Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Chile Day 2 - 14 December 2015, The Coast west of Santiago

Last night I had managed to negotiate a 6 am breakfast, which Mum and Dad were really impressed by.

Having all got to bed at 12.30 am after a quick shower (even 13 year olds have a cleanliness threshold!) we were a tad tired getting up at 5.30 am.  By the time we got our bags downstairs and got to breakfast, we were 10 minutes late; which is always bad if you made someone get up early for you.  The guy didn't seem to mind though.

Today Rodrigo Silva, our guide from yesterday, was catching a lunchtime flight South to Punta Arenas.  He was picking up a hire car, checking us into our hotel and was then meeting us at the airport.  

So today our guide was Paola Soublette, who took us west from Santiago to the coast.  The main place to bird was the Maipo River Estuary at Santo Domingo. Other places that we birded was Cartagena Lagoon, Lagoona El Peral,  Algarrobo and San Jeronimo.

Our big target was Chilean Seaside Cinclodes. We searched for this everywhere along the beach but then finally saw one at our last possible place, which was brilliant.

Chilean Seaside Cinclodes

We had a brilliant day of birding but mum fell over on a sandy beach and wrecked our brand new camcorder, which wasn't so brilliant.  

Later Paola dropped us at the airport for our evening flight to Punta Arenas. We had pushed it trying to get good views of an endemic Dusky Tapuculo  and were late getting to the airport, fortunately we were taken through urgent short queues and got to the gate with 10 minutes to spare.  It was a long flight south, so I made the most of it (a boring flight with no films) by reading and sleeping. 

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on flight south from Santiago, Chile

The Andes from our flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas

Poor Rodrigo had to pick us up after our flight at midnight. By the time I got to bed, it was almost 1 am, which was not good as we had to be up at 6 am tomorrow. I really need to catch up on my sleep.

We had a great day birding with all our targets for the day.

Best birds of the day:

Black-necked Swan
Coscoroba Swan
Upland Goose
Chilean Widgeon
Yellow-billed Teal
Yellow-billed Pintail
Red Shovler
Lake Duck
White-tufted Grebe
Great Grebe
Neotropic Cormorant
Stripe-backed Bittern
Chimango Caracara
Red-gartered Coot
Red-fronted Coot
Gray Gull
Black Skimmer
Chilean Seaside Cinclodes
Thorn-tailed Rayadito
Dusky-tailed Canestro
Dusky Tapuculo
Spectacled Tyrant
Rufous-tailed Plantcutter
South American Snipe

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in a week (arriving on 22 December 2015), which will be her 7th continent. 

Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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