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NORTHERN ARGENTINA

Thursday 15th October - Sunday 8th November 2009

Mark Pearman

Few tours cover such a varied selection of ecosystems which on this circuit include Andean cloudforest, subtropical rainforest, desert scrub, arid chaco thorn woodland, puna grass-steppe, palm savanna and the Iberá marshes; one of South America’s largest marsh systems. Our detailed itinerary through these habitats ensured that Northern Argentina 2009 lived up to its reputation for producing numerous specialities among the 545 species seen. The almost daily deluge of spectacular highlights included sixteen species of woodpecker including the rare Mottled Piculet, awesome Bond-crested and Robust Woodpeckers, all eight available Argentine endemics among which the Sandy Gallito was a firm favourite, sixteen species of hummingbirds including Slender-tailed Woodstar and Wedge-tailed Hillstar, perched scope studies of both male Lyre-tailed and male Long-trained Nightjars, breeding Horned Coots for the second year running, Black-legged Seriema OF COURSE, and a great mix of tough to find Andean birds such as Red-faced Guan, Maquis and Scribble-tailed Canastero, Zimmer’s Tapaculo, Rufous-bellied Saltator, Red-backed Sierra-Finch and Short-tailed Finch. In the east we enjoyed outstanding walk-away views of the endangered Yellow Cardinal, the outrageous Strange-tailed Tyrant, elegant Black-and-white Monjita, eight species of Sporophila seedeater including Marsh, Rufous-rumped and a new soon-to-be-described seedeater, the enigmatic Canebrake Groundcreeper and endangered Vinaceous-breasted Amazon in superb native Araucaria forest, and the magnificent threatened Black-fronted Piping-Guan sat beside the World’s largest waterfalls.