Salar de Tara

26th November 2015. Salar de Tara, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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(This post is out of sequence.  It was supposed to be before the previous monochrome post).

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Licancabur and we are heading towards Salar de Tara.  Licancabur has been an active volcano for at least 56,000 years and maybe 220,000 years.  It’s last eruption in 1993 was a large eruption that saw ash fall as far away as Buenos Aires, nearly 3,000 kilometres away.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are now approaching Salar de Tara, or Tara Salt Flats, in the distance on the right.  In the middle left above the cliff and the truck is Los Monjes de la Pacana or the Pecan Monks.  These are eroded volcanic plugs and rock structures.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Perhaps a monk, perhaps a giant moai.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here is a closer view of Salar de Tara, with some vicuñas grazing in the foreground.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are close to the border of both Bolivia and Argentina and this is a protected Ramsar wetland area.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

So, quickly, how many flamingos do you think are in this image (you may need to click on it for a larger view to see it better).

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is an austere majesty to some of the views here.  And there is a stone pen on this spit of land, whether for llamas, goats pr sheep I do not know.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Salar de Tara and foreground tussocks.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Eroded volcanic cliffs.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Andean geese.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chilean flamingo.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Vicuñas (and flamingos in the distance).

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black-hooded sierra-finch.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now again, you’ll probably need to click on it, how many flamingos are in this image?

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

Three vicuñas  at the foot of a cliff.

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are heading back to San Pedro de Atacama now.  I think I know where this is but there’s no name on the map.  There is a road in the distance and two empty trucks heading towards Argentina.

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Answers:  219 flamingos in the first image and 148 in the second.

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This was the last Atacama post (apart from a mono post or two coming up next).

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Flamingos

25th November 2015. Laguna Chaxa, Salar de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chilean flamingo in front of Licancabur volcano.

.Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chilean flamingo along with two kelp gulls, maybe.

Probably a young flamingo.  They get their colour from the algae they eat and are paler when young.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Andean flamingo.

This and following flamingos are all Andean flamingos, one of the worlkd’s rarest flamingos.  The easiest way to tell them apart from the Chilean flamingos are that the Andean flamingos have yellow legs, whereas the Chilean flamingos have greyish legs with pink joints.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are at Laguna Chaxa in Salar de Atacama, which is the largest salt flat in Chile and third largest in the world.  All three are in South America.  Salar de Atacama is 3,000 km² in area and 100 km x 80 km (which doesn’t seem to add up but that’s what Wikipedia says).  It is 2,300 metres above sea level and 55 km south of San Pedro de Atacama.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

For those for whom this may be of interest, all images on this page were taken with a Nikon D800 and a 300mm f2.8 lens, mostly with a 1.4x teleconverter, and using a tripod.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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