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A Very Casual World List - part II: Argentina (1 Viewer)

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Picking up from Parts 1 through 8b, here:
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=382373

Entry into Argentina was via taxi from Foz de Iguazu, Brasil. We had to get an exit visa on the Brasilian side of the bridge before proceeding to Argentine customs.

We'd planned two days in Puerto Iguazu, but our airline (FlyBondi) cancelled our flight and put us on an earlier one, so we had to rush a bit. Despite the stress, we had a great time on the Argentine side of the falls. We were disappointed to be kicked out of the park at 6 PM, just as the light was getting good, without having seen everything.

Bird-wise, not much new to report: a fancy guan: black-fronted piping-guan. Pretty bird but my photo came out blurry. I got better photos of a plush-crested jay, and an anhinga, plus the ever-present coatis.
 
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nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 2: Cordoba

This was a very brief stopover on our way north, to say hello to some old friends. Walking in the park, I decided to snap a few pictures of birds.

As I'd hoped, at least one of the doves was new to me: plain-breasted ground-dove

Sticking around a little longer, I soon noticed some more obviously unfamiliar birds: brown cacholotes.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
This was a very brief stopover on our way north, to say hello to some old friends. Walking in the park, I decided to snap a few pictures of birds.

As I'd hoped, at least one of the doves was new to me: plain-breasted ground-dove

Sticking around a little longer, I soon noticed some more obviously unfamiliar birds: brown cacholotes.

Not sure what the dove is, but it wouldn't be Plain-breasted Ground Dove if it was in Cordoba
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 3: Salta

Having read about Salta’s history as a mule depot on the overland route to Potosi, I was expecting a half-derelict colonial town on the edge of arid badlands. Instead, Salta turned out to be a thriving town in a region of fertile cropland, with scenic hills in the near distance.

It was a pleasant place to stay – bustling but not terribly crowded or noisy, tourist-friendly but not Disney-fied, and not a single plastic reindeer to be seen. Our only problem in Salta (same throughout Argentina) was adjusting to the daily rhythm. Most restaurants don’t even open for dinner until 8 PM, which is near bedtime for us.

In Salta, we cheated on the "very casual" part of the list. My wife hired a driver who happened to be an ornithologist, and he took us to Dique Campo Alegre, a reliable spot for waterfowl. We didn't get close enough for great photos, but Fabricio (our driver) brought along binoculars and a spotting scope. In a matter of minutes he'd ticked off 45 species. I did my best to help: "There's a duck over there that's different" "Yes, that's the teal I mentioned."

The white geese I'd paid no attention to were Coscoroba Swans; the coots were two new species; there were five species of egret or heron, and on and on. There were some pipits (new species for me), thrushes (ditto), two species of caracara, three new species of ibis.

Fabricio got excited about some species I thought were dull: an american golden-plover is apparently a rarity at this location, and an andean gull shouldn't have been in breeding plumage here.

I took a few record shots, and most of those were too ugly to be worth spending the time to upload, but here are a wattled jacana, some fulvous whistling-ducks, one of the egrets, an ibis, that andean gull, some cormorants, and a roadside hawk.

Later we saw a couple of seriema, but unfortunately my auto-focus caught a wire fence in front of them.
 
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nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 3b: Salta continued.

Fabricio next drove us north along an extremely narrow road to a picnic spot in the hills. Here he identified 24 species, usually making the ID by call before we could even see the bird.

In the trees I largely gave up on my camera and enjoyed the views through binoculars, but I got lucky with two birds out in the open: a grayish baywing and a woodpecker (Fabricio noted two golden-olive woodpeckers at this location, so I assume this is one).
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 3c: Salta further continued.

On our way back to town Fabricio stopped at a park with a pond, specifically so I could see Southern Screamer in the wild. That photo was disappointing, but I got decent shots of a White Monjita (the name means "little nun"), a silver teal, brazilian teal (with coot) and an andean duck. Fabricio counted 29 species there.

The next day Fabricio took me into the hills near San Lorenzo. Conditions here were not at all conducive to photography, and even the binoculars were sometimes too much power in the dense foliage. We saw several tanagers, flycatchers, elaineas, thrushes ... a colorful assortment of woodland birds. When I checked Fabricio's list of 45 species, I realized that the blue-gray tanagers I've been seeing on this trip are Sayaca Tanagers, not Blue-Gray. I hadn't tried very hard to photograph them, since I had so many great Blue-Gray close-ups from Costa Rica...

Speaking of photos, I got a competent photo of a broad-winged hawk passing overhead, which apparently is a species that was not recorded (simply never correctly identified) in Argentina until relatively recently, so it's a useful record. I also got lucky shots of a golden-billed saltator and a white-barred piculet.
 
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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
The linked pic of a woodpecker looks like Golden-breasted

I agree with Larry's opinion. Alternative name for this taxon is Green-barred Woodpecker, if you don't like splitting the two. I personally am dubious about this split but have never looked into it in any great detail.
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Yep, my mistake. Both the baywing and the woodpecker in my linked photo were seen at another park where we stopped briefly on the way back to town, so they weren't included on Fabricio's checklist.

Passing note: hooray for free airport wifi! Argentina so far has a remarkable record of cancelling or otherwise changing flights (not to mention the ferry between Buenos Aires and Colonia, where the delay was handled so poorly there was nearly a riot), but the airport has become my preferred location for checking email and otherwise catching up with communications.
 
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nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 4: Purmamarca

This was a brief side trip from Salta, to do some light hiking and check out the salt flats (the imaginatively named Salinas Grandes) over the hills. The scenery made it a highlight of my month-long journey so far.

Bird-wise, while crossing the hills I saw a brown-backed mockingbird, a black-hawk, and various vultures. On the descent toward Salinas Grandes I spotted a scrum of photographers with long lenses closely inspecting a cliff face, but decided there wasn't enough room left by the side of the road. Nothing reported on ebird that I noticed...

In purmamarca itself there was a mockingbird (which one?) and one of the darkcowbirds. Also, in the town square, were some small ground-doves that I'm sure were new to me, but I haven't taken the time to ID by range or featurers. (Grayish overall, white forward edge to folded wing...)
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina-ish part 5: Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

A side trip from Buenos Aires by ferry.

Brief stay, watched the sunset, hung out at the beach, didn't do much else.

An obvious new bird was spot-winged pigeon, which sounds like a baritone version of a rock pigeon.

By the whale skeleton there was an oriole-like bird eating seeds: brown-and-yellow marshbird?
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 4 3/4: Buenos Aires

Oops, went out of order there.

Buenos Aires is a fine place for (recent) history and culture, but not exactly a birding paradise. Only two new birds in the course of nearly a week.

In the Japanese Garden I spotted a yellow-billed teal being chased by some amorous mallard drakes. It escaped by flying just a couple of feet up, onto a rock. (The mallards had been clipped, apparently.)

By the docks were plenty of blue-and-white swallows.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
In purmamarca itself there was a mockingbird (which one?) and one of the darkcowbirds. Also, in the town square, were some small ground-doves that I'm sure were new to me, but I haven't taken the time to ID by range or featurers. (Grayish overall, white forward edge to folded wing...)

Patagonian Mockingbird, Shiny Cowbird

The Doves were presumably/probably Picui Ground-Dove
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
.

Your Roadside Hawk is a Savannah Hawk.


D'oh! I had two marginal hawk photos, picked the slightly better one to publish. I figured the reddish wings were distinctive enough that I knew which one it was...
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Argentina part 6: Bariloche

Sort of a younger, smaller Geneva, or a grander Lake Placid. Pleasant vacation spot, if you avoid the crowded town itself (and avoid parking tickets, which will earn you a trip to the local "court" located above the bus station).

Out lakeside bedroom was ideal for spotting waterfowl. There was a mallard who tamely sat beside beachgoers, looking for all the world like a pet dog. But further offshore were coots and grebes. Great grebe was easy to identify, and I think most of the smaller grebes were white-tufted. The coots were harder to ID from a distance, but certainly included red-gartered coots. There were also several gulls I didn't try very hard to ID...

Not the first sighting, but got good close-up photos of a Chimango caracara as well as a Southern Caracara.

First sight and great close-ups: ashy-headed goose.

In the hotel garden were austral thrush and a couple of mysteries. The first a sparrow-sized bird with a black head and muddy yellowish belly - I got good photos of the same species later, so it'll be easy if I can figure out what family to look in. ,The second, I glimpsed only briefly from below. It was about thrush-sized with a dark brown, slightly streaked breast, and a strong bill like a kingfisher or woodpecker. Can't make it match either of those, and I suspect it was interested in a nearby berry bush, not fish or insects.

Finally, there were various vultures overhead much of the time. On top of one of the chairlifts, somebody confidently ID'ed a condor. He was wrong in that case, but having seen condors later I suspect I missed a few in the distance. At long range, against a bright sky, they're sort of intermediate, in shape and habits, between turkey vultures and black vultures.

Edit: also, plenty of buff-necked ibis, same as in much of Argentina and Brasil. These were not especially shy, but somehow I never had my camera handy when they were close, a trend that would continue for a while.
 
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THE_FERN

Well-known member
Oops, went out of order there.

Buenos Aires is a fine place for (recent) history and culture, but not exactly a birding paradise. Only two new birds in the course of nearly a week.

In the Japanese Garden I spotted a yellow-billed teal being chased by some amorous mallard drakes. It escaped by flying just a couple of feet up, onto a rock. (The mallards had been clipped, apparently.)

By the docks were plenty of blue-and-white swallows.

Grey-breasted Martin: the swallow has a different face shape and a clean, white sharply demarcated throat
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
Sort of a younger, smaller Geneva, or a grander Lake Placid. Pleasant vacation spot, if you avoid the crowded town itself (and avoid parking tickets, which will earn you a trip to the local "court" located above the bus station).

Out lakeside bedroom was ideal for spotting waterfowl. There was a mallard who tamely sat beside beachgoers, looking for all the world like a pet dog. But further offshore were coots and grebes. Great grebe was easy to identify, and I think most of the smaller grebes were white-tufted. The coots were harder to ID from a distance, but certainly included red-gartered coots. There were also several gulls I didn't try very hard to ID...

Not the first sighting, but got good close-up photos of a Chimango caracara as well as a Southern Caracara.

First sight and great close-ups: ashy-headed goose.

In the hotel garden were austral thrush and a couple of mysteries. The first a sparrow-sized bird with a black head and muddy yellowish belly - I got good photos of the same species later, so it'll be easy if I can figure out what family to look in. ,The second, I glimpsed only briefly from below. It was about thrush-sized with a dark brown, slightly streaked breast, and a strong bill like a kingfisher or woodpecker. Can't make it match either of those, and I suspect it was interested in a nearby berry bush, not fish or insects.

Finally, there were various vultures overhead much of the time. On top of one of the chairlifts, somebody confidently ID'ed a condor. He was wrong in that case, but having seen condors later I suspect I missed a few in the distance. At long range, against a bright sky, they're sort of intermediate, in shape and habits, between turkey vultures and black vultures.

Your grebe looks more like silvery to me. The gull is a kelp gull
 

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