Chile Day 5 – 17 December 2015 – Puerto Natales

Our guide for this part of our trip was Rodrigo Silva, a great guide from Albatross Birding. Rodrigo told us that he guided Noah Strycker, who was doing a World Big Year in 2015 and was at nearly 6,000 for the year.

Today we had an early start for our long drive north from Porvenir to Puerto Natales, first getting a ferry across the Magellanic Straits at Punta Delgada, which was a much shorter crossing than on the way over to Tierra del Fuego.
We then drove east stopping at Buque Quemado for ducks and Grebes before driving with the coast to the south and then to the north. We saw the fantastic Band-tailed Earthcreeper, which used to be thought to be an Argentinian endemic, until discovered in a small area of similar habitat in Chile, right next to the border.

Band-tailed Earthcreeper
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Tawny-throated Dotterel
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Chocolate-vented Tyrant
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

We then drove through Puerto Natales, where we stopped for dinner, before driving into the night but still late evening to get to Torres del Paine National Park. The last section of the drive was truly stunning, with a long mountain range covered in snow and fjords in front.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Torres del Paine National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Torres Del Paine National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Best birds and animals of the day:
Darwin’s Rhea
Band-tailed Earthcreeper
Tawny-throated Dotterel
Least Seedsnipe (which I had seen in Bolivia)
Chocolate-vented Tyrant
Chilean Flicker
Big Hairy Armadillo (fantastic views crossing the track)
2 Humbold’s (Patagonian) Hog-nosed Skunk
European Hare
Guanaco
Gray Fox
Commerson’s Dolphin

Guanaco
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Humbold’s Hog-nosed Skunk
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Humbold’s Hog-nosed Skunk
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

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