Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Monday 21 November 2016

Argentina - 21/11/16

El Chalten, Patagonia
Another calm day by Patagonian standards, which was just as well as today was a hiking day up to the Laguna de Los Tres at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy. Driving to the start point, a Chinese girl waved me down and wanted a lift slightly further on from where I was starting. It was no problem for me until she realised I was a birder and decided to show me a photo taken with her phone of a male Magellanic Woodpecker. It was tempting to make her walk after this but I resisted. The first half of the walk was through lovely woodland, and despite trying I just couldn't find a Magellanic Woodpecker, so one more chance tomorrow before having to rely on Ushuaia. The second part of the hike was a gruelling steep uphill zig-zag that took over an hour to complete, but it was certainly worth it as the views and setting were perfect at the top. The whole hike up and down took around 7 hours, all on a pack of shortbread and a litre bottle of water. The highlight from the walk was an unexpected Magellanic Tapaculo that was first seen creeping up a tree and into a hole, but sure enough it found its way onto the ground again. The rest of the afternoon was again searching likely Woodpecker sites but to no avail, and before checking out a waterfall I had a little nap in the car. Dinner was had at a place called 'Beers and Burgers', which is exactly what I needed, and in the correct order to.

Highlights for today are as follows:
Spectacled Duck - 5
Yellow-billed Pintail
Andean Condor
Austral Parakeet
Magellanic Tapaculo - 1
Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant
Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant - 2
Peregrine Falcon
Austral Negrito
Austral Thrush
White-crested Elaenia
Upland Goose
Black-chested Buzzard Eagle

 Magellanic Tapaculo - my only chance of seeing this typically elusive species was today, but to see it in a tree wasn't on my radar.
 Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant - the long primaries ruling out other close relatives
 White-crested Elaenia
 Spectacled Duck
 Austral Parakeet
Long-tailed Meadowlark
Mt Fitz Roy - the exposed peak is roughly 1km long