It’s World Wildlife Day, a day that fills me with joy and where I dig out all my favourite Attenborough documentaries. The natural world is extraordinary seen through the lens of a film camera, but it’s even more extraordinary when you can witness it first hand. Having been to plenty of zoos and wildlife parks over the years, my 2018 honeymoon in Chile and specifically Patagonia was the first time I got to enjoy wild animals up close, with no bars, barriers and no TV screen. Until you’ve witnessed true wild places and animals, you cannot truly appreciate nature.
In this blog I’d like to share some photos of the wonderful wildlife I encountered from North to South. I’m thrilled that I was able to see so many completely wild creatures: no bars, no cages, no hand-feeding, roaming free in this harsh wilderness that throws at them some extraordinary challenges. I wonder if they realise how beautiful their home is?
The birds are undisturbed by human presence, happy to flit among the grass and forage for food in the fading sunlight, whilst the guanacos were equally happy bounding alongside our car with those long pogo-stick strides that remind me of a rocking horse that’s been pushed to hard.
Down in Punta Arenas, where the air gets chillier and the towns get smaller, the seabirds get more numerous. I was convinced I saw penguins out on the wooden pier, but later they revealed themselves to be rather charismatic cormorants.
Here are some of the best bits:
Cormorants and seagulls in Punta Arenas, Patagonia
On the drive into Torres del Paine, there were plenty of guanacos and the hunting caracara.
Cowbirds, thrushes and more foraging for dusk insects outside our Lago Grey lodge. They were incredibly comfortable around people that I didn’t need a zoom lens.
Birds in and around Lago Grey. In the top photo you might just be able to spot the two Andean Condors I mentioned in my previous post. This was an incredibly difficult photo to capture as I was bouncing along at speed on a boat, and the birds were some distance away.
More Patagonia-Inspired Blogs:
Back to Patagonia
Surviving Winter in Patagonia
Plein Air Painting in Patagonia
Cosmic Thoughts: Strange Worlds
Couples Travel: The Artist and the Writer
Art Diaries: Chilean Wildlife
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