Southern Patagonia, Torres del Paine & Tierra del Fuego
Southern Patagonia is a windswept land with a wealth of stunning environments, jagged peaks, glaciers, vast plains and old-growth forests, sprinkled with lakes and ever-changing landscapes. You will be surprised by the variety of views that never repeat themselves as you travel across this wild realm.
Some of the bird specialties found here are Darwin´s Rhea, Magellanic Penguin, Chilean Skua, Magellanic Plover, Austral Canastero, Spectacled Duck, Flying Steamer Duck, Dolphin Gull, White-throated Caracara, Kelp Goose, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Austral Parakeet and White-throated Treerunner, among others.
Other wildlife includes Grey Fox, Guanaco, a wild relative to Llamas, Patagonian Skunk and Hairy Armadillo.
Price: US$ per person. Including: English-speaking Ornithologist and Birding Guide, lodging, all meals, private transportation and entrance fees to national parks.
Meet and depart: Santiago or Punta Arenas.
Dates: From October to March.
Optional extension to "Patagonia & Chilean Fjords" and/or "Lake District & Chiloe Island".
Meet at Punta Arenas Airport, then we´ll drive to Tierra del Fuego, including a ferry trip, afterwards we´ll visit the shrubby slopes and moorland of the Baquedano Hills. Birds: Black-browed Albatross, Southern/Northern Giant-Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Cape Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Magellanic Horned Owl, Austral Canastero, the spectacular Black-throated Finch and our target species in Tierra del Fuego, the Magellanic Plover, and other interesting shorebirds including Two-banded and Rufous-chested Dotterel. Lodging at Porvenir. L, D.
Tierra del Fuego and the huge embayment of Bahia Inutil. Birds: Flightless and Flying Steamer-Ducks, Kelp Goose, Imperial and Rock Cormorants, Kelp, Brown-hooded, and Dolphin Gulls and South America Tern. Along the bay we will have a slight chance of finding King Penguin as well. Lodging at Porvenir. B, L, D.
Tierra del Fuego and mainland Patagonia in search of its specialities and a short ferry ride where we´ll have a chanse to see the striking Commerson´s Dolphin. Birds: Ruddy-headed Goose, Upland Goose, Coscoroba Swan, Silver Teal, Black-headed Duck, Rosy-billed Pochard, Chilean Flamingos, Least Seedsnipe, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Short-billed Miner, Band-tailed Earthcreeper and Chocolate-vented Tyrant. Waders such as Wilson´s Phalarope, Baird´s and White-rumped Sandpipers will be common. Lodging at Punta Arenas. B, L, D.
Torres del Paine National Park. Birds: Great Grebe, Spectacled Duck, Chiloe Wigeon, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Cinereous Harrier, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Chilean Flicker, Striped Woodpeckar and Austral Pygmy-Owl. We will scan the fast-flowing rivers hoping to find the remarkable Torrent Duck, Andean Duck, Silvery and White-tufted Grebes and with luck the elusive and recently re-discovered Austral Rail. In the surrounding sub-Antartic forest we will have good chance to see Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Austral Parakeet, Austral Blackbird and the striking Magellanic Woodpecker. Lodging at Torres del Paine. B, L, D.
Sierra Baguales and Punta Arenas. Birds: Patagonian Mockingbird, Gray-bellied Shrike-Tyrant, White-throated Caracara, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Cinnamon-bellied and Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrants, Patagonian and Greater Yellow-Finches and the stunning Yellow-bridled Finch. Lodging at Punta Arenas. B, L, D.
Birding around Punta Arenas and drive to the Airport. End of the Tour. B, L.