Yesterday wasn't posted as it was rather uneventful and Rio Gallegos was the biggest dive going. I felt as if I was amongst the shanty towns in Cape Town. My hotel was that bad I walked out after ten minutes and booked into a rather plush 4* hotel around the corner. The only bird of note during the whole day were some Imperial Cormorants at Punta Loyola.
Today I visited a small reserve just south of Rio Gallegos (Costera Urbana) as it seemed the only birding option within close proximity to the airport. The area was good but the tide was going out meaning most Waders had already gone, though watching large flocks of White-rumped Sandpipers flying out was impressive. Back at the car I gave it a deep clean and drove to the airport that was more like a ghost town. Apart from cleaners, all staff didn't arrive until two hours before the departure time. Handing the car back was very stressful as the company wasn't aware I was handing it back at the airport. After a few calls a member of staff got to see me five minutes before I had to clear security. All so stressful and I was relieved when the plane departed heading south to Ushuaia.
The approach into Ushuaia was stunning and beneath me I could make out Giant-Petrels shearing. The taxi ride to my accommodation was three minutes and I went straight out into the bay and photographed the tame Dolphin Gulls. I then walked into town and around which accumulated into a very long walk. Completely out of the blue, I bumped into the Italian couple that I had met a few days ago to see the Penguins at Monte Leon NP. They had hitched two lifts to reach Ushuaia. The highlight of the walk from along the waterfront where a group of six Southern Giant Petrels were sat on the water a few metres away. Such impressive beasts, despite their savage nature. The town was again a bit rough but ten times better then the last, with only a few noisy exhausts here.
Highlights for the day are as follows:
Southern Giant Petrel
South American Snipe
Hopefully a better mix tomorrow.