Welcome to some observations on living in the Falkland Islands, and watching the penguins.....
Click arrow to play short video of Jackass penguin
The penguins are coming ashore in greater numbers, and setting up nests.
|Magellans outside their burrow|
The Magellanic penguins near Stanley are nesting in quite a public and accessible area, with a car park and path nearby. (Presumably, these sites have been used for centuries, long before Man appeared in the south Atlantic). Whereas most of the other penguin species in the Falklands choose remote beaches and cliffs, often on uninhabited islands.
|Gentoo wading ashore on the wrong beach|
|"Where's the others"?|
|Wishing he was on the beach...|
|Anyone know why chickens cross roads?|
|Falklands Thrush, and worm|
|Dandelion conservation area, chez nous.|
As you can tell, Spring is bringing on plant and animal activity, although we had a small blizzard last night, and awoke to a dusting of snow. The weather has been variable and the photo below was taken from the end of our road on 21st October - Trafalgar Day: the day when Nelson signalled: "England expects every man to do his duty". One admiral replied: 'please stop signalling - we know what to do!'
|Photo courtesy of Annie and meteorological conditions|
And as well as the daffodils, the flags have been out to greet a new season of visitors.....
Last week, we joined the Ramblers group on their monthly walk. Now that the days are longer and the weather better, we are venturing further afield. The route was a large circle, just north of Mount Pleasant, where the British garrison and international airport are located.
|Colorado Pond and Wickham Heights|
It's about 35 miles south-west of Stanley, and then, once through the security checks, another 10 miles inside the complex, with the road skirting the runway and climbing over Mt Pleasant towards the shooting ranges.
The views as we gained height just got better and better. The highest peak in the Falklands, Mt Usborne, was about 5 miles away with snow nestling on its slopes. To the north we could see the sea where it encroaches on the huge farms around Teal Inlet. To the west, we could make out houses in Fitzroy, about 12 miles away. This is where, during the 1982 war, the Welsh Guards were attacked while they were onboard troop carriers, Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad. It is thought enemy spotters were concealed in these hills and could relay British troop movements to bring in air strikes. But it's not till you see the view on a clear day that you understand how exposed the British forces were.
The walk was UP Mounts Wickham and Mustard, but some of us found it quite slow-going and were quite happy to leave Mt Mustard to another day. After a picnic lunch, we watched the keen yompers head off along the ridge to bag another peak, while we descended and crossed more rough ground to an eye-catching geological feature - The Wineglass.
|Bringing some scale to the rock|
And yet another lovely sunset.....
Yesterday, I had a great walk to the easternmost point of the Falklands, with Richard, the friend of a friend, who was visiting the islands. Photos and details in the next blog. As snow fell in the gardens last night, we had a delicious meal of local dishes, including chilli squid and roast toothfish. Today (Saturday), he is heading to the UK, and will get there late on Monday. Hope he enjoyed the trip!