Saturday, 24 December 2011


1 Great White Egret and 3 Little Egrets on the Royal military Canal behind Wyevale Garden centre mid morning on my down to Dungeness. 
Great White Egret

Caspian Gull
 In the gull roost at Dungeness at least 1 Caspian gull but no Glaucous Gull today.
At sea 11.00-11.30  172 Auks sw, 27 Kittiwake sw, 53 Gannets sw, 3 Common Scoter sw, and 4 Red Throated Divers sw.

 As I walked the track to Hanson Hide a Hen Harrier was hunting in front of the screen hide and eventually flew across the pit and out towards Burrowes Pit.
From the hide 1 Great White Egret, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Marsh Harriers, the Long Tailed Duck and red head Smew could be seen distantly at the SE end of the pit also 15+ Goldeneye and the usual wild fowl.
Hen Harrier

Friday, 23 December 2011

Saunders Island 02/12/11 PM (part1)

After sailing from Carcass Island we anchored off Saunders Island, which looked like a Mediterranean island with its sandy beaches lapped by clear blue sea and clear blue skies. This was going to be the final landing of our brilliant trip and what a landing this was.    
We only had a few hours here. I could have spent a week just photographing and watching the King Penguins alone.
Sorry about the King Penguin overload but it was really tough sorting through these. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
King Penguins

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Carcass Island 02/12/11 A.M.

Again we woke a smooth sea off Carcass Island to glorious blue skies and temperatures in double figures. We had the choice of being dropped off at Leopard Beach and a 4 kilometer hike to the pick up point and tea rooms  with only 2 hrs in which to do it, or being taken directly to the pick up point where we knew we could find Cobb's Wren and spend time looking for Falkland Island specialities. I chose the latter along with 2 others in our group.
After breakfast the Zodiacs took us to the quay, Rock Cormorants were sitting on the jetty and Night Herons, Steamer ducks, Magellanic Penguins, Magellanic Oystercatchers, Blackish Oystercatchers and Dolphin Gulls were on the shore.
Rock Cormorant
As time was short we headed straight into the Tussac grass looking for the Wren. We saw a movement and found a very confiding Falkland Island Snipe and eventually found a couple more. 
Falkland Island Snipe

Black Throated Finch

Next we found a Black Throated Finch the first of several and then a Cobb's Wren being very elusive in the tall Tussac Grass and Gorse.
After a while good views of the Wren were obtained and i went down to the beach to look for waders where the first bird i found foraging out in the open on the beach was another very confiding Cobb's Wren. After spending time photographing this bird it became apparent that there were several of them on the shore.  
Cobb's Wren

Cobb's Wren

Magellanic Oystercatcher
Beside the shore path nesting Magellanic and Blackish Oystercatchers and Flightless Steamer Ducks and a couple of Night Herons were in the rock pools.

Blackish Oystercatcher
With time marching on we made our way to the Tea room. On the way a Southern Caracara sat on the hillside and numerous Chimanga Carcara's, several Turkey Vultures, Long Tailed Meadowlarks and Black Chinned Siskins were seen. After a quick cup of tea we were taken back to the ship and set sail for an afternoon visit to Saunders Island.
Southern Carcara

Ruddy Headed Goose

Magellanic Penguin

Night Heron

Dolphin Gull

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Black Browed Albatross Colony

This short video gives a taste of the huge colony of Black Browed Albatrosses on Steeple Jason an absolutely awesome sight.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

West Point Island 01/12/11 P.M.

During the 4 hour sail from Steeple Jason to West Point Island, Imperial Shags were numerous, a few White chinned Petrels joined us and huge flocks of Slender Billed Prions numbering in 1000s were encountered.
Imperial Shag

White Chinned Petrel

Slender Billed Prion

Huge flock of Slender Billed Prions

Slender Billed Prion

Cape Petrel
 Cape Petrels were still with us as were numerous Black Browed Albatrosses.
Black browed Albatross

Commerson's Dolphins
 As we neared the island we were joined by a pod of 20+ delightful Commerson's Dolphins.
 We were ferried ashore in the Zodiacs where a 4 kilometre walk was needed to reach another Black browed Albatross colony.
As David had twisted his ankle earlier he was going to be transported by Land Rover so I hung back and joined him.
As we neared the colony we saw 3 birds which looked like Pipits so when we arrived i doubled back to try and find them. In doing so i also found a Sedge Wren and a Ruddy Headed Goose. Fortunately i also located one of the Pipits. I then went looking for Rufous Chested Dotterel not realising that there none on this island thus losing my chance to take in another spectacular Black browed Albatross colony. 
Sedge Wren

Corendera Pipit

Ruddy Headed Goose

 Some compensation for the Black Brows were the Long Tailed Meadowlarks also seen were numerous Striated Caracara, a Black Chinned Siskins and Turkey vultures, Night herons, Falkland Island Steamer ducks, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp and Dolphin Gulls.
Long Tailed Meadowlark

Turkey Vulture
 On the way back to the ship the Commerson's Dolphins were bow riding the Zodiac.
Commerson's Dolphin