A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14: Pattering about Patagonia

semi-overcast 63 °F

Before I go on to narrate today’s adventures, I must include some more photos from yesterday evening’s cruise through the Beagle Channel, which was incredible:
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And today we had a port of call at Punta Arenas, Chile!
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I photographed this KING CORMORANT on the tender ride to shore:
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Yep — Chile!
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After disembarking the tender, a wonderfully kind man named Jürgen picked us up for a whole day of birding!!! Along the drive northeast from the city, we picked up my first life bird of the day: CINEROUS HARRIER
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Lifer #2 was a BLACK-FACED IBIS:
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And #3 was the incredible LESSER RHEA!!! Amazing — one of my target birds for the trip and one of those birds you only dream of seeing in the wild. In fact, they were surprisingly common today!
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Then, we stopped at a saline lagoon and immediately picked up probably our main target for the morning: MAGELLANIC PLOVER! This is an awesome shorebird which is placed in a whole taxonomic family of its own, and it is found exclusively in Patagonia. AMAZING! Lifer #4!
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BAIRD’S SANDPIPER:
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Lifer #5: BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES:
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CORRENDERA PIPIT:
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Lifer #6: the striking GRAY-HOODED SIERRA FINCH:
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BROWN-HOODED GULL:
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Lifer #7: SILVERY GREBES!
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WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, amazingly a species I have only seen once before!
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Lifer #8: COSCOROBA!
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All those dots are WILSON’S PHALAROPES, amazing little shorebirds that have flown all the way from the Arctic to winter in Patagonia:
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MAGELLANIC OYSTERCATCHERS:
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RED SHOVELERS:
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Then, I spotted the one-and-only Guanaco, a hallmark species of South American wildlife! AWESOME!!! We saw many of these today, and learned they are one of the Mountain Lion’s favorite foods.
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Immature BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE:
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RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROWS were omnipresent as usual:
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Lifer #9: the dazzling CHILEAN FLAMINGO!
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It is not a birding trip unless I catch a little creature for closer inspection — this time, it was a grasshopper! (all animals are released in perfect condition after observation)
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Beautiful rhea with the Patagonian steppe in the background:
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Lifer #10: CHOCOLATE-VENTED TYRANT — what a name!
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LONG-TAILED MEADOWLARK:
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Then, we spotted an AMAZING life bird: APLOMADO FALCON, an uncommon species for the area!!
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Lifer #12: the diminutive, but ornate LEAST SEED SNIPE.
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Then we saw a pair of Gray Fox which had some really cute canine mannerisms that made us miss our own dog, Daisy.
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European Jackrabbit, introduced species:
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Love the fast-running Guanaco, the wild version of an Alpaca!
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Lifer #13: AUSTRAL CANASTERO
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Lifer #14: COMMON MINER
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COSCOROBA with adult & juvenile WHITE-WINGED COOTS:
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CORRENDERA PIPIT:
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PATAGONIAN SNIPE:
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Lifer #15: many CHILOE WIGEONS, beautiful birds!
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UPLAND GEEESE with BROWN-HOODED & FRANKLIN’S GULLS:
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BLACK-NECKED SWAN:
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Lifer #16: the uncommon ANDEAN DUCK!
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Lifer #17: PLUMBEOUS RAIL
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Lifer #18: DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES:
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AUSTRAL NEGRITO, a common but striking bird throughout the day:
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Lifer #19 was an unphotographed BAND-WINGED EARTHCREEPER which was extremely secretive in nature.
Lifer #20 was a MAGELLANIC DIVING-PETREL seen from the ship this evening!

Whew — another awesome day of birding! Thanks Mom and Dad for arranging the tour and huge thanks to Jürgen for getting me so many lifers that I am now 3 away from 1100! Bird-of-the-day to the Aplomado Falcon, with runner up to the Andean Duck. Stay tuned — 3 days of Pacific pelagic birding, followed by a week in Patagonia, yay!

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1097 Species (20 life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 18:16 Archived in Chile

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HAPPY NEW YEAR HENRY AND FAMILY!!!
????????????
What an incredible trip! The Pygmy owl and woodpecker and so many others oh my!
Loving reading about it all, wish I was there!????

by Poo

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