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Day 20: A Mixed Bag

Torres del Paine National Park

semi-overcast 60 °F

Gotta keep this brief. The positives? I saw an incredible glacier today. The negatives? None of my electronic devices (including camera) are charging reliably here. The positives? I got two life birds today! The negatives? I can only include back-of-the-camera photos of the birds here because my dwindling camera battery is at an extreme premium. The positives? A generous Portuguese woman (who miraculously also happens to be a birder) took pity on me and let me borrow her camera adapter for the night.

So, today before my family was to take a boat across Lago Grey to see the glacier, we had to hike through a beautiful ecosystem called a Magellanic Forest, and there I found my life bird STRIPED WOODPECKER! Awesome!
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Additionally, I had three chances to find my target bird for the day: Torrent Duck. My first two chances would be on the hike to and from the boat ride where the trail crosses over the Gray River on an extremely rickety and unstable footbridge. Chances seemed dismal since on the first pass over the bridge, it swung violently every time someone else stepped on the bridge, making scanning up and down the river close to impossible. Dang! Seems like I would have to hire an $80 guide to hike me into the woods to find it later...ugh

All of this aside, the boat trip to the glacier was INCREDIBLE. None of us have ever been blessed with such incredible views today, and this is something I will remember the rest of my life!!!!! The environment here is SO awesome — words & photos can’t even describe.
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Then, miraculously, on the hike back to the car, as soon as I stepped onto that same bridge, a beautiful male TORRENT DUCK swam into view...not even five feet away?!?! Amazing!!!! This was possibly my #1 target species for this national park and it gave incredible, incredible close views AND it saved me five hours & $80, allowing me a delicious afternoon nap.
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I will make one extra post after the trip (once I have fully charged my camera) including my favorite bird photos from this week since the remainder of my daily posts this week will probably consist of iPhone photos and back-of-the-camera snapshots of any lifers I may get.

Bird-of-the-day to the Torrent Duck and runner-up to the Striped Woodpecker. Some quality Patagonian species, regardless of tricky circumstances!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1105 Species (2 life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 13:01 Archived in USA

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