Birdwatching Patagonia Tour
A 5-day birding Patagonia tour in the barren steppes and vast woodlands of Southern Patagonia hold a variety of wildlife specially adapted to the unique conditions of this extreme land. This trip is specifically aimed to look for the species of this remote region, the Hooded Grebe being our main target. Its recent addition to the endangered species list makes it one of the most sought after birds in Patagonia. Although populations are declining and the terrain is challenging, we'll go looking for it high up on the plateaus where we’ve been successful in recent seasons. Chances are good for finding other range restricted birds here, exclusive to this ultimate boundary of continental South America.
Our birding starts in El Calafate birding at Laguna Nimez, a nice wetland reserve in the outskirts of town. Then we drive to El Chaltén where we will look for specialties of the South Beech forest, such as Magellanic Woodpecker, White-throated Treerunner, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter and Spectacled Duck. Next day we continue our trip entering the wildest part of Patagonia driving towards a typical Estancia, crossing a vast and arid expanse of steppe land. On arrival, Río Chico resembles an oasis, with its extensive marshes, home to a variety of birds, most notably, the elusive Austral Rail.
Uphill from here is the Strobel Plateau, a remote area of barren deserts dotted with small lakes, where the mythical Hooded Grebe still survives. Although numbers have been dropping over the last few years, we’ll dedicate our time to concentrate our search on those lakes which offer the best conditions of finding this spectacular bird. Searching the coasts of every lake, we hope to encounter another speciality, the Magellanic Plover.
Crossing the steppes on our return to El Calafate, we'll also keep a lookout for yet another elusive species, the Patagonian Tinamou, as well as the beautiful Tawny-throated Dotterel and Chocolate-vented Tyrant.
Alternative Name: Birding Southern Patagonia + Hooded Grebe