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Friday 12th October - Saturday 3rd November 2012

Mark Pearman

Northern Argentina 2012 was the latest episode of this well travelled tour, where a great variety of localised and quality species are on offer, and with a list of well over 500 species “seen” on each of the last nine consecutive tours. Highlights in the north-west included Red-faced Guan, Black-legged Seriema, Horned Coot, Wedge-tailed Hilstar, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, White-naped Xenopsaris, White-throated Antpitta, Zimmer’s Tapaculo, Rufous-throated Dipper, Short-tailed Finch, Red-backed Sierra-Finch, Tucuman Mountain-Finch and a clean sweep on all the available endemcs. The north-east produced such highly sought-after species as Black-fronted Piping-Guan, perched Biscutate and Sooy Swifts, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, Long-trained Nightjar, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Canebrake Groundcreeper, Black-and-white Monjita, Strange-tailed Tyrant, Spotted Bamboowren and Yellow Cardinal. As usual, our itinerary was a journey of 6000 km during which we really got to know each of the highly varied ecosystems from Yungas cloud forest, monte and badland cactus deserts, high puna and altiplano, dry and humid chaco, the Iberá marsh sytem (Argentina’s secret pantanal) and finally a week of rainforest birding in Misiones culminating at the mind-blowing Iguazú falls. While all of these habitats are shrinking, we were able to travel through vast sectors of uninhabited wilderness giving us some peace of mind. It would be true to say that we also had our fair share of beef, and enjoyed fine wines and hospitality.