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An estancia belonging to relatives of the ex-president Alfredo Stroessner, La Graciela mixes a fascinating historical experience with some first class grassland birding.  Threatened species like Cock-tailed Tyrant, Bearded Tachuri and Sharp-tailed Tyrant can be seen here, while if you are somebody who likes an identification challenge, have a crack at some of the pipits before the guide tells you the right answer. This short break is an ideal quick trip from Asunción for those who are short on time but big on desire to see grassland birds.

Black Howler Monkey female (right) Alouatta caraya
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Main Targets:
Our main targets are the vulnerable Saffron-cowled Blackbird. Grassland specialities we would hope for are Cock-tailed Tyrant, Ochre-breasted Pipit and Sharp-tailed Tyrant. "Cappuccino" seedeaters are present only during October and November. Visiting Campo Llano may add Strange-tailed Tyrant and Short-billed and even Hellmayr´s Pipit.

Recommended duration:

To get the best from this tour we suggest at least 3 days. This short break can be completed in 2 days omitting the visit to Campo Llano.

Best time to visit:
This tour is available year round. Though it may rain at any time from September to May, the main "rainy season" is from October to November when mud can occasionally be a problem and there are more insects around. However this is also the best time of year for reptiles and amphibians, and increases the chance of seeing "cappuccino" seedeaters on passage.

(from Asunción)
Day 1 - Early visit to Bahía de Asunción. After a late breakfast we depart for Estancia La Graciela arriving in time for a late lunch. Wildlife-watching in the afternoon and night walk.
Day 2 - Morning birding and wildlife-watching in grasslands and marshes at Estancia La Graciela. Departure after lunch to Campo Llano Night drive.
Day 3 - Morning birding in forest at Estancia La Graciela. Return to Asunción and end of services.

(from Encarnación)
Day 1 - Early departure birding marshes along Ruta 1 en route. Lunch in Coronel Bogado and arrival at Estancia La Graciela mid-afternoon. Wildlife-watching in the afternoon and night walk.
Day 2 - Morning birding and wildlife-watching in grasslands and marshes at Estancia La Graciela. Departure after lunch to Campo Llano Night drive.
Day 3 - Morning birding in forest at Estancia La Graciela. Return to Encarnación and end of services.

(Itineraries are subject to change according to levels of animal activity or client´s preference.)

What else might we see?:
Departing from Asunción we will spend the early hours of the morning racking up a big species list which (depending on the time of year) may include specialities such as South American Painted Snipe, Dinelli´s Doradito, Bay-capped Wren-spinetail, as well as hosts of waders and other marshbirds. At peak times of year over 100 species in a few hours is not unusual.
Departing from Encarnación we will bird the marshes that line Ruta 1 en route to our destination. This will give us our first shot at globally-threatened birds such as Saffron-cowled Blackbird and the "cappuccino seedeaters" which may include Marsh, Dark-throated, Chestnut, Rufous-rumped and Tawny-bellied, as well as other marsh dwellers.
The grasslands at La Graciela are home to a number of rare species such as Sharp-tailed Tyrant, Lesser Grassfinch and Ochre-breasted Pipit. We´ll need more luck to see the localised Sedge Wren, Bearded Tachuri and "cappuccino seedeaters" (October to November only). Another speciality of this site is the charismatic, globally-threatened Cock-tailed Tyrant, which is at its best when performing its "aeroplane-like" display flights. Another globally-threatened tyrant with an exraordinary tail is present here too, the larger Strange-tailed. Long-winged Harrier is amongst the most conspicuous of raptors, but other species are usually around including the magestic Black-chested Buzzard-eagle, Savannah Hawk, Cinereous Harrier and White-tailed Kite. Other more widespread birds in this area include Yellowish Pipit, Large Elaenia, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Masked Gnatcatcher, Double-collared, Rusty-collared and Capped Seedeater and Tropical Kingbird. Two handsome cardinals are easy to see here too, the Red-crested and the Yellow-billed.
Situated beautifully on the Rio Tebicuary, in the wetter areas we may encounter Pinnated Bittern, Green Ibis, Ash-throated Crake and Crested Doradito amongst others while. Commoner species we would expect to see include Great and Cattle Egret, Cocoi and Whistling Heron, Maguari and Wood Stork, White-faced and Bare-faced Ibis, Great Pampa-finch, Wedge-tailed Grassfinch and Yellow-rumped Marshbird. A far more interesting wetland Icterid is one of our main targets in this area though, the globally-threatened Saffron-cowled Blackbird while Bobolink migrates through here.
The riparian forest at La Graciela houses an unsual mix of Atlantic Forest and Humid Chaco birds. Greyish and Green-winged Saltator, Orange-headed, Guira and Hooded Tanager and Barred Antshrike are all present, as well as the handsome Golden-winged Cacique and the eyecatching Crested Oropendola. Golden-green Woodpecker and Green-barred Flicker are amongst the most beautiful members of this popular family that occur, but noisy White Woodpecker and Campo Flicker will be just as likely to grab your attention. Pheasant Cuckoo is another extraordinary inhabitant of the forest here.
Addition of an afternoon in Campo Llano may bring additional pipit species with Short-billed and Hellmayr´s possible, as well as the dramtic and globally-threatened Strange-tailed Tyrant.

After dark Scissor-tailed Nightjar and Pauraque are possibilities, as well as Tropical Screech-owl. Mammals might include Black Howler Monkey, Crab-eating Fox, Neotropical River Otter and Tamandua.
What does it cost?:
The price includes pick-up from and return to Asunción hotel, accommodation, transport, food, non-alcoholic drinks and guiding fees.
It does not include travel insurance, personal expenses, alcoholic drinks or travel costs incurred before the beginning of the tour or after return to Asunción.

This short break costs 150 euros per person per day from Encarnación or Asunción. A minimum of two people is required to run this short break.

For further information or to book your tour email us at
Sharp-tailed Tyrant Culicivora caudacuta