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10 - 12 October
2. Hosteria La Cienaga and
hotel is a minor birding site in its own right, with three different
formal gardens, immediately surrounding the buildings - good
for humming birds.
less formal grounds, with open, cut grass and a 200-year-old
avenue of huge Eucalyptus trees. These held thrushes, conebills,
tanagers and the ever-present sparrows.
Marsh - sedge and coarse grass - noted for the Subtropical
Doradito, occurring here near its northern limit.
pleasant, but, not surprisingly, no great bird density. However,
the garden was the place for Giant Hummingbird. This remarkable
hummer, the largest in the world, is the size of a small thrush.
When we watched it (on several occasions), it behaved more like
a flycatcher than a hummer. It favoured the tops of trees and bushes
in the inner courtyard. The gardens also held Sparkling Violet-ear
and, of course, Rufous-collared Sparrow.
are dominated by an impressive 200 year-old avenue of Eucalyptus
trees, which were favoured by a variety of birds. Great Thrushes
were in good numbers, and two humming birds, Black-tailed Trainbearer
and Sparkling Violet-ear were seen on several occasions.
We looked, however, in vain for Sword-billed Hummingbird.
These, apparently, favour the small trees with long trumpet-shaped
flowers. There were quite a number of them in flower, and we watched
some of the bushes for quite some time without success.
to the house we had good views of Vermillion Flycatcher,
a common enough bird, but brilliantly plumaged.
most activity in these tall trees seemed to be where they border
Lasso Marsh. We had glimpses of Blue-and-yellow Tanager high
in the branches, and, lower in the trees, several Cinereous Conebills.
Hooded Siskins flew regularly from the trees across the marsh
to a narrower belt of trees near some habitations.
is just beyond the hotel's boundary. We decided not to view it from
the road, but to walk through the grounds (turning right out of
the main gates), and walk up and down the boundary fence. We were
there early on two mornings to try to see Southern Doradito.
about an hour on the first morning, we got very brief (1-second)
glimpses of this elusive flycatcher in the coarse grasses at the
end of the marsh furthest from the road. That was the only view
we had, because the second morning produced nothing.
birds around the marsh included Black Flowerpiercer (quite
approachable), Azara's Spinetail, a distant, scoped view
of Chiguanco Thrush (much paler than Great Thrush) and an
American Kestrel in flight. All the doves in the area, incidentally,
seemed to be Eared Doves.