Birding in Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Torres Del Paine

Birding in Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Torres Del Paine

This tour offers the experience of most impressive landscapes and mythical places of Chile. We will cross the famous Magellan straight, bird Tierra del Fuego, drive through the Patagonian steppe and look for the recently rediscovered Austral Rail at the base of the wonderful Torres Del Paine. Some stunning species are found here including King Penguin, Magellanic Plover, Ruddy-headed Goose, Chocolate-vented Tyrant, White-bridled Finch and so many more. Patagonia is also a destination for other wildlife, including the common Guanaco, Grey Fox, Peale's Dolphin, and with more luck the rare Puma or a Fin Whale, when crossing the Magellan Straight. Weather is unpredictable here, can be sunny, cold, very windy, rainy, snowy, and even just warm – all in one single day!

 

DATES

12th Nov - 17th Nov 2017

11th Nov - 16th Nov 2018

 

EXTENSIONS:

Post-Tour: Falklands Islands or Puma Safari

 

2017 Tour Price Per Person: US$2180 (Double occupancy, price excludes domestic flights)

Single Occupancy Supplement: US$310

 

This tour is limited to 8 participants with one leader, and 9-10 with 2 leaders.

 

List of all participants has to be presented at least 3 months before the tour takes place and sent to contact@albatross-birding.com.

 

Included in the price:

-5 nights in hotels/lodges

-Meals

-Some drinks

-Transport

-Entrance fees (national parks and reserves)

 

 

DAY 1: BIRDING AROUND PUNTA ARENAS

We will catch the first flight of the day to the very far south city of Chile, Punta Arenas. We will be birding on the coast near the city, and looking for Flying and Flightless Steamer-Ducks, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Imperial Cormorant, Upland Goose, Chilean Skua along with the splendid Dolphin Gull. Tiny Austral Negrito is sure to be found as well. In the afternoon, we will drive to the Estancia San Juan, where we will see the very rare Ruddy-Headed Goose breeds. We will look also for Kelp Goose, and end our trip in Punta Arenas.

DAY 2: TIERRA DEL FUEGO, CROSSING THE MAGELLAN STRAIGHT

We will take the early morning ferry crossing (2.5 hrs) to Porvenir, which is main town in the North-West sector of the mythical island at the end of the world, Tierra del Fuego. We should see scores of Southern Giant Petrel, Magellanic Diving Petrel, Chilean Skua, Black-Browed Albatross and Peale´s dolphins. We will spend the afternoon birding in visiting Laguna Verde and Laguna Santa Maria. Bird species the next couple of days will be Ashy-Headed and Upland Goose, Two-Banded Plover, Magellanic Plover, Chilean Skua, Short-Billed Miner, Rufous-Chested and Tawny-Throated Dotterels, Flightless Steamer-Duck, Black-necked Swan and Crested Duck. We spend the night in Cerro Sombrero.

DAY 3: KING PENGUIN COLONY, BIRDING THE STEPPES

After breakfast we will drive to Bahia Inútil to see a colony of magnificent King Penguins. In the afternoon we will be looking for Rufous-Chested Dotterel, Chocolate-Vented Tyrant and Cinnamon-Bellied Ground-Tyrant before returning to our lodge in Cerro Sombrero.

DAY 4: DRIVE TO PUERTO NATALES

We will bird our way to North-East of the Tierra del Fuego island, where we will take our ferry to mainland (Punta Delgada). This is a shorter ferry crossing with the great chance of seeing Commerson´s Dolphin, Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Wilson's Storm Petrel and White-Chinned Petrel, and other seabirds. Back on the mainland we will make a stop at Bosque Quemado because there is a great chance of seeing variety of waterfowl, including Silver Teal, Rosy-billed Pochard, Chiloe Wigeon, White-cheeked Pintail, Coscoroba Swan, and variety of shorebirds like South American Snipe. We will continue our trip to Puerto Natales and will look for Darwin's Rhea, Austral Canastero, Chocolate-Vented Tyrant, Band-Tailed Earthcreeper, Common Miner Patagonian Yellow-Finch and White-bridled Finch. We will spend the night in our hotel in Puerto Natales.

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DAY 5: TORRES DEL PAINE AND SIERRA BAGUALES

Early in the morning we will head to the scenic highlight of the entire expedition – Torres Del Paine. While the park is most famous for its astonishing scenery, it is also rich in bird and mammal life. We will be looking for Dark-Faced Ground-Tyrant, Cinnamon-Bellied Ground-Tyrant, White-Throated Caracara and Patagonian Mockingbird. We will be birding in the eastern side of the park and its lakes looking for waterfowl, and on reed fringed pools looking for the re-discovered Austral Rail. Cinereous Harriers are fairly common.

Guanaco, Patagonian Skunk and Gray Fox are some mammals we may also see. This is the best spot in Chile for Puma watching but daytime sightings are extremely rare. Leaving the Park we will take the road to Sierra Baguales looking for Band-Tailed Earthcreeper, Patagonian and the pretty Yellow-Bridled Finch and a variety of Ground-Tyrants. As well as White-Throated Caracara and the very rare Gray-Bellied Shrike-Tyrant we would hope for good views of Andean Condor before heading back to spend the night in Puerto Natales.

DAY 6: PUNTA ARENAS AIRPORT

Sadly this is the last day of our expedition. We will bird our way back to the airport at Punta Arenas where we will take our flight to Santiago and connecting international flights.

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