Chilean Swallow - Tachycineta leucopyga - Golondrina chilena
After our adventure on the Chepu River we took a brief break at the boat company's base, where I was able to obtain this photo. Chilean Swallow was a totem of our trip, present from Santiago to Tierra del Fuego, braving windy, rainy and cold days but also luxuriating in the still calm of warm, sunny afternoons and mornings. Just like us!
We picked November as our time to visit Chile, knowing that it was the spring, maybe equivalent to May in Canada. It was a good choice. Flowers were in bloom, especially the spectacular Chilean Firebush, local birds were singing, and migrants (both inter- and extra-continental) had arrived. It was also prior to the peak tourist season, so many parks were near empty, very different from the rush our guides indicated would come in January.
The weather was ... variable, but never overwhelming. Chiloe Island, especially Parque Tantauco, was quite wet (the area gets two metres / six and a half feet of rain a year), Tierra del Fuego was ferociously windy at times, and we had a bit of snow and hail in Torres del Paine National Park. But things never got debilitatingly cold (at least by Canadian standards) and we had plenty of sun as well. Dress appropriately is the advice - lots of layers, gortex shells (jackets and pants), rubber boots and a good supply of dry bags for gear.
Looking through the images from the trip I've posted, quite a few are lit by an overcast sky. It was cloudy a fair bit, but I also tend not to photograph during the bright mid-day sun. In fact, it was a relief when the clouds would roll in mid-morning, as it allowed picture-taking to continue.