Buena Vista Pumping Station

by A. Bennett Hennessey and Lawrence Rubey

The town of Buena Visit has let the Marsh dry up. The area holds few of the past aquatic birds and is now interesting as open cattle pasture edged by forest. A phenomenal high number of Chestnut-fronted Macaws but not much else. We are looking into other close to Santa Cruz alternatives.

The Pump station is a two lane almost traffic less road that travels through a marsh with roadside scrub and some open area, all bordered by tropical forest.  Consequently, there are opportunities for all sorts of birds in this area. This site is a great morning visit but can also be busy in the afternoon, especially with the ever present and active Hoatzin. The best bird in the area is the rare Great-billed Seed-Finch.

There is an observational platform on the Marsh that can be great as the sun goes down. Most of your birding can be done along the road.  Some of the more interesting birds of the area are Southern Screamer, Snail Kite, Yellow-headed Caracara, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Rufous-sided Crake, Yellow-throated Spinetail, Greater Thornbird, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, and Black-capped Donacobius. Before sundown, drive to the main gas station on the main road traveling away from the town towards Cochabamba. At certain times of the year, the mango trees hold a night roost of hundreds of Crested, Russet-backed and Olive Oropendolas. It is a great spectacle to withness as sun sets. 

Logistics: The Pumping Station is 105 km from Santa Cruz along the New road to Cochabamba to the town of Buena Vista.  From the main plaza any local taxi can drop you off and pick you up for under $5.  It is only a 5-minute drive There are daily buses and taxis leaving the Santa Cruz terminal de buses to Buena Vista.