Tuesday, 12 February 2013

An Outing North of Buenos Aires

On Sunday, Barb and I met up with two young naturalists, Leonel and Martina.  I had contacted Leonel through Birding Pal and he suggested taking us to two reserves north of Buenos Aires.  The plan sounded great to me and even appealed to Barb who is not a birder.
Martina and Leonel with me at the entrance to Ribera Norte
We started birding at Ribera Norte in San Isidro.  The reserve borders the River Plata and features various habitats – extensive wetlands including a small lagoon, some dense forested areas and reedy areas along the river.
Lagoon at Ribera Norte
At the lagoon, there is a raised blind and we stayed there for about 30 minutes enjoying the views.  On the lagoon there were Common Gallinules, Brazilian Teals, a Striated Heron and a couple of Coypus (my second Argentine mammal.  Thanks Steve – that was a Brazilian Guinea Pig that I saw last week which the local guide book calls a South American Guinea Pig). 
Brazilian Teal

Beyond the lagoon, there were Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and a Cocoi Heron in the trees.
Cocoi Heron
While walking through the forest, we came across species such as Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Tropical Parula and had numerous glimpses of the Gray-necked Wood-Rail. In the reeds at the river we found my lifer for the day – a Wren-like Rushbird.
Wren-like Rushbird
Our next stop was a small reserve in Vicente López which is just south of San Isidro.  At a playing field on the way to the reserve, we saw a mixed flock of Shiny Cowbirds, European Starlings, Cattle Tyrants and Southern Lapwing.  This reserve featured a large lagoon with a trail around it.  On the lagoon, there was Wattled Jacana with 3 young ones and a Black-crowned Night-Heron juvenile.  On the trail, we found Sooty Tyrannulet, Sayaca Tanager and Green-winged Saltator.
Birding in the Vicente López researve
After a pleasant lunch, we made a couple of stops in Palermo on the way back to our apartment.  By now, the temperature was over 30o C so the birding was quiet.  Still we found a Dark-billed Cuckoo, Limpkin and got better looks at the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper.
Dark-billed Cuckoo
Narrow-billed Woodcreeper
All in all, it was a great introduction to some great urban birding locations and we are very thankful to Leonel and Martina for taking us around and patiently answering all of our questions.  They not only told us about the birds but also the mammals, trees, flowers and butterflies and general ecology of the area. 

The bird names that I use in this blog are based on the most recent Clements update and, as such, do not always correspond to those in the Argentina guidebook.  For example, the guidebook uses Brazilian Duck instead of Brazilian Teal and White-necked Heron instead of Cocoi Heron. 




  1. Very nice pics! Thank you for the great time we've spent together. Best regards and keep enjoying your stay in Argentina!

  2. Good stuff, Brian! You're off and running!