Birding in Valdés Peninsula & Punta Tombo
October to March
11 days from Trelew
Day 1: Arrive to Trelew and drive to Valdés Peninsula for birding in bushy steppes and salt flats. Lodge accommodation.
Day 2: Second day for birding in the Valdes Peninsula, visiting Punta Delgada and Riacho San José for birding along South Atlantic coasts and steppes.
Day 3: Visit Punta Tombo Magellanic penguin colony.
Day 4: Birding in ponds and in the Patagonian desert. Transfer to the airport for boarding the departure flight to El Calafate.
Day 5: Visit Laguna Nimez and Lago Roca's area for observing birds in wetlands and ponds of the Patagonian steppes.
Day 6: Birding in Los Glaciares National Park (Patagonian beech forest habitat and transitional areas).
Day 7: Visit ponds in tablelands looking for hooded grebes and other specialities. Afternoon drive to El Chaltén.
Day 8: Rio Las Vueltas and woods of the northern tip of Los Glaciares National Park.
Day 9: Drive to La Angostura.
Day 10: Observe Austral rails around La Angostura. Drive back to El Calafate. End of the trip.
The Valdés Peninsula, in the Northeast of Patagonia, is also an excellent destination for birdwatching in its different habitats: the Patagonian steppes, the thorny Monte vegetation and the South Atlantic coasts with its bays, gulfs and creeks.
Starting the trip in Trelew or in Puerto Madryn we will explore the Peninsula in search of Darwin’s rheas, elegant-crested tinamous, burrowing parrots, red-backed hawks, Patagonian canasteros, scale-throated earthcreepers, white-throated cacholotes and rusty-backed monjitas, among many other species. Along the coastal areas we will observe rock and king cormorants, Magellanic oystercatchers, dolphin gulls, South American terns, southern giant petrels and more.
We will also visit Punta Tombo, the biggest Magellanic penguin colony, where we will also observe southern giant petrels, plain-mantled tit-spinetails, burrowing owls and the endemic white-headed steamer-duck. We will also visit a group of ponds in the steppes where we will find black-necked swans, Chilean flamingos, black-faced ibis, southern wigeons, red shovelers, crested ducks, rufous-backed negritos and many migratory species from North America.
The second part of the trip will be a visit to Los Glaciares National Park, in southern Patagonia, where we will add new species from the steppes and from a new habitat: the Patagonian beech forests at the foot of the Andes and around pristine glacier lakes. Among many species we might see Andean condors, Black-chested buzzard-eagles, cinereous harrier, the rare Austral rail, Magellanic and double - collared plover, the endemic and endangered hooded grebe, Andean ruddy-duck, torrent duck, least seedsnipe, Magellanic woodpecker, and white-bridled finch.