After our tour of Elephant Beach with Rob, Lorraine drove us to Leopard Beach on the southern end of the island to see the penguins.
There are large colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins here on Carcass Island. Gentoos live permanently here, but the Magellanic are migratory, coming to the Falklands only to breed in the summer, then heading north – as far away as Brazil – for the winter. These guys are juvenile Magellanics.
These juveniles are molting and all that snowy looking stuff on the ground is actually down.
We drove up to the overlook and on the way, from this point, we could see Upland Geese flying by, with Skua birds in the foreground and Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins in between on the ground.
At the top, the penguins were primarily Gentoo, a bolder species.
In fact, after awhile, they came right up to the car.
I think these four guys were up to something.
I figured out their strategy: they were planning to surround us!
They even had the beach closed off to prevent our escape.
I slipped away from the car and found a couple Magellanic burrows. Unlike the Gentoo, who nest on the surface, Magellanic Penguins dig burrows as deep as 6 feet to make their nests, normally in the heath or underneath the Tussac plants.
This guy couldn’t figure out whether to flee or fly. Since he can’t fly, he finally decided to flee, down into his burrow.
We passed some of his mates on the way out.
Time to get back to the settlement, off there in the distance.
We really enjoyed our time on Carcass Island. Today, around noon, we’re taking the FIGAS plane to nearby Saunders Island for a more spartan Falkland experience.