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ULTIMATE CHILE

Saturday 24th January - Thursday 12th February 2015

Mark Pearman

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Andrew Moon)

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Andrew Moon)

For the tenth tour in a row, Ultimate Chile 2015 provided views of all of the mainland endemics, all eight tapaculos seen (not just heard) and a superb wader spectacle including Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Magellanic Plover, Peruvian Thick-knee, both dotterels and three species of seedsnipe to mention but a few. As always, seabirds were another major draw of this tour with 13 species of tubenose observed including highlights of Chatham Albatross, Juan Fernandez Petrel and Markham’s Storm-Petrel plus Swallow-tailed Gull. In all, we encountered 276 species (of which 24 were only seen on the extension) as we travelled the length of the country sampling three major biomes including several vast areas of wilderness, from the Atacama desert to the high Andes and through Patagonian forests to the tundra steppe of the far south. Other highlights from north to south included Chilean Woodstar, Tamarugo Conebill, Ticking Doradito, [Chilean] Black Rail, Magellanic Woodpecker, Burrowing Parrot, Spectacled Duck (numerous on this tour), Rufous-legged Owl, Des Murs’ Wiretail, perched Chilean Hawks, Ruddy-headed Goose, Austral Rail, White-bridled Finch and Band-tailed Earthcreeper. Not least will we forget Chile’s tapaculos (how could we?), from the huge huet-huets, with a Black-throated unusually leaf-scraping in the open in full daylight, and nicely performing Chestnut-throated, to the colourful Chucao, the bold Moustached Turca and protracted views of a perched White-throated Tapaculo in a tree! Added to this, the very comfortable accommodations and some interesting tasty local cooking and fine wines, coupled with a great bonding group of participants, lead to a hugely successful tour.

Chatham Albatross - a great sighting on the pelagic (Max Reid)

Chatham Albatross - a great sighting on the pelagic (Max Reid)