A Unique Habitat for Flamingos in Argentina
Mar Chiquita (also known as “Mar de Ansenuza”) is the largest saline lake in Argentina and the fifth one in the world. It is home to many species of birds, most notably the flamingo.
A Unique Habitat where, during the year, it is possible to observe entire colonies of birds moving at the water’s edge from one point to another of the lagoon. A Paradise for Birdwatchers and Wildlife Photographers.
Accompanied by a Professional Photographer and Local Guide, we will navigate the waters of Mar Chiquita to respectfully approach these beautiful creatures and get great images.
From May to the end of October we will have, with a little luck, the possibility to attend the courtship dance, a phenomenal spectacle. Male flamingos perform a unison display in shallow water during which they stretch their necks, flap their wings and emit signals to attract the attention of females.
We will meet at the hotel in Miramar. The Lead Photographer will give an introductory talk to the workshop.
In the afternoon we will visit the Gran Hotel Viena, learning about the history of this emblematic and mysterious place, which was once a luxury accommodation. We will also visit one of the first Croatian chapels in the province of Córdoba.
At sunset we will set up our tripods near the Casino Miramar Hotel, to photograph the beautiful view of the Laguna Mar Chiquita.
Sunrise at Vidita Bay: “The awakening of the Flamingos“.
We will go deep into the life of the flamingos and their environment, using camouflage techniques to go unnoticed and get great shots. This activity will test our patience and allow us to observe the behavior of this majestic bird up close.
After that, we will take a walk along the coast to photograph other species of migratory birds.
We will then return to the hotel to relax, have lunch and recharge our batteries. Around 4:30 PM we will meet to talk about the next activity and the parameters we will use.
Sunset at the Muller Colony: the perfect scenery to photograph the golden hour, framed by the attractive dry trees of Ansenuza and the ruins of the old clinic. At the end of the blue hour we will have a snack and stay to observe the starry sky and practice night photography.
Early in the morning we will leave for the Club Náutico Miramar, to embark and begin our navigation to the Orihuela Island. A former estancia located in the south of Mar Chiquita.
We will sail about 40 km until we reach the destination, where we will disembark and take a walk to discover the biodiversity of birds in Ansenuza, observing Flamingos, Plovers and Sandpipers, which fly thousands of kilometers from the United States and Canada.
During the excursion we will learn the different techniques to identify and observe birds in their natural habitat. After the walk we will have a well-deserved snack to recover energy. Lunch included.
Time to enjoy the beach, and experience the floatability of its hypersaline waters. This activity gives us access to unique sites and environments of Lake Mar Chiquita, allowing us to understand its importance to thousands of birds that visit this wetland throughout the year.
We will leave early in the morning to navigate the bay of the Xanaes River, one of the three tributaries of the Mar Chiquita Lake.
In its bay we will be able to observe numerous species of birds and large colonies of flamingos. Return to the hotel around noon and free time for lunch.
We will say goodbye until the next workshop!
Please note that these are only suggestions given by our experience. It is not necessary to have all the equipment reported, everyone prepares for the journey according to their needs.
For example, some people may only want to take pictures with a smartphone while others will want to take a drone with them. But it is our duty to guide you to a better choice.
Although you can participate with any type of photographic device, we recommend a reflex or mirrorless camera, which allow much more freedom and creativity.
Considering the wide variety of photographic situations this workshop presents, it is advisable to have available focal lengths ranging from wide-angle (shorter distances) to telephoto (longer distances).
For those who like to photograph landscapes, a 17-40mm zoom lens or similar might work well.
For wildlife we suggest a telephoto lens starting at 300 mm.
Consider also buying a tele converter to increase the focal length of the lens: 1.4x or 2x. Even if with loss of luminosity.
Finally, choosing the right set of lenses is not easy. If you encounter difficulties and need some suggestions do not hesitate to contact us.
The most important feature of a tripod is its stability. Since every journey includes some trekking, we must also take into account the weight.
We suggest a good carbon tripod that maintains a good balance between weight and stability, that can easily change from one height to another and that locks in little space.
Aluminum is also fine, as carbon is generally much more expensive. We know that choosing a tripod is not easy and we are available to help you choose the right model for you.
A Polarizing filter will be very useful on boat trips to neutralize water reflections.
For those who love Landscape Photography, ND filters with 6 or 8 steps will be also very useful.
It is recommended to carry UV or Skylight filters, useful to protect the lenses from dust and splashes.
Finding the right photo backpack can be a difficult challenge. We recommend you to rely on a brand with quality and experience in the market.
The type of backpack clearly depends on your equipment. But what really matters is that you feel comfortable with it and possibly fitted with a rain cover.
You can’t miss in your backpack: a cleaning kit for the lenses, a remote control to shoot without touching the camera, hood for the lenses (to avoid flare) and a robust / comfortable camera strap.
It is also important to take spare batteries and memory cards with you.
If you are interested in POST-PRODUCTION we suggest bringing your laptop with some editing software already installed. The workshop leader, at the end of the day, will answer your questions.
The Mar Chiquita Lake is a unique habitat for many species of birds. Among them the flamingo.
It is possible to spot here 3 of the 6 species of flamingos existing in the world: the Chilean Flamingo, the Andean Flamingo and the James’s Flamingo.
The Chilean Flamingo is the most abundant species and is present all year round.
The Andean Flamingo arrives at Mar Chiquita regularly during the winter.
More sporadic and in lesser quantity is the presence of the James’s Flamingo.
About 142 species of seabirds can also be sighted, of which 73 (more than half) are permanent, the rest are migratory.
Source: “Bañados del Río Dulce y Laguna Mar Chiquita” – Bucher E.H. Ediciones (2006). Academia Nacional de Ciencias (Córdoba, Argentina).
It is advisable to bring a waterproof jacket or a windbreaker (especially useful during boat trips).
Hat, neck cover, and sunglasses.
Sturdy, comfortable footwear (hiking type) for walking.
Comfortable and robust backpack to carry your gear and protect it from dust, water and bumps.
Sunscreen and mosquito spray.
The round trip between your city of origin and Miramar is not included in the price.
However, we can coordinate it with the Tour Operator.