Day 5. 29 Nov 2022. Road to lake Llanganuco
This is our 5th day birding in the Huascaran National Park. We leaved our hotel in Huaraz early in the morning and drove north of the Santa valley, to get into the Caraz area. Our main goal today was to explore the lower part of the Llanganuco creek, just below the Llanganuco lake. This is probably the most popular destination within the Park for tourists, the landscapes are magnificent, and the lake itself is just breathtaking.
Again, today we first stopped before entering the Park itself, at the agricultural areas. Our main interest was to look for the still elusive Black-winged Ground-dove. We spent several minutes scouting the area, but we couldn’t find the bird today either. Instead, we found some other Andean birds like Peruvian Meadowlark, Hooded Siskin, Black-chested Buzzard-eagle, and Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant.
We arrived to the rangers post at around 10:00 am. While checking in to enter the park, we did some birding around the ranger’s building, with some good birds like Andean Swift, Black, Metatail, Black-crested Tit-tyrant.
Birding the Llanganuco creek
After entering the park, we were birding along the Llanganuco creek, while driving up to the Llanganuco lake. At one of the several stops, we saw a young Caracara falling from a nest and getting stuck in a precarious situation on a bromeliad hanging from a very steep cliff.
We found other interesting birds in this area, like Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant, and Rufous-chested Tanager.
The bird activity was very poor this morning, so we decided to get to higher elevations. Again, the bird activity was still quite poor, but we managed to add a couple of new birds to the trip list: Black-crested Warbler and Green-mantled (Blue-and-yellow) Tanager. And, we had a glimpse of a Giant Conebill.
As we gained elevation, we found more interesting birds. This time we had great views of the endemics Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail and Bay-crowned Brushfinch.
The Maria Josefa trail
We arrived to Llanganuco lake just after 01:00 pm. Besides the typical Ancash Tapaculo, Striated Earthcreeper, and other high elevation specialists, we were entertained for quite a while with at last four Giant Conebills that were feeding just at the starting point of the Maria Josefa trail. They were so cooperative that we could take several pictures of them.
Then, we decided to walk a bit inside the Polylepis forest, along the trail. We couldn’t find many birds there, but we the walk was so relaxing that we really had a great time. We focused our efforts on trying to find Andean Tit-spinetail, but we did not have any luck finding it.
It was almost 03:00 pm when we ended our walk on the Maria Josefa trail. The weather threatened with a little rain, and we still needed to drive for about two hours to our new hotel for tonight.
It took us about two hours drive to get to Caraz. The hotel in Caraz was the Inti Rumi, a cozy boutique hotel run by an American lady living in Peru for many years. Everything there was perfect: the people, the rooms, the garden, the food, the drinks…… so we decided to spend at least two nights there.
For tomorrow we planned to visit another one of the beautiful lakes of the Huascaran National Park: lake Parón. This place is less visited than Llanganuco, but the birding and scenery are more spectacular. You can’t miss the next post of this trip report !!!
You can read the previous post of this trip report here: https://greentours.com.pe/road-to-punta-olimpica-birding-huascaran-national-park-day-4/
Or the next post here: https://greentours.com.pe/lake-paron-birding-huascaran-national-park-day-6/