Friday 27 May 2011

Parque Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina. EZE

Parque Tres de Febrero, known variously as the Palermo Woods or Plaza Holanda, is a city park in Buenos Aires with a large lake. I had dipped on some coots and grebes earlier in the day and hoped to rectify that with a visit to some open fresh water.
Using Retiro Station (Google Earth ref; 34° 35’ 29”S 58° 22’ 28”W ) as a starting point again, a taxi took 10 mins and cost 25 Pesos (6.5 Pesos =£1). It drove along the Avenida Del Libertadore which is also well served by buses. Cut and paste these coordinates into Google Earth for an overhead look at the park; 34° 34’ 15”S 58° 25’ 01”W
Immediate success was had with a White-tufted Grebe and the promise of coots further along. Although I had not experienced any problems and had so far remained unmolested, the damage had been done by various strong warnings about personal security and I did not have the confidence to bring the big camera to the park. Others did though and there were plenty of people taking pictures.
I decided on a circuit of the lake and set off towards the coots. The first was a White-winged Coot. Although the white tips to the secondaries are not always apparent, the bird can be separated from the other coots by a plain yellow frontal shield and bill.
A slightly larger coot had a dark red marking between the shield and bill indicating that this was a Red-gartered Coot. It also has a red "garter" at the top of its tibia, but this is not a good field mark when it is on the water. It was more aggressive and appeared to cooperate with others of its kind to bully the white-wings away from free food thrown by park visitors.
The gimme birds, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Rufous Hornero and Picazuro Pigeons were all present in good numbers. Monk Parakeets were joined by Nanday Parakeet to keep up a constant grating noise.
A bridge spans a narrow point in the lake and leads into a formal rose garden. Lawns and trees beyond here held Shiny Cowbirds, Eared Doves and a male and female Hepatic Tanager.
From here I crossed the road towards the Japanese Gardens. There is a less formal area outside the enclosed gardens and there were a couple of vagrants in makeshift shelters in the trees and by the pond. They did not approach me and left me to watch a Limpkin as it fed at the edge of the water.
The park struck me as quite a bohemian area. A nearby university provided a good supply of students sitting out, artists, musicians and even dancers. Perhaps the big camera would have been provocative, but I hope that bold capitalised warnings won’t stop visitors to Buenos Aires from enjoying the city with the normal precautions that they would take in any big city.

Species seen; 21
White-tufted Grebe 4, Neotropic Cormorant 5, Southern Caracara 1, Limpkin 1, White-winged Coot 8, Red-gartered Coot 15, Picazuro Pigeon 30, Eared Dove 15, Nanday Parakeet 50, Monk Parakeet 40, Rufous Hornero 30, Cattle Tyrant 2, Great Kiskadee 6, Chalk-browed Mockingbird 15, Creamy-bellied Thrush 1, Rufous-bellied Thrush 50, Common Starling 4, House Sparrow 30, Hepatic Tanager 2, Red-crested Cardinal 2, Shiny Cowbird 4.

Other posts from Buenos Aires can be found at the links below;

Visit the dedicated Central and South America Page for more posts from the region.

Parque Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina. EZE

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