Water-bearer, wear the water beside me,
Hide your burying shadow from the shorebirds,
But heed the tides that uncover you nightly.
Gems in sandcastles, stick-written words,
Hidden from the shadows of shorebirds, Washed over by water.
Waters revelatory Gems, sand, castles, sticks, words.
Chip Livingston, from Punta del Este Pantoum
[Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas]
December 26, 2017: Punta Del Este, Uruguay
Sunny | High: 84F / 29C | Low: 68F / 20C
Sunrise 05:24 am * Sunset 8:21 pm | Evening Attire: Smart Casual
We were unsure whether or not choosing to bird both of our days in Uruguay was a savvy decision, or not – but once we met expert birder, Thierry Rabau, we knew we made the right choice. Thierry originally hails from Belgium (EU) and has lived in Uruguay for the past 30 years. He is without a doubt an expert birder with a great deal of patience for us North Americans who for the most part were observing new birds (lifers!). Thierry is an Encyclopedia Britannica of Birds! His wealth of knowledge in not only identifying birds, but their scientific names, behaviour, and ecology was awe-inspiring. I felt as if I spent a day with a Master! Not only did we see great birds, but I felt as if I just completed a one-day workshop in Uruguay. I most appreciated Thierry’s compassion for the environment, noting specific behaviour of the birds, and informing us of areas of important significance (IBAs).
Thierry took us to a wide array of environments surrounding the resort mecca of Punta del Este. It was amazing to see such a variety of environments so close to an area that is bustling from human activity. When I reflect back on the day, I realize how much we accomplished during our one day stay.
Whether you are a beginner, novice, amateur, or life-long birder – I am sure you can still learn something from Thierry. He is truly a gem in the birding world and we feel so honoured and privileged to have spent the day with him.
Bird Notes: species that we encountered included:
White-tufted Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Whistling Heron, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Striated Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Bare-faced Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Plumbeous Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Maguari Stork, Southern Screamer, Coscoroba, Black-necked Swan, Yellow-billed Teal, Southern (Chiloe) Wigeon, Silver Teal, Brazilian (Teal), Turkey Vulture, Snail Kite, Long-winged Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Crested (Southern) Caracara, Chimango Caracara, Rufous-sided Crake, Giant Wood-rail, Plumbeous Rail, Common Gallinule, Limpkin, Southern Lapwing, American Golden Plover, American Oystercatcher, South American (Black-necked) Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, Wattled Jacana, Greater Yellowlegs, South American Snipe, Black Skimmer, Kelp Gull, Brown-hood Gull, Gray-hooded Gull, Snowy-crowned Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, Picazuro Pigeon, Spot-winged Pigeon, Eared Dove, White-tipped Dove, Monk Parakeet, Guira Cuckoo, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Gilded Hummingbird, Amazon Kingfisher, Green-barred Woodpecker, Campo Flicker, Rufous Hornero, Spix’s Spinetail, Wren-like Rushbird, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Small billed Elaenia, Sooty Tyrannulet, White-crested Tyrannulet, Bran coloured Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Gray Monjita, White Monjita, Spectacled Tyrant, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Cattle Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, White-rumped Swallow, Brown-chested Martin, Gray-breasted Martin, Blue and White Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Tropical Parula, Masked Yellowthroat, Red-crested Cardinal, Saffron Finch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Shiny Cowbird, Yellow-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow.