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Seawatch in Chile.

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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 11:01   #1
Jens Thalund
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Seawatch in Chile.

Just got back from a short trip to Central Chile, where my timing was unfortunately a bit off, so I missed out on the scheduled pelagics from the Valparaiso area.

Instead I tried out a couple of sites on the coast with my Minox travel scope, and despite the calm winds and good weather I had a very good time, especially since it doesn't take that many Sooty Shearwaters to impress a Dane

First place I tried was Boca Norte, the SW point of the Hualpen peninsula at Concepcion on 4 Nov, where it is possible to drive the car on to the top of the beach. Beautiful calm and sunny weather, with most of the action way off, but a few hours from sunrise :

Southern Giant Petrel - 1
Black-browed Albatross - 1
Pink-footed Shearwater - 3+
Sooty Shearwater - 5000+ , a continous flow of birds heading south.
Peruvian Booby - 100
Peruvian Pelican - 30
Red-legged Cormorant - 150 , the legs glowing red in the morning sun.
Guanay Cormorant - 500+
Chilean Skua - 1

The other site I tried was further up the coast, at Quintero, north of Valparaiso, where a place called Punta Liles is mentioned in Mark Pearman's site guide. Unfortunately he describes getting there, as following a coastal path south from the harbour, which is on the eastern side of the peninsula, inside the bay!

This didn't make much sense to me, so I drove a little around and ended up at the NW tip of the peninsula, at La Cueva del Pirata, where I watched from the rocks below the restaurant. On 7 Nov I sat here for 90 minutes in the evening, and the following day from 7.30 - 14.15. The wind tended to pick up a little during the day, but still it was pretty calm, considering the conditions I would usually prefer for a seawatch back home. As with the previous site, the vast majority of birds were moving south, but came a lot closer here.

7 November

Giant Petrel sp. - 2
Pink-footed Shearwater - 1
Sooty Shearwater - 500
Wilson's/Elliot's Strom Petrel - 1
Peruvian Diving Petrel - 10
Peruvian Booby - 150
Peruvian Pelican - 25
Guanay Cormorant - 50
Chilean Skua - 2
Inca Tern - 8

8 November

Southern Giant Petrel - 2
Giant Petrel sp - 4
Salvin's Albatross - 2
Black-browed Albatross - 4
Cape Petrel - 1
Pink-footed Shearwater - 124
Sooty Shearwater - 760
Wilson's/Elliot's Storm Petrel - 4
Peruvian Diving Petrel - 69
Humboldt Penguin - 6
Peruvian Booby - 210
Peruvian Pelican - 103
Red-legged Cormorant - 3
Guanay Cormorant - 20
Chilean Skua - 1 (+ 2 Skua sp)
Arctic Skua -1
Franklin's Gull - 460
Inca Tern - 38

I kept thinking to myself, that if this is the action on a quiet and calm day, I would love to sit here on a good, windy day, especially in the local autumn of April/May, as the Pterodromas are not that far off shore

I've googled Punta Liles since, and it turns out, that the place is just around the corner from La Cueva del Pirata, at the western end of Avenida O'Higgins.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 01:33   #2
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That's a pretty good seabird list (combined) from the shore. I'm not patient enough to sea-watch from the shore (unless at a restaurant).
Good luck and Good Birding

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 06:27   #3
Jos Stratford
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Originally Posted by Jens Thalund View Post
... it doesn't take that many Sooty Shearwaters to impress a Dane
... it doesn't take that many Humboldt Penguins to impress a Brit

Nice stuff there, especially the tubenoses
For photographs and articles, Lithuania and beyond, click here for my website
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 19:21   #4
Jens Thalund
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Funny thing about the Humboldts - they were often hard to spot in the swells, lying low in the water, but the overhead group of fishing Inca Terns quickly revealed their whereabouts.....beautiful combination :-)
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