ORURO (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (20th January, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is an incredible spot and well worth the effort. Oruro is a large city with many places to stay and eat. I stayed at the Residencial on Bolivar (sngle Bs20). In Wheatley, it said the lake was just 5 minutes drive from town. It was actually a gruelling 7km walk which at high altitude is no fun. Go South from the centre until you meet the highway, turn left here and go straight until you reach the train tracks. Look out for Black-winged and Bare-faced Ground-Doves. Either walk south along the tracks or along the road that runs parrallel. There are km marks along the tracks starting at 248. This road is drivable although a bit muddy and not very pretty along the first stretch through a rubbish dump. Renting a bicycle may also be an option. Also watch out for stray dogs (keep a rock handy). After a km or 2 the birding becomes good. There had been a lot of rain when I got there and much of the area along the train track and road was flooded and great for waders. Larger bodies of water after about 3-4km had Puna Flamingo and Andean Avocet. After the km252 marker there is a set of building foundations by the train track. I saw Mountain Parakeet, Giant Coot and Chilean Flamingo here. After this the road sank into the lake but maybe exposed at lower water level. I walked along the train tracks from here and there are small reedbeds on both sides holding Plumbeus Rail, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Andean Duck and Yellow-winged Blackbird among others. After km 255 I finally found 4 Andean Flamingos easily distinguished from the more numerous Chilean Flamingos by their black flight feathers pretruding whilst standing, larger extent of black on the bill and more reddish on the front. Be careful of trains. None passed in the morning and the first came by at 1pm. There is enough room to stand by the side but it's probably better not to be near the tracks. I saw 46 species including 5 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland Photographed
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Photographed
  • Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi
  • Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis Near-threatened Photographed
  • Andean Flamingo Phoenicopterus andinus Vulnerable Photographed
  • Puna Flamingo Phoenicopterus jamesi Near-threatened Photographed
  • Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris Photographed
  • Crested Duck Anas specularioides
  • Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica Photographed
  • Puna Teal Anas puna Photographed
  • Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera Photographed
  • Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea Photographed
  • Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus
  • Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Slate-colored Coot Fulica ardesiaca
  • Giant Coot Fulica gigantea Photographed
  • White-backed Stilt Himantopus melanurus Photographed
  • Andean Avocet Recurvirostra andina
  • Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens Photographed
  • American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica Photographed
  • Puna Plover Charadrius alticola
  • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla Possibly seen
  • Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
  • Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor Photographed
  • Andean Gull Larus serranus
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Bare-faced Ground-Dove Metriopelia ceciliae Photographed
  • Black-winged Ground-Dove Metriopelia melanoptera
  • Mountain Parakeet Psilopsiagon aurifrons Photographed
  • Common Miner Geositta cunicularia
  • Puna Miner Geositta punensis
  • Wren-like Rushbird Phleocryptes melanops
  • Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra
  • Andean Negrito Lessonia oreas Photographed
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
  • Andean Swallow Haplochelidon andecola
  • Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus Photographed
  • Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch Sicalis uropygialis Photographed
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica Photographed

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse