Didem Doğan

Birding in reserva Laguna Nimez, El Calafate

Everything seems lonely here in Patagonia: lakes, mountains, people, even the birds. Here is a sightseeing point at the town centre itself, the Laguna Nimez bird reserve is located in El Calafate, downtown. If you walk on the main avenue Libertador and reach the corner where the park is (Intendencia Parque Nacional los Glaciares), and then take the road towards the lake and continue walking for about fifteen minutes you reach another avenue Calle 2 and there is the gate of the Laguna Nimez Bird Reserve. It is a vast area by the Lake of Argentina, some part of the area looks like a marshland. There is a walking route for the visitors with various looking points where you can sit and watch the birds you would probably see (indicated and explained to you on maps). However, it is incredibly windy and we can hardly stand, so we wonder how come these birds over there (the Chilean flamingos with skinny legs) can stand so strong in the middle of these strong winds. Though I cannot see all the birds, except the flamingos on the water and some goose, I read and learn about many of them. Patagonia is home to many; black-necked swan, Chilean flamingos, canasteros, and chimangos that are typical to South America, and the famous condor you see on the roads, the huge bird flying over the Patagonian lands as if he’s the big eye looking at you. Seeing all these birds would require me to come back to the reserve for a couple of days more, but I enjoy the walk and come to the end of one hour walking path in the reserve and then head back to Libertador Avenue to stop for a while at my favourite café here in el Calafate. The Borgez & Alvarez Café is located right at the corner with glasses wide open looking at the avenue; inside you find all the books about Patagonia, its walls are covered with phrases, other travellers you may meet make it an enjoyable place to spend some time here.