The first leg of our journey to Bird Island was to fly from Heathrow – Madrid – Santiago – Punta Arenas. It was a long old way, and airports are never a particularly exciting place to hang around. Luckily the check in staff at Heathrow were very helpful and didn’t charge me for excess baggage, being a Penguin scientist has it’s perks, and the LAN Chile staff dealt with all our kit as a group and shuffled us past everyone else to our own check in desk!
Our home for the next 3 weeks, the James Clark Ross was moored in Punta having a few repairs made to it’s 10 tonne crane, this gave us a couple of days to explore the town.
An interesting place to visit is the cemetary, with row upon row of family crypts. The trees, bushes and lawns provide plenty of space for birds, I even found a brood of Rufous-collared Sparrow chicks.
A walk along the coast brought a few more species, here’s my Punta bird list:
Steamer-Duck (probably Flying)
Chilean Seaside Cinclodes
So after a couple of good meals out, visits to a variety of bars, seeing the sights, ship repaired, we were ready to head on our way.