Category: PERU
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PUNO (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (17-18th May, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Abra Maruncunca is a pass between Sandia and San Juan de Oro. A bus leaves Juliaca daily and passes Sandia about 1pm. It should take about 3 hours but our bus set off late and had a few problems on route meaning it was about 5pm by the time we arrived. The driver should know Maruncunca but look out for the 'obelisco' on the right just before the pass and ask to get off here. A short distance before the obelisk, there is a path leading off to the right (looking down hill). Follow this up the hill and down the other side. At the first obvious fork in the trail (about 15 minutes from the road), there is a small flat area just big enough for a tent. We camped here 2 nights. There should be other places to camp back near the road too. 

I birded the left fork here which leads down through some nice humid forest. The first 5-10 minutes of the trail had some fruiting trees with Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (common), Blue-banded Toucanet and Band-tailed Fruiteater. Flowering shrubs and trees had many hummingbirds including Gould's Inca, Booted Racket-tail and Long-tailed Sylph. I also saw Maroon-tailed Parakeet here. About 15 minutes down from the fork, there is a fork leading down to the right.Ignore this and go straight on under a low branch, down some muddy steps. After this, at a diagonal moss-covered tree accross the trail, I saw Scimitar-winged Piha, Hooded Tinamou, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Versicolored Barbet, White-eared Solitaire, Green Jay and Slaty Tanager. 

Further down, the slope becomes flatter. This area of forest had Scaly-naped Parrot and a mixed flock including Tawny-breasted Flycatcher. The is another fork, the left leading to a small stream with good water. This forest has species more similar to Bolivia than Peru and deserves a lot more exploring. 
We walked all the way back down to the bridge at the main river (16km) some of which had some good birding. The upper part had Three-striped Warbler, White-bellied Hummingbird and Cinnamon Flycatcher. Around the small village of Yanacocha further down I saw White-winged Black-Tyrant and Speckled Chachalaca. At a cliff further down I saw some swifts which I thought looked like smaller versions of White-collared. I thought they might be White-chested but were probably more likely White-tipped. After the larger town of Quiquira, the road wound down to the river near which I saw Black-faced Tanager. This road has very little traffic. Buses pass here at about 7-8am (?) and in the late afternoon. As buses come directly from Julicaca it would be possible to go straight to Abra Maruncunca and bird Sandia on the way back. I saw 60 species including 7 lifers. 

Species seen 

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse