Wednesday, 25 May 2016

On the Border with Joan and Lewis

Well not even finishing blogging Antarctica and The Arctic circle when Joan rings and Geoffrey Lapworth blogs that a female Goldeneye with a brood of 6 or 7 are showing well .I rush down with my bins and the birds are almost in the car park .I thank Joan and shoot to Ricky where I meet
Lewis now at this point Joan and I record 6 juvs.So 2 hrs later Lewis and I are grilling a female and 7 juvs.
Well a Lesser Black Backed gull swoops and we are back to 6 juvs ,I catch the 6 lucky ones diving mums not best pleased.
So now for the record theirs 6 left but for how long,we passed Andrew Moon on route back conveying our experience.
Lewis informs me that the female is an escaped female with a ring but the male surely is a lusty Viking so the brood our wild skol skol

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Ushuiai and Tierra del Fuego

Arrived Ushuiai  Argentina docked and booked an afternoon trip to Tierra del Fuego.
After lunch we boarded our coach to Tierra del Fuego the land of the Yamanas this land of fires lit by these natives travelling through Lenga woods and Guindo trees in the Nothofagus forest.
These sub Antarctic Beech woods produced the endemic Fuegian Red Fox and the enigmatic Black chested Buzzard Eagle.

we saw one amongst Chimango Caracara before seeing the post office at the end of the world.
So the end of the world tour here produces Austral Parakeet in flight calling.

Torres del Paine continued

At the Rio del Paine noted Patagonian Sierra finches just prior to the waterfalls at Rio Cacada Paine.
At the National Park entrance I saw a Rufous collared Sparrow,moving on
to laguna Laga where Black necked Swans were distant,around 1130 hrs we
viewed the Horns of the Blue Massif.

Spectacular views here also 2 pairs of Great Grebe with one juvenile along with Red gartered coot.

Just prior to Lake Pehoe  where we had stunning views here and an excellent lunch.
Saw Fire eyed Diucon here and Torrent Duck.

Torres del Paine

Left the port of Punta Arenas with our guide Ava ,our chartered flight to Puerto Natales our 45 minute arrived around 0820hrs.
This place is called Last Hope province,our first stop was Puente Pocarillo.
A few miles down the road Andean Condors sat at rest amongst Caracaras,obviously a carcasse nearby.

Noting more birds on route we stopped for tea and toilets at Cerro Castillo where a Long tailed Meadowlark was singing.
Also of note Upland Goose and Chilean Flicker.Soon we were viewing Guanacos (camelids) .

Thursday, 5 May 2016

All At Sea

Well as you can imagine a number of days were at sea without visiting a port so some serious sea watching ensued not everyones cup of tea.
Good numbers of Great Shearwaters obliged and fairly easily identified.
this picture shows a number of Great and what I think was a Manx or two.
Next a map showing the water covered on the cruise.
So much variety obviously some pictures are distant but on a cruise ship you take what you get.
Albatrosses at last Black browed being the commonest.

Also Wandering Albatross in good numbers with its massive wingspan.

This is an immature any mistakes feedback would be appreciated.

Here's an adult followed by Salvins  , saw at least 5 Species of Albatross.
Another big bird was Southern Giant Petrel juveniles and colour phases makes things difficult they say Northern or Halls Giant Petrel don't follow boats ?
sitting pretty this one.
Well that's the pelagic for a bit back soon with some more soon
I leave you with a favourite Cape Petrel.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Falklands

The first tender off the boat saw Flightless Steamer Ducks even distant penguins.
Our first view as we entered the bay to Stanley.
I left the boat around 1000hrs for a tour to Volunteer Point,which is the largest King Penguin colony in the Falkland Islands.
We boarded our land rover and Naomi our driver took us out of

The habitat was huge areas  of  upland grass with boulders and stones  and beyond that peat bog,after the gravel roads it took 2and a half hours on boggy peat tracks to reach Volunteer Point.

 First up was a number of Gentoo penguin which posed admirably in the sunshine.
followed by small numbers of Magellanic near there burrows.
Finally the magnificent King Penguins were superb they were harassed by
Dolphin gulls and Turkey Vultures but nothing deterred these astonishing birds.
The colony was fairly large and very photogenic.
Also they were Kings of the beach