Buenos Aires, Argentina Pre-trip: Jan 05—08, 2016
Pre-trip to Antarctica, South Georgia and The Falkland Islands Cruise
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A short pre-trip to the Argentine capital promises easy birding and a range of mainland birds not possible on the cruise.
A short pre-trip to our Antarctica, South Georgia, and Falkland Islands cruise visits Buenos Aires, Argentina, where participants will spend most of two fabulous days experiencing the birds of southern South America. In addition to good birding, we will enjoy authentic Argentine cuisine.
Buenos Aires is regarded by many as the finest, most sophisticated city in Latin America. An obvious European influence permeates the city’s parks, architecture, and culture. Sometimes called the “Paris of the South,” Buenos Aires has long been an enticing destination for many travelers. For birders and other natural history enthusiasts, Buenos Aires is equally compelling. Several premium birding areas are accessed from the city center in an hour or less.
We will visit two critically important bird refuges: Costanera Sur and Otamendi. Costanera Sur, an enormous preserved wetland alongside a major metropolitan park, presents a truly fantastic setting, where ponds, mudflats, and reedbeds provide important refuge to thousands of shorebirds, waders, and other waterbirds. A wide levee and several viewing platforms allow for limitless viewing, and we will spend an entire afternoon looking over the extensive habitat. With so many birds so easily seen, there simply is no better way to experience the joy of birding in Argentina.
Waterfowl are the primary attraction, as the majority of the waterfowl of southern South America occur here, a sampling of which includes Coscoroba Swan, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Rosy-billed Pochard, Red Shoveler, and Silver Teal. Gray-hooded and Brown-hooded gulls, Snowy-crowned Tern, Collared Plover, South American Snipe, and many wintering shorebirds from the Northern Hemisphere crowd the mudflats.
On the second day we’ll visit Otamendi Nature Reserve outside Buenos Aires. Otamendi is a critically important national park and protects the pampas habitats, a massive system of marshes, reedbeds, and shallow lagoons. Outside the reserve, much of this habitat type has been destroyed, lending even greater importance to this fine ecosystem. A long road traverses the length of the marshes, and we will spend almost a full day birding it from one end to the other. Birding possibilities are many and numerous, and we hope to find an impressive diversity of species. A short list of the many possibilities includes Maguari Stork, Long-winged and Cinereous harriers, Wren-like Rushbird, White-crested Tyrannulet, Spectacled Tyrant, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Grayish Baywing, and Diademed Tanager.
Meals and accommodations at a high quality hotel; easy walking on roads and trails; warm weather and dry conditions expected.