I woke up and immediately heard the gale force winds outside. This wasn't the weather I had in mind for seeing a Magellanic Woodpecker, and so I was right. Despite 10+ hours in suitable woodland I just couldn't find one. I'm not sure how I've failed to see such an obvious and what is often a noisy bird in the areas of Patagonia I've been to, but I guess that's birding. I had to get a bit of bad luck at some point, and after seeing Austral Rail and Hooded Grebe on my own accord, I can safely say I've been very fortunate on the first leg of this 5-week trip. Even thinking back makes me realise how lucky I've been.
Today was a good day though as I managed to see a couple of new birds including the ridiculous Flightless Steamer Duck, and some very smart and long overdue Ashy-headed Geese. I came across a Rail species that I'm yet to identify, mainly as my literature on non-passerines is shocking to say the least, but it looked interesting. A Magellanic Tapaculo was also heard.
So, this was my last full day on the mainland as tomorrow I shall set sail on a voyage bound for the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsular leaving Ushuaia at some point in the early evening, but with things to sort out, I don't think I'll have much time for birding in the area. Also this may be my last blog post for some time, as although the ship does have wifi connection, it won't be that great I suspect, but I'll do my best to update when I can.
Highlights for the day are as follows:
Flightless Steamer Duck - 23
Ashy-headed Goose - 5
Magellanic Tapaculo - 1 heard only
Ashy-headed Goose - great to finally catch up with this species
Flightless Steamer Ducks - quality birds with wing lengths that barely reach the base of the rump. A flock of 20 were sat like these slightly further back, but with the scope they looked brilliant. Some were sat next to Kelp Gulls and they outsized them easily.