Friday, March 25, 2011

Bustamante one year later.

After almost exactly a year, I returned to Bustamante. I found last year that this location is a staggering point for shore birds starting in their migration to the northen hemisphere. Sure enough, sandpipers and others were congregated in great numbers feeding and resting waiting for the night to fly out.

Bustamante remains a quiet place, ideal for doing nothing. It used to be a busy hacienda back in the XX century when kelp was gathered from the bay and processed to obtain algin, a product used in the cosmetic and food industry. This suddenly ceased in the early 1980's due to an oil spill in the bay. When I returned this year, the kelp has recovered and the operations resumed in a small scale with workers returning to the previous empty apartments.

Although this may be my wrong perception, the fauna seems to be more acclimatized to humans and not as weary as they used to be. For the first time I was able to approach the martinetas without them running away; not only that but they appeared to be more numerous.

The wildlife photo opportunities this year were limited this year due to the high winds; as high as 120 Km/hr for a couple of days. I spent most of the time in the cabin but one day I ventured out. I went to the "Playa de las Roquitas" (little rocks) and did some HDR photography; I just kept myself low among the rocks avoid the wind gusts.

One day while waiting in the cabin for better weather, I heard a noise coming from a nearby trash can and went to investigate. The noise maker was a young skunk that could not climb out of the metal can and was trapped inside. I decided to be his freedom fighter and tipped the can over to allow for his escape. The skunk walked out and to show his gratitude, turned his rear towards me and raised the tail to spray me aromatic perfumes...I ran in time. No good deed goes unpunished!

One day I went to the "Isleta de los Pinguinos" to visit the nesting colony,it was as I saw it last year. I stayed a short time and mostly observed their behavior; how many pictures of a penguin can one have? But there was a family of caracaras with young ones learning to fly that offered me a great opportunity for doing fly photography

Matias, one of the owners of the estancia, is not only interested in the local wildlife but has intimidate knowledge of their activities. He directed me to a peregrine falcons nesting area in the walls of a canyon. I went and proceed to walk in the ridge of canyon looking at the opposite wall for the raptors. I was in the wrong ridge, as I paused and glanced down, and there it was, so close that I my lens could not focus on it. An opportunity of a lifetime just flew way. Instead I got a consolation image, that of a fabulous sunset like no other.

In the way back to civilization, my photo mentor, Mariano, took me to one of his secret places. A canyon with sandy and gypsum walls where the barranqueros or burrowing parrots nest. They are very leery of people since they are captured for the illegal animal trade that is adversely affecting their populations; you can read more about this at Wish I could have spend more time with them.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What a stunning Sandpiper pic Jose!! Love it. Are those in the second pic some kind of Emu's? They look like babies too waiting to be fed. :)

That love view of the rocks is spectacular. Love the colors and the angle.Are the rocks part of coral reef?

LOL!! That will teach you to be a knight in shining armor. LOL!! Some critters can be so ungrateful. :)

It is great that you had such a good guide but what a pity you missed out on the falcon. As all your pictures, it would have been a spectacular shot.

That sunset is fabulous but none in the world compare to ours. Sorry, but the truth must be told. :)

Those parrots are so pretty. It is no wonder they are being hounded and caught. People nowdays will make money out of anything they can and the unfortunate part is that it is usually nature which suffers in the process.

So now you must have at least 9,000 pictures left and I look forward to seeing the rest of them. Seems like you had a magnificent trip. Thanks for sharing.

Augurio Abismal said...

Sin palabras, una gran exposici├│n