Day trip around Puerto Madryn – 11th of October 2019

I picked up Fernando Guerra Romero (Spain) at the “Apart Hotel Marina” in Puerto Madryn at 6:15am. The weather was perfect, a bit cloudy but no wind at all.

We went to look for Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) in their nesting area (big burrows on cliffs). A Chiguanco Thrush (Turdus chiguanco) was the first bird we heard and saw in the fresh morning. There, we also observed many Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) in flight.

As we walked through the vegetation, we had amazing sightings of many beautiful shrubland species, like the Greater Wagtail-tyrant (Stigmatura budytoides). Two big flocks of Mourning Sierra-finches (Phrygilus fruticeti) were feeding on the ground. We spotted a male Long-tailed Meadowlark (Leistes loyca) singing on top of a shrub. A few minutes after that we noticed another bird with a very long beak calling in the distance. We approached quitely and finally got very close to the bird. There, Fernando and I really enjoyed watching and listening to the beautiful Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria) as he sang from the the top of a shrub.

After that, we entered into the steppe through several kilometers of rural roads. There we found and had an amazing view of the endemic Carbonated Sierra Finch (Phrygilus carbonarius) that started singing and displaying close by. One unmistakable, and always beautiful to observe, Elegant-crested Tinamou (Eudromia elegans), appeared calling a few meters away from us. It was really amazing to observe this species from such a short distance for a couple of minutes. Other species we saw there were Sharp-billed Canastero (Asthenes pyrrholeuca), Tufted-tit Tyarnt (Anairetes parulus), Band-tailed Earthcreeper (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus), etc.

Male Carbonated Sierra Finch (Phrygilus carbonarius)

A flock of Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) descended near us and started feeding on fruits and seeds. So we stayed there and enjoyed watching them as they fed and did stunts on the branches.

A few minutes later, we decided it was time to continue driving towards our next spot. On the road we observed Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis), Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), many Rufous-collared Sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis), Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus), etc.

A remarkable moment was when we heard and stopped to watch the endemic Patagonian Canastero (Pseudasthenes patagonica) that was constantly moving through the branches of a shrub.

We continued driving south to a lagoon. There we saw 70+ Chilean Flamingos feeding, a big flock of Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) flying and then feeding, Spectacled tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus), several species of ducks, swans, shorebirds, etc. etc., including: Crested-duck (Lophonetta specularioides), Red-shoveler (Anas platalea), Rosy-billed Pochard (Netta peposaca), Ruddy duck (Oxyura vittata), Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris), Southern Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix), Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica), Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii), White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), Kelp Gull (Laurs dominicanus), Brown-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis), etc.

We were also able to see Variable Hawks, a couple of Cinereus Harrier (Circus cinereus), two species of Coots, Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus), Spot-flanked Gallinules (Gallinula melanops), Silvery Grebes, White-tufted grebes, Great Grebe, House Wrens, Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelasticus thilius), etc.

After this we walked across the beach to the nesting area of the Two-banded Plover (Charadrius falklandicus) where I had 6 nests identified already. There we observed one female on eggs from a prudential distance. Surprisingly, while watching that female Two-banded Plover, a Least Seedsnipe (Thinocorus rumicivorus) approached us and gave us a beautiful sighting.

Least Seedsnipe (Thinocorus rumicivorus).

While walking on the beach we observed many species, including, Southern Giant Petrels, Sandpipers, Brown-hooded Gulls, Oystercatchers, etc. We also enjoyed and spent half an hour watching a group of Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis).

Two-banded Plover (Charadrius falklandicus) feeding on polychaetes (Polychaeta).

From there we visited many other spots including, canyons, cliffs, other beaches, etc.

Finally, before sunset, we made our last walk to a Magellanic Cormorant colony where we spent our last hour enjoying the view and watched the cormorants as they made their nests on the cliff walls.

Bird checklist, October 11th, 2019

  • Cinereous Harrier (Circus cinereus)
  • Variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma)
  • Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
  • Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides)
  • Red Shoveler (Anas platalea)
  • Rosy-billed (Pochard Netta peposaca)
  • Ruddy Duck (Oxyura vittata)
  • Speckled Teal / Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris)
  • Southern Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix)
  • Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica)
  • Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
  • Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)
  • Two-banded Plover (Charadrius falklandicus)
  • American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
  • Brown-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis)
  • Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
  • Baird’s sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)
  • White-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)
  • Wilson’s phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)
  • Least Seedsnipe (Thinocorus rumicivorus)
  • Common pigeon (Columba livia)
  • Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)
  • Picui Ground Dove (Columbina picui)
  • Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango)
  • Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus)
  • Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)
  • Red-fronted Coot (Fulica rufifrons)
  • Red-gartered Coot (Fulica armillata)
  • White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera)
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
  • Patagonian Canastero (ENDEMIC) (Pseudasthenes patagonica)
  • Band-tailed Earthcreeper (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus)
  • Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria)
  • Sharp-billed Canastero (Asthenes pyrrholeuca)
  • Blue & White Swallow (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
  • Patagonian Swallow (Tachycineta leucopyga)
  • Southern Martin (Progne elegans)
  • Long-tailed Meadowlark (Sturnella loyca)
  • Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis)
  • Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelasticus thilius)
  • Chalk-browed Mockingbird (Mimus saturninus)
  • Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus)
  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  • Carbonated Sierra-Finch (ENDEMIC) (Phrygilus carbonarius)
  • Diuca-Finch (Diuca diuca)
  • Mourning Sierra-Finch (Phrygilus fruticeti)
  • House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
  • Austral Thrush (Turdus falcklandii)
  • Chiguanco Thrush (Turdus chiguanco)
  • Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
  • Greater Wagtail-tyrant (Stigmatura budytoides)
  • Lesser Shrike-tyrant (Agriornis murinus)
  • Patagonian negrito (Lessonia rufa)
  • Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus)
  • Tufted Tit-tyrant (Anairetes parulus)
  • Great Egret (Ardea alba)
  • Black-faced Ibis (Theristicus melanopis)
  • Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
  • Great Grebe (Podiceps major)
  • Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis)
  • White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland)
  • Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus)
  • Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
  • Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)
  • Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
  • Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
  • Imperial Cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps)
  • Magellanic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax magellanicus)
  • Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
  • Elegant Crested-Tinamou (Eudromia elegan)