Monday, 8 February 2010

Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside

In Ecuador, £30 would buy you a house, here in Argentina that's what I paid for B&B last night. What I was really in need of was a peaceful, quiet and relaxed nights sleep (after the continuous din of Santiago) and for the money, well spent, I got it. However, that done it only took a glance at the map to realise just how long the stay here would be - very short! The map showed no green areas at all within the bounds of the town, and after a chat with the receptionist it was clear that the nearest nature reserve was 35Km away, about £35 in a cab as there are no buses.

After a reasonable breakfast and a call at the ATM a ticket was booked for the onward journey. Not really fond of 'sea watching', I am always best suited to the coast so at 16-00 on a 'luxury' coach it's Mar del Plata for this kid. For those following progress via Google Maps or the atlas, it's east along the coast from Bahia Blanca and I think 700Km or so south on the coast road from Buenos Aires.

I don't know why, but being high in the Andes I though San Rafael was going to be full of Inca, sat round little fires selling Llama products to the tourists. First of all, there are no tourists but me, and this is a town bigger than Weymouth. Wall to wall shops, I was soon out of it and taking one or two side streets soon came upon a small park. Small was the word, almost postage stamp, but already I could hear a few birds. House and Rufous-collared Sparrows were first on the scene, then a trip addition, Rufous Hornero, that I have become well acquainted with on other trips. One of the Ovenbirds it builds a domed nest of clay, often perched on a bare branch or telegraph pole, and as is usual very evident around here. Others previously encountered this trip included, Great Kiskadee, Cattle Tyrant, Spot-winged Pigeon, Monk Parakeet, Great Hummingbird and Eared Dove, while other additions for the trip were Creamy-bellied Thrush, Picui Ground-Dove and the stunning Blue-and-Yellow Tanager. There was also a 'World Lifers', of a 'family group' I don't recall, a Brown Cacholote which means this cannot be a bad place.

So, I'm just sitting out the last couple of hours before the coach here in the hotel, and hoping tomorrow to bring you photographs of Olrog's Gull. Who Knows?

List Update


Trip List - 855
Life List - 560
Endemics - 57

Blue-and-Yellow Tanager

Not the best shots of a difficult to photograph bird, but hey what a beauty?

Creamy-bellied Thrush

Rufous Hornero

Great Kiskadee

Picui Ground-Dove (male)

Picui Ground-Dove (female)


  1. Hi, Bagsy! I'm one of the Argentinian people you met in Galapagos, in the trip to Santa Fe. I'm glad you are in Argentina already and heading to MDP. It's quite crowded right now because it's high season. I think you might like going to take some pics at Sierra de los Padres, not far from MDP (ask someone else in MDP anyway). Best regards!

  2. Hey Frenzo
    Good to hear from you, how are your mates. Yes, I've found it a little oppressive with all the people, hot weather and very few birds. Will take a look at your suggestion (thanks for that) and start heading up the coast manana. Thanks for the note, hope you like the Blog.
    Yours aye