2012 – The Falklands, with Rosemary & Richard Brown

These pictures were taken by Rosemary and Richard Brown on their two week holiday to the Falklands at the end of January 2012 and were part of the talk given at the AGM in December 2014.

Britten Norman Islander

1. This is the only way to make your way between the islands. The Falkland Islands Government Air Service own five of these Britten Norman Islander aircraft which fly to 29 destinations where in nearly every case the landings are on grass air strips. The planes carry up to nine passengers with a small freight space and passengers and baggage are individually weighed. They were built in the 1980s and generally fly at about 1000 feet above sea level at 150 mph. Earplugs are essential!

Magellanic Penguin

2. Magellanic Penguin at Sea Lion Island. Unlike the other penguins of the Falklands this specie is wary and nervous around humans. They also differ by nesting in burrows.

Saunders Island

3. At The Neck on Saunders Island Black-browed Albatrosses, Imperial Shags and Rockhopper Penguins all nest together in a very noisy area.

Rockhopper Penguins?

4. Rockhopper Penguins arriving at The Neck on Saunders Island through the waves and surf with food for their young. Note the Black-browed Albatrosses flying around overhead.

The Neck

5. The Neck is situated ten miles and an hours journey from the Settlement. Our accommodation was the green portacabin on the right of the hillside with the track access above. We were self catering for three nights sharing with two Swiss engineers. Water was by hosepipe from a spring higher on the hill and electricity was by batteries powered by a generator which had to turned on twice a day. The Rockhopper rookery can be seen on the hillside to the extreme left above the wave line. The flatter sandy area in the foreground is the home of many Gentoo penguins with a small group of King Penguins. The calmer water on the right is the site of the ‘wash and brush up’ and generally hanging about area which is shown in close up on the next picture.

Rockhopper Penguins.

6. Rockhopper Penguins.

7. Elephant seal moulting on Carcass Island. They come quite a way inland and can easily be hidden in the dunes and coastline. There can be a maximum of 400 animals – we counted around a hundred at several sites. The island is one of the remotest in the Falklands and is about five miles long with a population of five people, the two owners and three seasonal Chilean catering staff. It is also a popular stop for the small expedition ships with about 100 passengers who come ashore for a day’s sightseeing including ‘smoko’.

Elephant Seal

8. King Penguins at the Volunteer Point site some two to three hours drive from Stanley. There are believed to be around 500 pairs here. They are resident and breed twice in three years so at one time there are eggs being brooded and youngsters in various stages of development. Their breeding area is enclosed by a circle of white painted stones so they are easy to photograph at very close range.

King Penguins

Richard Brown