JUNIN (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (1-2nd June, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This high altitude lake is the only site for the critically endangered endemic Junin Grebe and endangered endemic Junin Rail. It is fairly easy to see the grebes if you take a boat out onto the lake, more difficult to see from the edge of the lake in Ondores. The rail is incedibly difficult but apparently not impossible to see species. Junin is a fairly large town between Lima and Huanuco. You can take a bus to the latter from Lima and get off at Junin which is on the highway. Alternatively you can get any bus to La Oreja and a taxi or bus from the junction. There are several places to stay, eat and do internet around the main plaza in Junin. The place to bird is Ondores, a smaller town 40 minutes (20km) away. There may be basic accommodation but there is no reason to stay there as colectivos leave regularly and are very cheap (3s). From the main plaza, walk to the Plaza de Armas (smaller) and another block away to the place where they leave (just ask).

Get off at the INRENA office (opens at 8am) and pay the 5s entry charge. The staff are very friendly and helpful and know the 2 species well. They can put you in contact with a guide or boat man to take you out. I was allowed to join some INRENA biologists studying the endemic Junin Frog out on to an island on the lake. From here I saw the grebes at some distance. I tipped their boat man 10s. 

To see the grebe from the lake edge, you need to be there when the water level is high, which it was when I was there. Go through Ondores and out the other side. About a km further along there is a cemetery on the left hand side. About here, walk down to the lake edge and look for the grebe. A scope is helpful if they are far away especially to distinguish from the similar Silvery Grebe. I didn't see them when I was here but another group saw them very close to the edge. For the rail: cut down to the lake from the INRENA office. Now walk the other way (right) along the lake to where reed beds meet the edge. I waded through this area in search of the rail with no luck but apparently this is the area it was seen by Tomas Valqui 2 weeks before. He had a local guide with him so you could enquire. At high water, the rails seem to fly off th lake islands to the lake edge where they may be more susceptible to predation. 3 corpses had been found recently. The whole area is great for waterbirds but migrants had already passed when I was there. I saw 42 species including 2 lifers.

Species seen

  • White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland
  • Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis
  • Junin Grebe Podiceps taczanowskii Endemic Critically endangered
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi
  • Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera
  • Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris
  • Crested Duck Anas specularioides
  • Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica
  • Puna Teal Anas puna
  • Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea
  • Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus
  • Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus
  • Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
  • Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus
  • Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Slate-colored Coot Fulica ardesiaca
  • Giant Coot Fulica gigantea
  • Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens
  • Puna Snipe Gallinago andina
  • Andean Gull Larus serranus
  • Black-winged Ground-Dove Metriopelia melanoptera
  • Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola
  • Common Miner Geositta cunicularia
  • Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus Possibly seen
  • White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis
  • Wren-like Rushbird Phleocryptes melanops
  • Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra
  • Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant Agriornis montana
  • Andean Negrito Lessonia oreas
  • Andean Swallow Haplochelidon andecola
  • Correndera Pipit Anthus correndera
  • Short-billed Pipit Anthus furcatus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco
  • Peruvian Sierra-Finch Phrygilus punensis
  • Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus
  • Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch Sicalis uropygialis
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Black Siskin Carduelis atrata

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse