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NORTHERN ARGENTINA

Friday 21st October - Saturday 12th November 2016

Mark Pearman

The multicolored Green-headed Tanager (tour participant Lena Hanssen)

The multicolored Green-headed Tanager (tour participant Lena Hanssen)

Northern Argentina 2016 was another hugely successful chapter in a long line of Birdquest tours to this region with some 524 species seen although, importantly, more speciality diamond birds were seen than on all previous tours. Highlights in the north-west included Huayco Tinamou, Puna Tinamou, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Red-faced Guan, Black-legged Seriema, Wedge-tailed Hilstar, Slender-tailed Woodstar, Black-banded Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Black-bodied Woodpecker, White-throated Antpitta, Zimmer’s Tapaculo, Scribble-tailed Canastero, Rufous-throated Dipper, Red-backed Sierra Finch, Tucuman Mountain Finch, Short-tailed Finch, Rufous-bellied Mountain Tanager and a clean sweep on all the available endemcs. The north-east produced such highly sought-after species as Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Long-trained Nightjar, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, Spotted Bamboowren, Canebrake Groundcreeper, Black-and-white Monjita, Strange-tailed Tyrant, Ochre-breasted Pipit, Chestnut, Rufous-rumped, Marsh and Ibera Seedeaters and Yellow Cardinal. We also saw twenty-five species of mammal, among which Greater Naked-tailed Armadillo stole the top slot. As usual, our itinerary covered a journey of 6000 km during which we familiarised ourselves with 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.

The threatened Black-fronted Piping Guan was a last minute prize (tour participant Lena Hanssen)

The threatened Black-fronted Piping Guan was a last minute prize (tour participant Lena Hanssen)