19 Mar 2018

19 Mar 18 - Chile: Parque Nacional Chiloe

A number of ad-hoc stops along the road to Parque Nacional Chiloe from the Pan American Highway had been very successful with excellent views of Black-throated Huet-huet & Chacao Tapaculo. I decided to carry on to the coast to see what the habitat in the National Park was like. This would give me a better idea of where was the best place to spend the rest of the late afternoon & evening. The Park turned out to be a wide coastal beach with rough scrub vegetation behind it, along with some forest paths. There was a constant movement of Sooty Shearwaters along the coast & I gave up looking after the first hundred in a few minutes. There was a stiff coastal breeze & no shelter. The sandy beach was too far from the nearest point I could drive the car & use it for shelter. There was a small chance that a prolonged seawatch might have produced a Tick, but the plan for the day was to focus on Tapaculos & I clearly wasn't I was going to find any on the beach. There were a few species including Common Diuca-finches, Rufous-collared Sparrows & Long-tailed Meadowlarks in the scrubby areas.
The scrub behind the beach at Parque Nacional Chiloe: The Pacific Ocean is just visible beyond the beach
Common Diuca-finch: This is a widespread species in Chile & Argentina which just crosses into SE Brazil
Common Diuca-finch: This must be a juvenile with the fluffy feathering around the nape
Rufous-collared Sparrow: This is one of the most common & widespread Passerines in Latin America, but one I like as it is a good-looking species
Long-tailed Meadowlark: One of the good things about Chile is there aren't too many options for anything seen
Long-tailed Meadowlark: The identification is even easier when it turned to face me
There was a woodland trail, but there were a lot of noisy people on the trail, so I decided against that option. After a general look around the area, I opted to slowly return to Castro, with a few more roadside stops. This was the better strategy with a number of species new to the trip seen on route back.
Ringed Kingfisher: This is the common Kingfisher in Chile
Fire-eyed Diucon: This is a typical Tyrant Flycatcher: sitting still & looking around a lot for the next snack
Fire-eyed Diucon
White-crested Elaenia: This individual has a 'sweet-tooth' & has developed a liking for Blackberries
Austral Blackbird: Looks like a juvenile Austral Blackbird which has been attracted to a Common Diuca-finch (I can't find anything else that fits with this rusty vent) feeding at the road edge
Black-chinned Siskin: This is the only Siskin in the South of Chile
Finally, I arrived back at Castro. I was keen to find places to look at the wide channel near Castro, as one party of Birders had bumped into Chilean Dolphins. They didn't specify where they had seen this small Dolphin. I found a few places to view the channel, but I didn't have the time in the plan to allow a proper search. With limited time, it was no surprise that I failed to see any Chilean Dolphins. However, I did see a number of Birds, including some Black-necked Swans.
Black-necked Swan: They occur from Southern Brazil to Chile & Argentina
Black-necked Swan: The black neck makes them an easy species to identify
Black-necked Swan: Juvenile. This individual has black wing tips indicating it hadn't moulted its primaries from its juvenile plumage
It was dark by the time I reached Ancud. After some dinner, I was back out looking for Rufous-legged Owls. I had no success, but there were other sites along my route so I gave up after an hour of looking.