SAN GIL (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (31st August, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

San Gil is easily accessed from Bucaramanga taking 2 and half hours and costing 14,000s. This is a good site for the critically endangered endemic Niceforo's Wren. This is a very little known species restricted to this area. It is supposedly easy with play-back next to the Parque Gallineral in San Gil, but I didn't have a recording of the species. A month before, Juan Carlos and an English BIrder had it in 5 minutes where I only heard it once in 3 hours seaching. To get to the spot, you can either go through the park or round the back. To go through the park, you'll need to check with the caretaker on the gate (preferably the night before) whether you can enter at 6am. The park only opens to the public at 8am. The park is very pretty having many big trees but little natural vegetation below. Lots of pretty flowers though and a few nice birds (Black-faced Grassquit). Going through the park, go straight from the gate, over 2 white bridges and climb through 2 fences which leads into nice forest with a dense undergrowth. The same spot can be reached by going further along the main road from the entrance (towards Bucaramanga), turn right over a bridge and straight away look for a small path going down a slope. Follow this along into forest. The trail goes along through forest and finally along more open habitat along the river.

Between San Gil and Bucaramanga is a possible site for the critically endangered endemic Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird. Again, a month before, Juan Carlos saw here at 2 large trees with yellow flowers. Unfortunately these trees were no longer in flower. To find the trees, look out for a big national park sign on the left about an hour to hour and a half from San Gil (8000s). After this is another big 'Aguila' sign on the left, then a signed right turn towards 'Cepita'. Bus drivers know this turning. The 2 trees are about 100m before the turning. After this, the road continues down to the Chicamocha river and on to Bucaramanga (6000s by bus). 

I saw 33 species including 3 lifers 
Species seen 

  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Spectacled Parrotlet Forpus conspicillatus
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Seen near Cepita turn-off
  • White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl
  • Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
  • Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis
  • Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
  • Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
  • Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
  • Bicolored Wren Campylorhynchus griseus Seen near Cepita turn-off
  • Niceforo's Wren Thryothorus nicefori Endemic Critically endangered Possibly heard
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus Seen near Cepita turn-off
  • Black-billed Thrush Turdus ignobilis
  • Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas Heard only
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
  • Scrub Tanager Tangara vitriolina
  • Blue-necked Tanager Tangara cyanicollis
  • Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Golden-winged Sparrow Arremon schlegeli
  • Streaked Saltator Saltator striatipectus
  • Venezuelan Troupial Icterus icterus Seen near Cepita turn-off

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse