Las Delicias Urban Wetland Tour Details
This tour visits the wetland that marks the beginning of the bay of Colonia. It is completed on foot and has a medium difficulty. We will be going down a stairway which is somewhat steep, along a concrete ledge, and the rest of the path is a little unkept, please consider this if you struggle a bit getting around, but it shouldn´t be an issue for most visitors. The site was once a beach, but is now overgrown with reeds and other aquatic vegetation. The walk takes you along the borders of the marsh, through a forested trail and out to an open beach, all within meters of the Rambla (the riverside road) and a few blocks from the city center. With a little luck, some fourty species can be seen here, and If you want to spot some shy reed-dwelling passerines without leaving town, this is the place for you.
After meeting at an arranged pick-up point, we head to the Rambla. When we pass the stadium we´ll be walking along the coastal treeline that borders the marsh. We´ll be at midstory height, so we might see a White-spotted Woodpecker or a Narrow-billed Woodcreeper exploring the branches. A small stairway leads to an old roofed platform from where to oversee the marsh. This spot is where we might get lucky with some reed dwellers: Wren-like Rushbird, Curve-billed Reedhaunter, Sulphur-throated Spinetail, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, and Spix´s Spinetail are all members of the ovenbird family that have been sighted here. The Many-colored Rush Tyrant, Warbling Doradito, Sooty Tyrannulet and Yellow-winged Blackbird also inhabit the marsh. We´ll be keeping our ears alert for the calls of rails: Giant Wood-Rails, Plumbeous Rails, and Rufous-sided Crakes live here.
We´ll then take the forest path. The tree community is composed by a mix of native and introduced species, the largest being a pair of "Tipa" trees we´ll pass underneath. During Summer their tall canopies are visited by Streaked Flycatchers, White-winged Becards, and Chivi Vireos. The path is normally walkable, but when the level of the river is exceptionally high we might have to skip this part due to flooding. This trail is a good place to see woodland specialist White-tipped Doves and mixed-species flocks that roam the understory. These groups can be composed by Variable Antshrikes, Masked Gnatcatchers, Creamy Bellied and Rufous Bellied Thrushes, Tropical Parulas, Golden-Crowned Warblers, and Grey-throated Warbling-Finches.
The short path ends at "El Álamo" beach. A pair of Southern Lapwings will likely be waiting on the sand upon our arrival, probably accompanied by Rufous-collared Sparrows and Great Kiskadees. After a short stop at the beach for a light snack and some refreshments, we´ll start our return trip along the Rambla. From here we´ll be seeing both the marsh and the forest trail from above once again. On our way back we´ll make stops at some viewing points, which will give you a good sight of the bay. The marsh can now be seen more extensively, giving us a chance of seeing a Cocoi or Striated Heron, or a Common Gallinule. Since we´ll be above the canopy, we´ll be on the lookout for swallows: Grey-breasted and Brown-chested Martins as well as Southern Rough-winged Swallows are summer migrants, while White-rumped and Blue-and-white Swallows can be seen all year. Reaching our point of origin at the beginning of the Rambla marks the end of the tour.
This tour complements well with the Old City Tour, which visits the historical quarters of the city. There, birding is done in the picturesque setting the old city provides, and also in a riverside park forested with native trees, with the chance of spotting additional species. The marsh is also part of the Rambla Tour, although only the roofed platform overlooking the reeds is visited.
Please keep in mind that:
- Restrooms will not be available during this tour
- Bad weather conditions may cause the tour to be canceled
- Consider bringing your own binoculars, as of yet we don´t have any we can lend you
- Smoking and littering is not allowed during tours
- At the moment, tours are only held during the weekend
The tour includes:
- Spanish/English bilingual guiding services
- Picnic and refreshments
- Bird species checklist