Trip through Northern Argentina and Paraguay – Day 12

29 August 2017 – Ituzaingó –Cambyreta entry to Iberá National Park

Puzzled looking water buffalo with cleaning bird

Early breakfast and at 08.30 my guide for the day Natalia was waiting for me to take me to the Cambyretá entry to the Iberá National Park. Excellent guide, and a great day all round. We took a packed lunch and were a good seven hours on the marshes.

Family gathering of the ‘yacaré negro’

The road down to the Iberá Park was difficult, and I admired Natalia’s driving – she coped far better than I and Silver would have done with a combination of wet grass, rutted mud and some (few) parts vaguely consolidated. However, for wildlife it was excellent and I added four lifers (the enormous Jabiru; the Least Bittern (rarely seen, and even more rarely, as we saw it, flying); the Streamer-tailed tyrant (at some distance) and the recently re-introduced Green-winged Macaw. Sadly I only got photos of the first and last of these.

Green-winged Macaw, being re-introduced into the Iberá National Park at Cambyretá

The last of these, whose Spanish name is the ‘Guacamayo Rojo’, are part of a reintroduction programme and although recorded here 150 years ago have long since become extinct in Argentina. There are seven birds at present, of which several are now in free flying mode although have not yet chosen to leave their ‘home’.

The improbable Jabiru

Jabirus nest on treetops, frequently on palm trees

The Jabiru was a welcome find. Although migrants should be arriving now, some (like the ones I saw) live all year round in northern Argentina and reuse their nests each year, so have become permanent residents. They nest high, and generally away from roads and people, so are not as easy to find as other herons and storks.

Gauchos at work on the grasslands

The weather was good, and the recent rains have been good for wild life and farmers. All in all, a day to cherish.

Whistling heron

And tomorrow, slowly, to Posadas for the FAAPI Conference.

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