Return to the Wild South of Sea Lion Island

4th November 2015. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands.

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On Sea Lion Island I met up with a small group of Norwegian Photographers led by Ole Jørgen Liodden of Wildphoto.  I had previously met Ole on the plane from Santiago to Mount Pleasant Airport (East Falkland) and we were all due to join the ship on the voyage to South Georgia Island in a few days.

Ole asked me if I had seen anything interesting in my quick tour of the island and I told him of the wild conditions at the south end of the island so we all headed off there in two or three four wheel drives.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Juvenile King Cormorant.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The sea was thundering into an inlet and throwing up spray high into the air as well as a rainbow.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And here is the King Cormorant colony in a rare moment with little spray, though the wind was no doubt unabated.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The sea was wild in the background, the spray carried for a long way and you had to be careful not to be blown over by the wind.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The birds in the sky are a mixture of the more drab juvenile King Cormorants and adults in their magnificent finery.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A lone dolphin gull over the colony.  The birds stand with their heads tucked away due to the force of the winds.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And the force of the waves is amazing.  The ocean is a long way down.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Not a good place for swimming.  Awesome power in the waves.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were a few rockhopper penguins there too.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A challenging environment for photography.  Cleaning of the front element would be happening here.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Ole Jørgen Liodden.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I must have walked a bit further north from Rockhopper Point and the HMS Sheffield Memorial (HMS Sheffield was a destroyer sunk near here by an Exocet missile in the Falklands War).  The point in middle distance is part of Sea lion Island but it must be Rum Island in the background.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Striated cara cara in the spray.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dolphin gulls over the cormorants and photographers in the background.

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Ole was using two Nikon D5s with Beta firmware during this trip and there is a review of the D5 on his blog which includes images from the Falklands and South Georgia.

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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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

31st October to 6th November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands. Temporary post. Images only. Minimal descriptions for images.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Striated caracara.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Turkey vulture.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Giant Petrel.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Caracara and stolen Rockhopper egg.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorant.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorants.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorants.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Speckled Teals.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Wreckage of Argentinian fighter.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Striated Caracara.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Macaroni Penguins.

6th April: Falkland Islands (leaving Steeple Jason Island)

Late in the afternoon we headed off for the coast of Patagonia, slowly leaving Steeple Jason behind us as the afternoon turned into sunset. There were many albatrosses and giant petrels in the air and some cara caras turned up to farewell us on the ship.

Steeple Jason Island

(Click on image above for much larger version. In the new window, click the button at the bottom right for full screen then use mouse wheel or buttons to zoom in and out).

Cara caras on the ship's mast

A lone black-browed albatross against the late afternoon sun

A cara cara and the Russian flag

Steeple Jason Island

A city of black-browed atbatrosses and possibly gentoo penguins

A giant petrel (above) and a black-browed albatross (skimming the sea) as the afternoon turns into sunset

A black-browed albatross against Steeple Jason Island as sunset comes on.

A giant petrel in front of Steeple Jason Island at sunset

Two giant petrels in the sky as the Falklands recede and the sunset starts to fade away

6th April: Falkland Islands (Steeple Jason Island)

In the early afternoon we landed on Steeple Jason island, a somewhat precarious scramble from the zodiac to the rocks in a small cove.  There were traces of farming activity from long ago but the island has been uninhabited for some time.

Many went off to try to find the albatrosses in their colonies but few managed to find their way through the very high tussock grass.  Perhaps fortunately, I had noticed the great sea highway of gentoo penguins near where we landed and settled in to photograph them.  At the end, I just had time to snatch a few landscapes before we were summoned to an early departure.

I settled down in a nice comfortable position and opposite me was a large rock on which penguins were coming in out of the water and being washed on and off by the waves.

Most of these penguins have yellow beaks except the bottom one who has an orange one (there were also a few others).  The gentoo penguins at Vernadsky Station had orange beaks so perhaps this is a stray from Antarctica.

I was particularly looking to get gentoos porpoising so I was very pleased to catch the shot above.  This is not easy to do because they suddenly bounce up out of the water and then disappear again and it’s difficult to predict where it might happen.

As I was observing the penguins from my elevated vantage point I observed very fast white shapes zooming around in the water.  At first I thought, wow, those fish can move really fast.  Then I realised it was the penguins.  These little fellows are speed demons, underwater racing cars, twisting and turning below the waves.

On the left above, an immature rock cormorant, on the right a gentoo penguin

Not drowning, waving.

Steeple Jason Island with gentoo penguins in foreground

5th April: Falkland Islands (West Point Island) – Abducted by Aliens

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Eeerraaark, eeeerraaarkk!

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Penny the Ground-Painted was always telling anyone who would listen about being abducted by aliens and she had the silver bracelets on her ankles to prove it.  Erica the Red-Eyed was not impressed.

Erica lives at 3,000 steps up in Noisy Delirium Circle.  It’s a long walk up from the harbor frontage.

  • Trudge, trudge, hop, hop, wait for a crowd to gather then big hop, trudge, trudge …
  • Ethelbert the Elegantly Absurd:  “This is my patch.  What are you doing on my patch? You can’t have it.”; Erica: “I’m just passing through.  I live at 3,000 steps up in Noisy Delirium Circle, about 40 steps from the end of Sky Mountain Street.  Let me through.”
  • another couple of steps …
  • Dionysius the Disheveled:  “This is my patch.  What are you doing on my patch? I won’t let you take it.”; Erica: “I’m just passing through.  I live at 3,000 steps up in Noisy Delirium Circle, about 40 steps from the end of Sky Mountain Street.  Let me through.”
  • another couple of steps …
  • Ignatius the Punk:  “This is my patch.  What are you doing on my patch? It’s not yours.”; Erica: “I’m just passing through.  I live at 3,000 steps up in Noisy Delirium Circle, about 40 steps from the end of Sky Mountain Street.  Let me through.”
  • And so it goes …

Eventually, Erica reaches her elite apartment high in the sky.  It was actually built by Eustace the soarer and Wendy the wave-kisser when Noisy Delerium Circle was still called Black-Browed Hilltop.  According to rumour, Wendy was last seen going for a dive behind a fishing boat and Eustace now hangs out in a different part of the City, often disrupting other couples by trying to hassle for a new partner.

Erica’s young son, Diogenes the Slightly Deranged, is now bigger than her.  “What’s for dinner?”  “Fish.” Lots of noisy celebration of the return.  “What’s for dinner?”  “Fish.” Heads down and screeching sounds. “What’s for dinner?”  “Fish.”  This goes on for a while.

Our legends tell of the giant black were-penguins that devastated our communities hundreds of generations ago.  Today we were visited by friendly aliens from the planet Ostr.  Earlier we visited their space craft as it lay on the sea and what a lot of space it seemed to contain.  We also bounced up and down out of the water beside their landing craft to get a good look at them as they came in.  These Ostr aliens are giant multicoloured hump-backed penguins and while they keep a respectable distance, they also allowed us to come right up and look at them.

Pity about Penny the ground-painted.  Last time we saw her she was heading off to a pair of sea lions to tell them how she had been abducted by aliens.

>>>>>>

Eeerraaark, eeeerraaarkk!

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… And so it was in the afternoon that we disembarked at West Point Island.  Michael, the Island’s caretaker, greeted us and generously provided a Land Rover bus service to the black-browed albatross and rockhopper penguin colony and also a service back, later in the afternoon.  This was much appreciated by those of us who were disinclined to venture far.  There was a much higher proportion of albatrosses to penguins than in the previous day at New Island and it was very easy to get quite close.

A few people took a long scenic trek and another group elected to climb an impressive hill in the other direction.  Though it was very windy at the cliff where the albatrosses were, it was very calm at the top of the large hill where a spectacular panoramic view presented itself.  There were also hundreds of albatrosses sitting out on the water.

Layered rocks on the cliff edge

Panorama looking back from the cliff top

Rock striations

The wild coast far below

Hundreds of black-browed albatrosses bobbing on the waves

A view in late afternoon light while walking back

Back at the “farm”, Jeanette put on a lavish afternoon tea and there was also the distraction of a dead ship on the beach as well as anchors and other marine debris.  There was also another afternoon tea on the beach attended by six turkey vultures and eighteen cara cara.

Anchors on the beach

Cara caras and turkey vultures (red heads) at the farm's carcase disposal point

Wreck on the beach

Cara cara, guardian of the wreck

Then a calm and easy return to the ship but the day was not finished yet.  Dinner was a barbeque on deck with loud dance music, mainly rock & roll and 60s pop.  Everyone donned strange headgear and there were exuberant displays of dancing by passengers, Aurora staff and the Russian crew.  Michael and Jeanette attended from the Island and may have wondered what strange universe they had arrived in.

… And I forgot to mention – a fin whale was visible from the ship feeding and with attendant seabirds for about 20 minutes though only the earliest of us back got to see this.