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Bariloche in November

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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 13:07   #1
Wimpy
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Bariloche in November

Greetings
We are on a very organised tour of Argentina, it is a holiday, not a birding tour, but we are trying to pack in as much birding as we can. BA is under control, El Calafate reserve is not far from our hotel and Iguazu is yet to be confirmed.

But we have one day free in Bariloche. I have two sites in mind, Neumeyer refuge area and around Los Juncos, both extracted from eBirds.

My question, is it worth hiring a car as we have one day spare?

Are there any other birding sites that anyone can recommend?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have.
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Old Saturday 20th July 2019, 13:40   #2
pbjosh
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Hi Wimpy,

I think a car rental would be a good way to go. Taxis would be much more complicated with returns, and I should think far more expensive. Buses are not an option for birding in that area. Habitat is pretty similar over large areas there so you might find yourself moving around a bit looking for activity, avoiding wind, etc, so again the car will be convenient. I can recommend Modena Car Rental in Bariloche. A smaller independent company they can meet you with a car where you like and pick it up from you after, and when I was there with my mother their rates were very competitive.

As far as where to bird, I do not know the Neumeyer area but anywhere far enough south of Bariloche (20-30 mins) gets you out of invasive pines and housing and into PN Nahuel Huapi, where you can have pretty similar birding for forest species pretty much anywhere you can find a nice quite road or trail to hike. You aren't likely to see a ton of birds (species or individuals) but then again none of the local species are particularly difficult with the exception of Rufous-tailed Hawk, which would take a lot of luck to get in one day.

The Los Juncos area will get you more of the Patagonian Steppe species, a totally different suite of birds than in the forest. I haven't birded exactly there but I've birded around that end of the lake and a bit further north. As soon as you turn from 40 onto 23 and get clear of the last houses, I should think you can already start driving slower and scanning for perched birds on the wires/posts/rocks.

Best of luck, let me know if I can help with anything else, I live in BA and know most of Argentina pretty well from a birding perspective.

Cheers,
Josh
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Old Wednesday 24th July 2019, 12:57   #3
Wimpy
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Argentina

Hi Josh
Thanks for your knowledge and advice. I have looked on eBirds for any hotspots near Bariloche and that's how I came up with the two sites I mentioned. I think a day to ourselves in a hire car is the way to go.
We are on an organised tour of Argentina. I think we have BA sorted. I have found a company called Buenos Dias Birding for Costanera Sur and a trip out to Ceibas. I don't know if you have heard of this birding group?
Is Costanera Sur safe to walk around without a guide?
El Calafate is full-on but I think we can find an afternoon to visit their local reserve. Finally we have a day spare in Iguazu which I think we can fill with another tour.

Finding field guides is difficult. I have a copy of "Birds of Argentina and Uruguay" by Narosky which seems reasonable, but I wonder if there is a better one, they seem very thin on the ground!

We are very excited about our first visit to Argentina, in fact, our first visit to South America.

Once again thanks for your help any more advice would certainly welcome.
Roger
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Old Wednesday 24th July 2019, 14:08   #4
pbjosh
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Hi Roger,

Here's another page that might be of use for planning what birds are likely in Rio Negro province:
https://ebird.org/barchart?byr=1900&...&emo=12&r=AR-R

It's for the whole province, and you obviously won't see birds in the wrong habitat, but it's a good way to see what to maybe expect on a higher level.

As far as field guides go, you have the only one. There is no other field guide for Argentina, unfortunately. To supplement, the Ridgely guide "Birds of South America: Passerines", and the Princeton guide "Birds of South America: Non-Passerines: Rheas to Woodpeckers" are the two best quality additions if desired, but carrying three books is obviously bulky and the second two cover a huge number of species that are not found in Argentina as well.

I don't know Horacio personally (Buenos Dias Birding) but he seems to have a good reputation from what I hear. Costanera Sur is plenty safe. As many parts of the world I wouldn't show your camera and binoculars around town but once you're in the reserve it's totally safe. Taxis to get to and from the reserve are safe, easy, and reliable, and operate with an electronic meter. I go frequently and have never seen or heard of any incident of any kind. Heading out of town to the Ceibas area will net you a ton of species and having a local guide does help out there - there are mazes of dirt roads and while the whole area is birdy, a guide will really increase the number of harder/special birds seen. I've birded out there a good bit but have also spent a fair amount of time wandering around exploring and still don't know where the stakeouts or best areas are for many of the harder species.

In Iguazu a local guide will certainly help you see more if you're not familiar with Neotropical rainforest birds and birding. If you wanted to bird for yourself, taking advantage of the "second day at half price" entrance to the National Park and hiking the "Macuco" trail is a nice birding site, with or without a guide for that matter. I don't know many of the guides in the area but Guy Cox (Toucan Birding) is a Brit expat and local expert who guides. The folks from Karadya Lodge also guide and have a good reputation. I'm sure there are more, of course, and just because I don't know of them doesn't mean they might not also be good!

Any other questions feel free to ask, happy to help.
Josh
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Old Friday 26th July 2019, 19:08   #5
Wimpy
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Thanks again Josh, all the help is great. I have already contacted Guy about a tour in Iguazu, but have yet to firm up a definite tour with him.
We are both excited about our holiday and getting our first trip to South America.
I may well contact you again if any issues arise, but in the meantime, thanks again.

Roger
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