Best shots of a visit to Tierra del Fuego
29th January - 10th February 2008
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This Dolphin Gull landed on the hood of the car for a brief moment.
This photo combines many things that were a permanent part of our visit:
the Beagle channel (seen from the port of Ushuaia), the birds, the car, ... and the rain!

We travelled to Ushuaia by plane from our home in Buenos Aires, so this time there was no tedious driving, as has been the rule on all our previous trips to Patagonia, including Ushuaia in 2001.
We hired a car at Ushuaia which was a great asset.

We spent 12 nights here, giving us nearly 12 days of outdoor life to discover the many wonderful spots of Tierra del Fuego. This included: a visit up the Martial glacier, many visits to the National Park (NP, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego) to do the trails through wonderful forests and along the very attractive coast, a drive along the eastern road to Harberton visiting Natalie Goodall's Acatushún museum of marine mammals, another drive extending further east yet to Moat farm, an overnight trip to Río Grande to see specialty birds, and a boat trip on the Beagle Channel to see penguins and photograph the albatross. The frequent rain did not deter us from setting off on long walks and luckly we never got soaked - the weather here being renowned for rapid changes in the climatic conditions.

I got back with about 2,500 photos, most of them of birds and other wildlife. Of these I selected some 370, the majority of them birds and just a few other animals, and which have been inserted into their respective pages of this site. Below is a selection of these, together with a very small sample of the forests, vegetation and other memorable vistas. The trip has allowed me to add 18 new bird species to the site, and to greatly improve some 35 other species which until now were very poorly represented. The only butterfly photo I got apparently turned out to be the first record of that species (Cosmosatyrus leptoneuroides) for the island! Some of the main bird species I most yearned for, and which I succeeded in getting, are: White-throated Treerunner, Dark-bellied and Grey-flanked Cinclodes, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Short-billed Miner, Andean Tapaculo, Fire-eyed Ducon, White-crested Elaenia, Yellow-bridled Finch, Red Knot, both Steamerducks, White-throated Caracara, Gentoo Penguin, and others. In the case of the Magellanic Woodpecker I only got photos of the female, and a big surprise to me was to get Grass Wren on the edge of the Beagle Channel!

Equipement: This was my first visit to the south with the x1.7 teleconverter for the FZ30 Lumix compact camera, which was instrumental to getting "closer". I used the built-in flash a few times, mainly for the forest birds such as the Rayadito, Treerunner and Tapaculo. It was also my first trip taking a decent set of bins: the Glacier model by Meade which proved to live up to expectations.

Many thanks for visiting this page - Alec Earnshaw
Copyright (C) 2008 - A. Earnshaw

The Beagle Channel from Le Martial, the coastal trail at the NP, Lapataia vewpoint and the Garibaldi pass

Autumn colors creeping in, the Acatushún museum and "bone house" at Harberton farm, the National Geographic Endeavour on the Beagle Channel sailing back from Antarctica, and a view of the Andes from Road "b" west of Rio Grande.

The forests are always spectacuar, in the NP or on the road to Moat farm, with ferns everwhere and lichens growing on every bit of rotting wood. At high elevantions the vegetation is decidedly like tundra.

Here is a reduced sampling of the bird photos produced on this trip. To see more please visit the respective order and family pages.

It is well worth doing the 5-hour round trip by boat from Ushuaia to see the penguin colony at Isla Martillo, just off Harberton farm. Here one can see not only the very numerous Magellanic Penguins but also a handful of Gentoo Penguins.

Great Grebe

Southern Giant Petrel

Black-browed Albatross

Rock Cormorant

Imperial Cormorant

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-faced Ibis

Kelp Goose

Upland Goose

Ashy-headed Goose

Speckled Teal

Cresed Duck

Chiloe Widgeon

Flightless Steamerduck

Flying Steamerduck

Andean Condor

Bicoloured Hawk

Southern Caracara - displaying

Chimango Caracara

White-throated Caracara

Southern Lapwing

Magellanic Oystercatcher

Rufous-chested Dotterel

Two-banded Plover


White-rumped Sandpiper

Red Knot


Hudsonian Godwit

(Least?) Seedsnipe

Chilean Skua

Kelp Gull

Brown-hooded Gull

Dolphin Gull

South American Tern

Magellanic Woodpecker


FURNARIDS - "Ovenbirds"

Short-billed Miner

White-throated Treerunner

Thorn-tailed Rayadito

Bar-winged Cinclodes

Dark-bellied Cinclodes

Grey-flanked Cinclodes

Magellanic Tapaculo


Fire-eyed Diucon (2 adults + juvenile)

Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant

Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant (juvenile)

Rufous-backed Negrito (female)

White-crested Elaenia

House Wren

Grass Wren

Austral Thrush

Chilean Swallow

Correndera or Helmayr's Pipit

Rufous-collared Sparrow

Yellow-bridled Finch

Pataginian Yellow-Finch

Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch

Patagonian Sierra-Finch

Black-chinned Siskin

Austral Blackbird

Long-tailed Meadowlark



Andean Fox

Most likely Dusky Dolphin (or else Peale's Dolphin)


European Rabbit

American Beaver

Cosmosatyrus leptoneuroides near SanSebastian
Possibly first sighting of this species for the island of Tierra del Fuego?