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FarSouthExp at iGoTerra
FarSouthExp @ Fat Birder / WAND

2015.04.10 17:07:05
Far South Expeditions

Salvin's Albatross, Thalassarche salvini © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

 

The Salvin's Albatross is an albatross species, belonging to the 'mollymauk' group, that breeds in sub-Antarctic islands off New Zealand, especifically in the Snares and the Bounty Islands.

 

It is estimated that the total population of this albatross might reach 380,000 individuals. During the non-breeding season, a large part of the population disperse eastward through the South Pacific to South America, being one of the most common albatross species in Chilean waters.

 

This picture was taken last March during a pelagic trip off Valparaiso, central Chile. 


  
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2015.04.01 18:33:45
Far South Expeditions

Perched on a Calafate (Berberis) shrub, a male Patagonian Mockingbird, Mimus patagonicus surveys the surrounding brush listening for potential rivals as he casts his beautiful, liquid notes in the crisp spring air near Sierra Baguales, in Magallanes, Chilean Patagonia.

Southernmost of mockingbirds, it is an endemic to Patagonia, found in open scrubby habitat.

 

patagonian-mockingbird

Patagonian Mockingbird Mimus patagonicus, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2015.02.14 14:25:52
Far South Expeditions

 

Swainson's Thrush, Catharus ustulatus, November 2014, Antofagasta, Chile, second record for the Country

 

The photo, taken at a high Andean bog on the banks of a stream at 4200m above sea level, shows what is just the second document of the occurrence of this medium-sized thrush in Chile.

 

Swainson's Thrush, Catharus ustulatus, November 2013, Antofagasta, Chile, second record for the Country

 

Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.12.12 18:48:39
Far South Expeditions

The Lluta River mouth north of Arica in Chile has always been a magnet for vagrant and rare bird species (especially shorebirds) and birdwatchers alike, but nothing had prepared us for the appearance of a bird that has reached an almost mythical realm in the country's bird lore during the past century, the Maguari Stork, Ciconia maguari.

This stork is a rather common bird in other South American countries east of the Andes and historically was occasionally present in wetlands in Chile, especially in the 19th century and apparently in years of drought east of the Andes, when birds apparently crossed mountain passes flying west into the country. However, after most interior wetlands in Chile were drained for agriculture in the early 20th century, by the '50s they were a rare vagrant and as such were seldom reported, with only a handful of undocumented sightings, the last one known from 1971, 43 years ago.

Less than a month ago, precisely on November 13th this year, we were surveying the river mouth looking for waders with British shorebird expert Richard Chandler when we noticed a big bird circling high above the area. The silhouette and colours were typical for a stork in flight, with large, rectangular wings with long, spread primaries, long, outstretched neck, long, powerful bill and legs extended backwards. The white body and black primaries and broad black trailing edge to the wing were also typical of storks, as were the slow, deep and powerful wingbeats. The sheer size (we were able to compare directly with Turkey Vultures soaring below it), body and wing colours and especially the red legs and red lores were diagnostic for the species, and the photos taken are most probably the first (and only, so far) for the species in Chile.

After describing a couple of broad circles high in the air, the bird headed north, gaining altitude and eventually disappearing in the skies, never to be seen again during that day or the following, when we left the area.

Here's our bird, the quality of the photo is less than ideal because of the distance, harsh midday light and hazy seaside atmosphere, but good enough for a positive identification:

 

maguari stork

Maguari Stork Ciconia maguari, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.10.24 22:49:56
Far South Expeditions

Masterfully controlling the airflow around its huge wings with the aid of its spread finger-like primary feathers, an adult male Andean Condor Vultur gryphus soars with deceptive ease above a gorge in Sierra Baguales range, Magallanes, Chilean Patagonia while looking for food in the form of an abandoned puma kill, usually a guanaco carcass.

Largest of flying terrestrial birds in terms of wingspan at more than 3m, it is only surpassed by Royal and Wandering albatrosses and it is always a show-stopper whenever it passes overhead, especially at low altitude when its huge dimensions can be readily appreciated.

images/stories/Blog_2/andean condor.jpg

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.10.10 00:59:18
Far South Expeditions

Perched on a tree snag on the banks of a river in Chiloé Island, in Chile´s Lake District, a female Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata holds her sizable fish prey as she pauses between capture and swallowing it down whole, head first.

Largest of south american kingfishers, it is often found along lakes, rivers and fjords in southern Chile and Chilean Patagonia south to Tierra del Fuego.

images/stories/Blog_2/_mg_1652-2-2.jpg

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions 


  
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2014.09.13 03:58:35
Far South Expeditions

Flying along the shores of the Straits of Magellan, a small flock of Dolphin Gull, Leucophaeus scoresbii passes by the observer.

A Patagonian gull, this bird treats us with its elegant grey plumage spiced up by its coral red bill and legs.

Dolphin Gull, Leucophaeus scoresbii, Straits of Magellan, Chile

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.09.09 04:07:01
Far South Expeditions

Like a silvery arrow, an adult Red-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda flies by the nesting ledges in the slopes of volcano Rano Raraku, Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific.

Tropicbirds, an order, family and genus of only three tropical and subtropical pelagic seabirds all have very long central tail feathers.

Red-tailed Tropicbird

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.09.03 00:48:28
Far South Expeditions

Looking for invertebrate prey in the grass, a Chilean Tinamou, Nothoprocta perdicaria allows for a brief glimpse in the open before returning to the safety of the brush on a field in Central Chile.

An endemic tinamou to Chile, it belongs to a South American family that is related to rheas and are the only flying Ratites.

Chilean Tinamou

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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2014.08.19 20:31:33
Far South Expeditions

Extending wings, tail and webbed feet, a Magellanic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax magellanicus brakes in the air just before alighting on a kelp bed in the north western shore of the Straits of Magellan near Punta Arenas in Patagonia, Chile.

A southern South American cormorant, its distribution is restricted to both Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Patagonia.

Magellanic Cormorant, Straits of Magellan, Chile

Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions


  
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