Plover, Piper, Finch

First, some more birds. I think I’ve id’d them correctly.
Andean geese (They have such small beaks!):

Plumbeous sierra finch – a lovely grey male:

And then: spot the Viscacha(s)! They are kind of dead centre.
Zoomed in:
 An unlikely encounter:
Continents, divided
Dassies hang out somewhere else. They are special (to me of course) because they are relatively closely related to elephants and seacows.
And here’s a (not) silly (giant)coot:
Lastly: A huge rock that resembles an eagle head:

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Foxes, Flamingoes, Coots, Ducks and a Lizard

Puna teal with lovely blue beak.

We saw both Chilean– and Andean flamingoes. They were showing off their wings and mate-bobbing in the shallows.
The flamingoes eat brine shrimp (Artemia salina) which contain carotenoids that turn them pink.

Fox petroglyph on left, flamingo on right.

Two baby foxes! I think they were South American grey foxes. Another one was killed by a tourist’s car.

Giant coot. On the first drive-by they had their heads and feet tucked away and were sleeping on their little raised mounds, the water still frozen. On the second pass they were foraging and big-stepping.

Franklin’s gull: they prey on the flamingo’s eggs. Also on your early-morning breakfast if you don’t watch out.

Salt lake lizard! We made some meaningful eye-contact. There were many, in all sizes.

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Neddy Burrito

Burro foal
Too cute! 

Graceful Vicuñas

El Tatio: Highest, third largest collection of geysers in the world! A most excellent spot for an early-morning cup of espresso. Sadly, I saw no frogs, snails, or tardigrades. I did see some leaping, long-tailed viscachas scampering on the rocks nearby, as well as Chilean geese and giant coots in some frozen ponds as we descended. A flock of fat flamingoes were gathered on the opposite shore, still perfecting their mating dances.

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The Rica-Rica shrub smells heavenly. It is used to flavour many drinks, like in a variation of Pisco sour, or in food.

This one grows in the Valle Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley)
Some cacti (now getting fewer, as they are over-exploited):
And, of course, llamas! A human-created domestic animal.

Nearby is a petroglyph site (Yerbas Buenas) I especially liked the cat – maybe a Leopardus colocolo

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