General: This peninsula cruise trip was booked through Birdfinders and run by Oceanwide Expeditions, a Dutch company. Return flights from the UK to Buenos Aires and from BA to Ushuaia were organised by Birdfinders as were hotels in both Ushuaia and BA. All airport transfers etc. were arranged on-site by myself. Hire Car for one day in Ushuaia was booked in advance with Hertz. Eating and drinking establishments in Ushuaia and BA are numerous and fairly cheap compared to European prices. Cash machines are also plentiful and plastic is accepted in most places rendering taking cash and traveller’s cheques fairly unnecessary. Some cash on an Antarctic Cruise is a good idea for tips and souvenir shopping if you visit Port Lockroy. All Antarctic cruises are different and dependent on weather conditions and subject to short-notice changes. If weather conditions are very bad it may not be possible to make any shore landings at all! But don’t let that put you off as this is most unlikely.
25/11/06: Departed Heathrow on the 24th on a scheduled Iberia Airlines flight via Madrid to Buenos Aires. The morning arrival in BA was late and coupled with a nightmare queue at immigration I checked in for my Lan Chile flight to Ushuaia via El Calafate with only 12 minutes to take-off! Hurtling across BA at speeds in excess of 80mph I tried to relax in the taxi by noting blurry bird-like shapes which may, or may not, have included Southern Crested Caracara, Southern Lapwing and Monk Parakeet amongst others.
The arrival into Ushuaia must rate as one of the most spectacular airport approaches in the world. The sky was clear and Southern Beach forests marched up snow-capped mountains lining the azure Beagle Channel. Looking down from the plane window the channel was carpeted with birds and tiny dots probably represented Black-browed Albatrosses and Southern Fulmars amongst others.
At the airport I hopped straight into a hire car, drove into the southernmost city in the world, checked into my hotel and returned to the beach near the airport for a couple of hours birding in the evening sun. This proved very productive with three Yellow-bridled Finch (above) among the first birds noted, Austral Negrito, Chilean Swallow and Long-tailed Meadowlark were also abundant here. Upland and Ashy-headed Goose, Red Shoveler, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Chiloe Wigeon and Crested Duck were noted on coastal pools with Kelp Goose, Magellanic Oystercatcher and White-rumped Sandpiper on the shore itself. Looking a little further out hundreds of Flightless Steamer Ducks were obvious, accompanied by Blue-eyed Shag and Great Grebe whilst over open water Southern Giant Petrel, Chilean Skua, South American Tern and Arctic Tern were all noted. Whilst taking all this in a White-throated Caracara flapped lazily past at close range and a single Grey-flanked Cinclodes was picked out from the more common Bar-winged Cinclodes. A walk west along the shore added Correndera Pipit and Chimango Caracara as well as stonking close-range looks at the Yellow-bridled Finch trio. All too soon the sun set, and an evening chill descended. Well satisfied with the evenings haul I retired to the town for some dinner and much needed sleep.
26/11/06: An early start saw me heading towards the Tierra del Fuego NP west of Ushuaia. One stop was made at a river crossing prior to entering the park and a pair of Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant were noted here with many Black-chinned Siskin and a Black-faced Ibis flew over. I thus arrived at the camp site adjacent to Lago Roca at c.6am and the first sound after leaving the car was the characteristic double knock of a Magellanic Woodpecker; it was to take some time however to see one. Birding in the Beech forests here was very productive with a number of good species giving themselves up easily including Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner (above), Austral Parakeet, Patagonian and Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch and Tufted Tit-Tyrant. More common fare was provided by Austral Thrush and ‘Chilean’ White-crested Elaenia (a possible split from more northerly forms). Open areas added Dark-bellied Cinclodes whilst after some searching a pair of Flying Steamer Duck and, best of all; three Spectacled Ducks gave themselves up on Lago Roca itself. Returning to the woods and finally Magellanic Woodpecker could be heard close-by. After some scrambling up a steep slope I eventually had great views of a pair displaying, an unforgettable experience, the noise of their wings in flight is quite incredible.
Having been somewhat spoilt in the morning the rest of the park proved a little anti-climactic although Black-browed Albatross, Rock Cormorant and King Shag were noted offshore in the Beagle Channel. After some searching a pair of Fire-eyed Diucon finally were located in a mixed bird party, which also afforded point blank views of White-throated Treerunner.
By mid-afternoon it was time to return the hire car and head down to the harbour to board the Alexsey Maryshev bound for the seventh continent. The harbour itself held several smart Dolphin Gull whilst the only Turkey Vulture of the trip flew over. Our vessel was a 68-metre Russian vessel complete with Russian crew, and the full compliment of 48 passengers boarded in the late afternoon. Departure was delayed but by 7pm we were slipping quietly away from Ushuaia down the Beagle Channel. Mandatory safety and general briefings, the late departure and a bolted, but first of many excellent, meals, minimised birding opportunities in the Beagle Channel but in the fading light a distant Magellanic Penguin and a single Magellanic Diving-Petrel, flushed from the water, the distinct white collar easy to see, were relieving sightings. Black-browed Albatross were noted in good numbers and a single Southern Fulmar also followed the boat briefly. Bed was taken early in preparation (or trepidation) for the Drake Passage.
27/11/06: The Drake Passage or simply ‘The Drake’ has a reputation for being one of the stormiest parts of the world’s oceans. In truth it is very changeable, can be stormy but can also be relatively calm. By 5am I was on the lower stern deck with a 1-2m swell and a gentle if chilly breeze blowing. As the light improved Black-browed Albatross began to follow the boat and one or two Grey-headed Albatross also appeared as well as the first Cape Petrel and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel. Just before breakfast the first nominate Wandering Albatross showed, albeit distantly off the stern. Following a quick breakfast Common Diving-Petrel, Sooty Shearwater and White-chinned Petrel were all added and the first Southern Royal Albatross was noted. In addition a couple of Snowy Sheathbill were a bit of a surprise this far north but apparently they are still migrating south at this time of year
The day settled into a soon-to-be familiar routine of long bouts of seawatching from the stern deck interspersed with brief mealtimes and spontaneous identification workshops for novice fellow passengers. It was actually fascinating to watch non-birders grapple, and succeed, with the complexities of ‘great’ Albatross identification without any optics! As we continued south the number of birds following the boat increased and soon the first Light-mantled Sooty Albatross was noted. At least two Northern Royal Albatross picked out from their more common Southern cousins, similarly Northern Giant Petrel was eventually nailed amongst the hordes of Southern Giant Petrels which included a single white morph individual. Three Black-bellied Storm-Petrels were added and late in the day Blue Petrel became common. At this time a few Prions joined the boat and provided a significant ID challenge. What had appeared to be mainly Slender-billed Prion were actually proved to be mainly Antarctic Prion when photos were reviewed in the evening. Good numbers of most Albatross species provided fantastic photo opportunities through the day and it was in the early evening when I noted an apparent Grey-headed Albatross with the naked eye. Conscious that this species does not follows boats and tends to only occasionally come in close before swiftly departing, and without any great photos of this species thus far I went straight for the camera. Peering through the viewfinder I got a quick look at the underwing pattern and immediately knew there was a problem. The narrow black border was all wrong for Grey-headed Albatross and I immediately thought of Atlantic Yellow-nosed; next problem this bird had an all-pale bill – think again. I snapped away furiously knowing that good photos might be crucial in the identification as at this point I had no real clue as to what I was watching but thought that the bird might be part of the Shy Albatross complex. Unfortunately the bird never came in close and departed after just a few minutes; no-one else on board saw it. It was then straight to the field guide and luckily there were a couple of good shots on the camera. It didn’t take long to realise that bird appeared to be a Salvin’s Albatross (below). Discussions with the trip leaders and detailed analysis of the best photo confirmed this. This appears to be the first record of this species in the Drake Passage and may also represent the most southerly known record too. Discussions were interrupted by the cry of “Whale” from the bridge and we rushed outside to enjoy several Fin Whales all around the boat. This had been a hell of a first day.
28/11/06: Although the diversity of the previous day was unsurpassed the day was notable for superb weather conditions and exceptional numbers of, the often tricky, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross almost constantly around the boat providing mega photo opportunities. In addition large numbers of Prions, largely Antarctic, and Cape Petrels put on a great show. A single Southern Royal Albatross in the afternoon was also exceptional this far south. As we headed towards the South Shetland Islands the first Brown (Subantarctic) Skua appeared and closer still an Antarctic Petrel (below) joined the boat for a couple of hours offering fantastic views of this very smart Antarctic speciality. The first islets of the South Shetland archipelago were passed in the evening as the weather clouded in and snow began to fall, well it was Antarctica and we celebrated this with a few drinks in the bar.
29/11/06: In the morning we found ourselves moored off Half Moon Island close to Livingston Island and we made our first shore landing here to enjoy the rookeries of Chinstrap Penguin. Also present were Antarctic Cormorant and Antarctic Tern and the first Gentoo Penguin were noted on the beach. A Weddell Seal hauled out on the beach at close range. On higher slopes large numbers of Brown Skua (header photo) entertained with courtship and territorial rituals. The low cloud and light snow did not detract from a magical first stop.
In the afternoon we continued south to Deception Island. On the way a Minke Whale breached close to the boat and a single white morph Southern Giant Petrel was noted passing through Neptune’s Bellows at the entrance to Deception Island. We went ashore at Whaler’s Bay, an old, disused whaling station, as the name suggests. This was not really a wildlife stop but as we had sailed into and anchored within an active caldera, which had erupted as recently as 1970, the stop was more than interesting enough. The dilapidated whaling station buildings were stark and somewhat bizarre in the rather lunar landscape misted by falling snowflakes. Added to this were lichen covered whale bones poking through recent volcanic ash. Cape Petrels nesting on nearby cliffs were the most interesting birds. A few of us took advantage of a temporarily built hot-tub on the beach heated by the strong geothermal activity, stripping off in Antarctica was not as bad as expected and even a brief dip in the sea itself did not prove overly chilly, at least not for a minute or so.
In the evening we continued south crossing the Brantsfield Strait treated to spectacular icebergs backlit by a golden sunset.
30/11/06: Awaking early we enjoyed the spectacular Antarctic scenery in fine sunlight before arriving at our morning stop at the tiny Cuverville Island. At least one male and one female Orca were noted from the bow long before most people had risen. As we made our way ashore a Leopard Seal patrolled the beach; surprisingly this was to be the only sighting of the trip. Once ashore we were treated to large numbers of breeding Gentoo Penguins. The sun shone brightly softening the thick snow and making movement around time-consuming and strenuous sinking often to the hip with each step. Soon I was down to a T-Shirt – in Antarctica; something seemed not right. Dozens of photos were taken and a tough climb to the top of this steep little island was rewarded with spectacular views and a lone Snow Petrel cruising offshore amongst the many icebergs. Alone on top the island it was possible for a perfect silence moment with not even a quarrelling Gentoo to spoil the quiet.
Once on board we headed south again navigating the Errera Channel in cloudier conditions noting several Crabeater Seals and many Gentoo Penguins on the flatter icebergs. And after lunch we arrived at Neko Harbour in Andvord Bay for our first ‘continental’ landing (no this not with croissants). Here were many Gentoo’s breeding and a few Weddell Seals hauled out on the beach. We spent a relaxing afternoon on shore before returning to the boat for a barbecued dinner on deck in the shadow of the Derville Glacier, highly active and noted for regular large ice calvings. Every crack through the evening was investigated with enthusiasm but we were only treated to several small calvings. The party continued long into the night (which didn’t get dark this far south) and in the early hours we hauled anchor and sailed onwards.
01/12/06: December was seen in with sore heads but nonetheless we were on the foredeck early for the Lemaire Channel, argued by many to be the most beautiful part of the entire continent. As we approached the sky gradually lifted and turned from grey to blue and as we arrived a perfect day had begun. Under clear skies and with no wind the narrow channel flanked by steep craggy peaks and replete with ice of all shapes and sizes was every bit as magical as suggested. Perfect reflections formed in the water and although the ice became dense towards the southern end we managed to pass through this often blocked passage. A slightly early retreat for breakfast was unfortunately timed to miss a close fly-by Snow Petrel.
Following breakfast we anchored and took the zodiacs out for a morning cruise amongst the numerous icebergs in the vicinity of Pleaneau Island. As we departed the first classic South Polar Skua flew over, a number of potential South Polar x Brown hybrids having been noted on the previous day. The cruise provided great opportunities for close-up views of Crabeater Seal, and to get out and stand on an iceberg. But for the main part it was just an amazing experience to view the remarkable bergs up close and personal under the bright sunshine.
In the afternoon we continued south noting the first Adelie Penguin on icebergs and many more Crabeater Seals in increasingly thick broken sea ice. It looked like we would be forced to halt our progress and abandon our attempt to land at Petermann Island, our scheduled southerly point of the voyage. Thanks to some smart navigating by our Captain followed by excellent zodiac-ship we were able to make it ashore and enjoy the mixed Adelie and Gentoo Penguin colonies. Access was somewhat restricted due to on-going scientific research but this did not detract from the Penguin colony, which also included obliging Antarctic Shags nesting (below). The majority of Skuas this far south were apparently now South Polar Skuas. We returned to the ship and reluctantly turned north to once again pass through the Lemaire Channel following dinner. The channel if anything was even more enjoyable second time around backlit by a sinking evening sun, which eventually played a pink and orange kaleidoscope on the surrounding mountain peaks. We were also treated to a couple of avalanches thundering down adjacent mountain flanks only to flounder in thick snow before crashing into and destroying the mill-pond sea. A single Arctic Tern was noted on the return trip through the channel but the experience was not really about the wildlife. And thus an unforgettable day drew to a close.
02/12/06: In the morning we were anchored in Paradise Bay with more of the same in terms of yesterday’s excellent weather conditions. We made our second continental landing at the Argentine base of Almirante Brown. Wildlife opportunities ashore were somewhat limited so most of us returned to the zodiacs to explore along the shore by boat. This proved far more rewarding with point blank views of a Brown Skua demolishing a dead Gentoo Penguin, a pair of Chinstrap Penguins some way south of their normal range and best of all a party of Southern Fulmars squabbling over a huge dead jellyfish (left). We approached to within one metre as the birds continued to feed unconcernedly, it was an amazing experience and we watched in awestruck silence. Eventually it was time to return to the ship where we discovered one of the other boats had also seen Snow Petrel.
As we heaved anchor the weather, which had been threatening to break, finally turned, the clouds descended, the wind picked up and light snow began to fell. We sailed some time through deteriorating conditions and when we arrived at the British base of Port Lockroy things were looking decidedly unpromising for a shore landing. Nonetheless we braved the winds, waves and horizontal snow to visit the small shop, post office and museum here for a true touristy experience. Outside Gentoos huddled on eggs in the snow whilst defending against marauding Brown Skuas and sly Snowy Sheathbills.
We continued north in the evening passing through the relatively uninteresting Gerlache Strait and on into the Brantsfield Strait.
03/12/06: Weather conditions had failed to improve from the previous night and our morning stop at Astrolabe Island, a good spot for Leopard Seal, was cancelled due to the rough seas. We pushed on early instead to Roberts Island in the South Shetlands with good numbers of Cape Petrels and no fewer than eight Antarctic Petrels providing great photo opportunities wheeling amongst snowflakes above the stormy seas. We arrived at Roberts Point, Roberts Island in good time and after finding a sheltered spot to drop anchor were able to make a bumpy landing. Despite the inclement weather this stop proved very rewarding with good numbers of Southern Elephant Seals lounging on the beaches and many breeding Southern Giant Petrels (below) including at least two white morph individuals. A climb to the top of the island provided spectacular views. Large numbers of loafing Brown Skuas gave an interesting comparison in plumage variations with some nearly as pale as South Polar Skua but showing clear structural characteristics of Brown. The last boat of hardy individuals was summoned to the ship an hour earlier than scheduled due to once again deteriorating weather and we all received a good soaking of icy Antarctic seawater whilst returning to the ship. It was straight into the sauna following this for a warm-up.
After taking dinner in the lee of the island we rounded into the Nelson Strait heading for open water and at the same time bade goodbye to Antarctica. We were pushed along by a five-knot current but were met by an incoming tide and a wind gusting 60+ knots. The result was some spectacular wave action and a roller coaster ride. The sea-state was described as “one of the most interesting [seas] I have seen” by one leader and most enjoyed it from the bridge with towering waves crashing across the bows and lashing the foredeck with spray.
04/12/06: Waking in the morning in the Drake Passage and the sea-state was still very rough although the winds were abating and as the day continued the weather did improve. Nonetheless the deck was off-limits so seawatching was conducted from the bridge. Pre-breakfast a couple of Humpback Whales breached close to the boat and good numbers of Light-mantled Sooty Albatross (below) put on a display again throughout the day. Single Wandering Albatross and a few Blue Petrel were also notable and good numbers of both Antarctic and Slender-billed Prion were present continuously.
05/12/06: Having once again passed north of the Antarctic Convergence seabird diversity increased again and with calm conditions the favoured stern deck was available again. Unfortunately the diminishing winds were also probably responsible for lower bird activity. Nonetheless an early Wandering-type Albatross was confidently identified as the gibsoni form potentially to be split as Gibson’s Albatross (below). Analysis of photos later showed that two individuals had been present. Surprisingly no nominate Wandering Albatross were noted although several Southern Royal and a single Northern Royal were seen. Other good species included Light-mantled Sooty and Grey-headed Albatross and Northern Giant and Blue Petrel but there was no repeat performance from the outward journeys Salvin’s Albatross. As we closed in on land again a party of three Macaroni Penguin porpoised past the stern of the boat to provide a fitting finale.
The South American continent was sighted before dark and the evening turned into a rowdy final night party. Once again the Beagle Channel was navigated in darkness so there was no opportunity for any birdwatching here.
06/12/06: We awoke to find ourselves docked in Ushuaia with mountainous headaches to match the seas of 48 hours previous. After disembarkation the day was spent recovering in Ushuaia and taking in common harbour side species such as Dolphin Gull (below) before saying goodbye to new friends and flying back to Buenos Aires for the night.
07/12/06: A full day in Buenos Aires was to be spent at the reserva ecologica Costanera Sur. I arrived with much anticipation following referral to various trip reports but this quickly turned to dismay on discovering two of the three lagoons completely dry and the third with more litter than water. Nonetheless there was nothing else to do but make the best of it in the hot sun. Waterbirds were unsurprisingly sparse with Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral and White-rumped Sandpiper, South American Stilt and Southern Lapwing the only waders present. Rosybill, Speckled Teal and Yellow-billed Pintail represented the ducks with a single White-winged Coot. Herons were slightly more numerous with Great and Snowy Egret, Striated and Cocoi Heron, Bare-faced Ibisand Roseate Spoonbill present in small numbers. Most surprising was a single Rufescent Tiger-Heron (below) standing forlornly amongst the desiccation cracks of its former home. Three Brown-hooded Gull were noted over the Rio del Plata with a few Neotropic Cormorant.
Unsurprisingly the focus switched quickly to landbirds and this proved more productive. Black-and-Rufous Warbling Finch were abundant with a single Ringed Warbling-Finch also noted. Large numbers of hirundines included White-rumped Swallow. Both Red-crested and Yellow-billed Cardinal afforded good views in accordance with most birds highly adjusted to human disturbance here. Several Golden-breasted Woodpecker, including a recently fledged immature, were present. Other interesting species in no particular order included White-tailed Kite, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Masked Gnatcatcher, Spectacled Tyrant and Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant.
With water gone this early in the Argentine summer this site may remain dry for some time but I couldn’t find anyone able to tell me if the situation was unusual or if rain was likely to refill the lagoons anytime soon.
A rush-hour battle across BA to the airport was proved unnecessary due to a delayed flight and thus it was in the early hours of the 8th December I departed back to the UK arriving in the early evening to reflect on an amazing trip and begin plotting a return to take in the Falklands and South Georgia and more of Patagonia.
Species List (after Clements – well sort of)
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua – Common Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetlands. Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae – Petermann Island and environs only. Chinstrap Penguin Pygoscelis antarctica – Common South Shetlands; 2 at Paradise Bay. Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus – 3 in northern Drake Passage. Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus – 1 Beagle Channel Great Grebe Podiceps major – Tierra del Fuego NP, Ushuaia. Wandering (Snowy) Albatross Diomedea [exulans] exulans – Regular in Drake north of Antarctic Convergence. Gibson’s Albatross Diomedea [exulans] gibsoni – 2 Drake Passage. Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea [epomophora] epomophora ¬– Common in Drake north of Antarctic convergence with one individual noted well south of here. Northern Royal Albatross Diomedea [epomophora] sanfordi – 3 Drake Passage. Gray-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma – Common Drake Passage. Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris – Abundant Drake Passage and Beagle Channel. Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche [cauta] salvini – 1 mid-Drake, 1st record from these waters? Light-mantled Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata – Up to 12 in southern Drake Passage. Antarctic Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus – Common throughout. Hall's Giant Petrel Macronectes halli – At least 3 Drake Passage. Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides – Noted throughout, commonest around Antarctic peninsula. Antarctic Petrel Thalassoica Antarctica – Noted around South Shetlands, 6 together maximum count. Cape Petrel Daption capense – Common Drake Passage and Antarctica. Snow Petrel Pagodroma nivea – 1 Cuverville Island. (Further individuals reported Lemaire Channel and Paradise Bay. Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea – Up to 15 noted mid-Drake. Antarctic Prion Pachyptila desolata – The majority of Prions appeared to be this species; common Drake Passage. Slender-billed Prion Pachyptila belcheri – A few identified daily in the Drake. White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis – Surprisingly scarce, in massive decline. Drake Passage. Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus – A few northern Drake. Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus – Common Drake Passage and Antarctica. Black-bellied Storm-Petrel Fregetta tropica – 4 Drake Passage. Magellanic Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides magellani – 1 Beagle Channel. Common Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix – 1 northern Drake Passage. Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus – Rio del Plata, Buenos Aires. Rock Shag Phalacrocorax magellanicus – Tierra del Fuego NP, Beagle Channel. Antarctic Shag Phalacrocorax bransfeldensis – Common South Shetlands & Antarctic Peninsula. Imperial (Blue-eyed) Shag Phalacrocorax [atriceps] atriceps – Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP, Beagle Channel. King Shag Phalacrocorax [atriceps] albiventer – Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi – 2 Costanera Sur. Great Egret Ardea alba – 3 Costanera Sur. Snowy Egret Egretta thula – 1 Costanera Sur. Striated Heron Butorides striatus – 1 Costanera Sur. Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum – 1 Costanera Sur. Black-faced Ibis Theristicus melanopis – 4 Tierra del Fuego NP. Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus – 1 Costanera Sur. Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja – 1 Costanera Sur. Upland Goose Chloephaga picta – Common Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Kelp Goose Chloephaga hybrida – Common Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP, Beagle Channel. Ashy-headed Goose Chloephaga poliocephala – Common Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Flightless Steamerduck Tachyeres pteneres – Numerous Ushuaia. Flying Steamerduck Tachyeres patachonicus – Pair Tierra del Fuego NP, probably overlooked elsewhere. Chiloe Wigeon Anas sibilatrix – 3 Ushuaia. Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris – 3 Ushuaia, 15+ Costanera Sur. Crested Duck Anas specularioides – Common Ushuaia. Spectacled Duck Anas specularis – 3 Tierra del Fuego NP on Lago Roca. Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica – 2 Ushuaia, 2+ Costanera Sur. Red Shoveler Anas platalea – 1 Ushuaia. Rosy-billed Pochard Netta peposaca – 8+ Costanera Sur. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura – 1 Ushuaia. White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus – 1 Costanera Sur. Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris – 5+ Costanera Sur. White-throated Caracara Phalcoboenus albogularis – 1 Ushuaia. Southern Caracara Caracara plancus – Common throughout. Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango – Common Ushuaia. White-winged Coot Fulica leucoptera – 1 Costanera Sur. Magellanic Oystercatcher Haematopus leucopodus – 5+ Ushuaia. White-backed Stilt Himantopus melanurus – 6 Costanera Sur. Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis – Common Ushuaia, Buenos Aires. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes – 10+ Costanera Sur. White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis – 10 Ushuaia, 2 Costanera Sur. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos – 1 Costanera Sur. Snowy Sheathbill Chionis alba – Common South Shetlands & Antarctica, 2 northern Drake Passage. Chilean Skua Stercorarius chilensis – Common Ushuaia, Beagle Channel. South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki – Recorded with certainty at Petermann Island, many possibles and hybrid South Polar x Brown Skua types. Brown (Antarctic) Skua Stercorarius [antarctica] lonnbergi – Common South Shetlands, less so further south. Dolphin Gull Larus scoresbii – 20+ Ushuaia Harbour. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus – Common Ushuaia, Antarctica & South Shetlands. Brown-hooded Gull Larus maculipennis – 3 Rio del Plata, BA. South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea – Common Ushuaia, Beagle Channel. Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea – Small numbers throughout, probably overlooked. Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata – Common South Shetlands & Antarctic. Rock (Feral) Pigeon Columba livia – Ushuaia and Buenos Aires. Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro – Common Costanera Sur. Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa – Common Buenos Aires Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata – Common Costanera Sur. Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui – Common Costanera Sur. Austral Parakeet Enicognathus ferrugineus – 3 Tierra del Fuego NP. Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus – Common Buenos Aires. Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon aureoventris – 5+ Costanera Sur. Green-barred (Golden-breasted) Woodpecker Colaptes [melanochloros] melanolaimus – 5 Costanera Sur. Magellanic Woodpecker Campephilus magellanicus – Pair plus one, Lago Roca, Tierra del Fuego NP. Dark-bellied Cinclodes Cinclodes patagonicus – Common Tierra del Fuego NP. Gray-flanked Cinclodes Cinclodes oustaleti – 1 Ushuaia. Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus – Small numbers Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus – Common Costanera Sur. Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda – 10+ Tierra del Fuego NP. White-throated Treerunner Pygarrhichas albogularis – 3 Tierra del Fuego NP. White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps – Abundant Tierra del Fuego NP. White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata – Common Costanera Sur. Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus – 6+ Tierra del Fuego NP. Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra – 1 Costanera Sur. Fire-eyed Diucon Xolmis pyrope – 2+ Tierra del Fuego NP. Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola maclovianus – 3 Tierra del Fuego NP. Austral Negrito Lessonia rufa – Common Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillatus – 2+ Costanera Sur. Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus – Common Costanera Sur. Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus – Common Costanera Sur. Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera – Common Costanera Sur. Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea – Common Buenos Aires. Southern Martin Progne elegans – Common Costanera Sur. White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa – 20+ Costanera Sur. Chilean Swallow Tachycineta meyeni – Common Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego NP. Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca – Common Buenos Aires. Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis – Common Costanera Sur. Correndera Pipit Anthus correndera – 5 Ushuaia. (Southern) House Wren Troglodytes [aedon] musculus – Common throughout.
Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus – Abundant Buenos Aires. Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris – Common Costanera Sur. Austral Thrush Turdus falcklandii – Abundant Tierra del Fuego NP. Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus – 2 Costanera Sur. Masked Gnatcatcher Polioptila dumicola – 15+ Costanera Sur. European Starling Sturnus vulgaris – Abundant Buenos Aires. House Sparrow Passer domesticus – Common in all urban areas. Black-chinned Siskin Carduelis barbata – Common Tierra del Fuego NP. Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis – 3 Costanera Sur. Gray-hooded Sierra-Finch Phrygilus gayi – 3 Tierra del Fuego NP. Patagonian Sierra-Finch Phrygilus patagonicus – 4 Tierra del Fuego NP. Yellow-bridled Finch Melanodera xanthogramma – 3 Ushuaia (yellow morph, grey morph and juvenile). Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch Poospiza nigrorufa – 15+ Costanera Sur. Ringed Warbling-Finch Poospiza torquata – 1 Costanera Sur. Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens – Common Costanera Sur. Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola – 3 Costanera Sur. Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata – 1 Costanera Sur. Yellow-billed Cardinal Paroaria capitata – 2 Costanera Sur. Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis –Abundant throughout. Yellow-winged Blackbird Agelasticus thilius – Common Costanera Sur. Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca – 5 Ushuaia. Bay-winged Cowbird Molothrus badius – Common Costanera Sur. Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis – Abundant Buenos Aires.
Leopard Seal Hydrurga leptonyx – 1 Cuverville Island. Weddell Seal Leptonychotes weddellii – Noted daily in South Shetlands and Antarctica. Crabeater Seal Lobodon carcinophaga – Common on icebergs and sea ice off Antarctic Peninsula. Southern Elephant Seal Mirounga leonine – Up to 100 at Roberts Point, Roberts Island in the South Shetlands. Orca (Killer Whale) Orcinus orca – Male and female just north of Lemaire Channel. Antarctic Minke Whale Balaenoptera bonaerensis – 3+ South Shetlands and near Lemaire Channel. Fin Whale Balaenoptera physalus – 8+ Southern Drake Passage. Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae – 2 Southern Drake Passage.