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MÉRIDA (La Mucuy), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (18th-19th September, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This great site is easily accessible from Mérida. I birded the trail on 2 day trips from the city. Staying in the park may also be an option. There are some dormitories and also a camp site. Bring your own food and a sleeping bag. Mérida is a fairly big city and has many places to stay, eat and do internet. I found a cheap place to stay (15,000 for dormitory) near the cable car station. To get to Mucuy, first take a bus to Tabay about half an hour away (leaving regularly from 6am about 4 blocks west from Plaza Bolivar). From the plaza in Tabay, there is a sign to the right to 'Parque la Mucuy'. It's about 7km up to the park entrance and the road is paved all the way. You can get a taxi up from the plaza in Tabay, try to hitch, or walk it. The lower entrance has a sign saying open at 8am, but I found it open before this. Up from here, the road runs along the river where you can see White-capped Dipper. Trees nearby have some tanager flocks and also Moustached Brush-Finch. There is an office higher up but no admission is charged. Further up is a fork, go to the right and up the hill, passed some buildings and try and find the start of the trail. After the last building, walk up a grassy bank and look for a wooden archway that is the start of the trail. From here is supposedly 9km up to Laguna Coromoto where you can camp. It took my about 4-5 hours up from the entrance and 2-3 hours back down. A sign said it was 3,000m here although I got it as about 3,100m. 

Good birds on the way up included Andean Guan, Emerald Toucanet, Grey-capped Hemispingus, Grey-naped & Undulated Antpittas, Longuemare's Sunangel, Plushcap and possibly Rusty-faced Parrot heard. The second half of the way to the lake is quite steep and changes in nature. I was here later on and it was fairly quiet. This would be worth exploring in the early morning. Around the lake at the top I saw, Tyrian Metaltail, Mountain Velvetbreast, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Blue-backed Conebill, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga and Slaty Brush-Finch. I saw 89 species including 15 lifers.

Species seen

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse