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Peru - Ite Wetlands
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Thursday, 27 September 2012 00:17
Written by Neil Gray

Have just spent a few hours in the Ite Wetlands straddling the estuary of the Locumba River in the Tacna region of southern Peru. The wetlands are the result of an environmental remediation programme that have transformed over 700 million tonnes of copper tailings into the largest and most bird-diverse wetland along the Peruvian coastline. They measure some 12km long by 1.5km wide.


Each of the ecozones warrants a full day itself, and I just skimmed the surface in the few hours that I had available. I was able to see some of the area around the Locumba estuary which comprises active evaporation pans and is the best place for waders. It is flanked by a large area of saltmarsh. At the western end are large reed-fringed lagoons, habitat of the waterfowl and herons. Then of course there is the beach itself and immediate offshore area for all the fly-bys, and just to the west of the wetlands themselves rocks and cliffs with roosting seabirds.

I managed to tick off 40 of the over 140 species known to occur here, with 13 of these personal lifers. The sighting of the day was no fewer than 11 Wilson's Phalarope. Let's hope I get another chance to visit this incredible birding venue.

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 January 2013 09:47 )