Tuesday, June 5th: We again gathered at 5am. This time, we headed directly for Huascaran National Park. After paying the entry fee, we continued on to Lago Chinancocha. We did some birding, adding Giant Conebill (heard here, but see well later in the day) and Tyrian Metaltail. After breakfast, we saw Stripe-headed Antpitta, heard Smoky-brown Woodpecker (also heard and seen in flight later), and an unidentified Shrike-Tyrant (either Black-billed or White-tailed).
We drove a bit past the top end of Lago Orkoncocha before making our next stop. The flats at the head of the lake contained Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, White-browed Ground-Tyrant, Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch, and Taczanowski's Ground-Tyrant. A bit further up we made an unplanned stop for a Rufous-webbed Bush-Tyrant.
We continued upward, checking the extensive Polylepis woodland for other birds. The best birding came near a stream at about 13,500 feet elevation. We found d'Orbigny's Chat-Tyrant, the little-known Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch, Thick-billed Siskin, a calling Andean Flicker, and a White-capped Dipper. The Polylepis up here is quite impressive. So much has been cut down in the Andes, and it is nice to the intact tracts at Huascaran.
After lunch, we started back downhill, checking again for interesting birds in the Polylepis. Eventually, it was time to head back to the hotel. We stopped for a perched White-throated Hawk, who stayed put while we all photographed it. We made one more unplanned stop for a poorly-seen Streaked Tit-Spinetail, before arriving at the hotel at about 6:10pm.
My species total for today was 49. My trip list increased by 17 today, including 8 lifers. My current trip total is 128 species, including 42 life birds.
Andino Club Hotel, Huaraz