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OUTINGS

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 15 blocks (1 mile), East

A well known, very easy to walk and productive urban wildlife refugee. Birding starts even before entering the reserve in parks with tall, shady, tipa trees, araucarias, poplars. The reserve lies over the coast of Rio de la Plata, although few birds here.

Waterfowl is the highlight. After massive removal of vegetation and refill of water of the 2 km long (+1 mile) lagoon alongside the public sidewalk, waterfowl is back after years of missing it. Three species of Coots , 2 Gallinules, Gay Necked Wood Rail, several species of ducks (teals, tree ducks, pochard), Coscoroba and Black necked Swan, jacana, herons and also water passerines like Blackbirds, Rushbird, even the scarce Many Colored Rush Tyrant, Sooty Tyrannulet, etc. Also Roadisde and Bay Winged Hawks, parrots, Picazuro Pigeon, etc. Other fauna lizards, cavies, water turtles, coypus.

NOTE Open 8 AM to 6 PM. Closes on Mondays and some holidays (Christmas, New Year), on election days (always on Sundays) and sometimes after strong rains…

Very close to downtown, is easy to do it on one’s own. Safe during daylight.

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 15 km (10 miles).

Within town and in the nearby outskirts, you can get good diversity of birds, being a great introduction for Argentine birdlife. Visiting 2 spots: public university grounds (named Ciudad Universitaria) and Vicente López Reserve.

Urban Reserves frequently seen birds: herons, coots (up to 3 species), teals and ducks, rails (Plumbeous, Rufous-sided Crake, Gray-necked Wood Rail). Raptors (two Caracaras, Roadside and Bay winged Hawk), doves and pigeons, parrots and parakeets (several species from northern Argentina naturalized in town), Guira Cuckoo, Golden Breasted and Checkered Woodpecker, Glittering Bellied Hummingbird, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, “park” birds (Monk parakeet, Rufous-bellied and Creamy-bellied Thrush, Rufous Hornero, Chalk Browed Mockingbird, Great Kiskadee, Cattle Tyrant), Masked Gnatcatcher, cowbirds and blackbirds (Shiny, Baywinged and Screaming Cowbirds, Eapulet or Variable Oriole, Solitary Black Cacique), Red Crested Cardinal, etc etc

Extension to Ribera Norte Reserve: On short notice can be offered an optional 2 hours extension to visit this nice spot with a marsh and a patch of thick forest. Not available in advance as the reserve is closed to public very frequently because of muddy trails (after rains or high tides).

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 70 km (45 miles), NE.

Main habitat of this area belonging to the National Parks system, is a grassland, seasonally flooded in part. Grassland can be both short or tall (in this case huge Pampas Grass), and wet parts vegetation includes thick grasses, reeds and cattail. There is little open water in ditches alongside the road.  Patches of native forest add plant diversity attractive to a variety of songbirds.

Most of the birding here is along a 5km long public, dirt road. Expect scattered traffic. Birding the road itself takes 3 hours average.

A typical destination to look for the scarce Straight billed Reedhaunter, it is well worth even without it. Raptors (Long winged Harrier, Chimango and Southern Caracaras, Roadside Hawk), Giant Wood Rail, Picazuro Pigeon, Picui Ground Dove, White faced and Bare Faced Ibis, Southern Screamer (normally distant), Southern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Whistling Heron, Bronze tailed Hummingbird, Golden Breasted and Checkered Woodpecker, furnariids like Freckle breasted Thornbird, Curve Billed Reedhaunter and Sulphur bearded Spinetail, Rufous Capped Antshrike, Spectacled Tyrant, Sooty Tyrannulet, Black-and-Rufous Warbling Finch, Great Pampas Finch, Long tailed Reed Finch, Diademed Tanager (easier in winter), Small-billed Elaenia, Brown and Yellow Marshbird, Yellow-winged and Scarlet-headed Blackbird, etc.

CONNECTIONS: Otamendi can be combined with Urban Reserves, Costanera Sur and Southern Entre Rios outings

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 160 km (100 miles) North.

Less than 2 hours north of Buenos Aires you get to this typical cattle raising area, undeveloped, open, with diverse habitats and a very rich birdlife. Mostly a savanna with scattered thorny (Acacia type) trees and patches of humid grassland, reedbeds and riverside forest. Miles of dirt roads allow easy birding, alternating walking and driving, and also spotting birds from the car.

The area is markedly “birdy” with abundant individuals and good levels of activity even in midday and every season.

BIRDS: Raptors, herons and storks, woodpeckers and many species of passerines, like furnariids, tyrants, finches and blackbirds among a lot more birds.

Whistling Heron, Savanna Hawk, Snail Kite, Maguari Stork, Southern Screamer, Yellow Billed, Ringed and Brazilian Teal, White Fronted Woodpecker, Scimitar Billed Woodcreeper, Brown Cacholote, Small Billed Canastero, Tufted Tit Spinetail, Chotoy Spinteail , White Monjita, Yellow Browed Tyrant, Suiriri Flycatcher, White Crested Tyrannulet, Grassland Yellow Finch, Golden Billed Saltator, Red Crested Cardinal, Sayaca Tanager, Chestnut Capped Blackbird, etc.

Spring/summer: several swallows and martins, Fork Tailed, Vermilion and Crowned Slaty Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird.

Recommended lodging: staying at Posada San Isidro optimizes use of time.

SHORTER OPTION: 9 hours, Southern Entre Rios get the most of this great area travelling a bit less

2-DAYS OPTION: the relaxed way to do it, with overnight at a cozy farm lodge in Gualeguaychu, adding stops at Perdices and other locations. Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 220 km (140 miles) North.

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 160 km (100 miles).

Heading south along the río de la Plata, you get to flat country with a mix of native grassland, mudflats and marshes which has suffered littlte change despite the widespread agricultural development of the pampas.

There are good chances for pampas typical birds like Spotted Nothura, Great Pampas Finch, Field Flicker, Firewood Gatherer, Brown and Yellow Blackbirds, Grassland Yellow Finch and also possibly the scarce grassland specialities Hudson´s Canastero, Bay capped Wren Spinetail, Gras Wren and the rare South American Painted Snipe. Mudflats offer habitat for waders (Hudsonian Godwit, White Rumped and Pectoral Sandpiper, Two Banded Plover), Snowy Crowned and Gull Billed terns, Black Hooded and Gray Headed Gulls. With marked changes in numbers, mostly related to rainfalls, waterfowl can be very diverse in ducks and teals, swans, coots, grebes, herons, ibises, spoonbilds, storks, etc.

Distance from downtown Buenos Aires: 350 km (220 miles) S.

An upgrade to Samborombón Bay daytrip (see description) in a relaxed way. Adding Greater Rhea and a larger variery of waders and terns plus Flamingoes, Olrog´s Gull, Black Skimmers, possible Stripe bakced Bittern, pipits, etc. Lodging at a simple hotel in a tiny, tranquil country village.

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