On day 2 of our stay on Pebble Island, the plan was for Riki to provide a drop off pick up service, we decide where on the island we want to go and get dropped for a few hours. This must be a bit of a pain for Riki as the island is not small and travel can be slow due to the off road terrain, so he'd have to spend a lot of time just driving about after us. After breakfast Riki said he had a suggestion for us, why don't we take vehicle for the day and do our own thing. We loved that idea, another adventure for us. Within 30 minutes we'd loaded up the vehicle, including the lovely packed lunch prepared for us and headed out.
We started off back at the white sand beach, using the car as a hide, getting up close to Two Banded Plovers and White Rumped Sandpipers.
Two Banded Plover
Black browed Albatross and Giant Southern Petrels cruised up and down the shore line, but it was the vast emptiness, just us and our vehicle to enjoy it.
Black Browed Albatross
Julia at the wheel
After an hour or so we headed up the beach and up over the dunes. Our plan was to visit a Magellanic and Rockhopper colonies at the far end of the island. You can't get anywhere fast on the Falklands, especially the off islands, as it is all off road driving, just following the tyre tracks from people's previous journeys.
Rufous Breasted Dotterel - relatively common in little flocks on the heathland
After around 30 minutes driving and at times guessing the direction we should be heading in, we came across our first Magellanic Penguins.
We continued our journey to the furthest past of this end of the island from the lodge, where the Rockhopper colony is. Once found we decided to stop here for lunch and enjoy the birds and the views.
After eating in the vehicle we got out and sat on the ground. The birds were very comfortable with us, particularly the Rock Shags who came up pecking my boots.
Rock Shag and Dolphin Gull
Falkland Skuas were constantly trying to steal food from the other birds
After an hour or so we headed to the point where off shore there was a huge feeding frenzy of hundreds of Black Browed Albatross, an amazing site.
It was time to retrace our steps, with a few stops planned on the way back. After a while we stumbled across what looked like a freshly dead sheep, with Turkey Vulture, Giant Petrel and new bird for the trip, Variable/Red Tailed Hawk.
We ended the day with the sun setting back at the lodge watching yet more albatrosses cruising up and down the coast, just a few metres away, before a few well earned beers from the honesty bar.
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