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Day 3 (Tuesday, 22
nd)

     Perito Moreno glacier


Perito Moreno Glacier mapTo see one of the most accessible glaciers in the region had to be done, and so we found ourselves on a bus with 13 other tourists for the one hour journey from El Calafate to the Los Glaciares National Park. The scenery changed from one of barren steppe to mountains and greenery once the boundary of the national park was reached, although the freshwater lake was still that of Argentinos, the self-same one which El Calafate nestles on. As we picked others up from the town, and on leaving the outskirts, it was obvious that the meltwater hadn’t reached a seasonal peak as yet, leaving the bay above the water level, and the birds seen the previous evening on the walk along the eastern shore were in much greater numbers on the exposed ground. From a distance on the bus, many more Upland Geese and Chilean Flamingos were present, along with good numbers of Coscoroba. Many other species were a little distant for identification given our mobile hide!

Before reaching the entrance to the national park, we stopped at a lakeside viewpoint with the Andes in the distance. A few Southern Crested Caracaras passed by here, with a pair of Black-necked Swans in the centre of the lake. Main prize during this part of the journey was an adult Andean Condor gliding over the bus, searching for carrion on the steppes.

The format of the glacier tour was to sail on a tourist boat for an hour close to the glacier (well recommended despite the number of people!), and then a three hour wander around the descending boardwalks lining the opposite hillside to the calving section of the glacier (just as good, with regular calving events). We were very lucky with the weather, which seemed even hotter than Buenos Aires in the low 20’s and constant sunshine, which enhanced the blues in the ice, and the regularity of calving. The main birds seen and heard were Rufous-collared Sparrows, but some gems were unearthed along the way. Chimango Caracaras were occasional, but the final descent to the lower car park and restaurant turned up a trio (at least) of goodies. First was a White-crested Elaenia, showing off the characteristic white crown vividly. Then came a jewel – a male Patagonian Sierra-Finch (a pair were later near to the restaurant), picked up by its song. Near to the end of the trail, a pair of Bronze-winged Ducks hugged the icy edge of the lake – the first, and last, birds seen on the actual water. Then, dancing around on the ice and shale, a couple of Dark-faced Ground Tyrants, showing off the characteristic spreading of the tail of the family. At the restaurant, Chilean Swallows, Austral Thrushes, and a marauding pair of Southern Crested Caracaras provided easy entertainment. However, easy main award again went to a small group of Andean Condors, soaring around the peak above us at some height.

Glacier Walkway
North-eastern face of glacier Walkway above glacier
Andean Condor Bronze-winged Duck Chilean Swallow
Andean Condor Bronze-winged Duck Chilean Swallow
Dark-faced Ground Tyrant House Wren
Dark-faced Ground Tyrant House Wren
Patagonian Sierra Finch Rufous-collared Sparrow Southern Crested Caracara
Patagonian Sierra Finch Rufous-collared Sparrow Southern Crested Caracara

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Species list

Text only