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On this day last year – December 23, 2018 – I landed in Araucanía lacustre, Chile. It was my first trip abroad as a birder and I was super excited about many things, but in particular the prospects of birding in the Southern Hemisphere. It was my first visit in Chile, the first time back in South America in about 40 years and the first time back in the Southern Hemisphere in about two decades. I was travelling light carrying only a single carry-on bag. These were pre-camera days, so in terms of birding gear all I had was my Nikon Monarchs and Alvaro Jaramillo’s Birds of Chile. After a layover in Cancun and an overnight layover in Santiago the last leg of my journey took me to Araucanía lacustre, about 800 km south of Santiago known for its lakes and volcanoes. My final destination was the country side close to the small town Villarica situated at the foot of a snow-covered and smoking volcano.
On my first day in and around Villarica I saw eight new species. Over the next three weeks in the Austral summer I would see a total of 53 species of birds in an unforgettable adventure.
May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.