Chile – List of new birds

Chile – List of new birds

Our trip to Chile was never going to bring me lots of new birds, like the countries in the tropics, but the new birds would be of quality.

We travelled with Albatross Birding who were very knowledgeable, well organised and involved in the heart of lots of conservation projects in Chile.  We would highly recommend them http://www.albatross-birding.com/

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig pointing out a bird

Alex Cruz Jnr and Snr

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Fernando Diaz from Albatross Birding

 

New birds seen in Chile:

89 new birds

Lesser Horned Owl
Yellow-rumped Siskin
White-sided Hillstar
Rufous-tailed Plancutter
Cream-rumped Miner
Common Diuca Finch
Scaly-throated Earthcreeper
Chilean Mockingbird
Buff-winged Cinclodes
Black-chinned Siskin
Austral Thrush
Black-fronted Ground Tyrant
Moustached Turca
Grey-hooded Sierra Finch
Chilean Swallow
Chiloe Wigeon
White-winged Coot
Brown-hooded Gull
South American Snipe
Black-necked Swan
Austral Blackbird
Ticking Doradito
Stripe-backed Bittern
Red Shoveler
Thorn-tailed Rayadito
Chilean Seaside Cinclodes
Coscoroba Swan
Lake Duck
Red-fronted Coot
Dusky Tapaculo
Austral Negrito
Spectacled Tyrant
Red-gartered Coot
Dusky-tailed Canestero
Two-banded Plover
Magellanic Penguin
Black-faced Ibis
Imperial Shag
Short-billed Miner
Magellanic Diving Petrel
Magellanic Oystercatcher
Dolphin Gull
Magellanic Plover
Upland Goose
Flying Steamer Duck
Patagonian Yellow Finch
Ruddy-headed Goose
Ashy-headed Goose
White-bridled Finch
Fire-eyed Diucon
Rufous-chested Plover
King Penguin
Rock Shag
Austral Canestero
Dark-bellied Cinclodes
Chocolate-vented Tyrant
Band-tailed Earthcreeper
Chilean Flicker
Yellow-bridled Finch
Patagonian Mockingbird
Austral Rail
Great Shrike-tyrant
Bronze-winged Duck
Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant
Elegant Tern
Fuegian Steamer Duck
Green-backed Fire-crown
Chestnut-throated Huet Huet
Magellanic Woodpecker
White-throated Treerunner
Rufous-tailed Hawk
Slender-billed Parakeet
Austral Parakeet
Burrowing Parrot
Des Mur’s Wiretail
Patagonian Sierra Finch
Chilean Pigeon
Black-throated Huet Huet
Austral Pygmy Owl
Ochre-flanked Tapaculo
Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper
Chucao Tapaculo
Magellanic Tapaculo
Rosy-billed Pochard
Black-headed Duck
Crag Chilia
Chilean Tinamou
White-throated Tapaculo
Californian Quail

White-sided Hillstar
Photograph taken by and copyright Rodrigo Silva, Albatross Birding

Megallanic Plover

Dark-bellied Cinclodes

King Penguin

Patagonian Mockingbird
Photograph taken by and copyright Rodrigo Silva, Albatross Birding

Chocolate-vented Tyrant

Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper

White-throated Treerunner

Chilean Tinamou

Crag Chilia

 

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile – 4 January 2016, Travelling home and photo highlights of Antarctica

Chile – 4 January 2016, Travelling home and photo highlights of Antarctica

We were booked onto an evening flight from Santiago to Madrid. The flight was on time, and even though it was late in the UK, I had time to watch a few films before I was forced to switch off by my Mum.

Travelling home is always a good time to think about my trip. Going to Antarctica was very special and I am really grateful to my parents for taking me.

I think it’s really important for everyone who visits Antarctica to be an Ambassador and tell everyone they can about how beautiful and special it is and that it must be protected at all costs.

We were on time getting to Madrid and had time for dinner before going to our gate and finding that our flight to London was delayed by an hour. That is always a pain when you just want to get home. It meant that we missed out on our coach, so by the time we reached Compton Martin it was 2 am on Tuesday 5th January 2016…Only 5 hours of sleep before school, but I’m used to that from this trip.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig at Madrid Airport

Highlights of Antarctica:

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile Day 13 – 3rd January 2016 – Farellones Valley

Chile Day 13 – 3rd January 2016 – Farellones Valley

This morning, Fernando our brilliant guide from Albatross Birding, picked us up at 5.00 am to drive us into the mountains. It was lovely to end the trip birding in the same place that we started, though this time lowers down the slops.

We had three targets for the day. The first was the Chilean Tinamou, a very shy bird that we only had a chance of seeing at dawn. We arrived at our site at 6.00 am, watching a slope where there was water and where they sometimes quietly appear for water.

After an hour here, we heard that Rodrigo (our guide for the first part of our trip) and the birders with him had heard a Tinamou a little further up the mountain. We raced up there and were really pleased to see Rodrigo again. He had two Americans with him, a father and son called Alex Cruz Junior and Alex Cruz Senior.

Dad recognised Alex Cruz Junior from a photograph with Jonathan Newman on Facebook, a world birder Dad is connected to on Facebook. Alex Cruz Senior also recognised me from the ABA December 2015 Magazine and my birding milestone of reaching 4000 birders in the world, which was nice.

Alex Cruz Junior & Alex Cruz Senior

They were going up to the higher slopes today and had a lot of birding to do, so eventually left to move up the mountain. It is always a little sad to say goodbye to Rodrigo, someone we had got to know so well.

Not long after they went, we had a brief view of a Tinamou. Unfortunately, by the time they returned, there was no sign of the Tinamou, so they move up the mountain again. Again, hardly any time had passed when a Tinamou came out into full view, giving us absolutely fantastic views. Fernando let them know, but we knew that they would not have the time to return and the bird would not be around long.

Chilean Tinamou

We also got some great views of Californian Quail, which I had seen the day before but very badly.

Californian Quail

From here we moved to the site for the White-throated Tapaculo another Chilean Endemic.

White-throated Tapaculo

The Last bird to look for was a Crag Chilia, our last endemic for the day and trip. This proved more difficult as they live amongst the rocks. Eventually, we did get brilliant views.

Craig Chilia

Craig Chilia

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Chris Craig looking for Craig Chilia

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig pointing out Crag Chilia to Chris Craig and Fernando Diaz

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Chris Craig and Fernando Diaz

A three endemic day – fantastic.

Now that we had seen our three endemic targets, we could relax and have the picnic lunch that Fernando had brought for us. It was a fantastic end to a great trip.

From here Fernando drove us straight to the airport. We were there in plenty of time to check-in for our 8 pm flight home, via Madrid.

It was also sad to say goodbye to Fernando. We had a great time with him and had lots of fun as well as seeing so many brilliant birds.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Fernando Diaz

At the airport, I noticed the following advert. Weston-Super-Mare seemed very funny with the other destinations!

“Mexico – Player Del Carmex”

“China – Shanghai”

“United Kingdom – Weston-Super-Mare” Really???

Best birds of the day:

Chilean Tinamou
Californian Quail
White-throated Tapaculo
Crag Chilia

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile Day 12 – 2nd January 2016 – Lampa and Batuco Wetlands

Chile Day 12 – 2nd January 2016 – Lampa and Batuco Wetlands

This morning, Fernando our brilliant guide from Albatross Birding, met us at our airport hotel at 6.00 am for a full day of birding.

We drove to two wetlands, firstly Lampa and then Batuco Wetlands.

The key species for the morning were the Black-headed Duck and Rosy-billed Pochard. The ducks were too far away to photograph.

Cinereous Harrier

Thistles common in this area

We then waded through deep water at several locations, looking for South American Painted Snipe. However, the problem was that areas were either too deep in water or too dry. It was been better for the Painted Snipe in November, but as we moved around, each area was too dry. Fernando explained that the area was not managed for the birds who live here and this was a big problem. There were no Painted Snipe here as the fields had been drained dry.

After a morning here, Fernando drove us back to our hotel for the night, which was really lovely. We actually had a few hours to relax before an early dinner and an early night. Fernando was picking us up at 5.30 am, so we needed to be packed and ready for our flight home.

Best birds of the day:

Black-headed Duck
Rosy-billed Pochard
Cinereous Harrier

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile Day 11 – 1st January 2016 – Cerro Nielol National Park

Chile Day 11 – 1st January 2016 – Cerro Nielol National Park

This morning we were up and out at 6.00 am, to go back to Cerro Nielol National Park, just on the outskirts of Temuco, the fifth biggest city in Chile and one south of Santiago. Fernando from Albatross Birding was our guide for the day, who was absolutely brilliant.

We spent the morning birding here. It was a morning of Tapaculos and very successful. We saw Black-throated Huet Huet, Magellanic Tapaculo, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo and Chucao Tapaculo. Anyone who knows anything about Tapaculos will understand why I have no photographs of them!

Also, we had some daytime great views of Austral Pygmy Owl.

Late morning, Fernando drove us on a two-hour journey to see Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper, another endemic. It took some time, but eventually, she got brilliant views.

Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper

We then made it back to the airport at Temuco, for our 5.55 pm flight to Santiago.

Once in Santiago, we said goodbye to Fernando and got a taxi to our airport hotel. We had a quick change of clothes and then got the hotel transport back to the airport, to meet our Canadian friends. My friend’s father had the all-clear to fly the next day, so would be joining them for their flight back to Vancouver. We had a lovely meal with her and her Mum and hopefully, we will get to meet up sometime soon.

Best birds of the day:
Black-throated Huet Huet
Magellanic Tapaculo
Ochre-flanked Tapaculo
Chucao Tapaculo

Also, we had some daytime great views of Austral Pygmy Owl.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile Day 10 – 31st December 2015 – Altos de Lircay National Reserve

Chile Day 10 – 31st December 2015 – Altos de Lircay National Reserve

This morning we were up at 5.30 am for a 6.00 am breakfast. Normally this would be OK, but this morning after two nights of lacking sleep, I felt exhausted most of the morning.

We spent the morning birding at Altos de Lircay National Park. We saw Chilean Pigeon around the lodge but despite hours of trying, missed our main target Patagonian Tyrant. Other good birds were Austral Parakeet and Patagonian Sierra Finch.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Altos de Lircay National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Altos de Lircay National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Altos de Lircay National Park

Patagonian Sierra Finch

We then set out for our long drive to Temuco, stopping for Burrowing Parrot on the way, which were colourful and easy to see.

Burrowing Parrot

Burrowing Parrot

We arrived in Temuco early evening and went straight to Cerro Nielol National Park where we saw Rufous-tailed Hawk at the nest and Des Murs’ Wiretail.

Rufous-tailed Hawk, Cerro Nielol National Park

We managed to get back to the hotel for dinner and get another quite late night. Happy New Year everyone.

Best birds of the day:

Burrowing Parakeet
Chilean Pigeon
Chilean Flicker
Patagonian Sierra Finch
Austral Parakeet
Chestnut-throated Whet Whet
Rufous-tailed Hawk
Des Murs’ Wiretail
Slender-billed Parakeet

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Chile Days 8 & 9 – 29rd & 30th December 2015 – Altos de Lircay NR

Chile Days 8 & 9 – 29rd & 30th December 2015 – Altos de Lircay NR

Our flight from King George Island, Antarctica to Punto Arenas, Chile was several hours late. By the time we got to our hotel room, it was 8.30 pm. It was too late to meet our friends, have dinner or catch up on blogging. It was 11.00 pm before I got to bed and knew I would be tired tomorrow as we get to be up at 4.45 am to catch the first flight to Santiago.

The next morning, as we checked in for our 7.10 am flight many of the passengers from our ship were on the same flight. There was only time for a hello and wave before our flight.

At Santiago Airport, our bird guide from Albatross Birding, Fernando Diaz, was there to meet us in a hire car. We then headed south, driving to Colburn and then to Vilches birding on the way and arriving at Altos de Lirca National Park early afternoon to catch up on birding before dark.

Chris Craig in Altos de Lirca National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Young Magellanic Woodpecker in a nest hole, Altos de Lirca National Park

White-throated Treerunner, Altos de Lirca National Park

After birding for a few hours, we went back to our lodge for dinner, before going out owling looking for Rufous-legged Owl and Austral Pygmy-owl. I am not a fan of owling, mainly because I get tired and we often don’t see anything. Tonight was no different and we got to bed at midnight with no success.

Scorpian, Altos de Lirca National Park
Photograph taken by and copyright Young birder Mya-Rose Craig

Best birds of the Day:
Chestnut-throated Huet Huet (a Tapuculo species)
Magellanic Woodpecker
Green-backed Firecrown
White-throated Treerunner

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Antarctica Voyage Day 9 – 27 December 2015 – Landing on the Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica Voyage Day 9 – 27 December 2015 – Landing on the Antarctic Peninsula

This morning wake up was an hour early at 6.00 am, as we were due out on the Zodiacs at 7.45 am to visit Paulet Island. However, there was too much ice on the sea to get there. The area was stunning with icebergs the size of islands and huge amounts of ice on the sea.

Instead of landing, we had a group of 6-8 Orca (Killer Whales) which we managed to get close to. Orcas are actually whale killing dolphins. We had the most fantastic views of them for over half an hour. They were in and out of the water in between floating ice, showing their black and white bodies.

Orca

A little later we were getting into Zodiacs and cruising between icebergs. Almost immediately, we were rewarded with close views of two Snow Petrel, flying around in front of a massive iceberg and also over our heads. They were the most beautiful birds and definitely worth waiting for close views.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig on a zodiac cruise
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig on a zodiac cruise
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Snow Petrel
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Adelie Penguin on ice

In the middle of our zodiac cruise, we met with the other boats and were given cups of hot chocolate, before we continued our wildlife watching.

Back on the boat, we were lucky enough to witness a very rare sight. We watched as a group of about 12-15 Orca harassed a female Humpback Whale, which Jimmy explained was actually trying to drown its calf. The Humpback wasn’t doing anything to stop them, just staying in the area. He wondered whether the mother was staying as part of a mourning process. Jimmy, the nature expert, said that this was a very rare occurrence but they had seen evidence of it on the last three voyages. The first time all that remained was an oil slick with huge numbers of Wilson’s Storm Petrel on the water feeding. This was the first time he had seen the killing in action. Only a couple of people saw the calf, as it was being forced to stay underwater until it drowned. I know it’s nature, but I found it really sad.

In the afternoon, we landed in Brown Bluff, on the mainland Antarctic continent. Landing on islands and cruising close to the mainland shore was fantastic, but there was something very special about actually landing on the Mainland Antarctic Continent. It is something I have really wanted to do since I was 9 years old, my main ambition.

There were 20,000 penguin pairs here, mainly Adelie Penguins which had chicks and Gentoo with eggs. Brown Skuas were here as well trying to get eggs or even chicks.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Adelie Penguin colony, Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin colony, Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin colony, Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Adelie Penguin with chick Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

There were also Snow Petrel nesting high on the cliff as well as Kelp Gull lower down.

Adelie Penguin near Brown Buff, Antarctic Mainland
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

We have had strict rules in relation to our landings. First, we had to vacuum our clothes and belongings, especially Velcro, to remove seeds and plant matter so they did not become alien plants in Antarctica. We also had to scrub and disinfect our boots each time we left the boots. Also, not getting close to any birds or animals and not removing anything at all from any place. The staff on our boat are really dedicated and so care about preserving Antarctica. However, this may not be the same for all ship crew. The numbers of visitors have increased massively over the last 20 years and so the impact of passenger landings has to be considered.

The research shows that nesting penguins are pretty robust but other birds nesting at landing sites may be affected by disturbance. Other issues might be the trampling of lichen and other rare fauna. At the moment things are self-regulated through the Antarctica tourism group however there seems to be no real way of punishing persistent offenders. I think overall that although there is a limited impact from tourism this plays an important part in ensuring that people know and care about this continent, which is crucial to stop countries from exploiting the area.

Best birds and animals of the day:
Snow Petrel
Kelp Gull
Brown Skua
Adelie Penguin
Gentoo Penguin
Orca
Humpback Whales

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

Antarctic Voyage Day 8 – 26th December 2015 – Aitcho Island

Antarctic Voyage Day 8 – 26th December 2015 – Aitcho Island

This morning we woke up to the good news that my friend and her parents were evacuated from the boat at about 4 am, to catch a flight to Punto Arenas. Her dad was now in hospital there and being treated for his heart attack. Hopefully her dad will be well enough to travel back to Vancouver very soon.

The boat moved south, so that at 10 am we could travel by Zodiac to Aicho (HO) Island, where there was a colony of Chinstrap and a few colonies of Gentoo Penguins. There were about 5,000 of each but most were out of view. We had to walk through snow to get to them. There were also Brown Skuas getting hold of eggs and breaking them open. Sometimes they were able to grab a Gentoo Penguin chick.

Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Chinstrap Penguin colony, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Chinstrap Penguin on nest, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Gentoo Penguin on nest covered in snow, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Brown Skua attacking Gentoo Penguin colony, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Brown Skua attacking Gentoo Penguin colony, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

We trekked through deep snow to get to the top of the island, where it was really cold and windy. This was the first excursion where most people returned to the boat early. This was what apparently Antarctica land excursions are usually like, rather than the beautiful weather we had been having.

Chinstrap Penguin, Aitcho Island, Antarctica

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig near Aitcho Island, Antarctica
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Gentoo Penguin
Photograph taken by and copyright Jim (Zhimin) Zong’s
For copies of this and other amazing photos from this trip contact zongzm@gmail.com

We were meant to be landing at Robert Point in the afternoon, but we were not able to land before due to windy conditions. Again today it was too windy to land and so instead we pressed south. On our journey, we continued to see lots of Humpback Whales.

Final itinerary of our Antarctic Voyage
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Before we came to Antarctica, there were three birds I really wanted to see. The first was Emperor Penguin, which we had no chance of seeing, and the second was Wandering Albatross which we hoped to see if we put in the hours of sea watching and had luck on our side. The third was the enigmatic Snow Petrel, a bird you can not see outside these waters and usually next to floating ice on the water. In May, I did an interview for Springwatch and got to meet Chris Packham. As I was a world birder he asked me if I had seen lots of different birds. Snow Petrel was one that we both said that we really wanted to see. Our ship ornithologist Simon told us that Chris Packham had been on board our ship, The Vavilov, a few weeks before us and had seen a Snow Petrel. Knowing that Chris Packham has seen Snow Petrel somehow added urgency to my own search.

I can’t express how beautiful this place is. Everything is on a huge scale. The sea, the icebergs and the sunsets.

Best birds and animals of the day:

Gentoo Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Southern Fulmar
Brown Skua
Humpback Whale

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

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Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.