Birding Chile – Chilean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

birdPhotographer: Manu Expeditions
Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas: Early flight to Punta Arenas and morning birding near our hotel in Punta Arenas. On arrival we'll head out in search of Steamer Ducks (both Fuegian and Flying), Lesser Rhea and an afternoon coastal excursion looking for Dotterels, Ruddy-headed Goose and more.. Ancient forests of twisted, stunted Nothofagus (southern beech) trees reflect the harshness of the southern temperate climate and contribute to the distinctive flavour of Patagonia, a world apart from the rest of South America. Some birding on the coast near the hotel should produce Black-browed Albatross, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Imperial Shag, Upland Goose, Two-banded Plover, Chilean Skua and Kelp and Dolphin Gulls. The tiny Austral Negrito is ubiquitous. We'll stay at a comfortable hotel here. Night Punta Arenas. B:L:D
Day 2: Punta Arenas - Tierra del Fuego: We'll then take the ferry crossing to Porvenir on Tierra del Fuego. We should see scores of Southern Giant petrels, Magellanic Diving Petrels, Chilean Skuas, Black-browed Albatross, Cape Petrel and more. Afternoon birding Tierra del Fuego including Laguna Verde, Laguna Santa Maria and Bahia Inutil. Common and rarer birds for the next couple of days will be Ashy-headed and Upland Goose, Two-banded Plover, Magellanic Plover, Chilean Skua, Short-billed Miner, Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated Dotterels, Lesser Rhea, Flightless Steamer-Duck, Black-necked Swan, Crested Duck and Kelp Goose. Night in Porvenir. B:L:D
Day 3 Tierra del Fuego; King Penguin Colony: This morning we will drive 120 km east of Porvenir, towards a recently established King Penguin colony. About 30 birds are usually seen there, and a few pairs of this beautiful penguin are trying to breed there for a few years now. On the way we also have good chance to find the rare Fuegian Steamer-duck and a few Short-billed Miners. After lunch in Porvenir, we will look for the any missing species we still may need around here. Night in Porvenir
Day 4: Tierra del Fuego to Puerto Natales: This morning we head to Bahia Azul and our ferry crossing back to the mainland. We'll stop at a rocky outcrop where Magellanic Horned Owls roost sometimes. This is a shorter ferry crossing and we'll look for Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Wilson's Petrels and White-chinned Petrels plus other seabirds. Austral Canastero is on the menu for to-day too! A stop on the continent at Buque Quemado may get us a great variety of waterfowl including Silver Teal, Rosy-billed Pochard, Chiloe Wigeon, Coscoroba Swan and a variety of shorebirds including South American Snipe. En route to Puerto Natales, we'll look for Chocolate-vented Tyrant, Canary-winged Finch, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Common Miners and Patagonian Yellow-Finch. Night Puerto Natales. B:L:D
Day 5: Torres del Paine and Sierra Baguales: The spectacular Torres del Paine park – amongst others here we'll be looking for are Dark-faced Ground-tyrant, Cinnamon-bellied Ground-tyrant, White-throated Caracara, Yellow-bridled Finch, Patagonian Mockingbird but mainly we'll be drinking in the magnificence of the Torres del Paine landscapes!! We bird the eastern side of the park and its lakes, looking for waterfowl and on reed fringed pools the recently re-discovered Austral Rail. Cinereous Harriers are fairly common. Guanaco, Patagonian Skunk and Gray Fox are some mammals we may see. Exploring the road to Sierra Baguales we'll be looking for Patagonian Mockingbird, Patagonian and Greater Yellow Finch, the pretty Yellow-bridled Finch, a variety of Ground-Tyrants, White-throated Caracara and the very rare Gray-bellied Shrike-tyrant. Night in Puerto Natales. B:L:D
Day 6: To Santiago or the Falklands:To the airport and flight to Santiago (arriving mid-afternoon) and connecting international flights or join the Falklands Islands Extension. B
Does not include air Santiago - Punta Arenas - santiago but we will do this on request – the price depends on when we get your full name, deposit and passport numbers - you can check current prices at www.LAN.com & www.skyairline.cl

Customer Testimonials

Cheers, Romney Bathurst - USA

Just wanted to thank you again for arranging our jaunt to Mantanayoc and to say how very much we enjoyed Silverio – he is a delightful fellow and a very good guide. I also want to commend Aurelio, Walter and Alejandro, all of whom did everything possible to make the main trip a successful and comfortable experience for all – and always with smiles too! The food, of course, was especially good - they are a great crew and I look forward to travelling with them again on the N. Peru trip in Nov.

Nick Blackwood - UK

What a wonderful three weeks - thank you. Exciting, exhausting, enthralling, overwhelming, hot, wet, bright, biting, glorious, inspiring, imposing.... You´ll have heard it all before. The guide was simply marvelous. The most attentive, unfailingly courteous, unendingly patient, enthusiastic, amusing and professional guide it has been my privilege to bird with. And his knowledge of the birds and their calls, wildlife in general was simply astonishing. The whole trip was carried off so efficiently - not a single hitch in three weeks. Anyway I wish you and the whole of your group a very happy Christmas and successful New Year. This is not the last you have heard of me.

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Comments

What a wonderful three weeks - thank you. Exciting, exhausting, enthralling, overwhelming, hot, wet, bright, biting, glorious, inspiring, imposing.... You´ll have heard it all before. The guide was simply marvelous. The most attentive, unfailingly courteous, unendingly patient, enthusiastic, amusing and professional guide it has been my privilege to bird with. And his knowledge of the birds and their calls, wildlife in general was simply astonishing. The whole trip was carried off so efficiently - not a single hitch in three weeks. Anyway I wish you and the whole of your group a very happy Christmas and successful New Year. This is not the last you have heard of me.

Just wanted to thank you again for arranging our jaunt to Mantanayoc and to say how very much we enjoyed Silverio – he is a delightful fellow and a very good guide. I also want to commend Aurelio, Walter and Alejandro, all of whom did everything possible to make the main trip a successful and comfortable experience for all – and always with smiles too! The food, of course, was especially good - they are a great crew and I look forward to travelling with them again on the N. Peru trip in Nov.

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