REGION 1 (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (2nd-5th February, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Lauca National Park can be reached from Bolivia, Arica or Putre. I got dropped off by the bus from La Paz at the turnoff for the small town of Parinacota (4392m altitude) 4km away. There are a couple of families with beds. I paid 2,500 pesos for a bed in a shared room with kitchen privileges. I was told there were no shops selling food so brought my own but that was not quite true. There is a man with a very small shop on the plaza with some drinks and snacks. His wife (Albertina) will also sell a few vegetables. The lady I stayed with can also provide dinners. Daytimes were pleasant but nights very cold. I recommend a sleeping bag as well as the blankets provided. 

The area around the village had many good birds. Just across from the weather station and football pitch are a couple of small streams through cushion-plant bogs where Diademed Sandpiper-Plover was seen many years ago. I saw Puna Snipe here. I saw Andean Hillstar on rocks behind the Conaf office. There are a few small lakes near the town with Giant Coots and Crested Ducks are common. There is a trail leading from the Conaf office that takes you up to a few lakes called Lagunas Cotacotani (4,500m) where I saw Chilean Flamingo, Andean Avocet and Wilson's Phalarope. Also White-throated Sierra-Finch and Streaked Tit-Spinetail on the way up. There are 2 roads back out to the highway, upper (left) and lower (right). The lower is better. About 1km along there is a house below which was Grey-breasted Seedsnipe and after which on the boulders was White-tailed Shrike Tyrant. I also saw Red-backed and Puna Hawk along this road. The area below the town of Chucuyo had a large lake with many water birds and marshy areas with Puna Plover, American Golden Plover, Andean Lapwing and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch. A little further down on salty ponds were a few Andean Flamingos. Lago Chungara towards the Bolivian Border was full of waterbirds but is a little more difficult to get to. I saw 52 species including 14 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis photo'd
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus photo'd
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax photo'd
  • Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi photo'd
  • Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis NT photo'd
  • Andean Flamingo Phoenicopterus andinus Vulnerable photo'd
  • Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera photo'd
  • Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris photo'd
  • Crested Duck Anas specularioides photo'd
  • Puna Teal Anas puna
  • Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea Seen on Lago Chungara
  • Variable Hawk Buteo polyosoma photo'd
  • (Puna Hawk) Buteo polyosoma photo'd
  • Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus
  • Slate-colored Coot Fulica ardesiaca Seen on Lago Chungara
  • Giant Coot Fulica gigantea photo'd
  • Andean Avocet Recurvirostra andina photo'd
  • Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens
  • American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica
  • Puna Plover Charadrius alticola
  • Puna Snipe Gallinago andina photo'd
  • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca photo'd
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Possibly seen
  • Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii photo'd
  • Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
  • Gray-breasted Seedsnipe Thinocorus orbignyianus photo'd
  • Andean Gull Larus serranus photo'd
  • Andean Hillstar Oreotrochilus estella
  • Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola photo'd
  • Puna Miner Geositta punensis photo'd
  • Plain-breasted Earthcreeper Upucerthia jelskii photo'd
  • Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus photo'd
  • White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis photo'd
  • Streaked Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura striata photo'd
  • Cordilleran Canastero Asthenes modesta photo'd
  • White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant Agriornis andicola Vulnerable photo'd
  • Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola rufivertex photo'd
  • Puna Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola juninensis Possibly seen
  • Cinereous Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola cinerea Possibly seen
  • White-fronted Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola albifrons photo'd
  • Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola flavinucha photo'd
  • Andean Negrito Lessonia oreas photo'd
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Pygochelidon cyanoleuca
  • Andean Swallow Stelgidopteryx andecola
  • Black-hooded Sierra-Finch Phrygilus atriceps photo'd
  • Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Phrygilus unicolor photo'd
  • White-throated Sierra-Finch Phrygilus erythronotus photo'd
  • Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus photo'd
  • White-winged Diuca-Finch Diuca speculifera photo'd
  • Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch Sicalis uropygialis photo'd
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis photo'd
  • Black Siskin Carduelis atrata photo'd

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse