Sunday, 26 June 2016

Argentina Reserva Punta Lara - Bird tour day part 1


I had beed put in contact with Mark Pearman by Paul Smith with a view to having a days birding searching for some of the more difficult species in the area. Mark came to live in Argentina twenty-five years ago and is a respected ornithologist and tour guide. Anita and I were picked up from our hotel at seven and the race was on to get out of the city before the traffic chaos began.

Prior to the trip I had sent Mark a list of birds that were lifers and he had memorised this giving me a likely hit list for the day. The target bird of the day was to be the Red and White Crake which is a tricky species to see!

We made our way to Punta Lara a nature reserve which as well as acres of prime wetland featured a graveyard for stolen / wrecked cars. The early morning start also added an eerie mist which lurked between patches of reeds.  

A Bar-winged Cinclodes was the first lifer on the list followed by a Spectacled Tyrant that showed amazing white wings when in flight. Freckled-breasted Thornbird, Sulphur-bearded Spinetail, Spix’s Spinetail and Long-tailed Reed-finch were soon added to this rapidly growing list.

A pair of White-tipped Plantcutter showed complete contrast in plumage between the male and female who traded places as they watched our every move.

As we reached a taller area of reeds the target for this area a Curve-billed Reedhaunter wasted no time in announcing itself posing for pictures in the thick reeds.

We made of way through a small wooded area which seemed quiet and then viewed the River Plate which had numerous Brown-hooded and the odd Kelp Gull. It also had what was to be the bonus bird of the day a Spot-winged Pigeon which seemed to amuse Mark as I ticked this bird and ran!

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