17 Mar 2018

17 Mar 18 - Chile: The Final Afternoon In The North

I had a final few hours around Arica after the morning's pelagic. Some of the photographers were planning on a visit to the delta area which forms the border with Peru in the hope of a Peruvian Thick-knee. They failed to find any Peruvian Thick-knees, but they did see the recently split Peruvian Yellowish Pipit, which would have been new for me. Hopefully something I will see on a future Peruvian trip. I decided to have a final crack for Chilean Woodstar at the Hummingbird garden at San Miguel de Azapa, before heading to the airport at dusk for my evening flight to Santiago. But first, I had to collect my bags from the hotel & find a restaurant for a late lunch & air conditioning as it was baking hot. Late lunch over it was time to return to the shade of the Hummingbird garden. There was a reasonable amount of activity around the gardens.
Croaking Ground Dove
Croaking Ground Dove
Croaking Ground Dove: They are a great looking Dove
Oasis Hummingbird: The long, slightly decurved bill & rusty rump confirm the identification
Oasis Hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird: A slight turn of the head & the throat lights up
Peruvian Sheartail: The white in the tail confirms the identity that this is a male growing its tail
Bran-coloured Flycatcher: This is the rufescens subspecies which is at the most Southerly end of the range of this widespread Tyrant Flycatcher that occurs as far North as Costa Rica
Cinereous Conebill
Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to find any Chilean Woodstars in the garden. This seems to be one of the better potential locations around, but good local knowledge is going to be needed for alternative sites in the North. I spent some time online trying to figure alternative sites, but I was unable to find anything worth trying & it is one of the few Chilean species for which sites are not disclosed on eBird.
Almost ready to board at the airport
Finally, the plane touched down in Santiago airport at 23:15, after the three hour flight. I was met at arrivals by the owner of the small guest house, the Hostal Sol y Luna, where I was booked to stay close to the airport. The owner was a local taxi driver & his son ran the guest house. The rooms were fairly basic, but the family were very accommodating & happy to run people to the airport for flights at awkward times. I stayed again on my last night before leaving Chile & they were up in the middle of the night for guests departing abroad & then two hours later to sort out an early breakfast for my early departure. A sensible priced alternative to the expensive airport hotels.