Happy Holidays :)

Blessings for my dear birder friends!


Costanera Sur and La Plata

It was about time that I started writing about the Argentina trip.

We travelled to do my thesis papers and presentation, and also to visit some family. However, we managed to squeeze in some time for nature. We were not able to find a Buenos Aires birding guide until the very last day (sadly), but we met some cool people while we tried to capture some new-to-us birds on camera or taking notes for future id.

On rainy November 29th, Sunday and a day before my thesis presentation, we walked from our hotel to Puerto Madero. From there, we kept walking until we got to Costanera Sur, as our goal was to get into the Parque Ecológico that was behind a pond that separated the natural reserve from the avenue.

We never made it to the reserve that day as it was closed because of the rain, but we met a group of birders that were around and spent about half an hour with them. They showed us the bird guide we needed (Tito Narosky's guide for Buenos Aires and surroundings), and helped us learn some local names.

We learned that the Vermilion Flycatcher ('Turtupilín' in Peru) is called 'Churrinche' in Argentina, a Rufous Collared Sparrow is a 'Gorrión Americano' in Peru and a 'Chingolo' in Argentina, a House Wren is a 'Cucarachero común' in Peru and a 'Ratona' or 'Ratonera' in Argentina. A Great Kiskadee is called Benteveo and is quite common in Buenos Aires, while the only one we saw before was back in 2007 in Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay)

Cool group of Argentine birders and Mel

After exchanging some information we all continued our ways. It would have been great to be able to go birding with such a great group, they did ask us when were we leaving, as they met on weekends, but we were going to be on a plane by then :(

Two days after this meeting, we decided to go back to Costanera Sur, as it was a sunny day and we had tons of bug repellent by then (we got eaten that first Sunday, badly!)

Tommy and I finally got into the reserve and found some pretty cool birds, so many lifers!! It was an awesome experience.

Here's the list of all the birds we found in Costanera Sur and the Parque Ecológico those two days -first name is the Argentine name, second is the English name, third is the Latin name- and some pics that Tommy took (please be aware that I used Narosky's guide to id, some of the names may be different, but until I find more common or current names, I'll stick to Narosky's):

1) Cotorra – Monk Parakeet – Myiopsitta monachus (lifer!)
2) Torcaza – Eared dove – Zenaida auriculata
3) Golondrina ceja blanca – White-rumped swallow – Tachycineta leucorrhoa
4) Cisne cuello negro – Black-necked swan – Cygnus melancoryphus (lifer!)
5) Coscoroba – Coscoroba swan – Coscoroba coscoroba (lifer!)
6) Gallareta chica – White-winged coot – Fulica leucoptera (lifer!)
7) Pollona negra – Common gallinule – gallinula chloropus
8) Tero real – South american stilt – Himantopus melanurushimantopus
9) Paloma doméstica - Rock dove – Columba livia
10) Paloma manchada – Spot-winged pigeon – Columba maculosa
11) Ñanday – Black-hooded parakeet – Nandayus nenday (lifer!)
12) Sietevestidos – Black-and-rufous warbling-finch – Poospiza nigrorufa (lifer!)

Black-and-rufous warbling-finch

13) Cabecita negra común – Hooded siskin – Carduelis magellanica
14) Picabuey – Cattle tyrant – Machetornis rixosus
15) Piojito común – White-crested tyrannulent – Serpophaga subcristata (lifer!)
16) Hornero - Rufous hornero – Furnarius rufus (lifer!)
17) Chigolo – Rufous-collared sparrow – Zonotrichia capensis

Rufous-collared sparrow

18) Zorzal colorado – Rufous-bellied thrush – Turdus rufiventris (lifer!)
19) Carpintero bataraz chico – Checkered woodpecker – Picoides mixtus (lifer!)
20) Benteveo común – Great kiskadee – Pitangus sulphuratus
21) Tacuarita azul – Masked gnatcatcher – Polioptila dumicola

Masked gnatcatcher

22) Cardenal común – Red-crested cardinal – Paroaria coronata (lifer!)

Red-crested cardinal

23) Torcacita común – Picui ground-dove- Columbina picui (lifer!)
24) Tordo músico – Bay-winged cowbird – Molotrhus badius (lifer!)
25) Gorrión - House sparrow – Passer domesticus
26) Pirincho – Guira cuckoo – Guira guira

Guira cuckoo

27) Calandria grande – Chalk-browed mockingbird – Mimus saturninus (lifer!)

Chalk-browed mockingbird

28) Calandria real – White-banded mockingbird – Mimus triurus (lifer!)
29) Ratona común - House wren – Troglodytes aedon
30) Biguá – Neotropic cormorant – Phalacrocorax olivaceus/brasilianus
31) Picaflor común – Glittering-bellied emerald – Chlorostillbon aureoventris
32) Golondrina parda – Brown-chested martin – Phaeoprogne tapera (lifer!)
33) Sirirí pampa – White-faced whistling-duck – Dendrocygna viduata (lifer!)
34) Varillero congo – Chesnut-capped blackbird – Agelaius ruficapillus (lifer!)
35) Carancho – Southern crested-caracara – Polyborus plancus (lifer!)

Southern crested-caracara

36) Carpintero real común – Golden-breasted woodpecker – Colaptes melanolaimus (lifer!)

Golden-breasted woodpecker

37) Jilgero dorado – Saffron yellow-finch – Sicalis flaveola
38) Tordo renegrido – Shiny cowbird – Molothrus bonariensis
39) Matico – Troupial – Icterus icterus
(lifer!) - This one was awesome to find, too bad we couldn't photograph it, however, one of our new Argentine birder friends, Roberto Güller, helped us id it, when we described the bird to him he sent us a pic and there it was! A beautiful bird!
40) Chiricote - Grey-necked wood-rail - Aramides cajanea

Grey-necked wood-rail

Later on we travelled to La Plata to meet the family, on the way there we found:
1) Tero común – Southern lapwing – Vanellus chilensis
2) Garza blanca – Great egret – egretta alba
3) Benteveo común – Great kiskadee – Pitangus sulphuratus
4) Chiricote - Grey-necked wood-rail - Aramides cajanea
And a big bird with pending id.

In a few days I'll let you know about the awesome trip to Berisso and the many cool lifers we got there!


Will be back after I unpack!

Oh, and if you are curious about how it went... visit this. Ok, ok, that's in Spanish, but maybe you manage to understand a little bit ;)

I did it!! THANK YOU all for the great wishes and all your support during these past couple of years.

Here with the group that defended thesis on November 30th. I went first. It was a bit scary, but also exciting. Yes, that's me in green.

During the following weeks I'll post about the new birds we found in Buenos Aires and around. Few lifers!!