Rafán was until recently the only site where one could have a reasonable chance of seeing the threatened Peruvian Plantcutter. Here large Prosopis (Mesquite) trees still exists and there is a good understory of Capparis, Maytenus and other bushes. The combination of good understory and large Prosopis trees seems to be what determines if a Prosopis patch holds the rare Plantcutter. The area covers well over 100 ha, but a major part has been seriously altered and there is currently no protection at this classic site. Other birds one finds here include Rufous Flycatcher, Neclaced Spinetail, Superciliaried Wren, Cinereous Finch, Collared Antshrike, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Gray-and-White Tyrannulet, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant, Coastal Miner, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Amazilia Hummingbird, Tumbes Tyrannulet (split from Mouse-colored Tyrannulet); Pacific Hornero, Baird´s Flycatcher, Fasciated Wren, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Golden-olive Woodpecker, White-faced (possible split from Tropical) Gnatcatcher, Scrub Nightjar, Lesser Nighthawk, Band-winged Nighjar, Saffron Finch and occasionally, with luck, the very rare Peruvian Martin.
To get here just drive west for about 5 Km from the dirt turn-off just north of the bridge over Saña river.
In 2000 a new site for Peruvian Plantcutter as well as Rufous Flycatcher was found at Bosque Pomac - a 5 887,38ha reserve that mainly protects archeological sites such as Batán Grande, but has also saved a considerable chunk of Prosopis woodland. In spite of this, also here the understory is being cleared by grazing goats and occasional understory fires. Birds are similar to Rafan but the area is also a great place to find the localized Tumbes Swallow. Other birds easier to find here than at Rafan include White-tailed Jay, White-edged Oriole and with tremendous luck the extremely rare and local population of Black-faced Ibis - a seriously threatened species in Peru.
LAQUIPAMPA WILDLIFE REFUGE
This 8000 State Protected Area (ex–Laquipampa reserved zone) is the first of its kind in Perú and holds one of the finest samples of Tumbesian Endemics and Andean Avifauna. Here you can find in the wild one the most emblematic birds of north Peru: The White-winged Guan. In the lower parts of the refuge it is easy to find Ochre-bellied Dove, Red-masked Parakeet, Baird’s Flycatcher, Short-tailed Woodstar, Baron’s Hermit, Pacific Parrotlet, West-Peruvian Screech-owl, Scrub Nightjar, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Collared Antshrike, Elegant Crescentchest, Supercilated Wren, Tumbes Sparrow and Tumbes Pewee.
In the forest of the middle part you may encounter Henna-hooded and Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaners, Watkin’s Antpitta, Chapman’s Antshrike, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, Speckle-breasted Wren, Three-banded and Gray & Gold Warblers, while in the high parts the interesting species are Bearded Guan, Blue Seedeater (only the second confirmed site in Peru), Piura Chat-tyrant, Koepcke’s Screech Owl, Ecuadorian Piculet, Tumbes Tyrannulet and Black-cowled Saltator among others of the 160 species birdlist of the area.
The Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge is administrated by the INRENA and the adjacent community of Laquipampa, which can provide local guides to explore the trails. There is sleeping facilities and restaruants owned by the local comuneros. Visits can be arranged in the INRENA office in Ferreñafe. Puerto Etén
The coastal marshes near Puerto Etén may be worth a visit if you have time to spare and want to boost your North Peru trip list. Often Peruvian Thickknee, Tawny-throated Dottorel and Burrowing Owl can be spotted on the way there and the marshes themselves hold White-tufted Grebe, Cinnamon Teal, many waders, as well as Wren-like Rushbird and Many-colored Rush-Tyrant in the reeds. A view over the ocean usually adds Peruvian Pelicans, Peruvian and Brown Boobies and Kelp Gulls.
Chaparri Ecological Reserve and Tinajones Reservoir (Lambayeque).
Chaparri Ecological Reserve is a 34,412 hectare community-owned and managed protected area. Chaparri offers the visitor good birding and is undoubtedly the easiest place to see White-winged Guans. The species has been introduced here and the valley now contains a mixture of reintroduced birds, their wild born off-spring and a couple of wild origin birds that have joined them. The reserve now has a population of 40 birds in two valleys with an unknown number in nearby areas. The reserve is also probably the best place to find the rare Tumbes Tyrant with four territories being well known by local guides. Other notable birds include: Andean Condor, King Vulture, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Solitary Eagle, Peruvian Screech-Owl, Scrub Nightjar, Tumbes Hummingbird, Purple-collared Woodstar, Short-tailed Woodstar, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Necklaced Spinetail, Collared Antshrike, Elegant Crescent-chest, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant, Rufous Flycatcher, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, White-tailed Jay, Cinereous Finch, Sulphur-throated Finch, White-headed Brush-Finch, Black-capped Sparrow, Tumbes Sparrow, White-edged Oriole.
Some 196 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve to date. The reserve is also home to Spectacled Bears, Sechuran Foxes, Puma, Ocelot and Pampas Cat. The reserve has three visitor trails and a vulture feeding station in the core area but the entrance road and even community fields en route also provide good birding. Visits to the reserve must be coordinated in advance as there is a limit of 30 visitors per day. All visitors must pay an entrance fee (which goes to the community) of 10 soles per person and contract a local guide for 20 soles per group (one guide for up to 10 people). Day visits can be coordinated by calling Sr. Juan Carrasco +74 433194. The Chaparri EcoLodge, owned by Peruvian photographer Heinz Plenge and his family, is now operating in the reserve, providing overnight accommodation.
Adjacent to the Chaparri Reserve the Tinajones Reservoir is a good site for watching waterbirds in northern Peru and often support hundreds of ducks and waders. There is currently a project underway that will create some permanent lagoons with hides in the near future. This is probably the most reliable site for Black-faced Ibis in the northern coastal area. Great Grebe is resident on the open water. Other notable species recorded have included Chilean Flamingo, Wood Stork, Puna Ibis, Least Bittern, Comb Duck,