Visit your favourite destinations
Western Europe
North America
Caribbean
Africa
Asia
Eastern Europe
South America
Australasia
Middle East
East Indies

A Report from birdtours.co.uk

CHILE; 30 October - 20 November 1999,

Peter Browne

Peter Browne and Han Spoel

Because of this report's length, and because we visited three geographically separated areas, the trip report is divided into four sections:

Section 1: Introduction and  Santiago Area (Central Chile): 30 October - 3 November and 19 - 20 November,

Section 2:  Puerto Montt Area (Lake District): 4 - 10 November,

Section 3:  Punta Arenas Area (Far South): 11 - 18 November,

Section 4:  Annotated Systematic List

Section 1: Introduction and Santiago Area (Central Chile)

This is a report of the trip of Peter Browne of Ottawa and Han Spoel of Toronto, Canada, written by Peter.  I am a keen, long-time, listing birder, and Han is just getting into the sport.  I  had wanted to visit Chile (my 100th country) for many years, mainly because of the chance to see six families of birds which were missing from my life list: Diving-Petrels, Magellanic Plover, Seedsnipes, Sheathbills, Tapaculos, and Plantcutters.  I was also interested, of course, in lifer species.  Han had long wanted to visit Chile, because of the scenery and life-style.  Besides,  Han and I are old friends, and Han wanted to see a birder in action and learn how it's done!  His target is 50 lifers per year and he hoped to easily make that.  

We had selected the period of the trip with two advantages in mind.  First, we thought that November would be good for finding birds (corresponds to May in the northern hemisphere) since they would be singing and breeding.  Secondly, we had decided to make this trip an "economy" trip, by using "bottom end" accommodation recommended in the Lonely Planet Guide to Chile, and public transport to the extent possible.  November should be before the main rush of domestic tourism in the country, which comes after Christmas.  This should mean less demand for rooms, space on public transport, etc.

We decided to concentrate on central and southern Chile, and neglect the north, because the target families were more in the south.  Also, I had already bird watched in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and central Argentina, and many of the northern Chile birds were already on my life list.  The duration of three weeks was chosen because we are both semi-retired and had the time for a more leisurely trip, compared with some people who have to pack as much as possible into one or two weeks.

Everywhere we found accommodation at very reasonable prices, either 5000 or 6000 pesos per person per night, usually single but occasionally double.  This was with shared bathroom.  It worked out at 14 - 17 CAD (Canadian dollars) per person per night.  If you searched carefully, local car rental was cheaper, sometimes much cheaper, than if reserved abroad (e.g. 20,000 for one day at a small agency in Puerto Montt compared with 90,000 for two days at Avis in Santiago, previously booked in Canada).  But, these less expensive companies were not easy to find.  The cost of flights was about the same price if booked in Chile after arrival as when booked through the Lan Chile pass (3 sectors for 350 USD).  However, we would have saved a lot had we used buses for long distance travel (still, that would have reduced further our time for birding).  Cash was very easy to get.  There are plentiful and good ATMs (REDBANK = Bank Network) in all cities we visited.  Han was usually greeted by "Hello Han Spoel" on the ATM screen, after he had entered his PIN (for some reason I never got that treatment!).  We could immediately access either our own bank account or a Visa account for cash advances (once we had decoded the Spanish instructions!).  There are several phone companies in Chile, and some give access to Canada Direct or to Sprint Canada Direct.

For bird references, I took along "Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica" (BSSAA) by Martin R. De La Pena and Maurice Rumboll (1998), "The Essential Guide to Birding in Chile by Mark Pearman" (1995), and "A Field Guide to the Seabirds of Britain and the World" by Gerald Tuck and Hermann Heinzel (1978).  I also had trip reports by Steve N. G. Howell & Sophie Webb (1992), Alvaro Jaramillo (1996), David O. Matson (1997), and Barry McCarthy (1987), as well as a print out of Fantastico Sur's Web page.  Some of my trip reports came off Blake Maybank's Trip Report Web Site (http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/ns/maybank/Trips.htm), but others, containing sketch maps, were very kindly sent me by Gail Mackiernan.  BSSAA was very useful and adequate for most of  the birding we did, but we noticed some discrepancies.  For example, several species we saw on Chiloe and around Puerto Montt are not shown as occurring there in BSSAA (details in Section 2).  It was pointed out to us that the Gray Gull (Larus modestus) is not included in the book, though it occurs in Chile.

Apart from the maps in Pearman, we also used those in the Lonely Planet guide "Chile and Easter Island", which has lots of tips for getting around with public transport.  We took along the Lonely Planet Travel Atlas for Chile and Easter Island, but this was only occasionally helpful as the scale is 1:1,000,000 and this was too small a scale for most of the detail we needed.  Better was the Trekking Map Ruta de los Jesuitas, Pto, Montt - Bariloche for the Puerto Montt area, which is mostly 1:250,000 and has contours at 200 m intervals.  It can be bought, along with other trekking maps of the country, at travel agencies in Puerto Montt.  For the far south, I found in Ottawa a map "Tierra del Fuego" published by International Travel Maps of Vancouver, BC, Canada (Tel: 604-879-3621 http://www.nas.com/~travelmaps).  This has a scale of 1:750,000 but is much more detailed and accurate than the Lonely Planet Travel Atlas, even though the scale is not much larger.  The only problem with the Trekking Map and the Tierra del Fuego map was the fragility of the paper: they tear along the fold lines very easily.  

I saw five of my six target families; the only one missing being the Sheathbills.  However, the total number of species seen was not great, 125, of which just over 50% were lifers for me (indicated in this report) and 80% for Han.  This total showed up the limitation of our "economy" birding method.  Basically, we were able to spend only relatively short periods at the best birding spots.  Even when renting cars, we spent the night in town and had breakfast there, and so arrived at the birding spots late in the day, missing the most active singing periods.  Another problem was lack of local bird song tapes.  I did not know, till the end of the trip, that these are available in Santiago.

 

Santiago Area  (Central Chile): 30 October - 3 November and 19 - 20 November

Saturday, 30 October

I arrived early in the morning on the Continental Airlines flight from Newark, having changed planes there after a flight from Ottawa.  Han was to come two days later. 

Already Chile was on daylight savings time (summer time), one hour ahead of EDST, as in North America on that date.  This fact proved useful for birding, especially in the Far South, where it was light from about 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.

There was an unpleasant surprise at the Santiago airport - 55 USD (US dollars) to pay as a "reciprocal" fee for Canadians, apparently because Canada charges this amount to process a visa for Chileans.  Otherwise there were no problems at the airport.  I had four small hotels in mind for the first night, which were located near a metro (subway, underground) station "Universidad de Chile".  The cheapest way to get there would have been to use the airport bus to Heros station, travel by metro, then walk to the hotels.  However, a short trial in the airport with my luggage quickly showed this would be tough, so I decided to take a "Transfer" minibus to the first choice hotel, Hotel Residencial Londres, for about 2,500 pesos.  A couple from Vancouver were on the same bus and headed for the same hotel.  It was 10.15 a.m. when we arrived and they were immediately able to check into a double room.  I was told that a single room for me would be ready at 12 noon for 6,000 pesos.  So I left my luggage with the receptionist and walked around the district till I could move in.

This was my introduction to birds in Chile.  Streets were narrow and buildings quite old.  First species was the Rock Dove, parading on the streets.  Then I heard a song of a bird I could not see among the rooftops: "swee-swee-swee-pzzit".  How often were we to hear that song during the next three weeks, sung with various Chilean accents!

My room was on the top (4th) floor, looking out over those very rooftops.  The walk up was tiring but I was glad to be so high because of the view.  I decided to spend a while at the wide-open window, to identify the songster and any other birds around.  Eared Doves were common.  House Sparrows were visiting holes in a nearby wall.  Apart from Rock Doves flying in parties, the only large bird was a kind of hawk which I soon saw was a Chimango Caracara, as it perched on the cross at the top of a church spire.  The songster turned out to be the Rufous-collared Sparrow, of which there turned out to be two or three in the neighbourhood.  A lifer for me was the Austral Thrush, reminiscent of the American Robin in size and shape, but brown and black with a yellow bill.  During my stay of five days in that room, I heard Rufous-collared Sparrow in song most of the time during daylight, and the Austral Thrush singing at dusk and during the night, even at 3.30 a.m.!

Sunday, 31 October

I had decided to visit the Maipu Valley (Cajon Maipu) in the foothills of the Andes.  This could be done, according to the lonely Planet Guide, by public bus from Parque O'Higgins in Santiago to San Jose de Maipu.  During the night I heard considerable rain falling but decided to go nevertheless as it had let up by morning.  A 1.5 hour metro and bus trip brought me to San Jose, but by then it was again raining hard and blowing!  Still, this gave me a chance to try out my rain gear, bought specially for this trip, in taxing conditions.  I walked up the valley along the main road and then took a brief side trip up the gravel road which leads to Refugio Lagunillas.  On this road I saw little, a couple of House Wrens and a pair of California Quails.

Most of the birds were in flooded fields in the valley.  There I renewed acquaintance with Southern Lapwings, of which there were about 20 scattered over the fields.  With cows and horses were also many Shiny Cowbirds, some perched on the horses' backs.  At the end of a lane leading to a farm were swallows, both Blue-and-White Swallows and the white-rumped Chilean Swallows, the latter a lifer for me.  Then, in a ploughed field, beyond a very bedraggled Chimango Caracara, was a flock of 20 or so small birds hopping and feeding among the furrows.  A few were Austral Thrushes, the rest ground-tyrants.  I could not identify the majority for sure but probably they were Dark-faced.  Among them, I saw one with the yellow patch of the Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant (lifer).  Another bird with them was black with amazing yellow beak and goggles, the Spectacled Tyrant.  A third lifer of the day appeared on wires at the end of this lane, a Chilean Mockingbird.  All this time it was raining, but I got back to Santiago dry, which gave me confidence of being able to weather the wet conditions expected further south.

Monday, 1 November

Han was due to arrive late in the morning, from Toronto via Miami.  I had told him by phone where I was staying.  Before his arrival, I decided to pay an early morning visit, by bus, to the Parque Forestal beside the Rio Mapocho in the centre of Santiago, and then the Parque Metropolitano a few blocks away, near the zoo and the cable car.  Rock and Eared Doves, House Wrens, Rufous-collared Sparrows, and Austral Thrushes were common.  There were several Blue-and-White Swallows over the raging river, and one Chilean Mockingbird singing in the Parque Metropolitano, down behind the exercise centre.  I also identified another of the frequently heard species throughout our trip, the White-crested Elaenia.  It's call "pew" every 5-10 seconds gave away its position as it searched for food in the trees in a warbler-like way.  Another bird with warbler-like behaviour, in the Parque Metropolitano, was the Tufted Tit-Tyrant, with its peculiar forward-facing crest.  In trees near the river were some rather grackle-like birds, but with smaller tails and loud, squeaky, creaking calls,  which I identified as Austral Blackbirds, the day's only lifer.

With Han's arrival, we made plans for the rest of our stay in Santiago.  He had reserved, from Avis in Toronto, a rental car which we were to pick up the following morning at the Sheraton Hotel.  We made some enquiries with other rental companies and could not find a better deal at short notice, so decided to stick with Avis.  In the afternoon, we visited Cerro Santa Lucia, which had been described to us as a very "romantic" park.  It was, in the sense that many human couple were entwined all over.  But bird-wise it was a dud - Austral Thrushes and House Wrens.

Tuesday 2 November

This was to be our day for El Yeso, with the Avis car.  The deal was 79 USD/day including tax, unlimited km, and insurance, with deductible of around $1000.  The deductible was covered by a Gold Visa card.  Han had reserved a very small Toyota, but, as often happens, there was no such car available, so we got a Chevy pickup LUV at the same price, which was fine as it had a much greater ground clearance.  Though he had agreed verbally to the above rate, the AVIS agent first put 85 USD plus tax per day on the rental agreement, but changed this to the above when Han pointed out the discrepancy.

On the way out of the city, I was surprised to see a Kelp Gull over the river.  We went past San Jose de Maipu again, picking up food and water for lunch at a supermercado there.  We entered the El Yeso valley at 12.30, having left Santiago at 9.45 a.m.  Han spotted a soaring dot which turned out to be our first Andean Condor (lifer).  We stopped at the crags shown in Pearman at 4.0 km but found nothing except two Eared Doves and two Chilean Mockingbirds, one of which had a curious orange-buff forehead (perhaps pollen from feeding on nectar in flowers?).  About 10-15 minutes later we stopped beside a flat green meadow under cliffs, with a small farm and a single goat.  A Chimango Caracara was on the field, and scattered over it were several dozen birds.  These turned out to be Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrants (lifer), Grey-hooded Sierra-Finches, Common Diuca-Finches (lifer), and one Plumbeous Sierra-Finch.  The Diuca-Finches were also singing strongly on the cliff-side, in small bushes.  Suddenly everything disappeared into cover as a Peregrine Falcon swept over low. 

As we continued, we came across more flocks of ground-tyrants, e.g. c. 50 at 8.5 km into the valley and c. 500 at 13.5 km.  They were also in flocks further up, beyond the reservoir, as were sierra-finches.  It seems that these must be migratory flocks, such as I had seen on Sunday much lower down.  Has anyone else noticed such evidence of migration among these birds?

A Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (lifer) flew over and gave us good views.  About 3 p.m. we arrived at the far end of the Embalse El Yeso and were stopped at a bridge over a river on the south side of the valley by the watchman of a mining company.  We could not take the car across, but could walk, though the gate at the bridge would be closed at 6 p.m.  We wanted to find the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (DSP) in that time. 

As I was stretching across the car arranging my packsack for the walk, I put out my back!  This slowed us down.  We showed a picture of the DSP to a mining technician and he assured us that it was present along the road leading across the valley and back towards the reservoir.  As we walked, we could not find any of the bright green bogs mentioned in Pearman.  We came across another river on the north side of the valley and, while walking beside it, flushed two apparent Grey-breasted Seed-Snipes (lifer) which flew to the other side where we could not get to them again.  Further along we saw evidence of a lot of mining activity including the making of dirt roads and the construction of a large pile of rubble.  This was 2-3 km from where we had left the car.  A little further along we found there was another wide valley entering from the north and this had bright green patches of bog.  There was also a jeep parked another km or so further on, next to a bright green patch, near the other side of the entering valley.  We decided not to try to walk to it as my back was very painful and it was already 5 p.m.!   There were two people in the jeep (man and woman) but we could not see telescopes or binoculars in use.  The jeep left around 5 p.m.  If this rings a bell with any reader, please let me know what you saw there!

In that area, we saw a lot of birds, though no DSP.  There were many Ochre-naped Ground- Tyrants, Cinereous Ground-Tyrants (lifer), Greater Yellowfinches (lifer), and Grey-hooded Sierra-Finches.  On the hillside was a Buff-breasted Earthcreeper (lifer), a Picui Ground-Dove (lifer) and, by the river, a Dark-bellied Cincloides (lifer).  Baird's Sandpipers were numerous in the bogs.  We got back to the bridge before the gate closed so I did not have to climb over with my painful back!  On the way down we noted 7 coots (species not determined) on the reservoir.  Further down was a Long-tailed Meadowlark (lifer) and a Band-tailed Sierra-Finch (lifer).  A good day, but I wonder what we missed!

Wednesday, 3 November

This was our day to visit the ocean.  We still had the rental car.  We drove from Santiago to Vina del Mar, Concon, Valparaiso, and back via Reserva Nacional Laguna Penuelas to Santiago.  The only fresh bird along the way: Turkey Vultures.

All the way along the coast were Peruvian Boobies, in groups of up to 15 (though usually alone).  They patrolled and dived.  Peruvian Pelicans were there too, in groups of up to 10.  Immatures were mixed in with adults, and distinguished by their whitish underparts.  There was a flock of about 100 at the lagoon at the mouth of the Rio Concon.  Franklin's Gull (lifer) is a bird I have sought for many years in eastern Canada and not been lucky enough to see, but here it was common, along the shore, with about 200 in the lagoon.  Between Vina del Mar and Concon, just behind the Chilean Oceanographic Institute, was a rocky promontory with many birds: 50 Peruvian Pelicans, 10 Inca Terns, 2 Oystercatchers (sp?), 10 Kelp Gulls, 10 Surfbirds, 5 Olivaceous Cormorants, 1 Ruddy Turnstone, and 50 seals including several huge bulls.  At another promontory, where we stopped and had lunch, were a pair of Seaside Cincloides (lifer).  Pelicans and Boobies flew past as well as two Guyanay Cormorants.  Other birds seen in the area: Chilean Swallow, Black-and-White Swallows, Whimbrel, Common Diuca-Finch, and Black Vultures (12 at the mouth of Rio Concon). 

On our way back to Santiago we visited briefly the Reserva Nacional Laguna Penuelas.  This can be  reached from the main highway (Autopista) just after the police check point outside Valparaiso.  The entrance is right beside the highway on the north side.  In the trees at the entrance we spotted a Chilean Pigeon (lifer).  We spent only 45 minutes on the shores of the lake but saw several species.  First was a Pied-billed Grebe, which I thought must be something exotic because of its impeccable plumage and bright beak, different from the individuals I had seen in Canada a few weeks previously.  Then a lifer, the Great Grebe, 3 close by and probably several others further out.  This is a spectacular bird, the lead-grey head being particularly prominent.  A display was seen with one or the other lying with neck outstretched along the water surface.  The only duck was one Southern Wigeon.  Stalking along the shore was an immature Black-crowned Night Heron.  Near the edge of the lake was a Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant, another lifer.  On the way back to Santiago we noticed Cattle Egrets along a flooded river, and at least one Snowy Egret.

Thursday 4 November

This was the day we quit Santiago and flew to Puerto Montt.  We were able to leave out Avis car at the Santiago airport with no extra charge.

............See Sections 2 and 3 for this period.

Thursday 18 November

We returned to Santiago from Punta Arenas and found accommodation in the same Residencial Londres that we had used on our arrival in Chile.  However, this time we were unable to get singles ( arrived at the hotel around 6 p.m.), so accepted an double room.  No time for birding today!

Friday 19 November

We could not make an early start as we wanted to confirm our seats for return to Canada and so had to wait until the airline offices opened.  I was ashamed at not being able to spell my name in Spanish, and realized the deficiencies of my knowledge of the language.

After this, Han and I decided to go separate ways as he was interested to visit a winery.  I might as well have joined him for all the excitement I got from birding!  I selected Reserva Nacional Rio Carillo (RNRC), which is some 25 km from Santiago, to the southeast.  According to the Lonely Planet Guide there should have been buses to within 2 km of this reserve so I looked for these.  Nobody could direct me but we found a taxi collectivo to Pirque, from which I hoped to get a bus to the Reserve  and Han to find his winery (Concha y Toro).  The taxi driver let us off at the Conch y Toro gate (much better known than a nature reserve!), and managed to discover that I needed a Metrobus 80, which came along within 15 minutes.  About one hour along the way, we arrived at the terminus, in a small village.  The bus driver indicated a Parque Aleman just across the road as the reserve I wanted.  But it was a private park, closed on weekdays.  However, they said that the RNRC was located 4 km up the road.  With no real alternative, I decided to walk and came to the entrance after 1 km, where I paid 2,500 pesos.  But this was only the entrance to the road leading to RNRC, which was a further 4 km!  I walked about 2.5 km in the heat and dust and then decided to return about 3 p.m..  Getting back to Santiago was faster as I found the Metrobus 80 took me right into Punto Alto, where I was able to change for a bus going to the centre of Santiago (Plaza Italia).  Anyone wanting to go out to RNRC by bus should allow 3 hours to get there, and travel early in the morning instead of the afternoon as I did.

Birds were plentiful but concentrated at the end of my trip as I was by then just getting into the better area beside a river.  The road passes through quite arid terrain.  Species seen: Picui Ground Dove, c 10; Red-backed Hawk 1 male being chased by 3 Chimango Caracaras; White-crested Elaenia plentiful; Common Diuca-Finch frequently heard singing (a loud striking song), Rufous-collared Sparrow about 10 in song, Chilean Mockingbird at least 4, 2 of which came at the playback of their song; Austral Blackbird at least 3 of which one was feeding young; House Wren 2 singing; California Quail a pair; Chilean Swallow about 4.

Saturday 20 November

The last day!  Our planes were due to leave late in the evening, so we decided to spend much of the day shopping.  Before that I paid a last, early morning, visit to the Parque Metropolitan in Santiago, and climbed Cerro San Cristobal, which rises some 300 m above the city.  It took me 1.5 hours to reach the Virgin Mary on the summit from the entrance to the Parque, and nearly an hour to come down.  There was constant bird song but not much variety.  White-crested Elaenias gave a different call from what I had been hearing, a three note may-WEAV-er every three seconds or so.  I thought it was a new species so recorded the song, but this species came to the play-back.  Other species were Rufous-collared Sparrow, House Wren, Austral Thrush, and Austral Blackbird.

 Section 2: Puerto Montt Area (Lake District): 4 - 10 November

Thursday 4 November

Our flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt was on time and uneventful.  We had excellent views of the Andes for the first half hour but it became cloudy as we got further south.  Rain was falling as we landed and we were reconciled to a wet stay as this area is famous for its rain.

During the flight we reviewed the small hotels, etc. in the Lonely Planet Guide's "bottom end" recommendations for Puerto Montt and had a list ready when we arrived.  We asked the driver of the transfer bus to take us to the first on our list.  He questioned us about our plans and, when he found out we would be there a week, he suggested another place - Residencial La Nave - which he said would be just as cheap, but clean and more conveniently located.  We had passed it up as it was classified in the 'middle' range in the LP Guide.  He also advised us to contact him if we wanted to rent a car.

La Nave was willing to take us at 5,000 pesos (about 14 CAD) per night for singles (bathrooms down the corridor), though their 'normal' price seemed to be 8,000.  We took these rooms and did not regret our choice as the staff was very pleasant, there was a restaurant on the premises, and it was located downtown, very near the central bus station, supermarkets, telephones, a laundry, etc.  There were none of the warnings we had had in Santiago about the possibility of theft of passport, packsacks, etc., and they did not offer to put out valuables in a safe, as had been done in Santiago.  We had no security problems at all during our week's stay.  Indeed, we were quite surprised to find that the pedestrian crosswalks on the streets were respected by the drivers who came to a halt when anyone was crossing.

We explored the water front in the rain and found numerous Kelp Gulls and Brown-Hooded Gulls.  The latter were so much like the Black-headed Gulls of Europe rather than Bonaparte's Gulls, as their hoods were chocolate brown and their legs and feet dark purple-red.

We tried the La Nave restaurant and found the salmon dinner, with a bottle of Santa Rita red wine, an excellent and copious meal at a very reasonable price (less than 20 CAD for both of us).

In the accounts which follow, birds marked with * were found in areas in which they are not shown as occurring in the range maps of Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica (BSSAA).  These areas were mostly around Puerto Montt and on Chiloe Island.

Friday 5 November

Our first trip from Puerto Montt was to Chiloe Island.  We decided on this as, not only is Chiloe itself renowned for birds, but the ferry crossing between Pargua and Chacao would give us a short "pelagic" exposure.  I was hoping for my next family, diving petrels, from this ferry!  There have been different opinions expressed in trip reports about the ferry.  Barry McCarthy, describing his trip in August and September 1987, was enthusiastic, and even advocated repeated crossings as a foot passenger in the same day.  However, other people have had less luck.  I wanted to check it out and, if it turned out to be fruitful, would return later.

We took a bus for Ancud from Puerto Montt.  We were impressed by the computerized seat reservation system for these buses!  The weather was wet and windy when we left Puerto Montt.  On the way to the ferry the only species identified was the Black Vulture.  We were on the ferry from 10.20 to 11 a.m. and were able to leave the bus and watch from the deck for all except the first and final few minutes. 

Birds were plentiful in the channel.  Kelp Gulls, Franklin's Gulls, Brown-hooded Gulls, unidentified terns (probably South-American), Peruvian Pelicans 20+, Olivaceous Cormorants, Red-legged Cormorant 1, Imperial Cormorants (lifer - these were of the white-cheeked form, named Blue-eyed Cormorants in BSSAA), Magellanic Penguins (lifer - 2 or 3 spotted momentarily as they emerged above the water for a few seconds), Wilson's Petrels c 20 fluttering over the sea, and one Black-faced Ibis (lifer) which flew overhead.  But no diving-petrels!

The bus took us to Ancud and, by then the weather had turned fine and sunny.  We stayed there from 11.30 a.m. until 4.15 p.m., and I got badly sunburnt as I had left my hat in my room!  We walked around the harbour.  Chilean Swallows* were singing, Cattle Egrets flew past, and Brown-hooded Gulls were plentiful.  In the water were several Imperial Cormorants, but we were unable to see the blue eyes.  One penguin appeared briefly.  We walked up a valley which started as a salt marsh and ended with the city water supply reservoir.  There were two Brown Pintail in the saltmarsh.  Black-chinned Siskins* (lifer) were seen several times and heard calling and singing.  Other species: House Wren* 2 in song, Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch* 1, Tufted Tit-Tyrant* 1 or 2, Grassland Yellowfinch* on the sides of the road and in the bushes, singing, Grass Wren* (= Sedge Wren) in song, Spectacled Tyrant* 1 male, Fire-eyed Diucon* (lifer) 2, White-crested Elaenia* 3, and an unidentified species, probably a shrike-tyrant.  All the passerine species seen (marked with *) are not shown as occurring on Chiloe Island in the range maps of Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica (BSSAA).

The return ferry crossing, in good weather, was much less productive than the earlier one, with no penguins, petrels, or ibis, and smaller numbers of gulls, pelicans, terns, and cormorants.  In the evening, in Puerto Montt, we walked along the sea-shore, and spotted Brown-hooded and Kelp Gulls, Rock-Doves, Black-crowned Night Heron, Whimbrel, Olivaceous Cormorant, Grassland Yellowfinch, Dark-bellied Cincloides, and Black-faced Ibis going to roost in the high pine trees on the Isla Tenglo right opposite the harbour.

Saturday 6 November

Having taken our first shot at the ferry and Chiloe Island, we decided to begin our exploration of the Lake District north of Puerto Montt.  We started by catching the bus to Puerto Varas, arriving around 8 a.m.  Puerto Varas is about 20 km north of Puerto Montt on Lake Llanquihue.  This lake is 30-40 km across and you cannot see the other shoreline from Puerto Varas. 

To the east are more lakes, snow-capped volcanos, the peaks of the Andes, and Argentina.  There is a well-known seven-stage international route which passes this way.  It alternates four road and three lake sectors for travel between Puerto Montt in Chile and Bariloche in Argentina.  Coordinated buses and boats enable one to do the one-way trip in a day.  We got information about this route in Puerto Varas (which lies on it).  The next tour would be on Monday.  We decided that we would do the first bus and boat sectors, almost to the Argentinean border (Peulla), and then return, by boat and bus, to Puerto Montt.

Meanwhile, we had the rest of the morning to explore Puerto Varas for birds!  We walked around town, along the lake shore.  Species seen were Rock Dove*, House Sparrow, Kelp Gull, Chilean Swallow (nesting), Brown-hooded Gull, Brown Pintail, House Wren, White-crested Elaenia, Black-chinned Siskin, Southern Lapwing, and Grassland Yellowfinch.  The Rock Dove is not indicated in BSSAA as occurring at Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas.

We got to the railway station.  Puerto Varas is at the end of the line from Santiago to the south.  However, the trains run only in the summer (December - March), so the station had been unused for about 8 months.  Grass was growing high along the railroad and the buildings were the worse for wear.  However, we were glad to be there as a very heavy hail storm came through, with a noise preceding it like a train coming in!  When this was over we walked along the railroad.  This skirted a forested hill and we saw Crested Caracara, Austral Thrush, Fire-eyed Diucon, and Black Vulture.  Then another hailstorm came and we retreated into shelter under the thick bushes and trees.  When it was over and we came out, the birds did too.  Only 20 m away appeared a pair of Rufous-tailed Plantcutters (lifer).  We had super views and watched them eating pieces of leaves.  This was one of my target species as it represented a new family (the Plantcutters).  Only when I returned home did I find that Clements puts them in with the Cotingas, but this was still a new family for me!  Nearby was a Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch and a Tufted Tit-Tyrant.  Upon returning to the lake shore, we saw a flock of about 100 Brown-hooded Gulls appear high in the west, swoop down to the lake level, and then continue east over the water till out of sight.

We returned to Puerto Montt by bus in the early afternoon.  Unfortunately the travel agency where we had planned to get our tour tickets for Monday was already closed (Saturday afternoon) and would not be open till after the tour was due to leave!  We thought we had missed the tour.  However, an agency next door happened to be engaged in cleaning up the office prior to a move and was able to oblige us by issuing tickets for Monday (17,000 pesos, approx. 45 CAD each, excluding lunch).

Following indications and map in Barry McCarthy's 1987 trip report, we decided on Rio Chamiza for the rest of the afternoon.  This is about 10 km east of Puerto Montt and there are frequent buses.  We got off the bus at the bridge over the river and walked south, towards the river mouth, beside the river, till we reached saltmarshes which we could not traverse, so we returned, guided to the bus stop by a local man.  Whimbrel c 20, Southern Lapwing* 25-30, Turkey Vulture 1, Black Vulture 2, Grassland Yellowfinch 2, Black-chinned Siskin 2, Chilean Swallow* c 10, Greater Yellowlegs 3, Olivaceous Cormorant c 100, Spectacled Tyrant 1, Black-faced Ibis c 5, Red-gartered Coot 2.  The Southern Lapwing and Chilean Swallow are not shown from the area around Puerto Montt in BSSAA.

Sunday 7 November 1999

Han and I decided to go separate ways today.  He wanted to visit Castro on Chiloe Island by bus.  I felt that this would not be likely to produce many new birds as he would be confined to the town and the Chacao Ferry did not appear very profitable in good weather.  Hence I went to Tenglo Island, adjacent to Puerto Montt, in the morning, and once more to the mouth of Rio Chamiza in the afternoon. 

Tenglo Island can be reached by a ferry from Angelmo at the west end of Puerto Montt.  It is a 5 minute trip, and costs less than $1.  I walked along the paths in the bush and forest on the north side of the island, and then up to the top where there is a huge cross overlooking Puerto Montt.  Black-faced Ibises were frequent, and apparently nesting in the tall pines opposite Angelmo.  Other species: Rufous-collared Sparrow* frequent, House Sparrow around the small settlement, Brown-hooded Gull, Chimango Caracara* (one carrying nesting material into a bush), Grassland Yellowfinch* 10, Whimbrel, Black Vulture, House Wren* 8, Southern Lapwing, Snowy Egret 2, Turkey Vulture, White-crested Elaenia, Black-chinned Siskin* 6, Common Diuca-Finch* 2, Austral Blackbird 1, and Tufted Tit-tyrant* 1.  Then, on the way down, another male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter*.  New species for our list and lifers for me were the Correndera Pipit*, of which two were seen and heard singing in the grassy area on the summit near the cross, and a Green-backed Firecrown*, seen briefly in the woods.  All the species marked by a * above are not shown as occurring in the area around Puerto Montt in BSSAA.  

In the afternoon it was back east by bus.  This time I got off several km before the bridge over the river, at the point where the road went inland from the coast.  I was able to walk along the edge of the shoreline.  The tide was high but beginning to recede.  On saltmarshes not far from the road were about 800 Whimbrel in 2 or 3 large flocks.  As the tide went down, they dispersed over the mudflats.  Other shorebirds seen were 2 Southern Lapwings and 2 American Oystercatchers.  There were a few Franklin's Gulls and Brown-hooded Gulls scattered around, and unidentified terns some distance out.  Lifers identified this afternoon were Chilean Flamingo, a single bird far away on the edge of the mud, a male Cinereous Harrier flying low over fields behind the saltmarsh, and Austral Negritos*, a pair running in the saltmarsh, the male singing.  Austral Negrito is not shown as occurring in this area in BSSAA. 

Monday 8 November

Our all-day trip by bus and boat, through the Andes, almost to the Argentinean border.  The first section was by bus: Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas - Petrohue on All-Saints Lake.  The bus stopped for 45 minutes at the Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales, near a waterfall on the Rio Petrohue which flows into the lake.  As we left the bus, I told the tour guide that I wanted to see a tapaculo if possible (my next target family).  He was aware of the call of the Chacao Tapaculo and said that it could be found in the Park.  He took me along a path and almost immediately we heard the call, a quick, loud, triple note.  It was very close and I was able to record it on a hand-held cassette recorder.  However, it would not come when I played back the call.  Still, Han did see one calling beside the trail, and I had hopes of being able to use the recording later in the day.  The only other bird of interest was a Grey-flanked Cincloides (lifer).

We boarded our tour boat (a catamaran) at Petrohue, just below the towering, conical, Volcan Osorno (2652 m).  On the lake was one Great Grebe and, on the shore, a Southern Lapwing.  We sailed through spectacular scenery to arrive at the small village of Peulla, at the other end of the lake, around 1 p.m.   We had 2.5 hours there.  I heard the call of the elusive Chacao Tapaculo (CT) almost immediately in the thick forest and spent a lot of time chasing it and playing the tape but had no luck.  We walked to the hotel and found another Grey-flanked Cincloides nesting in the side of the building.  There were several White-crested Elaenias calling.  We followed a valley  upstream to a spectacular waterfall.  A CT was calling beside the river so I went on alone while Han visited the falls, and again played the tape.  The tapaculo (lifer) suddenly appeared at the other side of a small clearing and hopped on the ground right across, in front of me, finally disappearing into the vegetation behind me.  It was so close I did not use my binoculars for fear of disturbing it, but saw the rufous chest very well.  Another family to my list!  

On the way back we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, but I identified only one bird, an Ashy-headed Goose (lifer) asleep on a rock just off Isla Margarita.

Tuesday 9 November

We had wanted to visit Puyehue National Park since arriving in Puerto Montt and concluded that it would be necessary to rent a car as we wanted to do it in one day and did not know the bus schedule, which would involve a change in Osorno.  However, there were buses at the Park during our stay and we could probably have arranged the trip by public transport from Puerto Montt, perhaps by phone if we had had a better command of Spanish.  As it was, we rented a 1996 Nissan Sentra, with 170,000 km on the clock, for 20,000 pesos (approx. 55 CAD), all included.  The distance from Puerto Montt was 194 km (7.50 - 10.30 a.m.)  Our arrival time meant that we missed most of the morning bird song.  We probably would have seen more had we spent two days on the trip, coming by bus one day, spending a night at the hotel in the park, and travelling back by bus the next day.

On the way up we saw a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle.  In the fields by the road were lots of Black-faced Ibises, and one flock of c 25 Cattle Egrets.

We left the car in the parking lot by the park buildings and hot springs.  We walked from there, first to the trail beside the river for 30 minutes, then up the trail to the look-out point.  This took 3-4 hours.  Han came down faster than I did as he wanted to bathe in the hot springs.  We exited the park at 5 p.m.

Near the arrival point were Austral Thrushes and Grey-hooded Sierra-Finches.  As we watched the river, rushing below, from the bridge, a male Torrent Duck (lifer) flew under the bridge and up the river.  What a handsome bird - it reminded me of an African hornbill with its red beak and black and white plumage.

Chacao Tapaculos were calling frequently in the forest.  We heard at least eight but did not see any.  Most had the triple note I described yesterday, but sometimes there was only a double note, and sometimes up to six rapidly repeated notes.  The White-crested Elaenia was also heard often, at least seven individuals, and occasionally seen.  I heard several other calls and songs which I could not identify though I recorded some and tried, unsuccessfully, to attract the birds by playback.  It may be that some of the calls were from insects and/or tree-frogs.  On a couple of occasions Han (but not I) briefly saw a skulking blackish bird, probably a Magellanic Tapaculo.    

During the walk through the forest I frequently tried to attract the Magellanic Woodpecker by tapping twice rapidly and loudly on a tree.  This trick was demonstrated by Gerald Durell in his TV series "Life of Birds", and he apparently succeeded in bringing the bird right to the tree on which he was tapping!.  However, it did not work at Puyehue.  We neither saw not heard our target species.  

 Twice I called in a Thorn-tailed Rayadito (lifer) by squeaking and pishing.  On the second occasion a Green-backed Firecrown came out of the vegetation also and chased the Rayadito from its perch.  On the trail up to the lookout we saw a couple of Austral Thrushes.

The biggest thrill of the day came from discovering a nest of the Black-throated Huet-Huet (lifer).  This was about 3/4 of the way up the lookout trail.  I was going up and had just met Han on the way down.  A few moments after he left me I noticed a blackish and dark rufous thrush-sized bird with a cocked tail on a branch.  It had food in its beak and I could plainly see the blue eye-ring.  It went into a hole in the trunk of a nearby tree about 12 m up from the base of the tree.  I called to Han and he was able to observe the bird too.  On the way down the hill, at this spot, I saw two of them on the ground near the tree and then watched as first one, then the other, flew into the hole and down to the ground.  I wondered if this nesting site was the same as the one reported in this park 17-19 November 1992 by Steve Howell and Sophie Webb ("a natural hole 25 feet up in a large tree").

On the way back to Puerto Montt by car we saw at least three American Kestrels and one Chilean Tinamou (lifer).  The latter was walking beside the road, about 32 km before arriving in Osorno, picking in the gravel.

Wednesday 10 November

Han and I decided to visit the coastline west of Puerto Montt, in the hope of seeing various species of oystercatcher on the rocky shores.  We took a taxi collectivo to Chinquihue about 10 km west, walked east for several km, and then bused back to Puerto Montt.  Our only Oystercatcher was too far off to identify specifically though it seemed dark and so may have been Magellanic.  At Chinquihue salmon pens were being built and it is from there that the salmon farms in the sea off Puerto Montt are installed.  About 50 Kelp Gulls were feeding on sacks of salmon food on a wharf, having pierced the plastic sacking material.  Along the shore and nearby saltmarsh were Olivaceous Cormorants, Whimbrels, Brown-hooded Gulls, Black-faced Ibis, Dark-bellied Cincloides, and Southern Lapwing.  On fields, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Grassland Yellowfinch, Correndera Pipit in song flight, and Crested Caracara.  In trees beside the saltmarsh and shore, Chilean Pigeon, Grassland Yellowfinch, White-crested Elaenia, and Black-chinned Siskin.  In the afternoon we walked along the seawall at Puerto Montt and saw 1 or 2 Snowy-crowned Terns; unusual looking without any black on crown or nape.

Section 3: Punta Arenas Area (Far South): 11-17 November

Thursday 11 November

Our flight from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas on Lan Chile was uneventful.  On the plane we selected and prioritized several "bottom end" accommodations from the Lonely Planet Guide. 

When we arrived around 3.30 p.m. we took a taxi to the first of these, Residencial Coiron.  It was described as having "spacious sunny singles for US$13 with breakfast".  We found that, in fact, there was one single which was quite spacious and sunny.  The only other single was a tiny room, not much bigger than the bed, with no window.  However, there were doubles and triples and, since there were few residents, the owner was willing to let us have a double at single-occupancy rate.  I took the single and Han a double.  Price was 6,000 pesos (17 CAD) including breakfast.  This consisted of toasted bread rolls, butter, jam, and tea or instant coffee.  We noticed that fresh coffee was rare in Chile.

During the entire stay, weather was fairly good.  In particular, the infamous wind, about which we had been warned by other visitors and the guidebooks, was not strong and did not inconvenience us as we had anticipated.

After settling in we walked through town to the east end of Avenida Colon and the Strait of Magellan.  There was a broken down pier nearby.  We could not go further south along the shore because of a naval establishment, but walked north to the mouth of Rio de las Minas and then back into town for dinner.

In town we saw House Sparrows (many), Rock Doves (scarce), Rufous-collared Sparrows (singing), and Black-chinned Siskins in song.  On the Pier were numerous cormorants, apparently nesting.  Many were Rock Cormorants (lifer) with completely black head and neck.  Others were the two races of the Imperial Cormorant side by side: atriceps with white cheeks, and albiventer with black cheeks.  There were Kelp Gulls too, and the smaller, dark-headed Dolphin Gulls (lifer).

Friday 12 November

We tried to contact a birding tour agency, Fantastico Sur, which has a Web site we had visited before our trip.  However, the two principals were away at a Congress of the Chilean Ornithological Organization in Antofagasta in the north of the country and would not be back until Monday. 

To familiarize ourselves with the area around Punta Arenas we took two organized tours.  In the morning, for 5,000 pesos each we went by minibus some 55 km to the south of Punta Arenas, in fact to the southernmost end the road on the American continent, and the furthest south we had ever been in the world (Fuerte Bulnes and Punta Santa Ana, 53 degrees 38 minutes S).  The afternoon trip was to the penguin colony at M.  Nc.  Pinguinera Seno Otway, about 25 km northwest of the city (also 5,000 pesos, plus 2,000 pesos admission to the penguin colony).

On the way, from the bus, I saw Magellanic Oystercatchers (lifer) on a shingle beach, as well as two Brown Skuas (lifer) close to the shore.  At Fuerte Bulnes we got out of the bus and spent an hour or so looking around, including in a small patch of forest and along the shore.  Land birds seen were Austral Thrush, Black-chinned Siskin, White-crested Elaenia, and Patagonian Sierra-Finch (lifer).  There was another Magellanic Oystercatcher on the rocks and two Blackish Oystercatchers (lifer) flew off.  Over the Strait of Magellan were 2 or more Black-browed Albatrosses (lifer), a Giant Petrel (lifer), a Brown Skua, 2 Kelp Gulls, Olivaceous Cormorant, and an unidentified tern.  I tried attracting the Magellanic Woodpecker with the double tap but, again, was unsuccessful. 

The trip to the penguin colony was also fruitful.  On the way, over the pampas, we saw several pairs of Upland Geese (lifer) as well as groups of Lesser Rheas (lifer), two Crested Caracaras, and a couple of Long-tailed Meadowlarks.  There were several hundred Magellanic Penguins in the colony, standing in pairs or singly at nesting burrows, or gathered in groups on the beach.  Other species on the pampas here were Two-banded Plover (lifer), Austral Negrito, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Correndera Pipit, Grass Wren, and Austral Canastero (lifer).  On a small lake near the colony were 9 Chilean Flamingoes, 10 Crested Ducks, and 20 Brown Pintails.  We ran into a group of American birders at the colony and so were able to chat about our mutual interest with other people. 

Saturday 13 November

We decided to visit Tierra del Fuego for a day trip only.  I hoped to pick up the diving petrel family from the ferry across the Magellan Strait, and also get information about the possibility of visiting, by public transport, the lakes where Magellanic Plovers have been seen near Porvenir.  Indeed, I thought it might not be necessary to go to the Tierra del Fuego lakes to find that bird, but that perhaps it was by similar lakes on the mainland.  We were tending towards renting a car to visit the Torres del Paine National Park rather than Tierra del Fuego.

The day trip on the ferry was 9.10 to 11.35 going, and 2 to 4.30 p.m. returning, which gave us about 2 hours in Tierra del Fuego.  The ferry does not arrive at Porvenir town but at a terminal at the mouth of an estuary, with Porvenir at the head, some 5 km away.  We were given a lift into Porvenir from the ferry terminal and got a taxi back.

Birds were very interesting during the crossing of the Strait of Magellan.  Magellanic Diving Petrels (lifer) were the star turn for me as they represented a new family.  On the outbound trip I saw about 5, flying low over the sea.  The white, extending up sides of neck, was visible on some.  On the return voyage I saw about 13, 3 on the water surface and 10 in flight (most passed in front of the ship).  All seen were alone.  None was nearer than 35 minutes from the shore.

Black-browed Albatross: a few individuals in flight on both crossings, and 9 on the water on the outbound leg.  Giant Petrel: a flock of approx. 300 near the Punta Arenas ferry terminal as we were preparing to leave.  All appeared to be young birds (dark brown without a lighter head).  However, upon our return there were about 110 of which 2 were paler birds.  The curved trailing edge to the primaries, and kink in the wing, were good features to distinguish this species.  Further out we saw small numbers of White-chinned Petrels, also large and brown, but not showing the same wing shape.  There seemed to be two species of large skua present, the all dark Brown Skua, and the Chilean Skua (lifer) with paler buff-brown body contrasting with sooty brown wings and cap.  One of the latter attacked a Rock Cormorant with a fish on the water and took the fish, submerging the cormorant.

Other species on the crossings were: Southern Fulmar 2 (lifer), South American Tern 30-40 in small parties, Magellanic Penguin, 4 on surface with albatrosses plus a few others, Kelp Gull about 10, Cormorant sp? about 60, and Wilson's Petrel 1.

Near the Porvenir Ferry terminal we found Imperial Cormorants, Austral Negrito, Chilean Swallow, Correndera Pipit, Black-faced Ibis, Two-banded Plover, and Short-billed Miner (lifer).  In town we saw Brown-hooded Gulls, House Sparrows, Rufous-collared Sparrows, and Black-chinned Siskins.

Sunday 14 November

To visit the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine we decided to rent a car for two days.  We were able to get a Nissan Sentra 1999 for 60,000 pesos for two days from a small travel agency in Punta Arenas.  Today was taken up with the drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, which is the nearest town to the Park.  Instead of following the main paved road (Route 9) the whole distance, we took a slightly longer detour on a gravel road through Rio Verde (RV), which skirts several lakes and which we hoped would be more productive bird-wise.  The trip took from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a distance of approx. 280 km.  As we had many short stops and also saw birds from the car, I have combined the whole day's observations in this account.

Lesser Rhea: 5 on the pampas beside the RV road; White-chinned Petrel: one over the channel near the Hotel RV; Imperial Cormorant: about 100 on the broken-down pier at Puerto Natales; Black-faced Ibis: two small groups along the RV road; Chilean Flamingo: two parties of 5 and 25 on small lakes on the RV road; Coscoroba Swan (lifer): a flock of 16 on a small lake near RV; Black-necked Swan: 2 small groups on water by the RV road and about 36 along the shore at Puerto Natales; Upland Goose: about 30 scattered beside the RV road; Crested Duck: pairs seen on several of the small lakes beside the RV road including one with a brood of ducklings; Brown Pintail: 2 flocks of 60 and 18; Red Shoveler: 8 on a small lake near where the RV road joined route 9; Southern Wigeon: 2 on waterfront near Puerto Natales; Andean Condor: one soaring over hills near RV (quite low altitude); Cinereous Harrier: a male near the Punta Arenas airport and a female over pampas along the RV road; Crested Caracara: 2 pairs seen beside the RV road; Southern Lapwing: 3 pairs scattered along the RV road; Double-banded Plover: 3 + 1 seen by small lakes along the RV road; Magellanic Oystercatcher: 2 pairs on the pampas by the RV road; Hudsonian Godwit: a party of 16 on the side of a small lake by the RV road; Baird's Sandpiper: about 5 flocks of 6 - 30 birds on pampas and besides small lakes on the RV road; White-rumped Sandpiper: occurred with some of the Baird's Sandpiper flocks; Dolphin Gull: 5 on waterfront at Puerto Natales: Brown-hooded Gull: 2 at a pampas lake on the RV road and 4 at Puerto Natales; South American Tern: 6 at a lake on the RV road; Austral Negrito: at several points along the RV road; Long-tailed Meadowlark: 1 along the RV road; Blue-and-White Swallow: 2 over a lake along the RV road; Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch: one along the RV road; Rufous-collared Sparrow: one along the RV road.         

We had retained our rooms in Punta Arenas but needed somewhere to sleep in Puerto Natales.  The travel agency from which we rented the car had recommended Hostal Alicia and we went straight there, only to find it was full.  But then three American women told us that they were leaving as they had found a room elsewhere of equal cost but with a private bathroom, so we were able to get a triple room for 5,000 pesos each.

Monday 15 November

This trip, from Puerto Natales to the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, and back to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, lasted from 7.15 a.m. to 8.45 p.m. and was 612 km long.  We returned on Route 9 the whole way (i.e. did not take the RV road).

Most of this diary is concerned with what we saw in the Park.  Outside the Park were the following: House Sparrows in Puerto Natales, 1 Chilean Skua over the fiord opposite PN; about 100 Black-necked and 3 Coscoroba Swans on the waterfront there; Long-tailed Meadowlarks between PN and the Park; Austral Negritos and Southern Lapwings frequent all day.

We were in the park between 9.40 a.m. and 3.30 p.m., and drove 109 km.  We visited the administrative centre and then went to Lago Grey, where we turned around and headed out.  Just after entering the Park, Han stopped beside the road to photograph the scenery.  I noticed a small bird on the gravel verge, opened my window, and had a superb view of my first Least Seedsnipe (lifer) at 4 m range.  There were at least two of them nearby.  Though we had glimpsed Grey-breasted Seedsnipe at Yeso, this was the first decent sighting of a new family.  This bird was so small I was first reminded of a large North African lark, but then noted the row of black spots on the breast forming a Y.  What a surprise and treat!

Next was an Eared Dove in the bushes, and a Common Miner on the hillside.  A little further along was a small lake, on which were several White-tufted Grebes (others on the lake at the administrative centre) as well as Red-gartered Coots, Upland Geese, Black-faced Ibises, and Brown-hooded Gulls.  On another lake nearby was a Great Grebe.  Rufous-collared Sparrows were singing everywhere.  We saw 4 Andean Condors altogether, some of which gave great views.  The only raptor was one American Kestrel.  There were 4 Ashy-headed Geese with about 50 Upland Geese at another spot.  Near the administrative centre was a Dark-bellied Cincloides as well as House Wrens and Black-chinned Siskins.  We spent some time around the Lago Grey centre but there were few species: one Austral Blackbird and about 11 Austral Parakeets (lifer).  The latter were calling loudly and one was seen going in and out of a tree cavity.  It was amazing to see parrots with blue glacial ice on the lake in the background.  In the woods near Lago Grey I, once more, tried to call in the Magellanic Woodpecker, but with no more luck than previously.  Has anyone, apart from Gerald Durrell, succeeded?

Aside from the interesting birds, this visit was notable for the incredible scenery (weather clear enough for us to have some stunning views), and the sightings of guanacos, hares, and fox.  On the way back I noted carefully the position of lakes near to Punta Arenas, with the intention of visiting them early the next morning.  

Tuesday 16 November

I decided to make use of the last hours on the rented car and visit the lakes to the north of Punta Arenas, seen yesterday evening, early in the morning.  Up at 3 a.m., out of the residencial at 3.45, first glimmer of daylight at 4 a.m.  A policeman stopped me as I was leaving Punta Arenas and could not understand me too well I think, but waved me on anyway!  The regular police checkpoint near the turnoff for the airport was closed.

I had time to visit only one lake, Laguna de los Pallos (LDLP), which lies on the west side of route 9 some 3 km on the road to Punta Natales after the junction with route 255.  This lake is quite large, 2-3 km long, and I explored 1-2 km of the shoreline near the road.  I was hoping to find Magellanic Plover, as this lake seemed quite similar to what I had heard about the ones near Porvenir, where that bird has been reported.  I did not find it, but saw several other birds of interest.

On the way out, around 4.30 a.m., a Great Horned Owl crossed the road, or, more correctly, a Magellanic Horned Owl according to the latest splitting.  At LDLP a party of 8 Chilean Flamingoes flew overhead in the early dawn sunlight, a beautiful sight.  Then a Chilean Skua passed over, and a Kelp Gull.  Rufous-collared Sparrows were constantly in song.  From the shores of the lake I put up several lots of Baird's and White-rumped Sandpipers.  There was a pair of Magellanic Oystercatchers, calling a mournful "tee-ew", which I thought might be the Magellanic Plover (but wasn't!)  Other breeding species: the noisy Southern Lapwing, the Long-tailed Meadowlark (with a juvenile), the Crested Duck, and 2 Two-banded Plovers.  Two Greater Yellowlegs appeared.  In a boggy area was a pair of South American Snipe (lifer).  On the lake, 4 Great Grebes and 2 Red-gartered Coot, while beside it a flock of 50 Upland Geese and 24 Ashy-headed Geese.

Then I crossed a creek and was startled by a huge apparition, a grunting, feather rattling, Lesser Rhea with both wings spread and arched, only 7-8 m in front of me.  It had got up from a nest of about 15 eggs, which I could see were of different sizes.  Apparently the male incubates the eggs, which would be laid by its harem of several females.  I was told that the local people say that a Rhea, flushed from its nest, will always desert, so the people feel justified in taking and eating the eggs.  However, after I had backed away from the nest, the bird immediately returned and began to brood again.

After this it was time to return to town with the car (due at 9 a.m.).  On the way, 2 Red Shovelers on the lake, and a Short-eared Owl quartering the pampas.  

Later in the day I contacted Fantastico Sur for ideas from the ornithologists there.  I still wanted to find two families: Magellanic Plover and Sheathbill.  The Fantastico Sur people were not yet back, but the secretary contacted Ricardo Matus, who agreed to take me on a hunt for these birds tomorrow morning, starting at 5 a.m.  This would involve renting a car for a half day (20,000 pesos at such short notice) as well as an honorarium for Ricardo, but I felt this was my last chance to see these two families.  Han decided not to come, because he wanted to visit museums.

Wednesday 17 November

Ricardo picked me up as promised at 5 a.m.  He was driving a minibus and I had to pay for the gas - a total of 20,000 pesos worth used in the morning!  We first went to the same lake, LDLP, that I was at yesterday morning.  Ricardo has seen the Magellanic Plover there frequently in the past.  We took the southeast side of the lake, which was an area I did not get into yesterday.  From the gravel we put up 2 pairs of Least Seedsnipe, which gave us great views.  Ricardo pointed out Patagonian Yellowfinches (lifer), and then we saw one Magellanic Plover (lifer).  It flew across the lake.  Ricardo first picked it out by the call. Baird's and White-rumped Sandpipers were frequent.  One Common Miner was seen.  We also visited the Rhea's nest, when Ricardo told me of the legends around this bird.   

After this we drove north and east along route 255.  We inspected several small lakes but found no more Magellanic Plovers.  However, he was able to show me Ruddy-headed Geese (lifer).  This bird is reputed to be very rare on the mainland of Patagonia, but he has discovered that they are more common than thought.  They were with Upland Geese, which made comparison between the Ruddy-headed Goose and the female Upland Goose easy. 

We went as far as the Ferry terminal at the Primera Angostura of the Magellan Strait (Punta Delgada).  Apparently the Snowy Sheathbill can be found here right through the southern winter.  People told us the last left in October.  We saw none, though we also checked out the nearby Rock Cormorant colony (with caution, since there is a minefield on the cliff top there!), since sheathbills often frequent colonial breeding sites.  Indeed, it seems that there are some from November through the summer near the huge (200,000 bird) penguin colony (actually they are at the sealion colony on a small adjacent islet) of Isla Magdalena in the Strait of Magellan about 30 km northeast of Punta Arenas, but that colony is closed for visits until December.  Hence November is the only month that sheathbills cannot be found!  At that I gave up hope of seeing my sixth and last family, but was happy to have found five.   

Around the ferry were several Cinnamon-bellied Ground Tyrants (lifer).  On the way back to Punta Arenas we inspected a group of South American Terns resting on the beach, to see if there were any Arctic Terns with them (none found).  Then we saw a Flying Steamer Duck (lifer) on the sea near the shore.

Ricardo is a very knowledgeable guide and speaks excellent English.  I can provide his email address for anyone wishing to contact him.

Thursday 18 November

Our last half day in the far south.  We climbed the hill in Punta Arenas, to a small lake at the top of the road Jose Menendez, where it intersects Grl Jose Ig Zenteni.  We actually walked up Avenida Colon and found the lake at the top on the left.  The lake was surrounded by a fence and labelled a military reservation, with no filming or photography permitted.  However, no-one seemed to object to our scanning it with binoculars.  There were about 25 Silvery Grebes, 3 White-winged Coots, and 10 Brown Pintail, one with 8 chicks.

Section 4: Annotated Systematic List (order of BSSAA)

For each species, sightings (locality + number of birds + date) are given for the three areas CENTRE, LAKES, and SOUTH, corresponding to Sections 1, 2, and 3 in the rest of this report.  Localities are indicated by lower case abbreviations as in the following list (c. = approximately).

CENTRE

ey         El Yeso valley about 50 km SE of Santiago

rc         Rio Concon about 12 km N of Vina del Mar

rnlp      Reserva Nacional Laguana Penuelas about 12 km SE of Valparaiso

rnrc      Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo about 35 km SSE of Santiago

s          Santiago

scsl       Santiago Cerro Santa Lucia

sjm       San Jose de Maipu about 40 km SE of Santiago

spm      Santiago Parque Metropolitano

srl         Santiago Residencial Londres

srm       Santiago Rio Mapocho

vdm      Vina del Mar

LAKES

an        Ancud, town on N end Chiloe Island

cf         Chacao Ferry, from mainland to Chiloe Island

ch        Chinquihue, village about 5 km SW of Puerto Montt

pe        Petrohue, village at W end Lago Todos los Santos, about 50 km NE of Puerto Montt

pl         Peulla, tiny village at east end Lago Todos los Santos about 85 km ENE of Puerto Montt

pmt      Puerto Montt

pnp      Parque Nacional Puyehue, about 100 km NE of Puerto Montt

pnvpr   Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales, a few km S of Petrohue

pv        Puerto Varas, town about 15 km N of Puerto Montt

rch       Rio Chamiza, about 5 km east of Puerto Montt

ti          Tenglo Island, about 100 m S of W end of Puerto Montt

SOUTH

fb         Fuerte Bulnes, site of old fort, about 55 km south of Punta Arenas (at the end of the road)

ldlp       Laguna de los Pallos, on SW side of route 9, about 3 km NE of junction with route 255, about 45 km N of Punta Arenas

pa        Primera Angostura, the most easterly narrowing of the Straits of Magellan, about 100 km NE of Punta Arenas

pf         Punta Arenas - Porvenir Ferry

pn        Punta Natales

po        Porvenir

pntdp   Parque Nacional Torres del Paine

pua      Punta Arenas

rv         Rio Verde road, a 60 km loop on the SW side of Route 9 some 50 N of Punta Arenas

so         Monumento Nacional Pinguinera Seno Otway, penguin colony about 25 km NW of Punta Arenas

The Birds 

Lesser Rhea Pterocnemia pennata SOUTH: pua-so several groups 12/11; rv 5 14/11; ldlp 1 with nest 16/11 and 17/11

Chilean Tinamou Nothoprocta perdicaria LAKES: pnp-pmt 1 9/11 on road

Pied-billed Grebe Podylimbus podiceps CENTRE: rnlp 1 3/11

White-tufted Grebe Podiceps rolland SOUTH: pntdp several 15/11

Silvery Grebe P. occipitalis SOUTH: pua c.25 18/11

Great Grebe P. major CENTRE: rnlp 3+ 3/11; LAKES pe 1 8/11; SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11; ldlp 4 16/11

Black-browed Albatross Diomedea melanophyrs SOUTH: fb 2 12/11; pf c.12 13/11

Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus SOUTH: fb 1 12/11; pf c.300 13/11

Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides SOUTH: pf 2 13/11

White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis SOUTH: pf small numbers 13/11; rv 1 14/11

Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus LAKES: cf c.20 5/11; SOUTH: pf 1 13/11

Magellanic Diving-petrel Pelecanoides magellani SOUTH: pf 18 13/11

Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus LAKES: cf 2-3 5/11; an 1 5/11; SOUTH: so several hundreds 12/11; pf 7 13/11

Peruvian Booby Sula variegata CENTRE: vdm many 3/11

Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus CENTRE: vdm-rc c.250 3/11; LAKES: cf 20+ 5/11

Olivaceous Cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceus CENTRE: vdm-rc c.40 3/11; LAKES: cf some 5/11; pmt 1 5/11; rch c.100 6/11; ch some 10/11; SOUTH: fb 1 12/11

Rock Cormorant P. magellanicus SOUTH: pua many nesting 11/11; pa c.100 pairs nesting 17/11

Guanay Cormorant P. bougainvillii CENTRE: vdm 2 3/11

Red-legged Cormorant P. gaimardi LAKES: cf 1 5/11

Imperial Cormorant P. albiventer LAKES: cf several 5/11; an 2+ 5/11; SOUTH: pua some 11/11; po 10 13/11; pn c.100 14/11

Snowy Egret Egretta thula CENTRE: vdm-s 1 3/11; LAKES: ti 2 7/11

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis CENTRE: vdm-s several 3/11; LAKES: an some 5/11; pmt-pnp 25 9/11

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax CENTRE: rnlp 1 3/11; LAKES: pmt 1 5/11

Black-faced Ibis Theristicus melanopis LAKES: cf 1 5/11; pmt 4+ 5/11; rch c.5 6/11; ti c.10 apparently breeding 7/11; rch 1 7/11; pmt-pnp lots 9/11; ch 2 10/11; SOUTH: po 1 13/11; rv 2 groups 14/11; pntdp c.5 15/11

Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis LAKES: rch 1 7/11; SOUTH: so 9 12/11; rv 30 14/11; ldlp 8 16/11

Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba SOUTH: rv 16 14/11; pn 3 15/11

Black-necked Swan Cygnus melancoryphus SOUTH: rv 2 small groups 14/11; pn 36 14/11; pn c. 100 15/11

Ashy-headed Goose Chloephaga poliocephala LAKES: pl-pe 1 8/11; SOUTH: pntdp 4 15/11; ldlp 24 16/11

Ruddy-headed Goose C. rubidiceps SOUTH: ldlp-pa 8 17/11

Upland Goose C. picta SOUTH: pua-so 12 12/11; rv 30 14/11; pntdp 50+ 15/11; ldlp 50 16/11; ldlp-pa 1 17/11

Flying Steamer-duck Tachyeres patachonicus SOUTH: pa-pua 1 17/11

Crested Duck Anas specularioides SOUTH: so 10 12/11; rv c.40 and ducklings 14/11; pntdp some with young 15/11; ldlp 1 16/11

Southern Wigeon A. sibilatrix CENTRE: rnlp: 1 3/11; SOUTH: fb-pua 1 12/11; pn 2 14/11

Brown Pintail A. georgica LAKES: an 2 5/11; pv 2 6/11; SOUTH: so 20 12/11; rv 78 14/11; pua c.10 and 8 chicks 18/11

Red Shoveler A. platalea SOUTH: rv 8 14/11; ldlp 2 16/11

Torrent Duck Merganetta armata LAKES: pnp 1 9/11

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus CENTRE: rc 12 3/11; LAKES: pmt-cf several 5/11; pv 1 6/11; rch 2 6/11; ti 1 7/11

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura CENTRE:s-vdm 2 3/11; LAKES: rch 1 6/11; ti 1 7/11

Andean Condor Vultur gryphus CENTRE: ey 1 2/11; SOUTH: rv 1 14/11; pntdp 4 15/11

Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus LAKES: rch 1 7/11; SOUTH: pua 1 14/11; rv 1 14/11

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus CENTRE: ey 1 2/11; LAKES: pmt-pnp 1 9/11

Red-backed Hawk Buteo polyosoma CENTRE: rnrc 1 19/11

Crested Caracara Polyborus plancus LAKES: pv 1 6/11; ch 1 10/11; SOUTH: pua-so 2 12/11; rv 4 14/11

Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango CENTRE: srl 1 30/10; sjm 1 31/10; ey 1 2/11; rnrc 3 19/11; LAKES: ti several, one carrying nesting material 7/11

American Kestrel Falco sparverius LAKES: pnp-pmt 3 9/11; SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11

Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus CENTRE: ey 1 2/11

California Quail Callipepla californica CENTRE: sjm 2 31/10; rnrc 2 19/11

Red-gartered Coot Fulica armillata LAKES: rch 2 6/11; SOUTH: pntdp some 15/11; ldlp 2 16/11

White-winged Coot F. leucoptera SOUTH: pua 3 18/11

Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis CENTRE: sjm 20 31/10; srl 3 overhead 31/10; LAKES: pv some 6/11; rch 25 6/11; ti 2 7/11; pe 1 8/11; ch 2 10/11; SOUTH: rv 6 14/11; pn-pntdp-pua frequent 15/11; ldlp 3 16/11

Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus SOUTH: so 4 12/11; po 2 13/11; rv 4 14/11; ldlp 2 16/11

Magellanic Plover Pluvianellus socialis SOUTH: ldlp 1 17/11

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus LAKES: rch 2 7/11

Magellanic Oystercatcher H. leucopodus SOUTH: pua-fb 1 12/11; fb 1 12/11; fb-pua 6 12/11; so 4+ 12/11; rv 4 14/11; ldlp 2 16/11

Blackish Oystercatcher H. ater SOUTH: fb 2 12/11

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca LAKES: rch 3 6/11; SOUTH: ldlp 2 16/11

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus CENTRE: vdm c.10 3/11; LAKES: pmt 2 5/11; rch c.20 6/11; ti 1 7/11; rch 800 7/11; ch 2 10/11

Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica SOUTH: rv 16 14/11

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres CENTRE: vdm 1 3/11

Surfbird Aphriza virgata CENTRE: vdm 10 3/11

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis SOUTH: rv some 14/11; ldlp c.20 16/11; ldlp frequent 17/11

Baird's Sandpiper C. bairdii CENTRE: ey c.10 2/11; SOUTH: rv c.100 14/11; ldlp c.35 16/11; ldlp frequent 17/11

South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae SOUTH: ldlp 2 displaying 16/11, drumming 17/11

Grey-breasted Seedsnipe Thinocorus orbignyianus CENTRE: ey 2 2/11

Least Seedsnipe T. rumicivorus SOUTH: pntdp 2 15/11; ldlp 4 17/11; pa 1 17/11

Brown Skua Catharacta antarcticus SOUTH: pua-fb 2 12/11; fb 1 12/11; pf 4 13/11

Chilean Skua C. chilensis SOUTH: pf 3 13/11; pn 1 15/11

Dolphin Gull Leucophaeus scoresbii SOUTH: pua some 11/11; pn 5 14/11

Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus CENTRE: srm 1 2/11; vdm-rc c.200 3/11; LAKES: pmt many  4/11, c.10 5/11; cf plentiful 5/11; pv some 5/11; ti some 7/11; ch c.50 10/11; SOUTH: pua some 11/11; fb 2 12/11; pf 10 13/11; ldlp 1 16/11

Franklin's Gull L. pipixcan CENTRE: vdm-rc c.250 3/11; LAKES: cf plentiful 5/11; rch c.20 7/11

Brown-hooded Gull L. maculipennis LAKES: pmt many 4/11, 100+ 5/11; cf plentiful 5/11; an some 5/11; pv c.100 flying east 6/11; ti some 7/11; rch 20+ 7/11; ch some 10/11; SOUTH: po some 13/11; rv 2 14/11; pn 4 14/11; pntdp c.20 15/11

South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea SOUTH: pf 30-40 13/11; rv 6 14/11; pa-pua c.200 17/11

Snowy-crowned Tern S. trudeaui LAKES: pmt 1-2 10/11

Inca Tern Lorusterna inca CENTRE: vdm c.10 3/11

Rock Dove Columba livia CENTRE: srl and spm some 30/10, 1/11; LAKES: pmt c.6 5/11; pv 1 6/11; SOUTH: pua 6 11/11

Chilean Pigeon C. araucana CENTRE: rnlp 1 3/11; LAKES: ch 1 10/11

Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata CENTRE: srl and spm common 30/10, 1/11; ey 2 2/11; SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11

Picui Ground-dove Columbina picui CENTRE: ey 1 2/11; rnrc c.10 19/11

Austral Parakeet Enicognathus ferrugineus SOUTH: pntdp 11 15/11

Magellanic Horned Owl Bubo magellanicus SOUTH: pua 1 16/11

Short-eared Owl Asia flammeus SOUTH: ldlp 1 16/11

Green-backed Firecrown Sephanoides sephanoides LAKES: ti 1 7/11; pnp 1 9/11

Common Miner Geositta cunicularia SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11; ldlp 1 17/11

Short-billed Miner G. antarctica SOUTH: po 1 13/11

Buff-breasted Earthcreeper Upucerthia validirostris CENTRE: ey 1 2/11

Dark-bellied Cincloides Cinclodes patagonicus CENTRE: ey 1 2/11; LAKES: pmt 2 displaying  5/11; ch 1 10/11; SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11

Grey-flanked Cincloides C. oustaleti LAKES: pnvpr 1 8/11; pl pair nesting 8/11

Seaside Cincloides C. nigrofumosus CENTRE: vdm 2 3/11

Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda LAKES: pnp 2 9/11

Austral Canastero Asthenes anthoides SOUTH: so 1 in song 12/11

Black-throated Huet-Huet Pteroptochos tarnii LAKES: pnp 2 at nest 9/11

Chucao Tapaculo Scelorchilus rubecula LAKES: pnvpr 1heard 8/11; pa c.6 heard, 1 seen 8/11; pnp 8 heard 9/11

Magellanic Tapaculo Scytalopus magellanicus LAKES: pnp 2 9/11

White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps CENTRE: spm 2+ 1/11; rnrc plentiful 19/11; spm some 20/11; LAKES: an 3 5/11; pv some 6/11; ti 3 7/11; pl several 8/11; pnp 7 9/11; ch 1 9/11; SOUTH: fb 1 12/11

Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus CENTRE: spm 1 1/11; LAKES: an 1 5/11; pv 1 6/11; ti 1 7/11

Fire-eyed Diucon Xolmis pyrope LAKES: an 2 5/11; pv 1 6/11

Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola macloviana CENTRE: sjm probably 10-15 31/10; rnlp 1 3/11

Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrant M. capistrata SOUTH: pa c.4 17/11

Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant M. rufivertex CENTRE: ey c.  10 2/11

Cinereous Ground-Tyrant M.  cinerea CENTRE: ey several 2/11

Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant M. flavinucha CENTRE: sjm 1 31/10; ey many 2/11

Austral Negrito Lessonia rufa LAKES: rch 2 7/11; SOUTH: fb-pua 3 12/11; so 5 12/11; po 2 13/11; rv several 14/11; pn-pntdp-pua frequent 15/11

Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillata CENTRE: sjm 1 31/10; LAKES: an 1 5/11; rch 1 6/11

Rufous-tailed Plantcutter Phytotoma rara LAKES: pv 2 6/11; ti 1 7/11

Chilean Swallow Tachycineta leucopyga CENTRE: sjm 1+ 31/10; vdm some 3/11; rnrc 4 19/11; LAKES: an some in song 5/11; pv nesting 6/11; rch 10 6/11; SOUTH po 1 13/11

Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca CENTRE: sjm 5 31/10; srm 10 1/11; vdm some 3/11; SOUTH: rv 2 14/11

Grass (Sedge) Wren Cistothorus platensis LAKES: an 1 singing 5/11; SOUTH so 2 in song 12/11

House Wren Troglodytes aedon CENTRE: sjm 2 31/10; spm several 1/11; scsl several 1/11; vdm-rc lots 3/11; rnrc 2 19/11; spm some 20/11; LAKES: an 2 in song 5/11; pv some 6/11; ti c.8 7/11; SOUTH: pntdp some 15/11

Austral Thrush Turdus falcklandii CENTRE: srl, spm, scsl several singing and seen 30/10-3/11; sjm a few 31/10; spm common 1/11; scsl some 1/11; spm some 20/11; LAKES pv some 6/11; pnp some 8/11; SOUTH: fb 1 12/11

Chilean Mockingbird Mimus thenka CENTRE: sjm 1 31/10; spm 1 1/11; ey 2 2/11; rnrc 4 19/11

Correndera Pipit Anthus correndera LAKES: ti 2, 1 feeding young 7/11; ch 1 in song flight 10/11; SOUTH: so 2 12/11, po some 13/11

Greater Yellowfinch Sicalis auriventris CENTRE: ey some 2/11

Patagonian Yellowfinch S. lebruni SOUTH: ldlp 1 17/11

Grassland Yellowfinch S. luteola LAKES: an c.10 5/11; pmt 3 5/11; pv some 6/11; rch 2 6/11; ti c.10 7/11; ch 2 10/11

Common Diuca-Finch Diuca diuca CENTRE: ey 1 singing strongly 2/11; vdm 1 3/11; rnrc frequent 19/11; LAKES: ti 2 7/11

Patagonian Sierra-Finch Phrygilus patagonicus SOUTH: fb 1 12/11

Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch P. gayi CENTRE: ey c.80 2/11; LAKES: an 1 5/11; pv 1 6/11; pnp 1 9/11; SOUTH: rv 1 14/11

Plumbeous Sierra-Finch P. unicolor CENTRE: ey 1 2/11

Band-tailed Sierra-Finch P.  alaudinus CENTRE: ey 1 in song 2/11

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis CENTRE: srl singing 30/10-3/11; spm common, 1 feeding young 1/11; rnrc c.10 19/11; LAKES: ti c.10 singing 7/11; SOUTH: pua 2 11/11; so 3+ 12/11; po some 13/11; rv 1 14/11; pntdp everywhere 15/11; ldlp many in song 16/11

Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis CENTRE: sjm many 31/10

Austral Blackbird Curaeus curaeus CENTRE: srm 1 1/11; rnrc 3 19/11; spm some 20/11; LAKES: ti 1 in song 7/11; SOUTH: pntdp 1 15/11

Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca CENTRE: ey 1 2/11; LAKES: ch 1 10/11; SOUTH: pua-so 2 12/11; rv 1 14/11; pn-pntdp some 15/11; ldlp pair with juvenile 16/11

Black-chinned Siskin Carduelis barbata LAKES: an c.10 5/11; pv c. 10 6/11; rch 2 6/11; ti 6  7/11; ch some 10/11; SOUTH: pua 2 11/11; fb 1 12/11; po some 13/11; pntdp some 15/11

House Sparrow Passer domesticus CENTRE: srl several apparently nesting 30/10; LAKES: pv some 6/11; ti several around the hamlet 7/11; SOUTH: pua many 11/11; po some 13/11; pn some 15/11

Peter Browne,    Ottawa, Canada pbrowne@cyberus.ca )

 

Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?