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Monthly Archive 31 July 2019

Barba Azul: Blue-throated Macaws and so much more!

My South-America trip still contained a gap of two weeks. The plan was to travel four weeks in Chile first and about two weeks after that would be my first day on a language school in Cusco. So it would make a lot of sense to travel through Bolivia, new country, new experiences and new animals! Only I didn’t really have a clue of what I was going to do. Three weeks before I would go away to Chile I suddenly stumbled upon a page from Asociación Armonía, the Bolivian version of BirdLife. The page about Barba Azul looked very interesting and I noticed there was a possibility to stay there working as a volunteer. I was supposed to get in touch with Tjalle Boorsma, which is a very Dutch name! So I just sent an email in Dutch and also received a reply in Dutch. Fortunately it was possible for me to stay there as a volunteer. So after Chile it was on to Bolivia!

Incatern: the most beautiful tern in the world!

Next to the Torrent Duck the Inca Tern was another  unique South-American birds species that I really wanted to see. Gray with a red bill and with two white plumes on either side of the head that makes it look like he has a moustache. In the end I was only successful in one place, the harbour of the town Arica all the way in the north of Chile at the coast. That was sufficient though! I don’t have a big story, but what a beautiful and special bird!

Every cloud has a silver lining

When I went away for my trip to South-America there were some birds I really wanted to see. One of those was the Torrent Duck. Really the coolest duck in the world. The male as well as the female is really beautiful and on top of that they both make a living by swimming up fast streaming currents. Amazing how they can keep doing that the whole day long. Finding Torrent Ducks turned out to be a bit harder than I thought.

Milkyway in the Andes

If you want to take photos of the stars it’s of course nice when it’s not too cloudy. If you are somewhere between April and December in the Chilean Andes you’re in the right place, then it is the dry season so that means almost no rains. No rains means no clouds and clear skies. The other advantage is that you can easily drive up to 4000 meters or higher which places you that much closer to the stars and also means less light pollution. If you’re in the Andes it’s therefore not a bad idea to take some pictures of those beautiful star skies!

Solar eclipse in the Atacama desert

After a couple of great weeks in Patagonia we are back in Santiago. Not that there is much to be seen here, the real spectacle is still 500 kilometres away! When the planning of my travels was already taking a lot of shape, I suddenly found out that on July the 2nd there would be a solar eclipse. I didn’t want to really turn my schedule upside down, it was about animals after all, but experiencing a solar eclipse also sounded like a cool thing to do. In the end the trip started in Chilean Patagonia which would make it a shame if we would skip a solar eclipse in that same Chile. So we didn’t and we did not have any regrets!

Patagonian landscapes

Patagonia has more to offer than just animals, the landscapes are pretty nice too. I also wanted to show something of that. Torres del Paine looks nice both during the day and the night. I put some photos of landscapes in the gallery below.


Wild camelids actually only occur in a few places in the world. If you think you can find them in the Middle-East or somewhere near the Sahara you’re wrong: those are all domesticated. Mongolia has the Wild Bactrian Camel, you’ll have to go to South-America to see the other two. Because I saw them a lot there, I wanted to give them some special attention.