Region (Compass)

00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 

Protected/registered status 

Best Time for visit (24-25th April, 2005)


Birding Site Guide

Rio Gallegos has many places to stay and eat. We stayed at Hotel Colonial (20 pesos per person) on Rivadavia. Our first day of birding we walked upstream along the river bank from town. Birding improved as we passed out of town although birdwatchers and motorbike riders were a problem. The paved road turns into a gravel road with a car park at the end. About 25 minutes walk further on we saw a single Hooded Grebe at high tide. According to a local ornithologist, it is unusual to see them this far up the river. They enter the river mouth with the tide and the best place to see them is at Punta Loyales just as the tide is coming in. Some gravelly river bank just inland of here harbours a substantial population (up to 2000) of Magellanic Plovers although I did not have time to go and look for them. A few other interesting birds were seen on heathland near the river belonging to the army further upstream, including Short-eared Owl and Austral Canastero. On the second day we tried to check an area about 10km South of Rio Gallegos called Chimen Aike where the road crosses the (small) Rio Chico. On the way here Short-eared Owl was seen again. The roads here were all private though and access is very poor. There is also a police checkpoint where we were asked to present ID. After this we checked out an area down by the dump and the river. Little of interest was seen here though. I saw 32 species including 4 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Great Grebe Podiceps major
  • Hooded Grebe Podiceps gallardoi Endemic Near-threatened
  • Antarctic Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis Near-threatened Vulnerable
  • Upland Goose Chloephaga picta
  • Flying Steamerduck Tachyeres patachonicus
  • Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris
  • Crested Duck Anas specularioides
  • Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica
  • Red Shoveler Anas platalea
  • Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus
  • Southern Caracara Caracara plancus
  • Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Red-gartered Coot ? Fulica armillata
  • Magellanic Oystercatcher Haematopus leucopodus
  • Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus
  • White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
  • Dolphin Gull Larus scoresbii
  • Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
  • Brown-hooded Gull Larus maculipennis
  • Rock Dove Columba livia Introduced
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
  • Austral Canastero Asthenes anthoides
  • Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola macloviana
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Gray-hooded Sierra-Finch Phrygilus gayi
  • Patagonian Yellow-Finch Sicalis lebruni
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced

Other Fauna 

A total of -- species of mammals.

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse