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FarSouthExp @ Fat Birder / WAND

We are Birders - We are Leica

We are Birders - We are Leica



Far South Expeditions


2009.02.16 16:31:04

A very windy summer day in Patagonia; strong westerly gales reach speeds over 75 miles per hour and the Straits of Magellan appearance is unusually stormy. A large flock of South American Tern look for the protection of a sheltered rocky spit while many other individuals still fly around, struggling with the wind force. Late summer is the time for a new cohort of terns to start their flight training in these very difficult conditions. The juvenile terns are easily distinguished by the darkish appearance and buffy wash on the underparts. Many adults are also turning into their winter plumage with their characteristic snow-white crowns. Straits of Magellan, Chile - February 14, 2009. © Photo by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantástico Sur Expeditions - www.fsexpeditions.com

South American Tern, Straits of Magellan

South American Tern, Straits of Magellan

South American Tern, Straits of Magellan

South American Tern, Straits of Magellan


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2009.02.16 16:19:45

This heavily-built duck is one of the commonest waterfowl of the Patagonian region, occurring not just on inland freshwater and brackish lagoons and ponds, but also along the seashores of the Patagonian and Fuegian channels and fjords, all the way down to the Cape Horn. During the breeding season is a highly territorial species and is not a rare event seen it attacking intruder individuals and even other duck species. This dabbling duck is very active by night, at least on the sea, where it feeds on large plankton right on the water's surface. Straits of Magellan, Chile - February 14, 2009 © Photo by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantastico Sur Expeditions - www.fsexpeditions.com

Crested Duck, Straits of Magellan, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Crested Duck, Straits of Magellan, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.02.16 16:05:06

The White-rumped Sandpiper is a long-distance migrant which nests in the high Arctic tundra regions of Canada and United States and winters in coastal areas and inland brackish lagoons of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. This species can be seen in quite large flocks along the Straits of Magellan, sometimes associating with the similar Baird's Sandpiper and other local plover species. It actively feeds in rocky beaches searching for marine worms and other invertebrates; in inland ponds and coastal mudflats in probs the ground very close to the water edge. Punta Arenas, February 14, 2009. © Photo by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantastico Sur Expeditions. - www.fsexpeditions.com

White-rumped Sandpiper © Fantástico Sur Expeditions


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2009.02.06 17:45:51

A single individual of Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan) was seen flying in the deep Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) Fjord, Magallanes, in the Chilean Patagonia on December 8, 2008.
This migratory species is an unusual visitor at these latitudes (app. 52 S), being very rare in the Straits of Magellan and the Beagle Channel (app. 54 S). Vagrant individuals have been recorded in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Orkney and in the Drake Passage, near South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctic Peninsula.
The regular southern range of this gull in the western coast of South America are the coastal mudflats and sandy beaches of Chiloe Island, Chile. © Photos Claudio Vidal, Fantastico Sur Expeditions.

Franklin's Gull, Last Hope Fjord, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Franklin's Gull, Last Hope Fjord, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Franklin's Gull, Last Hope Fjord, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.01.30 15:42:32

The Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) is a member of the medium-sized albatross group generally referred as "mollymauks". This is predominantly a sub-Antarctic species which breeds in many islands around the Southern Ocean and is widely distributed around the offshore and inshore waters of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. Just recently a new breeding colony was discovered in a group of islets located the deep Almirantazgo (Admiralty) Sound, in western Tierra del Fuego, Chile. These individuals were photographed during early October 2008; there are over 100 active nests on this islet which is covered by tussock-grass stands. © Photos by Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions.

Black-browed Albatross, Tierra del Fuego © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Black-browed Albatross colony, western Tierra del Fuego, Chile

Black-browed Albatross colony, western Tierra del Fuego, Chile

Black-browed Albatross colony, western Tierra del Fuego, Chile


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2009.01.23 15:06:39

The Magellanic Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides magellani) is one of the four members of the Pelecanoididae, a tubenose family only represented in the Southern Ocean. This is a inshore species, not highly pelagic, which inhabits the many channels of the Fjord region of southern Chile. Their breeding grounds are still inknown.

At sea, diving-petrels are mostly detected by their sudden, fast-flapping, low and straight flight resembling Little Auk or Dovekie of the North Atlantic. Magellanic Diving-Petrel can be separated from Common or Subantarctic Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by some field marks, usually not readily visible, but with the help of digital photography it is now possible to make a proper identification by checking the following characters: (1) conspicuous and contrasting white necksides, (2) white-tipped scapulars, and (3) white-fringed-secondaries. Note also the (4) underwing-coverts are completely white.

© Photographs by Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions. January 19, 2009 - Straits of Magellan, Chile.

Magellanic Diving-Petrel © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Diving-Petrel © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Diving-Petrel © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.01.21 22:07:35

On January 19, 2009 while crossing the Straits of Magellan in a ferry from Punta Arenas to Porvenir, Enrique Couve had the chance of seeing scattered groups of Greater Shearwater. The final count arose over 50+ individuals. © Photo by Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions | Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Greater Shearwater © Fantástico Sur Expeditions


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2009.01.21 01:25:58
These pictures were taken from a considerable distance at one of the extinct volcanoes of Puna Pau, near the village of Hanga Roa, Easter Island or Rapa Nui. This locality is locally known as the "Quarry of the hats".

A few individuals of this completely dark grey-brown, heavily-built, broad winged, wedge-tailed gadfly petrel were seen at sunset time, soaring over the fields.

The similar Kermadec Petrel and Herald petrels are common nesters of the motus (islets) located in the eastern coast of the main island. The completely dark Henderson Petrel (Pterodroma atrata) has been previously reported by Jaramillo et al. to the island.

Kermadec Petrel has distinctive primary white shafts in the upperwing at all the phases, even in very dark individuals. This feature is normally quite distinctive in the field. It is a stocky petrel with broad wings and broad wedge-shaped tail.

The slim, lightly-built Henderson Petrel resembles the jizz of Herald Petrel (Pterodroma heraldica), with long pointed wings and the tail normally held very tightly closed. According to Jaramillo and several other authors, Henderson Petrel has whitish patagium, a fade silvery look at the base of primaries and lighter areas around the chin.

The bird on the picture resembles the jizz of Kermadec Petrel; colour features such as the contrasting lighter face area and whitish panel on the underwing are also present. In dorsal view it is possible to see that the shafts are dark coloured, hence we suppose this could be a potential Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri).

It would be very interesting to hear the comments of sea birders with at-sea experience with both Providence and Henderson petrels in order to establish the proper identification of this particular bird.

Photographs by Enrique Couve taken at Puna Pau, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) on 1st August 2006. © Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile | www.fsexpeditions.com

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Mystery Pterodroma Petrel, Rapa Nui © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.01.20 00:01:42

This group of very determined Magellanic Penguin individuals arrive to their breeding grounds at Magdalena Island, in the Straits of Magellan, southern Chile. After been extensively offshore in pursuit of schooling fish ans squid, they come ashore in order to feed their almost full-grown chicks. During January the activity is simply hectic at this colony, which seemigly is increasing in the last decade. There are preliminary census of nearly 70,000 breeding pairs at this locality, one of the most important sites for the species in Chile. © Photo taken on January 18, 2009 by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantástico Sur Expeditions.

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Magellanic Penguin, Magdalena Island, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.01.15 23:39:51

King Cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps albiventer). This fantastic seabird is endemic to the waters surrounding the southern tip of South America and the Falkland Islands. It is one of the most abundant seabirds of Tierra del Fuego, breeding in a number of localities; in the western side of the Fuegian channels it occupies deep fjords and recently exposed cliffs formerly covered by the glaciers of the area. This picture was taken in October 2008 while cruising the remote Alberto De Agostini National Park, aboard M/V Via Australis.

© Photo by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantástico Sur Expeditions. October 2008.

King Cormorants, Tierra del Fuego, Chile © Fantástico Sur Expeditions


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