Sarah, her folks, and I are now in Punta Arenas, Chile, the southernmost city in continental Chile (Tierra del Fuego, which we unfortunately don´t have time to visit, is a large island just south of here).
Since my last post a few days ago, we´ve:
– gone for two short day hikes under the shadows of the Cuernos del Paine in Torres del Paine Parque Nacional, and experienced even stronger winds than before
– Sarah found an Austral Pgymy-Owl, which is about the size of a backbird (but rounder), and is as cute as you might think. More so, in fact!
– We spent a night at the wonderful Posada Rio Verde, and had a fantastic home-cooked meal of Chilean Shepherd´s Pie
– Enjoyed close fly-by´s by Andean Condors en route from Rio Verde to Punta Arenas
– Took a boat ride to Isla Magdalena in the Straits of Magellan and visited a Magellanic Penguin Colony. Thousands and thousands of these cute little burrowing, braying (they sound much like a donkey!) birdies have dens in this windswept and desolate island. Had pretty good seabirding on the trip too, but it was very slow at 2 hours each way, and on a slow and old auto ferry.
Updates to the bird life list include:
– Austral Parakeet
– Patagonian Tyrant
– Austral Pygmy-Owl
– White-tufted Grebe
– Great Grebe
– Silvery Grebe
– Flying Steamer-Duck
– Flightless Steamer-Duck
– Speckled Teal
– Magellanic Penguin
– Black-browed(?) Albatross
– Brown(?) Skua
– South American(?) Tern
– Giant Petrel (not sure if Nortern or Southern)
– King Cormorant (may be subspecies of the already-seen Imperial Cormorant now)