Wildlife Moment Of The Week

Road-side Reptile Surprise

Posted by on Jan 26, 2013 in Conservation, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 0 comments

As Ecologists, it’s difficult not to stop counting, especially when running and so we undertake daily wildlife surveys, rubbish transects, invasive species and road-kills counts.  The data informs our mega transect. It is all added to our rapidly sprouting spread-sheets and shared with local and national interest groups, informs blogs and will be sent to various online biological data banks. But yesterday whilst running towards Lujan (c. 80 miles north of San Luis) we had the biggest shock yet. BIG is certainly apt. Never before have either of us seen such an ENORMOUS snake. A boa...

Read More

Burrowing Parrots in the Desert

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Birds, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 0 comments

When you think of parrots, what do you see? Bright colours, squawking calls, luscious rainforests…. The first two definitely apply to the screeching, colourful flocks flying over us, but the last; NOT. Here in one of the most menacingly arid and hostile lands either of us have run through; where thorns the size of chop-sticks threaten to skewer a badly placed step; where rivers are dust; the soil is crunchy and tormenting winds curdle and spit out of nowhere. Here where you would think nothing should live; certainly not choose to live. Here live the burrowing parrots!! In the crumbling...

Read More

A tiny irridescent bombing bird

Posted by on Oct 27, 2012 in Birds, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 0 comments

We knew this jewel of a little bird from our passage through the canals of Chile. His absence has been noted through the drier regions of Argentina and Chile. Now suddenly we have run back into his territory. Territory indeed. This gnat of a bird has the punch of a bull-dog. With his soprano’s looping call, he bursts high over the tree tops, like an over grown bee. Blink and you miss him. A blurr of gyrating wings. One, two, three; who’s chasing who? No one is safe. He’s guarding the red bounty of his notra flowers, now the yellow blumes of the michay. No peace for...

Read More

A red-breasted mouse of a bird!

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Birds, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 2 comments

He’s not large and flashy. He doesn’t soar on out-stretched wings. He doesn’t perform a Mozart concerto. But this little forest bird is fast becoming one of my favourite animals in the whole world! The Chucao. His voice is enormous, like a gun-shot. “Chu-cao!”, it echoes through the temperate rainforests of Chile. A feature that proves useful in this noisy land of thundering waterfalls and rivers. When we stalk into the forests to do our morning’s bird survey, or wash in the forest-green rivers or when we collect water from a stream, there is a rustling. A little...

Read More

We can talk to birds, really!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Birds, Waddle on the Wildside, Wildlife Moment Of The Week, YouTube Channel | 0 comments

Watch the 1 minute video below as I try it out – its true!! I had never though it would be possible to speak to a bird but wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough shows us what is possible on a short video clip at our friends at Conservacion Patagonica. With this fresh in my mind, whilst running with our trailer through a forested area of Southern Chile, we were interrupted by three Magellanic woodpeckers noisily passing through. Clutching two rocks I sunk to my ankles in the boggy forest and found a nice standing hollow trunk to tap. I thought I’d try what David showed me, and...

Read More

Skunking About

Posted by on Sep 11, 2012 in Mammals, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 0 comments

Are you familiar with the phrase? “Skunking about”? Or whether, indeed, it is a phrase? Well, during the first weeks of the expedition skunks certainly where about, although in general they were only noted in their passing. That is passing by, rather than passing away (alas, on several occasions we did witness their squished striped remains pancaked to the road). Because, of course, what is so delightfully reassuring about a skunk, is that they are more often smelt than seen. As we ran the roads and gravel tracks between Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and El Calafate, nearly every day...

Read More