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Field Guides Tour Report
Southern Argentina 2018
Oct 30, 2018 to Nov 15, 2018
Dave Stejskal & Tom Johnson

A King Penguin stood over the nesting Gentoo Penguins at Isla Martillo in the Beagle Channel. King Penguin is a rare speces this far north, but has become somewhat more reliable in recent years. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

This journey through southern Argentina took us across an impressive cross-section of habitats and birdlife as we wound our way from the Buenos Aires area to the Peninsula Valdes in Chubut, the Las Grutas area in Rio Negro, Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, and El Calafate at the edge of the Andes. Highlighting the avifauna afforded to us by a carefully planned route, we were fortunate to find such marquee birds as White-bellied Seedsnipe, Dot-winged Crake, South American Painted-Snipe, Magellanic Plover, and King Penguin.

We began our journey by walking around the fantastic urban preserve of Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires and visiting the wetlands of Otamendi. We found Southern Screamers, Black-headed and Masked Ducks, White-striped Woodcreepers, Curve-billed and Straight-billed woodcreepers (both at Otamendi), and many more species in these very birdy preserves. Leaving the city of Buenos Aires, we headed southeast along the wide mouth of La Plata, skirting the pampas and ending up at the seaside town of San Clemente del Tuyu. We used this as our hub to visit the seashore migrant trap of Punta Rasa (something like the "Cape May of South America") and the pampas rangeland of El Palenque. These excellent birding sites hosted the rare Olrog's Gull, Snowy-crowned Tern, flocks of Hudsonian Godwits and Red Knots, a skulky Dot-winged Crake, White-throated Hummingbird, Buff-breasted Sandpipers, Stripe-backed Bittern, Hudson's Canastero, and the incomparable Many-colored Rush-tyrant. A particularly amazing outing took us to a large marsh that was loaded with the shy and bizarre South American Painted-Snipe - a gob-smacking 65 of them, in fact!

Returning to Buenos Aires, we flew south to Trelew and sampled the Patagonian desert of the Peninsula Valdes. This windy, open landscape required some searching and patience before yielding species like Variable Hawk, Least Seedsnipe, Two-banded Plover, Rusty-backed Monjita, and more. Along the seashore and in the bays of the peninsula, we watched Northern and Southern giant-petrels, Snowy Sheathbills, and other coastal birds, but the scene was dominated by the marine mammals - vocal sea lions, sparring elephant seals, and mother-and-calf pairs of Southern Right Whales (seen up-close during a short boat trip) stole the show. The Magellanic Penguin colony at Punta Tombo was great for watching the small black-and-white penguins visiting their earthen burrows, and nearby we encountered some scarce desert birds like Band-tailed Earthcreeper and Patagonian Canastero.

Driving north past untold hundreds of guanacos dotting the desert scrub, we made our way to another seaside Patagonian town - Las Grutas. This little-birded outpost was perfect for accessing a tongue of thorny scrub forest that extends across Patagonia to the coast from northern Argentina, and we explored it to great effect, finding such birds as Sandy Gallito, Cinnamon Warbling-Finch, Chaco Earthcreeper, and the rare Yellow Cardinal. Our hotel had a nice view of the ocean, and in addition to Burrowing Parakeets flying by at regular intervals, we enjoyed a surprisingly large swarm of 3000+ Manx Shearwaters passing just offshore.

Next, we flew south again, this time landing at Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel of Tierra del Fuego. The birding was excellent right at our hotel on the shores of the channel, with Andean Condor, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Fulmars, Upland and Ashy-headed geese, Flightless and Flying steamer-ducks, Magellanic Oystercatchers, Baird's Sandpipers, and more visible just a few steps from our rooms. One day we headed out onto the Beagle Channel on a stable catamaran and drove east to a penguin colony hosting Magellanic, Gentoo, and even two big KING penguins. The birding in the channel was lively, with albatrosses, fulmars, Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, a rare Arctic Tern, and some up-close views of both Snowy Sheathbills and Blackish Cinclodes walking around on top of our boat (see the video below of the sheathbills). Back on land, a hike up toward the Martial Glacier turned up our first birds of the southern beech forest, but even better, took us into the snowy alpine habitat where we found a pair of rare and cryptic White-bellied Seedsnipe! To the west of Ushuaia, we wandered through the forests and lakeshores of Tierra del Fuego National Park to see Austral Pygmy-Owl, White-throated Treerunner, and the massive Magellanic Woodpecker. We even had time to visit the town dump where a flock of scavengers included the localized White-throated Caracara.

The final stop on our tour was El Calafate, a lively town at the junction of the Andes and the rolling Patagonian steppe. We visited the marshy shores of Lago Argentino and watched the odd spinning behavior of Magellanic Plovers (these birds are in a monotypic family found only in southern South America!), and drove up onto the meseta east of the city where Chocolate-vented Tyrants hunted the grasslands. A major landscape highlight of our visit here was Los Glacieres National Park where we admired the very active Perito Moreno glacier and also saw Spectacled Duck, Magellanic Tapaculo, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, and a close Andean Condor. From here we flew back to Buenos Aires and then on to North America and home.

We packed a lot into this journey across the large and varied nation of Argentina, and managed to have a lot of fun and see an amazing set of birds along the way. Dave and I thank you for joining us on this tour, and we hope to see you on another Field Guides adventure soon!


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Rheidae (Rheas)
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – These massive birds were in the pampas between Buenos Aires and San Clemente.
LESSER RHEA (DARWIN'S) (Rhea pennata pennata) – We saw these primitive birds stalking through the Patagonian deserts in Chubut and again near El Calafate.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
DARWIN'S NOTHURA (Nothura darwinii) – After missing this species on the Valdes Peninsula, we were thrilled to find one along the highway south of Las Grutas.
SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa) – There were two nice sightings of these cryptic, open-land tinamous in the pampas west of San Clemente.
ELEGANT CRESTED-TINAMOU (Eudromia elegans) – These large, striking tinamous were fairly common in the deserts of Chubut.
Anhimidae (Screamers)
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – These huge birds were seen first at Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires, and then at a few other sites in the pampas.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Dozens were in wetlands in the pampas.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Our only sighting was of 15 at Costanera Sur.
BLACK-NECKED SWAN (Cygnus melancoryphus) – These bicolored swans were seen frequently in the pampas; we also found them in Tierra del Fuego and at El Calafate.
COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba) – These big white waterfowl were fairly common at many large bodies of freshwater.
UPLAND GOOSE (Chloephaga picta) – These handsome sheldgeese were fairly common in Tierra del Fuego and at El Calafate.

One of the rarest birds that we found on this year's tour was Yellow Cardinal. We were fortunate to find a delightful pair near Las Grutas, Rio Negro. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

KELP GOOSE (Chloephaga hybrida) – We found these sheldgeese along the rocky shores of the Beagle Channel.
ASHY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga poliocephala) – Just a few were mixed in with Upland Geese in Tierra del Fuego and at El Calafate.
FLYING STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres patachonicus) – A few pairs were along the Beagle Channel; another was at Lago Argentino at El Calafate.
FLIGHTLESS STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres pteneres) – Common along the shores of the Beagle Channel.
WHITE-HEADED STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres leucocephalus) – A pair of these range-restricted ducks were near the penguin colony at Punta Tombo in Chubut. [E]
CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides) – A strange and fairly common duck in the Southern Cone.
SPECTACLED DUCK (Speculanas specularis) – One was asleep at the edge of the water at Los Glaciares National Park.
RINGED TEAL (Callonetta leucophrys) – Eight were at Costanera Sura on our first day of birding together.
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – Our only sightings were in the Buenos Aires area.
SILVER TEAL (Spatula versicolor) – These small ducks were fairly common in the pampas.
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – Eleven were at the Trelew lagoons; two more were at Laguna Nimez.
RED SHOVELER (Spatula platalea) – Several sightings of flocks of this distinctive Southern Cone duck; about 1000 were at the lagoons in Trelew.
CHILOE WIGEON (Mareca sibilatrix) – Small numbers scattered along the southern portions of our route; especially nice views of a pair at the Hotel Tolkeyen.
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (Anas georgica) – Common throughout most of our route.
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (FLAVIROSTRIS) (Anas flavirostris flavirostris) – This species is like a smaller version of the Yellow-billed Pintail, and about as widespread on the tour.
ROSY-BILLED POCHARD (Netta peposaca) – Fairly common near Buenos Aires; dozens more were in Trelew.
BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla) – A few were in the pampas; however, the 69 that we saw at the lagoons in Trelew made for a remarkable count of this nomadic species.

This Southern Giant-Petrel was one of many of these huge tubenoses that showed nicely from Peninsula Valdes south to Ushuaia. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus) – Six, males and females, were in the floating vegetation at Costanera Sur. It was a treat to see this scarce and nomadic species on our first birding outing together.
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – This species is now split by Clements as "Andean Duck"; we saw flocks along the shorelines of Lago Argentino.
LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata) – These Ruddy Duck look-alikes were fairly widespread along our route, with ~350 at the lagoons in Trelew.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland) – These small grebes were common at Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires and the lagoons in Trelew.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – We saw one of these widespread grebes at Costanera Sur.
GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major) – These lanky grebes were widespread on our route away from Buenos Aires.
SILVERY GREBE (PATAGONIAN) (Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis) – We saw about 35 between Trelew and El Calafate.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis) – About 1500 were at the lagoons in Trelew; others were near Punta Rasa and along the edge of Lago Argentino in El Calafate.
Spheniscidae (Penguins)
KING PENGUIN (Aptenodytes patagonicus) – Two of these magnificent seabirds were nesting at the mixed pinguinera at Isla Martillo on the Beagle Channel.
GENTOO PENGUIN (Pygoscelis papua) – We counted 36 clustered together at the mixed penguin nesting colony at Isla Martillo.
MAGELLANIC PENGUIN (Spheniscus magellanicus) – Common at Punta Tombo in Chubut and along the Beagle Channel, though numbers are lower than in past years.
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris) – Four circled off of Punta Rasa behind a fishing trawler; hundreds more were seen at close range in the Beagle Channel.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes giganteus) – These albatross-sized petrels were fairly common along the southern coasts.
NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes halli) – We saw a few of these giant-petrels with the red bill tips at the outer edge of the Peninsula Valdes.

The strange Magellanic Plover approached very closely along the shores of Lago Argentino near El Calafate. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SOUTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialoides) – This was an unusually good season for this species at Ushuaia. Hundreds were along the Beagle Channel, often visible from the dining room at the Hotel Tolkeyen. We had some very close views during our boat trip along the Beagle Channel.
MANX SHEARWATER (Puffinus puffinus) – Wow! This species was downright abundant just off the coast of Las Grutas. In the evening of 7 November, we saw >3000 of these small shearwaters streaming by just offshore.
MAGELLANIC DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides magellani) – One of these increasingly rare tubenoses made a quick flyby during our Beagle Channel boat trip.
Hydrobatidae (Storm-Petrels)
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanites oceanicus) – We saw two in the Beagle Channel during our boat trip.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – These big storks were fairly common in the pampas near Buenos Aires.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Just a few sightings scattered in the pampas.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Common and widespread.
MAGELLANIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) – Also sometimes called "Rock Cormorant," we saw this species commonly along the shoreline at the Peninsula Valdes and in Tierra del Fuego.
IMPERIAL CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax atriceps) – We saw these black-and-white cormorants widely along the Peninsula Valdes and especially in Tierra del Fuego, where we saw some large nesting colonies.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
STRIPE-BACKED BITTERN (Ixobrychus involucris) – We found at least 3 of these shy herons hiding in the marshes at El Palenque in the pampas.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Fairly common in the pampas.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Widespread in the pampas.

This Andean Condor made a close pass overhead at Los Glacieres NP near El Calafate. Photo by participant Doug Clarke.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Common in the pampas.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common in the pampas.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A handful of sightings of this small heron at water edges in the pampas.
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – We enjoyed a handful of sightings of this beautiful heron in the pampas.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Sightings scattered throughout our tour route. The dark birds in Tierra del Fuego belong to the subspecies obscurus.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Fairly common in the pampas.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – These clunky ibis made several nice appearances for us in the pampas.
BLACK-FACED IBIS (Theristicus melanopis) – These attractive ibis were in Tierra del Fuego and near El Calafate.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A few were mixed in with large groups of waders in the pampas.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Two sightings near Las Grutas were somewhat unexpected.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – These widespread vultures were a regular presence along the southern portion of our tour route.
ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus) – We saw these massive vultures regularly in Tierra del Fuego and near El Calafate, including ten in one day near Los Glaciares NP.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – A few sightings of this widespread raptor in the pampas.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Fairly common in the wetlands of the pampas.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – We saw these gorgeous harriers on multiple occasions in the pampas.
CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus) – Regular sightings in the southern portions of our route, including a raucous party of 5 at a presumed nesting site near El Calafate.

This worn, immature Arctic Tern was a big surprise (and a tough ID) along the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia. This species is very rarely seen near shore in South America. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – We saw these small hawks on several occasions in the Buenos Aires area.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – Multiple sightings around Buenos Aires.
VARIABLE HAWK (VARIABLE) (Geranoaetus polyosoma polyosoma) – Fairly common in the desert of Chubut and Rio Negro.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – These large raptors were seen repeatedly in the southern reaches of our tour, both in the Patagonian steppe and in the Andes.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RED-AND-WHITE CRAKE (Laterallus leucopyrrhus) – Though we heard this species in the marshes of Otamendi, we were unable to see the bird. [*]
GIANT WOOD-RAIL (Aramides ypecaha) – These colorful, impressive rails were striding around in open fields adjacent to scrub forest in the pampas.
DOT-WINGED CRAKE (Porzana spiloptera) – Wow! This small, rare rail strode out of the marsh at Punta Rasa, giving us a wonderful look for several seconds before it disappeared again.
SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops) – These odd rails were near the Masked Ducks at Costanera Sur on our first afternoon of birding.
PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus) – Several sightings of this big, handsome rail in the pampas and again at Laguna Nimez.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Plenty at Costanera Sur, with a few more at Laguna Nimez.
RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata) – Scattered at freshwater wetlands throughout the trip, with a peak count of 250 at the lagoons in Trelew.
RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons) – Typically the scarcest coot that we saw in mixed flocks, but we still saw a few hundred at various wetlands.
WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera) – Common at wetlands throughout the tour; frequently the most common coot in mixed flocks.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – Our only sightings were in the greater Buenos Aires area.
Chionidae (Sheathbills)
SNOWY SHEATHBILL (Chionis albus) – We had two days with sightings of this strange beast; first, we saw 12 walking around a sea lion haul-out near Puerto Piramides on Peninsula Valdes; later, we found another 15+ stalking around seabird colonies during our boat trip in the Beagle Channel. A few even landed on our boat and walked up to us to take a close look!
Pluvianellidae (Magellanic Plover)
MAGELLANIC PLOVER (Pluvianellus socialis) – This is one strange shorebird. It's not quite a plover and has been placed into its own (monotypic) family, Pluvianellidae. We enjoyed sightings of 4 birds, including one very close pair spinning around in the sand in front of us at Lago Argentino near El Calafate.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus) – Common in the pampas and at the Trelew lagoons.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus) – Several coastal sightings in the northern and central part of our tour route, between Punta Rasa and the Peninsula Valdes.

We saw many Black-browed Albatrosses against the stark backdrop of Tierra del Fuego during our boat trip in the Beagle Channel. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BLACKISH OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ater) – Our first was on the Peninsula Valdes, and then we saw quite a few more along the shores of the Beagle Channel.
MAGELLANIC OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus leucopodus) – These handsome shorebirds were along the Beagle Channel at Ushuaia and also inland in the area around Lago Argentino.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – We saw dozens of these long-distance migrants at Punta Rasa and in the nearby short-grass pampas.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (CAYENNENSIS) (Vanellus chilensis cayennensis) – These were the lapwings that we saw in the northern part of our tour route.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (CHILENSIS/FRETENSIS) (Vanellus chilensis chilensis) – We saw this southern form of Southern Lapwing in Tierra del Fuego and also near El Calafate.
TWO-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius falklandicus) – Our best views of these lovely plovers came at an open field on the Peninsula Valdes.
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDSNIPE (Attagis malouinus) – Fantastic! We were extremely lucky to find a pair of these cryptic shorebirds at close range along the trail to the Martial Glacier. They shuffled along and we watched them slowly move between snow, cushion plants, and grasses as they relied on their camouflage for protection.
LEAST SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus rumicivorus) – These small seedsnipe showed very well in an open area on the Peninsula Valdes - we found a male and female protecting their chick in an area with dense clumps of grass.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
SOUTH AMERICAN PAINTED-SNIPE (Nycticryphes semicollaris) – This was surely one of the outstanding species of the tour - we visited a marshy area in the pampas near San Clemente where we found at least 65 of these beautiful, weird shorebirds. We got to see their rail-like flight and also scoped some stationary individuals. Fantastic (and far more individuals than we've ever seen before)!
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – These active, long-toed shorebirds were busy chasing each other around at Costanera Sur.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica) – These shorebirds breed in subarctic and arctic Canada and Alaska, and make a long migration to winter in Chile and Argentina. We saw several flocks at Punta Rasa.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Just a few were foraging with other shorebirds on the beach at Punta Rasa.

This Carbonated Sierra-finch gave us a nice show as it displayed in the scrub near San Antonio Oeste. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – We saw a dozen of these long-distance migrants foraging on the beach at Punta Rasa.
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – 12 were feeding in flooded pools in a grassy pasture at El Palenque.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – We saw a few flocks numbering in the dozens at our hotel on the Beagle Channel and also at Lago Argentino.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) – This long-winged peep was a common shorebird in the northern reaches of our tour route. We also saw 1 individual with Baird's Sandpipers in Ushuaia.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (Calidris subruficollis) – We counted 52 of these beautiful, scarce shorebirds in the pastures of El Palenque.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – About 75 of these grasspipers were striding around in the wet pastures of El Palenque.
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Gallinago paraguaiae paraguaiae) – Two of these flew quickly past us at Otamendi.
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (MAGELLANIC) (Gallinago paraguaiae magellanica) – Excellent views of adults and a fledged juvenile at close range along the trail at Laguna Nimez.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – We saw just a few of these needle-billed shorebirds between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – Only two in the pampas west of Punta Rasa.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – This was the common yellowlegs that we encountered frequently in freshwater wetlands and coastal lagoons.
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
CHILEAN SKUA (Stercorarius chilensis) – This pumpkin-toned, dark-capped skua was fairly common along the Beagle Channel.
BROWN SKUA (FALKLAND) (Stercorarius antarcticus antarcticus) – We saw two distant flybys offshore from the penguin colony at Punta Tombo.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) – Common everywhere on the trip except for Ushuaia.
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Amazingly, we only managed to see one in a roadside pasture with a big flock of Brown-hooded Gulls.
DOLPHIN GULL (Leucophaeus scoresbii) – Common in Tierra del Fuego, with hundreds along the shores of the Beagle Channel.

Cinnamon Warbling-Finch was a lovely find in the spiny forest near Las Grutas in Rio Negro. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

OLROG'S GULL (Larus atlanticus) – A flock of 16, mostly immatures, flew in and landed on the beach at Punta Rasa. This species is an Argentinian breeding endemic and is considered "near threatened" with a small total population estimate of 9,800-15,600.
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – This was the common large, dark-backed gull seen nearly throughout our journey.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – On our two visits to Punta Rasa, we saw flocks of 40 and 65 individuals. These are wintering birds visiting from their North American breeding grounds.
ARCTIC TERN (Sterna paradisaea) – A worn immature bird was a real shock to see following our boat in the Beagle Channel. This species typically winters out at sea in the Antarctic and is only rarely seen near shore in this region. We considered alternative identifications like South American Tern, Common Tern, or Antarctic Tern, but the shape, wing pattern, and exact head pattern of this bird only fit with Arctic. Thank goodness for good digital photos!
SOUTH AMERICAN TERN (Sterna hirundinacea) – We saw hundreds along the Beagle Channel, where this species is a common breeder.
SNOWY-CROWNED TERN (Sterna trudeaui) – Nice sightings in the pampas, especially at Punta Rasa where we saw ~20 individuals.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Common between Punta Rasa and Peninsula Valdes.
SANDWICH TERN (CAYENNE) (Thalasseus sandvicensis eurygnathus) – We saw these black-billed, crested terns at Punta Rasa and in Las Grutas.
BLACK SKIMMER (CINERASCENS) (Rynchops niger cinerascens) – We saw up to 10 of these familiar coastal birds during both visits to Punta Rasa.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common in towns and cities in Buenos Aires, Chubut, and Rio Negro. [I]
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – These were common between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa) – Just a few, with some good sightings at a gas station between Buenos Aires and San Clemente and a nice perched bird near the Punta Rasa termas.
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui) – A few sightings were scattered between Buenos Aires, Chubut, and Rio Negro.

A visit to Otamendi early in the tour helped us find this Curve-billed Reedhaunter (as well as Straight-billed Reedhaunter). Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – We found a few between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Common away from Tierra del Fuego. This one looks like a short-tailed Mourning Dove.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira) – These gregarious cuckoos (Blonde Anis?) were seen in small groups in open habitats between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
Strigidae (Owls)
AUSTRAL PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nana) – At a beaver meadow in Tierra del Fuego NP, we had close views of a calling bird overhead.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – A few were seen along the roadsides of Buenos Aires, Chubut, and Rio Negro.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus) – This was the most common hummingbird we encountered in the pampas.
WHITE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucochloris albicollis) – Fantastic views of this flashy species near the Punta Rasa termas.
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura) – This lovely hummingbird with the golden tail foraged on purple flowers at close range at Costanera Sur.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus) – One of these striking woodpeckers flew past us during our walk at Otamendi. This open country species has been expanding its range in eastern South America.
CHECKERED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis mixtus) – We only saw this well-marked species between Buenos Aires and Otamendi.
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (GOLDEN-BREASTED) (Colaptes melanochloros melanolaimus) – This striking woodpecker put on several nice appearances between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
CHILEAN FLICKER (Colaptes pitius) – A pair perched up and allowed for nice scope views outside of Los Glacieres NP near El Calafate.
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – This fancy flicker showed up a few times around Punta Rasa and again north of Las Grutas.
MAGELLANIC WOODPECKER (Campephilus magellanicus) – A pair of these massive black-and-red woodpeckers performed wonderfully in the open Nothofagus forest of Tierra del Fuego NP - a true highlight of our visit there.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-THROATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus albogularis) – These southern Andean caracaras are tough to find in general, so we made a point to visit their favorite spot near Ushuaia - the city landfill! Great views of this striking falcon.

After searching a few different areas at Punta Rasa without any results, we were delighted when this Dot-winged Crake paraded past us at the edge of the marsh. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – Common and widespread, especially in open habitats like the pampas.
CHIMANGO CARACARA (Milvago chimango) – Common and widespread; seen every day of the tour.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Roadside sightings in open habitats throughout the tour.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – One dashed across the road in front of us outside of Los Glacieres NP.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One soared over at considerable height as we birded the grasslands of the Peninsula Valdes.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – Common in the area between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
AUSTRAL PARAKEET (Enicognathus ferrugineus) – We saw these forest parakeets both in Tierra del Fuego NP near Ushuaia and again at Los Glacieres NP near El Calafate.
BURROWING PARAKEET (Cyanoliseus patagonus) – These large parakeets were abundant in the area around Las Grutas, including at our seaside hotel.
NANDAY PARAKEET (Aratinga nenday) – One of several species of parrots living in the city of Buenos Aires. [I]
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) – A few were near the entrance to Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires. [I]
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ruficapillus) – One approached us along the road edge at Otamendi.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SANDY GALLITO (Teledromas fuscus) – On our final attempt for this species, we had a great look in the hills near Las Grutas. This open-land tapaculo was running and climbing through desert scrub, vocalizing constantly. [E]
MAGELLANIC TAPACULO (Scytalopus magellanicus) – Excellent views of this skulker along the forest boardwalk at Los Glacieres NP.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
COMMON MINER (PATAGONIAN) (Geositta cunicularia cunicularia) – This is a species of open, windswept plains, and that's where we saw them, both on the Peninsula Valdes and near Los Glacieres NP.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) – These attractive woodcreepers showed off nicely at Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires.

Yerba mate helped our drivers stay alert as the miles passed by during our drives across Patagonia. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

WHITE-THROATED TREERUNNER (Pygarrhichas albogularis) – This is a nuthatch-like Furnariid of southern beech forests. Our first was along the hike up to the Martial Glacier, and then we found several more in Tierra del Fuego NP.
BAND-TAILED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus) – A terrestrial ovenbird, this species is almost restricted to Argentina (a tiny portion of its range creeps into Chile), and it was a big priority near Trelew. We ended up with some good looks at a pair of responsive birds on a windy afternoon.
CHACO EARTHCREEPER (Tarphonomus certhioides) – We usually don't see this species on the tour, so we were very happy to find it on the edge of town in Las Grutas. It almost resembles a lanky Canyon Wren.
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus) – The national bird of Argentina - we saw them almost everywhere in the pampas. Their clay ovens (hornos) are omnipresent in trees and on utility posts in the Buenos Aires area.
WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops) – This ovenbird resembles a Marsh Wren in plumage and habits; our best views were in the marsh at El Palenque in the pampas.
CURVE-BILLED REEDHAUNTER (Limnornis curvirostris) – A secretive, marsh-dwelling ovenbird, this reedhaunter was a great sighting at Otamendi on our first day. The species has a small range in southern Brazil, Uruguay, and the Buenos Aires area of Argentina.
SCALE-THROATED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia dumetaria) – We saw these thrasher-like ovenbirds in desert-like habitats throughout our travels across Patagonia.
BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes fuscus) – Surprisingly, we only saw this widespread cinclodes twice - one was at our waterside hotel in Ushuaia, and the other was a distant scope view in Los Glaciares NP.
BLACKISH CINCLODES (Cinclodes antarcticus) – This was the first time we've recorded this species on our Southern Argentina tour, and it happened in amusing fashion. We saw our first at a bit of distance when our boat visited some seabird breeding islands with a lighthouse in the Beagle Channel off of Ushuaia. Later, we returned and the birds flew in and landed on our boat to drink freshwater from the boat's windshield sprayers - amazing views!
GRAY-FLANKED CINCLODES (Cinclodes oustaleti) – Two showed briefly along the stream below the Martial Glacier near Ushuaia.
DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES (Cinclodes patagonicus) – Just a few sightings near Ushuaia - we saw them during our boat trip and again inside Tierra del Fuego NP.
THORN-TAILED RAYADITO (Aphrastura spinicauda) – This chickadee-like ovenbird is a common forest songbird in the southern beech forests of Tierra del Fuego.
TUFTED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura platensis) – Our only sightings were at the termas at Punta Rasa. One in particularly sat up and vocalized for some great scope views.

Golden-billed Saltators lit up our binoculars at the edges of the pampas near Buenos Aires. Photo by participant Doug Clarke.

PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (PALLIDA) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides pallida) – We got to compare this species side-by-side with Austral Canastero in an arroyo outside El Calafate.
FRECKLE-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticollis) – These noisy ovenbirds were fairly common in the scrubby forest between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi) – We saw many of their stick nests in the pampas, but it took a while to find an occupied nesting site. Finally, one of the occupants of a stick "basketball" came out and perched up for some wonderful views.
SHORT-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes baeri) – These canasteros were in the dry arroyo outside of Las Grutas, in Rio Negro.
HUDSON'S CANASTERO (Asthenes hudsoni) – This big, streaky canastero responded stealthily to playback but eventually climbed up on a barbed wire fence to have a good, long look at us.
AUSTRAL CANASTERO (Asthenes anthoides) – This scarce ovenbird was a nice reward during a check of a shrubby arroyo near El Calafate.
SHARP-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes pyrrholeuca) – We saw these nondescript, small ovenbirds on several occasions in Chubut and Rio Negro.
STRAIGHT-BILLED REEDHAUNTER (Limnoctites rectirostris) – This long-billed ovenbird is another marsh specialist with a small range in the area along La Plata. We were fortunate to have great views at Otamendi.
SULPHUR-THROATED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca sulphurifera) – We saw these spinetails of edge habitats at Otamendi, Punta Rasa, and El Palenque.
STRIPE-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia) – These arboreal Cranioleuca spinetails showed nicely twice - once at Otamendi and another time near Las Grutas.
PATAGONIAN CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes patagonica) – These unobtrusive canasteros popped up on several occasions during our time in Chubut and Rio Negro. Particularly memorable were the views we had near Las Grutas just after seeing Sandy Gallito. [E]
BAY-CAPPED WREN-SPINETAIL (Spartonoica maluroides) – Excellent, close studies at Punta Rasa and again in the patch of wetland that hosted so many painted-snipe.
BROWN CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura lophotes) – A pair was carrying food and clearly nesting at the YPF station near San Antonio Oeste.

Our searching in Tierra del Fuego was swiftly rewarded by a pair of amazing Magellanic Woodpeckers. This red-headed bird is the male of the pair. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

WHITE-THROATED CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura gutturalis) – After hearing these a few times in the distance, it was great to find a pair perched out near San Antonio Oeste. [E]
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus) – During our drive from San Clemente back to Buenos Aires, we enjoyed a great look at this fancy spinetail in some scrub forest.
SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi) – Three played hard to get at Otamendi, but we eventually all saw these gray-and-rust spinetails.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris) – The strong wind made it difficult, but we did see this small flycatcher near a shrine to Gauchito Gil on the drive north to Las Grutas.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus) – This spunky flycatcher showed nicely on several occasions in the southern reaches of our tour route.
WARBLING DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris) – These tiny marsh-dwellers made several nice appearances between Otamendi and Punta Rasa.
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia albiceps) – Very common in southern beech forests in Tierra del Fuego and at Los Glacieres.
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris) – Quite common in the northern part of our travels, especially at Otamendi and Costanera Sur.
SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans) – Seen twice, at Otamendi and again in the pampas west of San Clemente.
WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga subcristata) – These small flycatchers were at Costanera Sur and also at the Punta Rasa termas.
STRANECK'S TYRANNULET (Serpophaga griseicapilla) – Seen first at Costanera Sur, and then more commonly in the Las Grutas area.
MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra) – These amazing, candy-colored flycatchers were fairly common in the marsh at El Palenque.
GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura budytoides) – We saw these odd flycatchers in dry washes lined with scrub forest near Las Grutas.
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus) – We saw these flycatchers several times between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – These familiar flycatchers were a frequent sight from Las Grutas north.

This Magellanic Tapaculo stayed out in the open long enough for photos - for those who have pursued Scytalopus tapaculos, you'll know that this is a feat! Photo by participant Ken Havard.

AUSTRAL NEGRITO (Lessonia rufa) – Common in open country near water in Ushuaia and near El Calafate.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus aterrimus) – These striking flycatchers perched up along the edge of the arroyos on the outskirts of Las Grutas.
HUDSON'S BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus hudsoni) – This flycatcher showed nicely on several occasions in Las Grutas.
SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus) – The flycatcher with the crazy display flight and the "scrambled egg" on its face - quite common in the pampas.
OCHRE-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola flavinucha) – These long-legged flycatchers were on the ground during our hike up toward the Martial Glacier.
DARK-FACED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola maclovianus) – Nice views at the Martial Glacier and again in Los Glacieres NP.
CINNAMON-BELLIED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola capistratus) – These lovely flycatchers were apparently nesting in a rock jetty along the shoreline of Lago Argentino.
GREAT SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis lividus) – Two of these imposing flycatchers perched up along a rural road through the scrub near El Calafate.
GRAY-BELLIED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis micropterus) – A pair perched on treetops and a fenceline near El Calafate, showing well in the scope.
LESSER SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis murinus) – Our best view was at the ranger station/ entrance to Peninsula Valdes.
FIRE-EYED DIUCON (Xolmis pyrope) – These alert flycatchers made appearances in Tierra del Fuego NP and also at Los Glacieres NP.
BLACK-CROWNED MONJITA (Xolmis coronatus) – We saw two of these beautiful flycatchers along the highway near Las Grutas.
RUSTY-BACKED MONJITA (Xolmis rubetra) – This Argentinian endemic flycatcher was a nice find in the open flats of the Peninsula Valdes. In addition to the high contrast rust, black, and white adults, we had a great study of the streaky juvenile plumage. [E]
CHOCOLATE-VENTED TYRANT (Neoxolmis rufiventris) – This big, terrestrial flycatcher was the prize find of our drive up onto the very windy meseta southeast of El Calafate.
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer) – A few of these flycatchers showed along the shoreline of Costanera Sur.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – This flycatcher showed at Costanera Sur and also at a roadside picnic site in the pampas.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – These boisterous Myiarchus flycatchers showed at Costanera Sur, Otamendi, and in Las Grutas.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – We saw these large, widespread flycatchers as far south as Trelew.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Repeated sightings of these heavily marked flycatchers at Costanera Sur and Otamendi.

This photo represents 1/65th of our South American Painted-Snipe sightings! Our experience in the pampas west of San Clemente del Tuyu were unlike anything we've seen before! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – One good view - an individual was perched up along the highway south of Las Grutas at the site where we saw Darwin's Nothura and Black-crowned Monjita.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Common in the Buenos Aires area; we also saw a pair near San Antonio Oeste.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – These striking tyrants were common in Buenos Aires, with sightings as far south as Puerto Madryn.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
WHITE-TIPPED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rutila) – This is the plantcutter that we found in the dry scrub forest around Las Grutas.
RUFOUS-TAILED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rara) – These cotingas were vocalizing and feeding in flowering trees at Los Glacieres NP.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – We heard one of these stocky vireos singing during a stop on our drive from San Clemente back to Buenos Aires.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – This taxon is now known as Chivi Vireo (Vireo chivi). We saw plenty of them along the trails at Costanera Sur.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PATAGONICA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica) – These distinctive swallows became a familiar sight to us at all stages of our trip except for the area around Ushuaia.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – These large swallows were fairly common between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans) – We saw these big swallows in Chubut and Rio Negro.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (FUSCA) (Progne tapera fusca) – These migrants look a bit like giant Bank Swallows that glide on drooped wings. We saw many of them in the Buenos Aires area, and encountered them as far south as Las Grutas.
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) – Common between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.

This Snowy Sheathbill flew over and landed on top of our boat in the Beagle Channel, giving us some nice close views! Video by guide Tom Johnson.
CHILEAN SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucopyga) – Common everywhere south of the Buenos Aires-Punta Rasa section of the tour.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – This species was traditionally a northern hemisphere breeder that only wintered in the southern hemisphere. In recent decades, Barn Swallows colonized the pampas and now breed commonly in culverts and under bridges.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Seen on almost every day of the tour.
SEDGE WREN (PAMPAS) (Cistothorus platensis platensis) – Our first sighting was of multiple individuals in the tall grasses at Punta Rasa.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola dumicola) – These tail-waggers were at Otamendi and Costanera Sur.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
AUSTRAL THRUSH (Turdus falcklandii) – Especially common in the Ushuaia area.
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris) – Common between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – Plenty at Costanera Sur and Otamendi.
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco) – One was waiting to take food to a nest at the Peninsula Valdes NP visitor center. This Andean species has expanded its range to the Argentinean coast.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
PATAGONIAN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus patagonicus) – This slim mockingbird was fairly common in Chubut and Rio Negro.
CHALK-BROWED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus saturninus) – Quite common in Buenos Aires, with sightings as far south on the tour as Trelew.
WHITE-BANDED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus triurus) – We saw one of these handsome mockingbirds in scrub forest in the pampas near Buenos Aires, later, the species was fairly common in the area around Las Grutas.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Only near Buenos Aires. [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
SHORT-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus furcatus) – We found these pipits in areas with short grass on the Peninsula Valdes.

White-bellied Seedsnipe are very low density residents of the alpine zone of the southern Andes. We were very fortunate to find a pair of these ptarmigan-like shorebirds on the slopes below the Martial Glacier at Ushuaia. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

CORRENDERA PIPIT (Anthus correndera) – This widespread pipit was at Punta Rasa, Trelew, and Laguna Nimez at El Calafate.
HELLMAYR'S PIPIT (Anthus hellmayri brasilianus) – One was a nice sighting in the pastures of El Palenque.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis) – These warblers were at marshy edges at Costanera Sur, Otamendi, and Punta Rasa.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Fairly common at the Punta Rasa termas.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata) – Our only sighting of this lovely tanager was at Costanera Sur on our first afternoon.
RINGED WARBLING-FINCH (Microspingus torquatus) – One was at an arroyo on the edge of Las Grutas.
BLACK-CAPPED WARBLING-FINCH (Microspingus melanoleucus) – Our only sightings were on our first afternoon at Costanera Sur.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – We saw a female in scrub forest near Buenos Aires, and had a nice sighting of a male later near San Antonio Oeste.
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca) – These powder blue tanagers were at Costanera Sur and Otamendi.
GRAY-HOODED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus gayi) – We saw this sierra-finch at Laguna Nimez and the very birdy arroyo outside of El Calafate.
PATAGONIAN SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus patagonicus) – Common in forested habitat on Tierra del Fuego and in Los Glacieres NP.
MOURNING SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus fruticeti) – Especially common in Chubut and Rio Negro.
CARBONATED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus carbonarius) – This species is often scarce along our tour route, so we were very pleased to find a male giving his effervescent display flight near San Antonio Oeste. [E]
COMMON DIUCA-FINCH (Diuca diuca) – This finch was quite common in dry habitats in Chubut and Rio Negro.
YELLOW-BRIDLED FINCH (Melanodera xanthogramma) – Three were in the alpine zone during our hike at the Martial Glacier in Ushuaia. We scoped a nice singing male.
LONG-TAILED REED FINCH (Donacospiza albifrons) – Our first were at Otamendi, but we had much nicer views in the tall pampas grass at Punta Rasa.
CINNAMON WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza ornata) – We had nice views of this scarce warbling-finch on two occasions near Las Grutas. This beautifully colored bird is found only in Argentina. [E]
BLACK-AND-RUFOUS WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza nigrorufa) – This species was common between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
PATAGONIAN YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis lebruni) – After playing cat and mouse with a small flock of these wandering finches, we enjoyed some great views along a fenceline on the Peninsula Valdes.

Our only sighting of the handsome White-throated Hummingbird was at patches of flowers at the Termas Marinas at Punta Rasa (near San Clemente del Tuyu). Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Good views at Costanera Sur and Otamendi in the Buenos Aires area.
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris) – Common in the pampas and also in the Las Grutas area.
GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (EASTERN) (Embernagra platensis platensis) – These big finches were common in the pampas between Buenos Aires and Punta Rasa.
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens) – Just a few sightings near Buenos Aires.
YELLOW CARDINAL (Gubernatrix cristata) – These rare songbirds were a major highlight of our time in Las Grutas. We found a male-female pair and enjoyed nicely sunlit views of them perched atop a nearby tree. The species has declined dramatically, primarily due to persecution for the cage bird trade (though it has also endured habitat loss).
GOLDEN-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator aurantiirostris) – These beautiful songsters made appearances at Costanera Sur and also in the Las Grutas area.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Nearly ubiquitous on this route.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia brissonii) – We found one of these scarce songbirds singing near Punta Indio, southeast of Buenos Aires.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
LONG-TAILED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella loyca) – Common in open country in Patagonia.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – This widespread South American species was common from Buenos Aires south to Trelew.
AUSTRAL BLACKBIRD (Curaeus curaeus) – These scarce forest blackbirds showed very nicely (and even sang quite a bit) at Tierra del Fuego NP near Ushuaia.
SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus) – A roadside stop just outside San Clemente del Tuyu allowed for some lovely views of these stunning blackbirds in a marsh.
GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius) – Quite common at Costanera Sur, with a few other sightings near Buenos Aires.
UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus) – Our only one was in the marsh at Otamendi.
YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius) – Fairly common in the northern part of our journey.

White-throated Treerunner is an ovenbird in a nuthatch-like format with a genus name that's fun to say - Pygarrhichas! We found these great little birds in the southern beech forests of Tierra del Fuego. Photo by participant Doug Clarke.

CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus) – A colony at Costanera Sur proved reliable for some nice views.
BROWN-AND-YELLOW MARSHBIRD (Pseudoleistes virescens) – This blackbird was conspicuous in the pampas.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus) – These were at Costanera Sur and Otamendi. Later, near San Antonio Oeste, we found an apparent Hooded x Black-chinned Siskin hybrid.
BLACK-CHINNED SISKIN (Spinus barbatus) – These small finches were found in Andean forests in Ushuaia and near El Calafate. Near San Antonio Oeste, we also found an apparent Hooded x Black-chinned Siskin hybrid.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Common near towns; seen every day of the trip. [I]

PICHI (Zaedyus pichiy) – This small armadillo made a road crossing near Punta Tombo, Chubut.
EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus) – These were the common large bunnies that we saw bounding through open country. [I]
MUSKRAT (Ondatra zibethica) – We saw this introduced mammal at Tierra del Fuego NP. [I]
SOUTHERN CAVY (Microcavia australis) – One roadside sighting near Las Grutas.
GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea) – Our best view was on the lawn near the Punta Rasa termas.
PATAGONIAN CAVY (Dolichotis patagonum) – These odd, large rodents have a bit of a rabbit-like carriage. We saw them nicely on Peninsula Valdes. [E]
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) – Regular sightings in the pampas.
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE (Eubalaena australis) – We took a boat trip from Puerto Piramides on the Peninsula Valdes specifically to look for these magnificent whales. We saw at least 10, including females with calves being attacked by Kelp Gulls. These gull attacks have actually altered the behavior of these surface-loving whales in recent years.
SOUTHERN GRAY FOX (Pseudalopex griseus) – Regular sightings in open habitats in Patagonia.

A Stripe-backed Bittern peered back at us from Scirpus marsh at El Palenque in the pampas. This grumpy little heron can be really difficult to find, but we were fortunate with multiple sightings this year. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CULPEO FOX (Lycalopex culpaeus) – One at Tierra del Fuego NP was our only sighting.
LITTLE GRISON (Galictis cuja) – Karen spotted one at close range at the site where we found the Cinnamon Warbling-Finch and Yellow Cardinals.
SOUTH AMERICAN SEA LION (Otaria flavescens) – Plenty were along the coastline of the Peninsula Valdes; we saw more on islands in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia.
SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL (Mirounga leonina) – These massive animals were hauled out on the beaches at the eastern end of Peninsula Valdes. We even saw a few big males chest-bumping each other in a challenge of dominance.
GUANACO (Lama guanicoe) – We found large numbers of these beautiful camelids across the openlands of Patagonia.


Totals for the tour: 284 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa