Playful Elephant Seals, Penguins, and Albatrosses …

Wim’s News from the Tusk Falkland Photo Tour:

Hooray! We have internet again and can catch up from this most awesome of places. This really is an area to be experienced! In fact, I am sending multiple pictures … they say so much more than words …

After arriving at Stanley we were ready to take off for Carcass Island when a heavy mist rolled in – and we were delayed yet again. We spent the night in Stanley, and left for Carcass Island very early the next morning where we arrived at around 10:00.

We immediately departed to Westpoint Island, where we spent a most wonderful day. There are large Black-browed Albatross colonies. In fact there are in almost five thousand nesting sites, (not as many as we saw last year, but still a very impressive number) and seeing the birds flying in and out, back and forth is quite mind-boggling. Photography conditions were excellent, and watching the birds fly in from the ocean and then back again in a nonstop parade kept us really busy with our cameras.

The next day we came to Seal Island where we are now. We have been here for two glorious days. Yesterday we spent the morning with the Gentoo colonies as they headed out to sea to feed, and then we moved on to the Elephant Seals. The Elephant Seals were great fun and entertained us. We able to approach very close for wide-angle shots.

 

The baleful looks they gave us, and one could almost imagine them asking each other what on earth these strange creatures were doing in their territory.

In the evening we visited the Rock-hopper colony, and although many of them have left already to fatten up at sea before they moult at the end of the season, there were enough there for us to get some great photographs. They really are photogenic. As the Rockhoppers moved away, a huge colony of Imperial Cormorants moved in to take their place.

We spent the late afternoon and early evening photographing the beautiful birds. We were able to use fast and slow shutter speeds, with and without flash as they arrived from the ocean.

This morning there was a magnificent sunrise that found us back at the Gentoo colony again.

The play of light with reflections in the water with the Gentoos sitting there, bathed all around by the iridescent colours looked truly breathtaking – and when the sun rose behind them, the dramatic results were all one could hope for. A few youngsters arrived to bathe in the water, and to play around in the shallow water. It was quite magnificent, and the kind of magical moment that one will remember forever.

We saw some massive Elephant Seals when we returned to their spot. They were extra active today, play fighting and enjoying themselves on the beach – much to our delight.

Right now we are having lunch – and taking advantage of the internet connection. We are having a spectacular time and you can expect to hear from us again whenever we another connection …