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Laguna Verde, Tierra del Fuego, Chile - Magellanic Plover Habitat | by Paul B Jones
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Laguna Verde, Tierra del Fuego, Chile - Magellanic Plover Habitat

Having lost an afternoon at the accident scene the previous day, and facing a ferry crossing over the Strait of Magellan and a long drive to the day's destination - Puerto Natales, our time to search for the Magellanic Plover was over.


Or was it? As we passed Laguna Verde on the Y-65, Jodie, Julio and I looked at the lake, at each other, and willed the vehicle to a halt. We had walked the far side of the water two days earlier, perhaps there was still a bit of time to search the near shore now.


Hopping the fence, we proceeded quickly across the grass to the grey gravel. One party went left, the other right, and both began to shift through the wintering Baird's and White-rumped Sandpipers. Within minutes a cautious signal went out, the groups rejoined, and together we all studied one, two, three, then four of the species we had sought so diligently. Group hug!


As I have indicated, I am not a landscape photographer. When I want to record a scene, I point the camera at the horizon, take a picture, then try to sort things out in post later. Not so easy at Laguna Verda. When I came up with the version above, I really was not sure if that was what things had looked like, but the image did not look real, so I knew I was on the right track. The craziest thing in Tierra del Fuego were the clouds, racing and bursting overhead in all shapes and sizes unlike anything I had seen before. It would be possible to devote an entire project to just recording them. Here in this photo the sky, land, and water look lonely, strange, and beautiful - the essence of the place.

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Taken on November 14, 2016