On another post, I've described the moving memorials to killed servicemen (of both sides of the Falklands War) on Pebble Island. We spent a day with the lodge owner, Allan White, touring the west of the island for about 9 hours. It's about 20 miles by 2 miles. There are 5 residents, and we were the only visitors......
|Crested Caracara, outside our bedroom window!|
We started by walking along the 4 miles of sandy beach, passing Oystercatchers trying to distract us from their nests, and watching the petrels gliding on the updrafts from the dunes - never flapping their wings, despite the 30-knot headwind.
|4-mile beach, with incoming storm, which missed us.|
|The settlement, with the Lodge on the right.|
|Gorse is the only shelter in the Falklands|
|Petrel patrolling the beach|
|Relaxed Magellanic penguin|
|Some penguins get nervous when the neighbours appear.|
|Sophie's beach - Petrels, Penguins and Peale's dolphins here.|
|Brave gentoo penguin|
|Southern Giant Petrel, with lunch.|
|The penguins do sometimes approach us.|
|Rockhopper inspecting our boots.|
|Rogue Macaroni penguin hiding among the Rockhoppers (centre).|
|"Over there are some penguins. Use the telescope!"|
|Whoa, guys. Tourists about!|
|Rockhopper amongst Imperial Shags. Quite stiff quiff competition!|
|This way to the rookery|
|Rare leucistic Rockhopper|
Of the thousands of penguins we've seen, this is the only one without the normal black and white plumage. It does look strange, but it seems perfectly healthy, returning to the same rookery for about 5 years.
An explanation of the condition can be found here -
|Annie amongst the Rockhoppers|
|Some birds squeeze onto the nest....|
|...while some go beak to claw.....|
|Rockhopper eggs are no longer taken by people.|
|A rare hybrid penguin, on an egg - a very rare sight.|
So, having had our fill (for the time being) of penguins and petrels, we headed back to Stanley in the small Britten-Norman Islander plane. The wind was gusting to 40 knots, and take-offs and landings were extremely short and exciting! But the pilots here are used to the conditions, and make about 10 take-offs per day on grass strips.
In about 40 minutes we were at Stanley Airport, and 15 minutes later, home. That storm had drenched the town, but we had had glorious sunshine all weekend. Now to sort the photos.....
Coming soon....... Our first UK visitors arrive! Kidney Island delivers its special treats again!