Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Argentina - 27/11/16

My first day without a car so I walked from the B&B, through the town and up onto the Martial Glacier, which there and back took just under 7 hours. For birding it wasn't really worth it despite good looking forest for you know what. A White-throated Treerunner kept me entertained for a short while, this being picked up by its distinctive call. A distant Cinclodes frustratingly stayed distant, but was probably a Bar-winged. The views all the way up however, looking back down towards the town and across the Beagle Channel, were superb and was worth the pain in my legs. I treated myself to some apple pie on the way down for my efforts, or due to the fact I hadn't taken any food with me.
Once back I set up the scope on the front porch of my accommodation and scanned the Beagle Channel where several Black-browed Albatrosses were passing, as well as other likely species, mainly Southern Giant Petrels.
I picked up my hire car early evening and then drove east out of town along a coastal track to a good looking vantage point and again continued seawatching. A good array of species seen, but the Albatrosses once again performed, with some coming close enough to even see their black eyebrows. Afterwards I checked several sheltered bays for Flightless Steamer Duck to no avail. Over dinner a massive rain storm and gales arrived out of nowhere, but I'm hoping this clears before my final attempt at a Woodpecker tomorrow.

Highlights for today are as follows:
Black-browed Albatross
Sooty Shearwater
Rock Cormorant
Imperial Cormorant
Kelp Goose
Magellanic Oystercatcher
Blackish Oystercatcher
Snowy Sheathbill
Chilean Skua
Austral Parakeet
Dark-bellied Cinclodes
Thorn-tailed Rayadito
White-throated Treerunner
Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant
Patagonian Sierra-Finch
Black-chinned Siskin

White-throated Treerunner
Black-browed Albatross - brilliant to watch these from a vantage point instead of a boat. Gives more hope of seeing one in Sussex
 Southern Giant Petrel - these beasts were using the cliff I was sitting on as a push to head back out, and therefore showed brilliantly, with some so close you could hear them pushing through the air
 Magellanic Oystercatchers and Kelp Gulls
 Kelp Goose with two Upland Geese
 about half way to the glacier. The finishing point was just below the main chunk of ice
 the view from the top looking back down towards the Beagle Channel
my seawatch point for the evening

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