LA PAZ (Compass)

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


Birding Site Guide

Pongo is easily reached from central La Paz. Take any trufi or micro to Villa Fatima and from there take a Micro or bus towards Coroico or Chulumani. Asked to be let off at Pongo, about an hour from Villa Fatima (7 Bs). There is a row of small restaurants near Pongo along the highway. Get off here. Back track along the road until you see a stream/waterfall coming down the side of the hill. To the left of this (facing the hill) is an indistinct track. Climb this to the top where there is a small pond made by a little dam. Walk along the stream above here and cross over where possible. Your aim is to get to the top of the huge 2nd waterfall. A direct ascent is a bit steep so look to your right and walk up towards a track which runs round the side of the valley to the top. Once on top, walk straight up the hill to the start of the Polylepis trees. They are very sparse and interspersed with boulders. Birds are thin on the ground here and the weather can be aweful. Scribble-tailed Canastero can be seen around the edges and lower down. Line-fronted Canastero in Polylepis right at the top adn Puna Tapacula between boulders. The main target was the Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant. I missed this on my 1st trip but found a group on a 3rd level and my second trip. Instead of walking up to the Polylepis from the top of the second waterfall, walk along the right side of the stream. Another waterfall is visible to you left and a small stream comes down on the right. Follow the stream up, crossing where necessary to the 3rd level where there is a very small patch of Polylepis. I also saw Giant Conebill here. I saw 17 species including 10 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Torrent Duck Merganetta armata
  • Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus
  • Andean Gull Larus serranus
  • Andean Swift Aeronautes andecolus Heard only
  • Olivaceous Thornbill Chalcostigma olivaceum Photographed
  • Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus Photographed
  • Streak-throated Canastero Asthenes humilis Possibly seen
  • Scribble-tailed Canastero Asthenes maculicauda
  • Line-fronted Canastero Asthenes urubambensis Near-threatened
  • Puna Tapaculo Scytalopus simonsi Photographed
  • Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes alpinus Endangered Photographed
  • Cinereous Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola cinereus Possibly seen
  • White-browed Conebill Conirostrum ferrugineiventre Photographed
  • Giant Conebill Oreomanes fraseri Near-threatened Photographed
  • Black-hooded Sierra-Finch Phrygilus atriceps Seen below La Cumbre pass
  • Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata Photographed
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Photographed

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse