We leave Arequipa an hour before dawn to get to the Polylepis scrub above the village of Chiguata at break of dawn. A number of good birds can be found here such as Black-winged and Bare-faced Ground-Doves, Dark-winged (Creamy-winged) Canastero, Mountain Caracara, Andean Hillstar, Black Metaltail, Giant Hummingbird, White-throated, Plain-breasted and Straight-billed Earthcreepers, Cream-winged Cinclodes, Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Canyon and Cordilleran Canastero, Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Cinereous and Tamarugo Conebills and Peruvian Sierra-Finch. At the roadside we shall take our picnic breakfast while enjoying all the birds.
Higher up on at Lake Salinas, the main target is usually the three species of Flamingoes, Chilean, Andean and Puna Flamingos, however they are onlu there when there is water in the lake and this is not always the case. Water starts filling up in October-November and remains until May-June or so. But regardless, there are many other birds to look for such as Andean Goose, Yellow-billed Teal, Crested Duck, Puna Ibis, Andean Lapwing, Puna Plover, Andean Avocet, Puna Snipe, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Andean Gull, Burrowing Owl, Common Miner, White-fronted, Ochre-naped and Puna Ground-Tyrants, Andean Negrito, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch. Rarer are Horned Coot and White-throated Sierra-Finch.
We plan to make our visit at this extreme altitude relatively short, so we will soon make it back to lower altitudes to have a late picnic lunch trying to pick up species we may have missed on the way up.