao Tapaculo with its explosive voice, Magellanic and Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Striped Woodpecker, Chilean Flicker, White-throated Treerunner, Patagonian Tyrant and Patagonian Sierra-Finch. This will be our first opportunity to see the Magallenic Wodpecker which is quite common here. Other birds include Thorn-tailed Rayadito and Fire-eyed Diucon. Night in Vilches. B:L:D
Day 9: Cerro Nielol To Temuco: In the morning, we will travel to Temuco making selected stops along the way including Santa Elena lagoon, south of Chillan where we can look for the newly described Ticking Doradito. We will spend the end of the afternoon birding at Cerro Nielol – Possibilities include Black-throated Huet-huet, Rufous-tailed Hawk, Des Mur's Wiretail, Chucao Tapaculo, Slender-billed Parakeet and Ochre-flanked Tapaculo Night in Temuco B:L:D.
Day 10: Conguillio National Park: Full Day at the Congullio National Park. In this fantastic Nothofagus forest we'll look for the recently split Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper, Flying Steamer-duck, and other species of Nothofagus Forest. In the evening we will catch a flight to Santiago for overnight at the airport hotel if joining the Patagonia tour (or connect with international flights). B:L:
Does not include air Temuco - Santiago but we will do this on request - the price depends on when we get your full name, deposit and passport numbers - you can check current prices at www.LAN.com & www.skyairline.cl

Customer Testimonials

Jeanine Felker - USA

In addition to touring with Legacy, I have also been on tours with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Wings, Sunbird and Field Guides. I have been with many guides with varying skills and personalities. In regards to Ricardo, I found him to be extremely knowledgeable about not only the birds but also, the plants and animals, as well as the history of Peru. He showed great care and concern for the comfort and safety of the group (at times, he anticipated what we would need before we realized that we needed it). We had a couple of participants who required extra time and help. Ricardo was consistently patient and courteous with them. On more than one occasion, I had a chance to talk with him on a variety of subjects and found him to be a delightful conversationalist. He did an outstanding job of dealing with the entire group and all of the variables.

Bill Heinsen - Canada

It was just incredible. Everything was so well organized, the staff so efficient, the food excellent, our guide, I don’t know how he could have been better. I know it is not easy to juggle around the expectations of birders, but he did it. We were given absolute patience in trying to accommodate each of us and making sure we got our money’s worth made everything flawless. He was knowledgeable in so many ways. You certainly got a gem of a guide when you hired him. The drivers, like all your staff were excellent, and very accommodating. The two men who looked after us on the river were superb. We felt totally safe in their hands. You can be certain that we will recommend Manu Expeditions to anyone

Ann & Mervyn de Winter –UK

Silverio is very likeable and one of the top birders I have ever travelled with, and I have gone on nearly 20 birding trips.

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Comments

Silverio is very likeable and one of the top birders I have ever travelled with, and I have gone on nearly 20 birding trips.

It was just incredible. Everything was so well organized, the staff so efficient, the food excellent, our guide, I don’t know how he could have been better. I know it is not easy to juggle around the expectations of birders, but he did it. We were given absolute patience in trying to accommodate each of us and making sure we got our money’s worth made everything flawless. He was knowledgeable in so many ways. You certainly got a gem of a guide when you hired him. The drivers, like all your staff were excellent, and very accommodating. The two men who looked after us on the river were superb. We felt totally safe in their hands. You can be certain that we will recommend Manu Expeditions to anyone

In addition to touring with Legacy, I have also been on tours with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Wings, Sunbird and Field Guides. I have been with many guides with varying skills and personalities. In regards to Ricardo, I found him to be extremely knowledgeable about not only the birds but also, the plants and animals, as well as the history of Peru. He showed great care and concern for the comfort and safety of the group (at times, he anticipated what we would need before we realized that we needed it). We had a couple of participants who required extra time and help. Ricardo was consistently patient and courteous with them. On more than one occasion, I had a chance to talk with him on a variety of subjects and found him to be a delightful conversationalist. He did an outstanding job of dealing with the entire group and all of the variables.

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