Pebble Island Vistas

2nd November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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The images show the raw, spare beauty of landscapes in the Falkland Islands.  They are all from the northern part of Pebble Island but I’m not going to try to identify specifically where for each image, sp mostly no comments.

The long thin images are panoramas combining from two to five images.  If you click on them they go to a larger than normal size – 2560px wide rather than 1024.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

In general, a wild and windswept landscape with the notable absence of trees..

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Some of the beaches look inviting places for a swim if the climate were different.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

This is at the northern tip of the island, with some wild water and a storm bearing down.  Nearby was a beach with the original coloured pebbles that gave the island its name.  There are not many of them left now because people have taken them away.  I did take a picture but I didn’t get the depth of field right and it’s not good enough to show here.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness .

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness

Nearing the settlement now, the buildings are associated with the airfield.

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Penguin Colonies (Pebble Island)

2nd November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gentoo Penguin (also the next five images).

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

These penguins are upland geese.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife
And those distant shapes are nesting giant petrels.  Not to be closely approached or they desert their nests.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two-banded Plover.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Cara cara.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Flightless steamer ducks (The Falklands also has flying steamer ducks).

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Turkey vulture drying its wings.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

I think a juvenile kelp gull.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins en masse.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguin and egg.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of macaroni penguins in the rockhopper colony.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguin.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguns near the top of the cliff, walking up towards their colony.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Looking down to where the come in and out of the sea as the waves go crashing in.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

A longer view, also showing them coming up the cliff.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearing the top, the colony in the left distance.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Macaroni Penguins, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Travel, Turkey vultures, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife

These are gentoos, with a large land-based penguin in the background, otherwise known as a sheep.

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Wreckage from the Falklands War

2nd November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Two Argentinian planes were shot down over Pebble Island during the Falklands War.  This is from IAI Daggar C-437 in which Lt Hector Volponi died, shot down by the Harrier of Lt Martin Hale on 23rd May 1982.  There appears to be a partially released parachute here.  Lt Volponi’s body was found on the ground in a cone section of the plane.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

This is one of the fuel tanks of the C-437.  There were two under the wing and one under the body.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Probably part of another fuel tank.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

The Falklands was first settled by the French in 1764 and the British in 1766 and they may have been unaware of each other’s settlements.  France transferred its claim to Spain in 1766.  The British withdrew their settlement in 1774 and the Spanish in 1812.  The British returned and the Falklands Islands became a crown colony in 1840.  Britain was looking to transfer the islands to Argentina in the 1970s but this was blocked by fierce opposition from the islanders.  The early Thatcher Government also looked to transfer the islands as a needless expense but was blocked by the islanders.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Argentina occupied the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982, partly to distract internal opinion from poor economic results and the political repression.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Early in the war, Argentina established a small airfield at Pebble Island to help defend against British ships.  The SAS raided Pebble Island on the 14th May and destroyed all the planes.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel5

The war was a stretch for both sides.  Britain could have lost, either due to more successful raids of the Super Etendards on their main ships, or more effective bombing of the landing at San Carlos.  The Argentines military planning was for a war with Chile and they were stretched to cover the Falklands.  They couldn’t use the Stanley airfield for their jets and the Falklands was near the limit of their range from the mainland.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Remaining images are of the other plane, the C430 IAI Daggar.  The pilot, Captain Diaz, successfully ejected just before the crash and though he was seriously injured, survived the war.
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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

He was flying in formation with two other Daggars when they were all shot down on the 24th May by a Harrier flown by Edmund Spencer.  One of those pilots died.  The other ejected parallel to the sea, was uninjured when his ejection seat bounced along the water, and swam six hours to the shore.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

The IAI Daggars were an unauthorised Israeli copy of a French Mirage 5 aircraft.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Here is a forward section of the fuselage showing that aircraft shot down was the C-430.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Here is a model of the very aircraft by Pablo Calcaterra.  He has a useful page showing the history of these planes in the war.  I sent an email requesting use of this image but the email addressed bounced.  So I hope he is OK with me using his image here.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

Here is a photograph of the actual plane, shortly before taking off on its final mission, also from Pablo Calcaterra’s site.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

The pilot was of course not in the plane when it hit the ground but he was also injured before ejection.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

There is a Forum thread here, which includes an account by the British pilot that shot down this plane.

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Falkland Islands, Falklands War, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Travel

On the 25th May, the British Destroyer Coventry was off the north coast of Pebble Island in an operation to distract the Agrentinians from the landing at San Carlos Bay.  They shot down two Argentinian Skyhawks and both pilots were killed, but bombs from another two Skyhawks sunk the Coventry, killing 19 of her 189 crew.  While the survivors waited in their lifecraft to be rescued, they sang “Always look on the bright side of life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

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Other birds of Pebble Island

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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More avian wildlife from the south of Pebble Island.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

A pair of upland geese, common in the Falklands.  The male is on the left.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Upland geese and chicks.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

A temporarily unoccupied nest.  Black and white feathers indicate upland geese.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Don’t know whose nest this is (both taken from a distance with a telephoto lens).

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Yellow-billed Teal.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Yellow-billed Teal.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Patagonian Crested Duck.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Long-tailed meadowlark (not that you can see the tail).

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Female upland goose being inconspicuous on the nest.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Silver Teals.

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Falkland Islands, Landscape, Long-tailed meadowlark, Magellanic Oyster Catcher, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Silver Teal, Travel, Upland Goose, Wilderness, Wildlife, Yellow-billed Teal

Magellanic Oyster Catcher.

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Backups

If you don’t have backups, you discover the need for them when your computer or hard disk crashes.  If you do have backups, you then discover how good they are at that time.  In theory, you should have at least two backups and one should be in a remote location (in case your house gets napalmed or drops into a sink hole).

My recent computer crash knocked out my RAID 10 data disk and the data proved unsalvageable.  This meant I had to recover the data from backups (on my Drobo S) and there proved to be holes in my backups.  I had made a mistake in specifying one backup and the files from my 2011 New York trip were missing.  I have also been specifying backups by year for Travel, Festivals and Local Performances and had forgotten to specify 2016 backups for Travel and Local Performances.

I recovered the New York files from a second backup to a hard disk. I did not have such a backup for 2016 Travel or Local Performances but my 2016 travel images including Flinders Ranges, Cuba & the Caribbean and Point Hicks were still on the laptop and its travelling backup disks.  I just lost a few TIFF files of panoramas, HDRs and focus stacking that I was quickly able to regenerate.

I had no backups for 2016 Local Performances though.  For the most part that doesn’t matter.  I still have the web files, most bands only want web images and I probably wouldn’t want to print any of them.  The only exception was the most recent performance of Blues Piano Night, where I have a pending request for full-sized images for a CD.  Fortunately, some of the images were still on a CF card.  The rest were on a CF card from the other camera that I had formatted and started to reuse.  However, I was able to recover those images using Sandisk Rescue Pro Deluxe (this comes free for a year with each Sandisk Extreme Pro card you purchase).

So I didn’t lose anything very significant but have to rethink my backup strategy.  I have too many images for a single incremental backup (takes too long) but clearly defining new backups each year is a potential failure point.  So for Travel, Festivals and Local Performances I will have subfolders for Processing and Finalised which will always be backed up.  I will move projects from Processing to Finalised as I finish them.

I have approaching 240,000 image files so backing up is a significant issue for me.  But no matter how few important files you may have, backing up is not an issue to ignore.

King Cormorants (Pebble Island)

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A colony of King Cormorants, the Falklands Island subspecies of Imperial Cormorant, or alternatively there may be many separate species.  This is probably Sturgees Point, at the south west of Pebble Island.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is their breeding plumage.  They are not always quite as spectacular.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A dolphin gull over the colony.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and landed inside, probably on the lookout for an unattended egg.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the nest.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Coming in to land.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bringing in the nesting materials….
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Birds of Prey

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Beside the remains of an old wharf we came across a dead penguin that was attracting the attention of the birds of prey.  This was very fortunate as we were able to stay close by in our mobile bird hide (also known as a four wheel drive vehicle) and I was able to photograph them out the window with my long lens.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of striated cara caras inspecting and sampling the dead penguin.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Striated cara cara.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Turkey vulture.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rock cormorants (interested in fish, not the penguin).
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Striated cara cara.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Giant petrel.
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Pebble Island Penguins and Skuas

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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I’m about to start posting on wildlife in the Falklands but first a brief account of some computer misadventures that has delayed this post. Feel free to skip this bit if you’re not interested or it’s too technical.

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Computer Issues and Solutions

Ten days ago, my computer died, suddenly and completely. The CPU (the chip that powers it) was dead. The computer was six years old and replacing the chip didn’t seem enticing. New ones are no longer available for that motherboard and a second hand chip from EBay might prove to not work. The motherboard was also incompatible with Windows 10, so an upgrade to a modern machine was in order.

As it happens, I wrote an article on that for the Canberra Photographic Society. so it was fairly easy to work out what I needed. Some of my files may be 50MB out of the camera and when I combine multiple images for panoramas, focus stacking or HDR, the files get very large. Taking the images is just the start. The processing task is not to be underestimated and since I process a lot of images I don’t want to be forever sitting round waiting for something to happen. So my requirement is for pretty heavy-duty image processing and this is not a typical PC.

I retained the case, power supply and hard drives. I purchased new motherboard (Gigabyte Z170X – Gaming 7), CPU (Intel Core i7 6700K), CPU cooler (Thermaltake Riing Silent), video card (Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1060) and 32GB RAM (GSkills Ripjaws V DDR4). This is actually a previous generation motherboard and CPU (from about six months ago) so I was able to save a bit of money with little loss in processing speed. I had also bought a new 30 inch NEC professional monitor a couple of months previously (at half price) and may in due course get a couple of M.2 SSDs (3 to 5 times faster than normal SSDs) to speed up the machine further for bootup and for the Lightroom catalogue and cache.

I ordered the PC components and ended up with a new working PC except with one “minor” problem – no access to my images because when the CPU died, it took out my data drive. Even without buying two more M.2 SSDs, my PC has six hard drives – an SSD for startup and applications, an extra drive for non-photographic storage and a RAID 10 array of four drives (i.e. my data drive). The RAID array has two pairs of drives that mirror each other for safety and each pair simultaneously writes across each drive (called striping). This makes it both fast and easy to recover when a drive fails. The problem was that when the CPU died, it knocked two of the drives out of the RAID.   I was unable to rebuild it, even after a clean reinstall of Windows.

So I’m starting again from a data drive with no images.  All my files should be backed up on my Drobo (a five-disk RAID-like backup system), so I should be able to restore them.  I restored the Falkland Images to a local drive a few days ago to use in generating this post and I’ve just started recovering all images from backup to my data drive.  This will take another day or so.

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Pebble Island

OK, back to the Falklands.

I haven’t had any problems with jet lag in the past. Partly this may be sleeping on the plane to key my metabolism to the destination. But the 55-hour transfer was just too much to end up fresh at the other end. So I was very lucky that I had personalised tours of the island awaiting me with Montana Short and his four wheel drive vehicle. These images are from the morning after I arrived on the plane.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Montana driving over a boggy stream.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

We were heading towards the South of the island.  I think this must be Elephant Bay.  No elephants so they had probably all swum out to sea.  And what you see is typical Falkland islands rainforest, often several inches high.  If you click on it you go to a larger than usual image.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Magellanic Penguin peeking out of its burrow with upland geese in the background.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

A pair of Magellanic Penguins from the same burrow.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Gentoo Penguin calling out to the gods beyond the sky. … Or perhaps advertising for a mate.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

… Or maybe calling for the skuas to stay away.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Here’s a Skua, hovering over the penguins, looking for an unattended egg.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

This egg is safe.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Perhaps returning after a fishing expedition.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Now this is a colony of Rockhopper Penguins, again with a Skua patrolling overhead.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

Let’s do the time warp again…

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

A rockhopper on a cliff.

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It can get quite territorial when someone wanders close to a nest, even if they have to do so to get to theirs.

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Aerial Photography, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Pebble Island, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, seascape, Skua, Travel

… and then it can be on for young and old….
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Skua on patrol.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

The last laugh? Two skuas with a stolen egg.
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