Beautiful sunrises were to be had at 3 AM (on the ship we stayed with Chilean time even though here we are more than 1000 miles further east making sunrise very early. On the zodiacs at 2 AM to be assure for sunrise. Argghhh
The Falkland Islands are famous for their many varieties of Penguins and other marine life
This is a magellanic penguin up enjoying a morning rain shower
There are thousands of these rock hopper penguins in large colonies on the hillsides
They really do 'rock hop' of course when they're not just waddling along
The king penguin, quite secure in his stature with dignity and grace
The much more common gentoo penguin walking into a strong wind
The Macaroni penguin with his distinctive bright yellow crest
Black browed albartross are very distinctive, but not shy birds
They nest in large colonies on Saunders and other Falkland Islands
They mate for life and often go through extensive courtship rituals the almost look like kissing
The life of the penguins may look likes it's just 'a day at the beach'
Swimming, playing with friends and enjoying the waves
But some days the beach and surf aren't quite so inviting
Those funny white lines across the picture are lima bean sized hail stones coming down hard (on the photographer too!!)
And many days the sand just blows and blows and blows
Elephant seals don't look like too much from a distance
They even seem sort of cute out in the water
and mother and child together seem happy enough
But the males can weight up to 8000 lbs plus
Finger nails not claws interestingly - needs a manicure
Still it's surpise if one pops up in front of you in the Tussock
Even when it's a young pup like this one
There are lots of other birds in the Falklands like this female upland goose with her chick
Silvery Grebes are a relatively rare bird elsewhere
The Northern giant petrel is a big and ugly carrion eater
The ducks can't fly at all. The flightless steamer duck is unique to the Falklands where there are no endogenous land mammals to fear
Female upland geese fighting. In the five minutes I watched they twirled and danced never clearly letting of each other.
There's lots of fine sand on the beach and patterns in the kelp everywhere
Sea shells are abundant
But the surf can be something to behold when the wind kicks up
Even these shags retreated from the edge and huddled together in the fierce wind and spary.
The rockhopper penguins didn't mind it so much.
This colony is only a few hundred yards further down the coast (but obviously not the same windy day).
A proud parent looking on as they change the position of their egg. There are no nesting materials to speak of on these rocks.
This was a spirited discussion which ended in swapping positions the one on the right was on the egg and the one on the left took over. Can't tell who's who
Just enjoying the last rays of light at sunset
On East Falkland Island we found black crowned night herons nesting
It's a rather steep cliff, but the shags were nesting in the little tufts of grass sticking out above them
The black crowned night heron and gathered a real nest for the light blue egg you can just see under her if you look carefully
The entire coast is a rocky shore with snow, kelp, seals, and more
As you cruise the 750 miles (three days) from the Falklands to South Georgia it gets colder and you may see icebergs
These can be very dramatic. See the two black dots on the far right of the iceberg?
Chin stap penguins along for the ride