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Welcome to the homepage of Worldwide Birding Tours
The Company for Quality Birding Holidays
 
 
Worldwide Birding Tours are different from other Companies offering birding Holidays on the following important points:
High quality and comfort of accommodation, food, transport and all other aspects of the tour are as important to us as the birding itself.
We provide alternative programs. Worldwide Birding tours understands that when a couple travel together, sometimes one has less interest in the actual birding and prefers to enjoy other aspects of the visited holiday destination.
Travelling together as friends, this is our philosophy, because we want to enjoy the tour as much as you and we also want to be an integral part of the group.
Our birding guides are of an extremely high standard, maybe this is not necessary to say, but of course we want to assure you, that you will really see all possible birds
Trip report author: John Brooks
Guides:                   Marcelo Gavensky
                                          Mario Mosqueira
 
Day 1.
C16V6721 Black chested Buzzard EagleArriving early our guide Marcelo Gavensky met us at the airport and immediately took us to Costanera del Sur. This is 350 hectares of fresh-water marshes minutes from the centre of Buenos Aires. Open water, reeds and tree-lined walks made conditions perfect for many species, particularly as they were used to humans and often could be seen very close.Here we saw Black-headed, Lake and Masked Ducks. Fulvious and White-faced Whistling Ducks, Great Grebe and many other water birds.
Also Gilded Hummingbird, Checkered Woodpecker, Nanday Parakeet, Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulet, Red-eyed Vireo, Rufous and Creamy-bellied Thrush, Red-crested Cardinal, Golden-billed Saltator and Golden-crowned Warbler amongst the trees.
After a few hours which went very quickly we made our way to our hotel in Recoletas, which is in the heart of BA and had time to explore the beautiful city centre.

Day 2.
We drove out of BA into Entre Rios, a flatland area stretching for hundreds of kilometres between the rivers Uruguay and Parana. Vast reedbeds, grasslands, scattered trees and bushes called espinal forest as they all had thorns. 3T9P6113 Savannah HawkThis is the land of the Gauchos and huge herds of cattle and horses with birdlife everywhere. Stopping at a nature friendly gas station we had close-ups of Savannah Hawks, White-fronted Woodpecker, Brown Chacolote, Roseate Spoonbill and more, and then onto a ranch for lunch which was 15kms down a track along which we saw Great Horned Owl, Narrow-billed and Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper. After a real Argentinian BBQ we went for a walk through some marshy fields and around lagoons covered in Water Hyacinths seeing March Seedeater, Ultramarine Grosbeak, Spotted Nothura, Giant Wood-Rail, Plumbeous and Spotted Rail, Spot-flanked and Purple Gallinule, Pied-billed and White-tufted Grebe, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, South-american Snipe, amongst others. Then later driving along other tracks we saw many Screamers, Rufous-capped Ant-shrike, Green-barred Woodpecker, Curved-billed and Sulphur-bearded Reedhaunter and Nacunda Nightjar before arriving at our hotel in Gualeguay.

Day 3.
C16V1790 Great Horned OwlToday we visited Puerto Ruiz on the banks of the Rio Gualequay, had a walk in an espinal forest and drove many kilometres along dead straight tracts through vast grasslands. Here we saw Amazonian Kingfisher, Grey-hooded gull, White –naped Xenopsaris, White-tipped Plantcutter, Little and Greater Thornbird, Suiriri Flycatcher, Saffron Cowled Blackbird, White-barred Piculet, Short-billed Canastero, Roadside Hawk, Ash-colored and Dark-billed Cuckoo, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Great Ant-shrike, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Tawny-crowned Pigmy-Tyrant amongst many others.

Day 4.
Heading back towards BA we again drove kilometres off road in an area around Medanos finding Warbling Doradito, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Great Rhea and Many-coloured Rush Tyrant. Later we stopped at National Park Ciervo de los Pantanos just outside BA where we found Wood and Maguari Stork, White-crested Tyrannulet, Ringed and Green Kingfisher and White Woodpecker. Wattled Jacanas were everywhere. Over night in our BA hotel.

Day 5.
C16V9153 Whistling HeronDriving south from BA towards San Clemente we again drove long distances off road, always along excellent tracks which were used for transporting cattle to and from ranches. Herds of several hundred cattle were everywhere as were the horse riding Gauchos followed by their dogs. Along these tracks we saw Bearded Tachuri, Upland Sandpiper, Hellmayri and Correndera Pipit, Snowy-crowned Tern, Firewood Gatherer, Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Yellowish Pipit and Whistling Heron. We stayed by the beach in a quiet resort, San Clemente.

Day 6.
A totally different day in Punta Rasa in wet and windy conditions , unlike the previous days of sunshine. Here we had large areas of tidal marsh and reed beds leading down to a wide flat beach. Here were many species including Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail, Sedge Wren, Long-tailed Reed Finch, Olrogs Gull, Common and Sandwich Tern, Grey-cowled Wood-Rail, American Golden-Plover, American Oystercatcher, Hudsonian Godwit, Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot and spectacular views of a Black Skimmer fishing. Over-night in San Clemente.

Day 7.
C16V9059 Wren like RushbirdOn our way back to BA we were invited to walk around a ranch through grassland, marshes and reed beds. We saw Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Stripe-backed Bittern, Sulphur-bearded Reedhaunter, Red Shoveler, White-tailed Hawk, Long-winged Harrier, Scarlet –headed Blackbird, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swan, Cinnamon and Silver Teal, Chilean Flamingo, Limpkin, Wilsons Phalarope, Campo Flicker, Wren-like Rushbird, Sooty Tyrannulet, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Scarlet-headed Blackbird plus others. When we arrived at our hotel we said goodbye to Marcelo. A great birder and good companion. In total he had found us 174 species.

Day 8.
We took an early morning flight to Tucuman where we were greeted by our new guide, Mario Mosqueira and driven south and then west over a range of hills to Tafi del Valle, where we stayed two nights, which is by a large lake, El Mollar , and in a wide valley called La Sosa Canyon . Here we were in Yungas cloud forest.
We had time to do some birding and found Andean Gull, Jelski’s Black-Tyrant, Yellow-striped Bushfinch, Yellow-billed Pintail, Spectacled Teal, Slate-coloured, Red-Gartered and White-winged Coot. Plus many other water birds.

Day 9.
C16V6530 Andean FlickerWe drove out of Tafi upwards towards the El Infernillo Pass stopping half-way up to walk in Bosque Montane where we saw White-browed Tapaculo, Tucuman Mountain and Yellow-Stripefinch which were our target birds. Then continuing towards the pass we stopped at 10,000ft and went for a 3hr walk up the sides of the Sierra Nunes through Misty Grassland (Paramo). Gullies had been carved by the occasional storms but they proved excellent for birding. Even though few birds seemed to be in this habitat it became apparent that was wrong. Here we saw Ornate Tinamou, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Scribbletail Canastero, Variable Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Andean Hillstar, White-winged and Buff-winged Cinclodes, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Rust and Yellow Tanager, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch plus others.
In the late afternoon we went to a local stream and had excellent views of Black Phoebe, Rufous-throated Dipper and great views of Torrent Duck.

Day 10.
C16V8951 Red fronted CootLeaving Tafi behind we drove over the pass into a very wide flat up-land valley at 10400ft and birded the Pre-Puna habitat of low grass clumps. Surprisingly the weather was warm and very pleasant, as it had been all the tour so far. Here were Ash-breasted and Grey-Hooded Sierra-Finch, Creamy-bellied Canastero, and as we descended the other side we had 12 Condors flying overhead joined by Turkey Vultures. Fantastic.
In the afternoon we were in Monte Desert, low dry scrubland. Here were White-throated Chacalote, Greater Wagtail-Tyrant, Bar-winged Parakeet, Short-tailed Hawk, Black-winged Ground-Dove, Andean Flicker, Giant Hummingbird, Sandy Gallito, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Grey-hooded and Mourning Sierra-Finch, Common Diuca-Finch, Monte Yellow-Finch and Many-coloured Chaco-Finch. We then went to our hotel just outside Cafayate which was also a winery. Here we stayed two nights in splendid comfort and with fantastic views across the wine-growing valley.

Day 11.
3T9P5952 Black SkimmerIn the morning we stayed in the Monte Desert around Cafayate seeing Hepatic Tanager, Sandy Gallito, White-throated Cacholote, Elegant Crested-Tinamou, Harris’s Hawk, Pale-vented Spinetail, Chaco Earthcreeper, Grey Elaenia plus many others. However we had a shortened day as a thunder caused us to return early to the winery. However it was the only time the weather affected our tour in nearly 3 weeks.

Day 12.
We drove through the Valle de Lerma which is a 70km gorge with the most spectacular desert landscape. We stopped to see a magnificent naturally carved amphitheatre where we visited a craft corral birding amidst tame llamas. Here we saw Red-pilated Finch and Yellow-browed Tyrant, Snail Kite, with Black Vultures overhead.
In the afternoon we were in Chaco habitat around Colonel Moldes and the Cabra Coral Lake. The Chaco is low thorny bushes and hardwood trees in a semi-desert. Here the main species were Crested Gallito, Black-crested Finch, Short-billed Canastero, Ringed Teal, Great Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Burrowing Parakeet, Yellow-browed Tyrant and White-crested Tyrannulet.

Day 13.
3T9P6668 White WoodpeckerToday we had a drive up through a stunning Monte Desert gorge to Los Cardones NP. A Misty Grassland habitat of low grass clumps in a flat wide plain at 11000ft between ranges of the Andes with Cacti plants dotting the whole landscape. Absolutely spectacular.
Here were Rufous-bellied Mountain Tanager, Condors, Puna and Chestnut Canastero, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch, Black-billed Shrike Tyrant, Grey-hooded Parakeet, Plumbeous Kite, Andean Lapwing, Red-Tailed Comet, Sparkling Violetear, Rufous-banded Miner, Rock and Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Cliff Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, Ash-breasted and Band-tailed Sierra-Finch, Great Pampa Finch, Band-tailed and Plain-coloured Seedeater, Fulvous-headed Brush-Finch, Black and Hooded Siskin. We stayed in the centre of Salta and had time to explore this lovely city.

Day 14.
Setting of early we spent the day driving slowly to our next stop at J V Gonzales. We drove several very long off-road tracks seeing Feruginus Pygmy and Burrowing Owl, Stripe-backed Antbird, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Hook-billed Kite, Chaco Chachalaca, Aplomado Falcon, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Cinereous Tyrant, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Grassland Sparrow, Solitary Black Cacique.

Day 15.
3T9P7528 Guira CuckooToday we birded the Chaco around J V Gonzales in temperatures up to 38dgs, also we picnicked overlooking a huge man-made reservoir named Lake Tunal before a long drive to our hotel in San Lorenzo. In the morning we saw Red-billed Sythebill, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Checkered Woodpecker, White-barred Piculet, Black-backed Water-Tyrant, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Comb duck, American Wood and Maguari Stork, Striated Heron, Buff-necked, Bare-faced and White-faced Ibis, Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper, Guira Cuckoo, Lark-like Brushrunner, Southern Scrub Flycatcher, White-rumped and Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Mountain Wren.

Day 16.
Within walking distance of our hotel was Huaico Reserve where we started the day in Yungas forest. Afterwards we drove via Lake Campo Alegre crossing the Santa Laura Mountain Pass and onto our stay for two nights at an Eco-Lodge in Sierra de Santa Barbara approached down a 20km track and situated in the Transitional forest. This habitat contains vegetation from both Yungas and Chaco and is a unique environment. During the day we saw Two-banded Warbler, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Stlaters Tyrannulet, Dot-fronted Woodpecker, Greyish Saltator, White-bellied Hummingbird, Rothschild’s Swift, Brazilian Teal, White-tufted, Pied-billed and Great Grebe, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Swallow-tailed Kite, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Grey-cowled Wood-Rail, Bairds Sandpiper, Yungas Dove, Toco Toucan, Mottled Piculet, Red-legged Seriema, Azara’s Spinetail, Crested and White-winged Becard, Double-collared Seedeater, White-browed Brush-Finch, Masked Yellow-throat.

Day 17.
3T9P8479 Red legged SeriemaIn the morning we walked up a track behind the Lodge through the pristine forest until we reached a fabulous viewing point where we could see right across the wide valley. It was here we saw the King Vulture. Later we went to the Lancitas NP to bird and had a wonderful day. In the evening we sat on the Lodge’s terrace and watched the sun go down. We saw Great-rufous and Black-banded Woodcreeper, Orange-headed Tanager, Tataupa Timamou, Purple-throated Euphonia, Muscovy Duck, Roadside Hawk, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, White-collared Swift, Blue-crowned Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, Golden-olive , Olivaceous and Cream-backed Woodcreeper, Piratic, Brown-crested and Swainsons Flycatcher, Slaty and Greenish Elaenia, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Swainson’s and Black-capped Thrush, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Saffron-billed Sparrow, Black-backed and Ultramarine Grosbeak, White-browed Meadowlark.

Day 18.
Today we went through Calilegua NP then through the foothills of Yungas and in the afternoon through dense deciduous hardwood forest at around 2000ft on our way to Yala where we stayed for two nights. Today we saw White-browed Blackbird, Blue-crowned Motmot, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Puna Ibis, Andean Swift, Mitred Parakeet, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Spot-breasted Thornbird, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Plush-crested Jay, Grass Wren, Patagonian Mockingbird, Rusty-browed and Rufous-sided Warbling-Finch, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Crested Oropendola.

Day 19.
C16V7107 Black PhoebeToday was our last day in the Northwest so we did some sight-seeing along the most stunning valley we had visited. Called the Humahuaca Canyon the colours and sculpture of the valley sides was spectacular. We visited the town of Purmamarca and went round the market before driving further on to cross the Tropic Of Capricorn, near where we had a picnic lunch. We did see some interesting birds including Spot-breasted Thornbird, Red-faced and Dusky-legged Guan, Red-fronted Coot, Andean Swift, Buff-browed Foliage-Gleaner, Blue and White Swallow.

Day 20.
We drove back to Salta and visited a fascinating Inca Museum before catching our flight back to Buenos Aires and the tour end.
 
In total we had clearly seen 367 species many of which are not listed above as they were common and seen regularly.
Both our guides were of the highest standard and sightings were made easier as we had sun and excellent visibility for all but one afternoon. A great location to visit.
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