Tuesday 21 March 2023

Falklands, Pebble Island - Day 1

We were up early for a 7am flight from Stanley to Pebble Island. The flight, in a six seater prop plane takes around 40 minutes. 

Flying over Stanley on the way to Pebble Island

The grass air strip is just minutes away from the lodge/settlement, and our host Riki was there to meet us. We had a very comfortable ensuite room and stayed on a full board basis, with the food really good. Pebble Island is big and even with a 4x4 it cannot be done in a day. We had one day pre-planned as fully guided, another with a drop off/pick up service and the remainder of day 1, Riki said he'd take us out locally so we can get our bearings. 

Julia opted to unpack and relax but I was immediately out. There were birds all around the lodge and just 100m from the front of the lodge was the shore line. I was back by lunch time having already racked up a decent number of birds for the trip list.

1. Long Tailed Meadowlark (called Robin or Military Starling by the locals), 2. Giant Southern Petrel, 3. Black Crowned Night Heron, 4. Black Browed Albatross, 5. Rock Cormorant, 6. Imperial Cormorant, 7. Ruddy Headed Goose, 8. Falkland Skua, 9. Upland Goose, 10. Kelp Goose, 11. Dolphin Gull, 12. Patagonian Crested Duck, 13. Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck (endemic), 14. Turkey Vulture, 15. Crested Caracara, 16. Pied Oystercatcher, 17. Dark Faced Ground Tryant, 18. House Sparrow, 19. Dark Chinned Siskin, 20. Black Throated Finch. 

Long Tailed Meadow Lark

Falkland Skua with distant Black Browed Albatross

Crested Caracara

After lunch we headed out with Riki in a 4x4 to a long white sand beach about 1 mile away. There are no roads or paths, so a jeep type vehicle is required, ideally with 4x4 just in case. As we climbed over the dunes to get on to the beach the site that greeted us was amazing. It was stunning. We were the only people on the beach, which appeared to be a few miles long. We spend the next hour or so on the beach watching Black Browed Albatross and Giant Petrels fly low overhead whilst Commerson's Dolphins darted between the waves close in to shore. We drove the far end of the beach so Riki could show us where to exit it, if we needed to. 

One of many hundreds of Black Browed Albatross seen on the Falklands

Black Oystercatcher

Riki then suggested he drop us at Big Pond, that he said was good for grebes and duck, and less than a mile walk back to the lodge. So we spent the next hour or so there before heading back to the lodge to freshen up before dinner.                                  

White Tufted Grebes (above/below)

White Rumped Sandpipers

Falkland Pipit - on our way back to the lodge

By the end of day 1 on Pebble Island, the trip list stood at 30 bird species, plus Commerson's Dolphins: 21, White Tufted Grebe, 22. Silvery Grebe, 23. Kelp Gull, 24. Black Necked Swan, 25. Yellow Billed Teal, 26. Silver Teal, 27. Rufus Chested Dotterel, 29. Black Oystercatcher, 30. Falkland Pipit.   

Back at the lodge after a freshen up and a lovely three course evening meal, we retired to the lounge for a few drinks from the honesty bar. 


1 comment:

  1. Love the White Tufted Grebes Mart, very smart along with the Crested Caracara, sounds a great trip, keep them coming.