Thursday, March 12, 2009


Hello, Adventurers,

After 26 ± hours, Don and I have arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina— the town that calls itself, "Fin del Mundo," End of the World. Our travel here went remarkably well with no hitches with airlines or luggage! We departed San Francisco, California about noon yesterday for the 5 hour flight to Miami, Florida. Once, there, we connected to our eight hour American flight, non-stop to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We arrived on time, proceeded through immigration, which took about 40 minutes, and then claimed out bags, and made our way through customs. At the Aerolineas Argentina ticket counter, we learned that for $25 we could jump on an earlier flight, thereby avoiding a 5 hour wait for our scheduled flight! By the time we purchased the new ticket, the flight was boarding. Luckily, this was a non-stop flight, as often a stop is made at Rio Gallagos. Three and a half hours latter, we were on the ground at the small, but growing Ushuaia. The flight up the Beagle Channel was spectacular, with the jagged mountains all around.
On the ground, we wasted no time in renting a car, and began birding right at the airport ponds, and along other shorelines. Old friends, posed for our cameras: CHIMANGO (8) and SOUTHERN CRESTED CARACARA (9); KELP (350) and DOLPHIN GULLS (12); a couple ASHY-HEADED GEESE (3), many KELP GEESE (50) foraging on kelp; CRESTED DUCKS (200), CHILOE WIDGEONS (20), YELLOW-BILLED PINTAILS (30) FLYING STEAMER DUCKS (18); SOUTHERN LAPWING (4); NEOTROPICAL (12), IMPERIAL (30), and ROCK (3) SHAGS; MAGELLANIC (80) and BLACKISH (70) OYSTERCATCHERS; SOUTH AMERICAN TERNS (50); SILVERY GREBE (2); AMERICAN KESTREL (2), and GRAY-FLANKED CINCLODES.
After a couple of hours of birding, we checked in at Hostal Malvinas. Our friend and expedition leader, Troels, joined us for coffee. Dinner was at our favorite restaurant, Volver, which specializes in crab.
All flights on time, luggage delivered, a good start on birding, only a little bit of rain— we are off to a great start.

Debra Shearwater, Charter Master 2010
Don Doolittle, Expedition Photographer

PO Box 190, Hollister, CA 95024
Antarctica, South Georgia, & The Falkland Islands: January 5-24, 2010
Exclusive charter with Debra Shearwater
Only 3 cabins available

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