FALCÓN (Tucacas and Chichiriviche), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W 32,090ha, 0-285m, shallow sea, mangroves, beaches, cays, xerophytic scrub, dry and tropical moist forest 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (25th & 27th September, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

These are 2 wonderful protected areas especially for waterbirds. The entrance for Morrocoy is just 10 minutes’ drive from Tucacas, a popular beach town with several places to stay, the cheapest I could find being B30,000. Cuare is closer to another beach town called Chichiriviche, which is smaller, cheaper and probable safer at night. I found a place to stay here for B15,000 called ‘Morena’s Place’ (good luck in trying to find it). There are restaurants and internet in both towns. Tucaras is on the main Valencia to Coro highway but to get to Chichiriviche you need to tell the driver to let you off at the ‘cruce’ near Sanare and change buses. There are also direct buses for Tucacas to Chichiriviche. It takes about half an hour and costs B3,000.

To get to the Morrocoy Nacional Park, take any bus heading from Tucaras towards Coro and get dropped off at ‘Morrocoy’, ‘entrada’ or ‘puesto Parque Nacional’. I had drivers telling they know where it was and then passing it. Don’t trust them. From the stop in Tucaras, it takes about 6-7 minutes to get there. Look out for the mountains on the peninsular to your right. You must get off before this where the road curves to the left and there are a few houses. There is a small sign with ‘Parque Nacional’ on it and a road goes to the right. From here you can walk. There also maybe yellow camionetas that go all the way along although I didn’t find out where these left from.

The first part of the road has dry forest on both sides which is good in the morning (Glaucous Tanager), the right side then opens out and you can walked along the water’s edge. This area is excellent for waders in season. Caribbean Flamingos and Scarlet Ibit are also very common along here. Soon you pass an entrance arch and then a land bridge on the right to a marina. Just after this, there is an area of young mangroves where I heard many Plain-flanked Rails calling. I saw 95 species including 6 lifers.

Species seen

  • Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis photo'd
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens photo'd
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Great Egret Ardea alba photo'd
  • Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens photo'd
  • Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor photo'd
  • Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea photo'd
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Striated Heron Butorides striata photo'd Recorded
  • White Ibis Eudocimus albus photo'd
  • Scarlet Ibis Eudocimus ruber photo'd
  • Caribbean Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber photo'd Recorded
  • Blue-winged Teal Anas discors photo'd
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Common Black-Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus photo'd
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway photo'd
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima photo'd
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius photo'd
  • Rufous-vented Chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda Heard only Recorded
  • Plain-flanked Rail Rallus wetmorei Endemic Endangered Recorded
  • Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana
  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus photo'd Recorded
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis photo'd
  • Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus photo'd
  • Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia photo'd
  • Collared Plover Charadrius collaris photo'd
  • Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus photo'd
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus photo'd
  • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca photo'd
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes photo'd Recorded
  • Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia photo'd Recorded
  • Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
  • Red Knot Calidris canutus
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla photo'd
  • Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri photo'd
  • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla photo'd
  • White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis photo'd
  • Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus photo'd
  • Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
  • Royal Tern Sterna maxima
  • Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex photo'd
  • Black Skimmer Rynchops niger photo'd
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis
  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
  • Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
  • Scaled Dove Columbina squammata
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Brown-throated Parakeet Aratinga pertinax
  • Green-rumped Parrotlet Forpus passerinus
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Heard only
  • Greater Ani Crotophaga major Possibly seen
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia photo'd
  • Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis Possibly seen
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus
  • Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
  • Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus
  • Pale-legged Hornero Furnarius leucopus
  • Pale-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis albescens
  • White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea
  • Northern Scrub-Flycatcher Sublegatus arenarum
  • Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Pied Water-Tyrant Fluvicola pica photo'd
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Heard only
  • Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis Heard only
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana Possibly seen
  • Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
  • White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer photo'd Recorded
  • Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon Recorded
  • Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
  • Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus nudigenis
  • Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea
  • Scrub Greenlet Hylophilus flavipes
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • Bicolored Conebill Conirostrum bicolor
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Glaucous Tanager Thraupis glaucocolpa
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
  • Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris
  • Gray Seedeater Sporophila intermedia Possibly seen
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Red-breasted Blackbird Sturnella militaris
  • Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna photo'd Recorded
  • Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris
  • Oriole Blackbird Gymnomystax mexicanus
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse