Dinosaur of the week: Chalk-browed Mockingbird

This lovely Mimus saturninus was very vocal in Buenos Aires’s Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. It’s great place to walk and go birding, and it was a marvellous start to our trip to Antarctica, almost three years ago.

Dinosaur of the week: Rufus-collared Sparrow

rufus-collared-sparrowIt’s a slightly odd picture of a Zonotrichia capensis, but unfortunately I didn’t have much time. When we were in Tierra del Fuego, we only spent a few minutes at a lovely lake bordering Argentina and Chile in the National Park near Ushuaia. So I’m very glad I saw at least the sparrow’s back.

Dinosaur of the week: Black-necked Swan

black-necked-swanThis family of Cygnus melancoryphus was frolicking in a river in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. I only saw them from a bus, hence the blurry photo. But since they are the biggest waterfowl in South America, you can still see the three distinct colours in the adults.

From Ushuaia into the Beagle Channel

Ushuaia as seen from aboard. The sign in front of the buildings translates as ‘Capital of the Falkland Islands’.


And no English Pirates, please. sign_in_ushuaia

So, heading east, we set sail (metaphorically) in good weather. We enjoyed the surrounding mountains in all their glory.Beagle_Channel2Beaglechannel1

Wonderful clouds and intriguing light patterns made for a perfect first evening on board. cloudsNorwegian_flag

Tierra del Fuego

lagoacigamiblackneckedswansActually, before we went on board we spent a couple of hours in the Tierra del Fuego National Park near Ushuaia. It’s very close to the Argentinian-Chilean border, so some of the mountains in the picture are on the Chilean shores of the lake. If you can’t see the mountains, it’s because of the rain clouds.

The National Park is a fab place for birding. We spotted those Black-Necked Swans, but only from the bus.patagoniansierrafinch

Other species inlcuded Upland Geese, Caracara, different kinds of ducks and a handful of singing birds.


This Patagonian Sierra Finch was also willing to have his picture taken.

We saw a endofpanamericanhighwaybeaver, too and a couple of Gray Foxes. Pics might appear in due course on www.chinese-poems.com/blog.


Tierra del Fuego calls itself the end of the world. Don’t know why – guys, there is another continent right on your doorstep! Anyway, this is what the end of the Pan-Amercian Highway looks like. More than 17000km from here to Alaska, or two days on the Drakes Passage down to Antarctica.