Region (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (2nd-4th April & 26th May, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Getting to Bosque de Zarate involves a 1 and a half hour bus ride followed by a 4-6 hour tough uphill hike. The transport up the Carretera Central is the same as for Ticlio. I took a combi to Chosica then changed to another combi towards San Mateo. There are also combis going to San Bartolome. The turn off is just before the km56 marker. On the bus look for a weighing station, then pass under an iron bridge then through a tunnel. The turning actually has a big sign saying 'Bosque de Zarate'. Walk up this hill and before crossing over a bridge to San Bartolome, you'll see another sign on the left for Bosque de Zarate. At this point turn left onto a trail and follow it up the hill. The trail has a few branches but if you stay on the most obvious one and keep going up hill, you should be OK. It maybe a good idea to hire someone from San Bartolome to show you the way up. Donkeys could also be hired. 

There are arrows and 'BZs' at various points to help you out. After about an hour's walk, you'll reach a hill top with another sign and a couple of families camping out. Follow the trail from here along the valley and after about 2 hours you take a left turn up the hill. If you continue on, it starts to go downhill and gets a bit overgrown. The trail zig-zags up and up. Eventually you should spit out onto a good path which takes you along to the forest. About 30 minute’s walk along here you get to a flat spot where you can camp. Here there is a trail into the forest with a few better places to pitch a tent. Several people seem to walk along this path every day and you can even buy cheese from them. Walking back down, I didn't turn down the way I came but carried on along the good path which passes a few settlements and goes down very steeply. It is shorter but very hard on the legs. I saw Aplomado Falcon on this path. 

My main target was the Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch which apparently has its stronghold here. Valqui wrote it was 'not uncommon in shrubby areas before the forest'. I failed to see it on my first visit but visited again in May and found 1 bird singing at 3pm a few hundred metres before El Gato (campsite) in thorny scrub at about 2900m. It responded to playback by flying out to an exposed perch where I had excellent view. The habitat here was thorny bushes on a steep slope. I saw 60 species including 7 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Andean Tinamou Nothoprocta pentlandii
  • Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus Seen bus to San Bartolome
  • Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus Photographed
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa
  • Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata
  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Photographed
  • Pacific Dove Zenaida meloda
  • Croaking Ground-Dove Columbina cruziana
  • Bare-faced Ground-Dove Metriopelia ceciliae Photographed
  • Black-winged Ground-Dove Metriopelia melanoptera Photographed
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Koepcke's Screech-Owl Megascops koepckeae Possibly heard
  • Andean Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium jardinii
  • Sparkling Violet-ear Colibri coruscans
  • Giant Hummingbird Patagona gigas
  • Bronze-tailed Comet Polyonymus caroli Endemic
  • Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina
  • Oasis Hummingbird Rhodopis vesper Photographed
  • Peruvian Sheartail Thaumastura cora Endemic
  • Purple-collared Woodstar Myrtis fanny Recorded
  • Plain-breasted Earthcreeper Upucerthia jelskii Photographed
  • White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis Photographed
  • Streaked Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura striata
  • Canyon Canastero Asthenes pudibunda Endemic Photographed
  • Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata Photographed
  • Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum Photographed
  • Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant Anairetes reguloides
  • Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant Anairetes flavirostris Posibly seen
  • Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus Photographed Recorded
  • Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • White-browed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca leucophrys
  • Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes striaticollis
  • Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola maculirostris
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
  • Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus
  • Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco
  • Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum
  • Rufous-chested Tanager Thlypopsis ornata
  • Blue-and-yellow Tanager Thraupis bonariensis
  • Mourning Sierra-Finch Phrygilus fruticeti Photographed Recorded
  • Band-tailed Sierra-Finch Phrygilus alaudinus Photographed
  • Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus
  • Great Inca-Finch Incaspiza pulchra Endemic Photographed
  • Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch Poospiza rubecula Endemic Endangered Photographed Recorded
  • Collared Warbling-Finch Poospiza hispaniolensis
  • Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis Photographed
  • Rusty Flowerpiercer Diglossa sittoides Photographed
  • Black-throated Flowerpiercer Diglossa brunneiventris
  • Greenish Yellow-Finch Sicalis olivascens
  • Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch Atlapetes nationi Endemic Photographed
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Golden-billed Saltator Saltator aurantiirostris Photographed
  • Golden-bellied Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster Photographed
  • Scrub Blackbird Dives warszewiczi
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse