Jeff Clarke Ecology

My Blog - Jeff Clarke

Updates and photos from around the world on my travels both through pleasure and work

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20/02/17 At Sea and Coquimbo Click on the images to enlarge to full size. We awoke early to take advantage of the half day at sea before arriving at Coquimbo, particularly as I also had to squeeze in my 4th lecture at 11.00am. A quick pre-breakfast loop of the decks revealed the presence of a couple of landbirds. They rarely settled, probably due to regular disturbance by the maintenance crews and passengers. One proved to be a Seaside Cinclodes, but the other was something much more unexpected, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher, a species with only a handful of records for Chile. I managed a passable in-flight record shot; useful if verification is required. Fork-tailed Flycatcher at sea © Jeff Clarke It was a distinctly hazy mor...
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19/02/17 Valparaiso Click on the images to see them at a larger size. By coincidence Russ and Emma had been organising a guided trip at Valparaiso with the same company as Anno and me, Albatross Birding. Logic prevailed and we all joined together. Our guide for the day, Carolina Yañez rendezvoused (with driver and mini-bus) at the port terminal. We were soon being whisked to a superb little nature reserve Posada del Parque in nearby Concon. On the way there we stopped at a patch of threatened scrubby duneland to pay our regards to a pair of Burrowing Owls. They were still bathing in the early morning sun and were clearly used to humans, obligingly allowing a very close approach. Burrowing Owl © Jeff Clarke Once at the re...
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18/02/17- All at Sea - North to Valparaiso Click on the images to see them at a larger size. Today seemed like an ocean of birds in the early morning. Large numbers of Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters were joined by increasing numbers of dapper looking Buller’s Shearwater. The petrels were represented by three types of Pterodroma in the diminutive form of Stejnegers, medium sized De Fillipi’s and large Juan Fernadez Petrels, all looking rather smart. On the Albatross front we had run out of Wanderer’s but still clung on to Northern Royals, Black-browed and increasing numbers of Salvin’s. Pink-footed Shearwater © Jeff Clarke Buller's Shearwater © Jeff Clarke De Fillipi's Petrel © Jeff Clarke Salvin's Alba...
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16-17/02/17 - Puerto Chacabuco to Chiloe Click on the images to see them at a larger size. By early morning Boudicca was anchored off Puerto Chacabuco and shortly after breakfast we were tendered ashore. At the port gates the four of us hired a taxi to take us out to a few birding spots. A brief roadside stop, at what I suspect was meant to be a retail opportunity for one of the taxi drivers relatives, provided instead a photo opportunity for Austral Thrush and Fire-eyed Diucon. Fire-eyed Diucon © Jeff Clarke Pretty soon we arrived at the Visitor Centre of the Rio Simpson National Nature Reserve. The dense forest made photography difficult but soon a movement in the scrub captured our attention. It took a while to get the...
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11/02/17 Punta Arenas and the Magellan Strait Click on the images to see them at a larger size. After four flights we finally reached our destination of Punta Arenas, Chile, situated on the north side of the Magellan Strait in deepest Patagonia. Here we joined the Fred. Olsen owned cruise ship Boudicca on my latest speaker tour. Among other things I would be lecturing on the birds and cetaceans of the region. I was accompanied on this occasion by my fellow ecologist and cetacean enthusiast Anthony (Anno) Brandreth. Ship business prevented us from exploring ashore so we had to content ourselves with a session viewing the Magellan Straits from Deck 10. Brown-hooded and Kelp gulls were much in evidence, as was Chilean Skua, Souther...
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