24 August 2017 – at Colonia Carlos Pelligrini – all quiet on the wetlands
Slept well, the rooster apparently having decided to wake up others today. Good breakfast and off for a personal birding tour arranged by my hosts. These tours are part of the deal and are very good value as is my whole stay at the Ñande Retá lodge.
The first part of the tour was in search of a particular bird that has long eluded me (and others): the Yellow Cardinal. I’m not exactly a lister, but I do get a satisfaction out of seeing and photographing these ‘difficult’ species. My guide, Darío, knew where one ought to be – on the smallholding of a farmer he knew – and got me permission to enter this private land where not only did we see male and female of the species, but a few other birds to boot. The visit was enhanced by a pair of turkeys that followed us like dogs, copulating every time we stopped to take photos. Strange world the turkeys seem to live in.
Mission Yellow Cardinal completed, we headed to the other end of the settlement to walk a couple of trails, one through forest and another through reed beds. Not many birds here at all, but we were rewarded by the acrobatics of a [female] howler monkey, the largest monkey species in the Americas. I was told there is a small group of five here in C. Pelligrini – an adult pair and three juveniles – but we only saw the one.
The reed bed was more productive for birds but no new species here this morning, and I stopped in at the Information Centre to watch a short video on the history of the Iberá Reserve – started in the 1980s, with tourism starting only a few years ago.
Back to the lodge at dusk for another shower and what has become my daily schedule of reviewing the day’s photos and making these short notes as a memory of what I do and see each day. Hopefully it will be acknowledged and appreciated in later years when I look back.
A couple more memories of the day:
Tomorrow back to Mercedes along Paradise road, where I saw so much wild life on the way in to Iberá, and to some shops (C. Pelligrini is somewhat limited in that respect). And, importantly, to get back online for a while, load up these last three days to the blog and attend to some accumulated correspondence.