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Day 7 (Monday, 28
th)

     Puerto Varas


Puerto Varas Puerto varas Baird's Sandpiper
Osomo Volcano across Lake Llanqhehue from Puerto Varas Puerto Varas lake front Baird's Sandpiper
Night Heron Brown-hooded Gull Yellow-billed Pintal
Black-crowned Night Heron Brown-hooded Gull Yellow-billed Pintail
Chilean Swallow Dark-bellied Cinclodes Snowy Egret
Chilean Swallow Dark-bellied Cinclodes Snowy Egret
Southern Lapwing Tufted Tit Tyrant Turkey Vulture
Southern Lapwing Tufted Tit Tyrant Turkey Vulture

We stayed atPuerto Varas for three nights, with the main target being Chiloe and the Penguin colony at Puñihuil Cove. The small town is located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, which, when in good weather with blue sky, can be seen to be backed by 2 impressive volcanos and the Andes. There don’t seem to be huge birding opportunities within the town, apart from a small park to the North (almost next to the Cabanas del Lago hotel), which holds one or two interesting species such as Tufted Tit-tyrant and Green-backed Firecrown. Black-faced Ibis is hard to miss, and Dark-bellied Cinclodes regular along the lake shore front.
 

     Chiloe Island and Penguin Colony

 

Chiloe Map

From PuertoVaras, it takes only an hour in the car to reach the ferry terminal to Chiloe. These seem to be very frequent, and take buses and lorries as well as cars. Entry on to the ferry was simplicity itself, and despite being only a half an hour journey, standing on the top platform is very rewarding. We had fairly calm water and decent weather when we crossed, making the sea-watch very pleasurable. A diving Imperial Shag next to the terminal heralded our departure, and it took only minutes to realise that there is a continuous passage of Sooty Shearwaters passing (however, 3 Pink-footed Shearwaters were picked out on the return). They were examined as best as could be done for other species, but no joy. Biggest scoop was half way over, when a Black-browed Albatross sailed close by. As we neared the Chiloe terminal, Franklin’s Gulls and South American Terns became obvious, and a single Red-legged Cormorant flew by. The shore of the terminal seemed to hold only Black-necked Swans initially, but a pair of Fuegian Steamer Ducks were on shore, along with good numbers of Hudsonian Godwits and a few Whimbrel.

The ultimate destination was Puñihuil Cove, where the boats for the Penguin Colony were located.  We stopped briefly at a couple of open marshes on the way. One small one either side of the road held good numbers of Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, as well as a few Yellow-billed Teal. Larger marshes seemed to have the same mix in smaller numbers. The cove itself is rather attractive, with a beach facing a number of small close in offshore islands. The locals have cottoned on to the lucrative nature of Penguin watchers, and have a good visitor system going on. The boats hold around 30 people and the total tour lasts 30-40 minutes. Getting on to the boat, which is moored just about 20 metres off shore, is by a small platform on wheels – wonderfully archaic but it works! The boat skirts around a couple of the small islands and gets quite close to some open aspects where the Penguins can be seen fairly close to (no landing here – all is done from the boat). The vast majority are Magellanic, many with fairly well grown young but the seaward face of one of the islands also has a few Humboldt Penguins. The few pairs of Kelp Gulls present are pretty obvious, but a bit of searching also found Blackish Oystercatcher and small numbers of the rather smart Red-legged Cormorants (slightly larger numbers of Neotropic were nearby). On our return to the shore, a Peruvian Pelican flew in and landed close to on the sea, and Dark-bellied Cinclodes were obvious along the beach and rocks.

Punahuil Cove Penguin Colony
Punahuil Cove Boat visiting penguin colony
Black-browed Albatross Blackish Oystercatcher Franklin's Gull
Black-browed Albatross Blackish Oystercatcher Franklin's Gull
Fuegian Steamer Duck Fuegian Steamer Duck Humboldt Penguin
Male Fuegian Steamer Duck Female Fuegian Steamer Duck Humboldt Penguin
Kelp Goose Imperial Shag Kelp Gull
Kelp Goose Imperial Shag Kelp Gull
Magellanic Penguin Peruvian Pelican Yellow-billed Duck
Magellanic Penguin Peruvian Pelican Yellow-billed Duck
Red-legged Cormorant Sooty Shearwater Pink-footed Shearwater
Red-legged Cormorant Sooty Shearwater Pink-footed Shearwater

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

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