San Clemente and Punta Rasa offer the possibility of seeing many if not all of the Pampas birds and also wintering migrators from as far as Alaska. Knowing the area well I thought it might help visiting birders if I described the best birding areas.
The Pampas are huge flat plains that have the Atlantic Ocean as their eastern limit. From the west to the east there is a slow drop in the land level that becomes salty lowlands close to the Ocean, interspersed by marshes, canals and small rivers that provide shelter and food to hundreds of thousands of local and wintering migrating birds. All these shoreline lands make poor quality cattle grazing fields with scarce farming productive patches.
Native woods are absent and any wooded area seen has been planted by man. Very close to the shore, runs a sea-conch layer many million years old. This makes a higher line on which certain very local twisted trees grow making a shore gallery. They are called locally "Tala" (Celtis tala) and abate the ocean winds giving nesting possibilities to many birds.
The Sanborombon and Salado are a couple of central Pampas' rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean and give the surrounding lowlands a very typical appearance. Close to the ocean, their shores look like a slowly dark brown moving mass due to millions of Fiddler Crabs walking on them. The skilled eyes of a birder will soon discover lots of birds feeding, roosting in the reeds, preening or just resting. In the canal's waters and in the marshes as well as on their shores many wintering waders can be discovered, all wearing their dull winter feathering to the local birders disappointment.
Moving to the southeast of Buenos Aires city, the eastern shoreline of the Buenos Aires province has a line of small towns/seaside resorts which, when going southwards, will end up in a large town with a port called Mar del Plata and then more to the south towns as Necochea and Bahia Blanca will appear. These towns with their ports are the outlets of the Pampas main production that is grain and the famous Argentine beef. San Clemente is the first of such small towns/seasideresorts and is 320 kilometers to the southeast of Buenos Aires city. Driving along National Route 2 up to Dolores and then turning to the left (east) towards Route 11 takes the birder right to the town. Birding can be done everywhere. Along the roads there are canals and marshes and side mudroads leading into neighbouring cattle estates, all of which provide excellent birding.
Some 12 kilometres to the north of San Clemente is Punta Rasa. This is a piece of land that stretches right into the ocean. It has a lighthouse and its shores look north and to the southeast. One can walk down to the beaches and watch the birds. On its northern part, there is a small river that falls into the ocean, a very good birding spot full of waders, ducks, flamingos and shorebirds. A true birdwatchers paradise.
I strongly suggest to return to Buenos Aires city along Route 11 and bird the "Tala" tree galleries up to a place called Pipinas then, instead of following the pavement, follow the mudroad that leads to Magdalena, Atalaya and ends in La Plata. Birding there is very interesting and rewarding. Now Buenos Aires is very close and easy to reach.
The following is a list of birds to be found at San Clemente in late January.