Saturday, 20 December 2014

Punta Arenas

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!

20141114-DSC_1007 PanoramaJCR at the jetty

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.

20141114-DSC_0930 PanoramaThe Cemetary

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.

20141114-DSC_0913Rufous-collared Sparrow

A walk along the coast brought a few more species, here’s my Punta bird list:
Upland Goose
Steamer-Duck (probably Flying)
Rock Cormorant
Imperial Cormorant
Black-faced Ibis
Southern Caracara
Southern Lapwing
Kelp Gull
Dolphin Gull
Chilean Seaside Cinclodes
Austral Negrito
Chilean Swallow
Austral Thrush
Rufous-collared Sparrow
House Sparrow
Black-chinned Siskin


20141114-DSC_0965Southern Lapwing

20141114-DSC_0982Pair of Upland Geese on the shore

20141114-DSC_0986Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, seen picking about in the litter under a bridge

20141114-DSC_0967Imperial Cormorants on one of the old piers

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.

20141113-DSC_0881Team BI posing at the town square

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