Best photos of our visit to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
- 13th to 19th March, 2011 -
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View of the Beagle Channel. To the right is part of Isla Redonda
We took this photo from the costal trail during the last minutes of ligt on the last day of our visit.
In the distance were 3 or 4 southern fulmars (my first ever) and closer in a leopard seal was feeding

We travelled to Ushuaia by plane from our home in Buenos Aires to do the trails of the National Park and see the glorious autumn colors. I also had hope of getting photos of some hard-to-see species that I had missed in 2008.

During the 6 days we had in Ushuia we covered the following:

Sunday 13: Arrival, car rental, shop for provisons, check-in and then rush to the mountain and up the ski lift to get up the Martial glacier. Here I was able to see and take photos of the scarce White-bellied Seedsnipe, a lifer for me. Other species I got phtoso of: Bar-winged Cinclodes and Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant.
Monday 14: We drove (essentially east) along Ruta "J", passing by Harberton and on much further to Estancia Moat. We had some rain both ways, but it did not stop us from having a great time. Best photos: White-throated Treerunner, Sedge Wren, Fire-eyed Ducon and Dark-bellied Cinclodes.
Tuesday 15: Check out the start of the Lapataia river (mouth of Lago Roca) for another lifer: Spectacled Duck, which I was able to photograph. After this we returned east to Ensenada, from where we set off on the coastal trail, getting about mid-way before we had to turn back in the evening. Best photos: Upland Goose and Flightless Steamer-Duck.
Wednesday 16: After a second go at the Spectacled Ducks we set off on a trail that borderes Lago Roca, reaching the frontier point, or "hito". On this trail I got another lifer: Patagonian Tyrant. Also got good shots of Magellanic Woodpecker, and did what I could with Austral Parakeet near the start of the trail.
Thursday 17: We walked various trails in the Lapataia area. Here I did many scenic photos showing the autumn colors, and also of small leaves in various stages of color change. On the trail that starts where the road ends I got photos of Crested Duck and Magellanic Tapaculo.
Friday 18: In the morning I drove off alone to visit the trash dump, where I got photos of Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and White-throated Caracara. In the afternoon we returned to the National Park to explore the Río Pipo area, but the weather was not too nice. I got good photos of Austral Blackbird. After that we parked again at Ensenada and did 400 meters of the costal trail to say goodbye to the Beagle Channel.
Saturday 19: We took our morning flight back to BA

I got 4 lifers (White-bellied Seedsnipe, Spectacled Duck, Patagonian Tyrant and Southern Fulmar) of which I was able to take photos of 3 (all but the fulmar). In total I recorded 56 species.

Photo equipment:
- Panasonic Lumix FZ30 compact w/ x1.7 teleconverter + Vivitar 285 HV flash
- Nikon P6000 compact for digiscoping using home-made adaptor and cable release.
- Vixen Geoma II ED 67 A scope with x30 wide eyepiece
- iPod Touch for some HD video
- Canon
SD1100 IS pocket cmaera for scencis, flowers and leaves
- Manfrotto 190XB tripod with 700RC2 head, used for scope.

Many thanks for visiting this page! Alec Earnshaw
Copyright (C) 2011 - A. Earnshaw

You might also like to see the report of our 2008 visit to Ushuaia with more bird photos - click HERE

View of part of the city of Ushuaia, taken from the opposite coast, next to the old ariport strip
(Photo taken in Noviembre 2010)
Mount Olivia, the iconic symbol of Ushuaia
(Photo taken in Noviembre 2010)
The flags of Argetnina and Tierra del Fuego

Climbing Le Martial to look for White-bellied Seedsnipe
View of Ushuaia from the upper ski-lift station. From here one must continue on foot, well above the tree-line.
The famed scree slopes where the seedeater is sometimes seen. We came across a family of 5: two adults and 3 chicks..
Not many get to see this bird. I suppose we got lucky on account of the snow the previous day, and because there are fewer people about in March.
Digiscoping the seedsnipes on the slopes of the Martial.
One reason why they may be hard to see is that they are insanely tame. One expects to to see more movement and that they will flush, which would help to alert to their presence, but that is not the case. One can get so close that the digiscoping equipment was unnecessary.

Route "J" to Estancia Moat
Our rental car, on the drive to Harberton
On the way to Harberton
On the way to Harberton
"Flag trees", permanently deforned by the wind
Road east of Harberton
Coast of the Beagle Channel near Ea. Moat
Coast of the Beagle with a storm coming

Coastal Trail
But before starting the trail we drove ahead to the camping site by Lago Roca, for here, on a small island of the río Lapataia, was a family of Spectacled Ducks that I was able to photograph by digiscoping.
The coastal trail we took begins at Ensenada and takes you along the edge of the Beagle Channel towards Lapataia. It takes several hours to do, and as we only set off at about 4pm, and spent much time taking photos, we covered about half before we had to start our return.
Coastal trail
Coastal trail
Coastal trail

Trail along Lago Roca to the international border line
This day the waters of the Lago Roca were dead calm. It was funny, as the forecast for today had announced "strong winds". In the forest the silence was truly "deafening"!
María Elena at the edge of Lago Roca, before we set off on the hike...
...and 3 hours later, at the furthest point of the trail, near the "hito" marking the border.

Lapataia area - pure fall colours!
Doing the Lapataia trails

Río Pipo y Ensenada
On the last morning I explored some photo spots. At the wetlands of Bahía Encerrada I saw these 2 hides set up by the lagoon, where surely a couple of photographers were getting good bird shots.
The steam train near the Río Pipo campsite area.
Navarino Island, seen from the road that drops down to Ensenada
The last photo of the trip, taken from the costal trail opposite Isla Redonda


A selection of small leaves in changing fall colours

Calafate (Berberis spp)

Firebush (Embothrium coccineum) - Notro

Chaura (Pernettya mucronata)


A native mistletoe

A dasy


A parasite plant

Evergreen beech (Nothofagus betuloides) - Guindo

Winter's bark (Drimys winteri) - Canelo


Here is a selection of the bird photos taken during the trip (and including some taken in November 2011, when I was in Ushuaia for 1 night on a business trip and was able to do a wee bit of birding in the early hours, and at lunchtime). In some cases wou can see more photos of these birds in the respective order and family pages.

Southern Giant Petrel
(taken in November 2010)

Black-crowned Night-Heron (juvenile)

Kelp Goose
Male -
(taken in November 2010)


Upland Goose

Black-necked Swan

Crested Duck

Spectacled Duck

Chiloe Wigeon -
(taken in November 2010)

Flightless Steamer-Duck

Flying Steamer-Duck

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle

White-throated Caracara

Southern Caracara

Chimango Caracara

Southern Lapwing

White-bellied Seedsnipe

Austral Parakeet

Magellanic Woodpecker



White-throated Treerunner

Thorn-tailed Rayadito

Bar-winged Cinclodes

Dark-bellied Cinclodes

Magellanic Tapaculo


Patagonian Tyrant

Fire-eyed Ducon

Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant

Sedge Wren

Austral Blackbird



European Rabbit


You might also like to see the report of our 2008 visit to Ushuaia, with more bird photos - click HERE

to the main Birds page of my website -