One of the classic birdwatching destinations, Argentina’s Northern Patagonia and Pampas areas not only offers superb birding, but also excellent cuisine, accommodation, and transport. A vast country that possesses a large variety of habitats and climates, our tour introduces one to the famous Gaucho ridden Pampas, windswept steppes, and endless barren Atlantic shores. Bird diversity thrives here, with almost half of Argentina’s endemics available. The southern Atlantic coasts will provide for some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
We start off with some relaxed city birding around Buenos Aires before heading south, birding the wetlands and tidal mudflats to Punta Rasa. We search for the rare and endangered Yellow Cardinal and range restricted Pampas Meadowlark around Bahía Blanca, while targeting two endemics - White-throated Cacholote and Sandy Gallito around Las Grutas. With a burgeoning list of impressive species including Hudson’s Canastero, Hudson’s Black Tyrant, Crested Gallito, Olrog’s Gull, Carbonated Sierra Finch, Cinnamon Warbling Finch and Black-crowned Monjita, we head to what will surely be one of the tour highlights, the magnificent Valdés Peninsula, home of Sea Lion hunting Killer Whales as well as several immense bird and marine mammal breeding grounds.
Pampas Meadowlark; Yellow Cardinal; Olrog’s Gull; Darwin's Nothura; Patagonian & Red-winged Tinamous; Burrowing Parrot; Sandy Gallito; Carbonated Sierra Finch; White-throated Cacholote; Straight-billed & Curve-billed Reedhaunters; White-tipped Plantcutter; Elegant Crested Tinamou; Scaly-throated & Band-tailed Earthcreepers; Patagonian, Hudson's & Cordilleran Canasteros; Magellanic Penguin; Dolphin Gull; Patagonian Mockingbird; Andean Condor; Short-billed Miner; Austral Negrito; Cinnamon & Black-and-rufous Warbling Finches; HUdson's Black & Spectacled Tyrants; Pampa Finch; Greater & Lesser Rheas; Lark-like Brushrunner; Tufted Tit-Spinetail; Southern Screamer; Warbling Doradito; Chiloe Wigeon; South American Painted-snipe; Firewood-Gatherer; Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail; Many-colored Rush Tyrant; Chubut Steamer Duck; Snowy-crowned Tern.
Pampas Deer; Guanaco; Patagonian Mara; South American Grey Fox; Culpeo; Humboldt’s Hog-nosed Skunk; Large Hairy Armadillo; South American Sea Lion; Southern Elephant Seal; Killer Whale; Patagonian Huemul; Patagonian Lesser Cavy; Lesser Grison; Geoffroy’s Cat (rare)
Patagonian steppe, wetlands, tidal mudflats, coastal steppe, Atlantic Patagonia, Patagonian plateau
moderate along the coast, moderate to cold in the higher steppe, strong winds can be expected at times
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
moderate with some tricky species
spectacular scenery, pristine & little-explored wilderness, great cuisine, super-friendly people
good to excellent
Bobby Wilcox was a very capable and congenial leader. Our group consisted of birders of all levels of expertise. Bobby did his very best to make certain everyone got the opportunities they needed to have a very positive experience.
Peter is an excellent guide! He’s very friendly and did an excellent job is solving an problem that came along. PLU, He knows the birds well and would help us key in on the differences. I will go with him again! Pablo was our local guide and did a phenomenal job as well.
Peter Kaestner was an excellent guide, combining outstanding bird-finding and identification abilities, capable and efficient logistical planning, and strong social and interpersonal skills. One especially commendable feature of Peter's bird guiding is his limiting of playback to the minimum needed for the bird to come out and be seen by the whole group (rather than for optimal photos or prolonged views), thereby minimizing disturbance to what are often localized or threatened bird species. We hope that other Rockjumper guides will adopt Peter's approach.
It was an honor and a pleasure to travel with Peter Kaestner, an uncommonly quiet but knowledgeable, dedicated, focused, transparent, kind and caring individual, with a sense of humor and a willingness to take the group's wants and needs into account when issues arose. The whole tour was a rich and rewarding experience!
Bobby Wilcox is an excellent guide in every way.
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