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Jake Mohlmann on his recent tour, Argentina: The South - Pampas, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

February 20: Jake Mohlmann on his recent tour, Argentina: The South - Pampas, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

We were fortunate to cross paths with 258 species of birds and 14 different mammal on our exploration of southern Argentina's vast wetlands, deserted steppes, and southern Beech forests. We spent our first few days exploring the verdant grasslands east of Buenos Aires where lots of birds were breeding. The reeds included Curve-billed Reedhaunters, Stripe-backed Bittern, and one of the most wanted birds on the tour, Many-colored Rush Tyrant. One grassy back road near La Corvina produced the regional Hudson’s Canastero, a family of Bay-capped Wren Spinetails, and for my first time on this tour a male Bearded Tachuri.

One of the most wanted birds, Many-colored Rush Tyrant

A male Bearded Tachuri was a welcome surprise!

Overlooking Punta Delgada we sat high on top of a sand dune cliffside towering 200 feet over the plentiful Southern Sea Lions and Southern Elephant Seals all resting on the beach, some with recently born young. Southern Giant Petrels fought over recent afterbirths and Snowy Sheathbills added white to an otherwise brown canvas. Over 130 Elegant Crested Tinamous were tallied on our drive around the Valdez Peninsula and the Gray-bellied ShrikeTyrants, Darwin’s Nothuras, and numerous Lesser Rheas weren’t bad either.

Elegant Crested Tinamou

The ‘Land of Fire’ at the end of the world awaited us with its beautiful scenery and amazing bird life. On the boat trip down the Beagle Channelm accompanied by Black-browed Albatrosses, seething breeding colonies of Imperial and Magellanic Cormorants were side-by-side and the sizeable Magellanic Penguin Colony had dozens of nesting Gentoo Penguins, and even more exciting, a regal King Penguin. Wonderful days were spent exploring Tierra del Fuego National Park where Magellanic Woodpecker and Spectacled Duck were gawked over. Outside of Ushuaia we also hiked up above tree line to see foraging Ground Tyrants and colorful Yellow Bridled Finches.

A Black-browed Albatross courses close to the boat


Yellow-bridled Finch foraging amongst cushion plants


A Spectacled Duck reveals its speculum

The weather ended up being perfect throughout the entire trip and our group was particularly congenial. This all made my job even easier and I’ll keep my fingers crossed in hopes that every year's tour is as good as this one.

Our delighted group in the scenic Tierra del Fuego National Park

Posted: February 20, 2018