Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Day on the Delta

Having spent most of the past two weeks in the city, we were looking forward to a boating excursion on Saturday from Tigre, a town located about 30 kilometres north of Buenos Aires city centre.  Barb did the research and found a small company, Safari Delta, which offered trips in a zodiac. This had more appeal than the big tourist boats and I figured we would see some birds as we explored some small channels.

Our trip was scheduled for noon – not ideal but reasonable given a 1 ½ trip by train and foot to get there. Our guide was to be Lucila, a young energetic lady who spoke excellent English (alas, no Spanish practice!) and we were soon on our way down a small channel.

Barb and our gude Lucila
Lucila warned us that we probably wouldn’t see too many birds because of all the weekend boaters but there couldn’t be that many … could there?
Boats on the river with Buenos Aires in the background
It turns out that all of the navigable channels on the delta have homes or cabins on them so we were never far from people.  I kept looking for birds and eventually saw a Snowy Egret, Cocoi Heron and Kiskadee – not much for such wonderful looking habitat.  Lucila took us to a quiet channel and we went for a swim in the chocolate brown water – very refreshing on a hot summer day.
Swimming in the warm (but not clear!) water
Knowing that I was keen to find some birds, Lucila then went down a shallow channel.  We could hear a few birds and watched Streaked Flycatchers swoop down for insects just above the water.  However, the channel became too shallow for the zodiac so we had to turn around.  On the way out, I spotted a Green Kingfisher hiding in the shade.
A quiet channel
To cap the afternoon off, we stopped for lunch along the river where Lucila cooked a wonderful steak (best we’ve had in Argentina so far) which I washed down with a litre of beer.  It was a great outing but not very good for birds.  If you are ever in Tigre and want to see some birds, go early and don’t go on a weekend … the habitat looks great so there should be birds around.  Below is a map of the area showing our route for the afternoon.

Our route (Buenos Aires is to the southeast)
 Hopefully I'll have some bird and/or mammal photos for the next post! 



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