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Saunders Island – a wild land of birds

Nestled down on the backside of the world you’ll discover one of the gorgeous and stunning locations – Saunders Island.

By no means heard of it? Don’t fear, most haven’t, me included. Right here I am going once more spilling the beans on one of many world’s best-kept secrets and techniques.

One of many largest islands that comprise the archipelago of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Saunders Island is commonly one of many unbelievable stops on a voyage to the subantarctic with Quark Expeditions. And did I point out the very best half?

Saunders Island is dwelling to a number of the most unbelievable birds on earth. Additionally it’s a sheep farm – it multi-tasks.

A veritable nature lover’s paradise, Saunders Island is a must-visit for fellow chicken nerds like me.

Whereas South Georgia close by typically will get all the eye, and often included on the identical itineraries that cowl the Falklands, Saunders Island is a little bit of a darkish horse and is assured to please and shock.

These are my favourite locations to go to – when you don’t have any expectations and are blown out of the water.

A spot so distant that Wikipedia lists its inhabitants as 4. Sure 4, however 5 in summer time, Saunders Island is tiny however mighty, owned by the Poole-Evans household, who will possible come out to say good day to you of their trusty Land Rover Defenders while you make port.

saunders island
The elusive Jarrad Seng noticed within the wild

saunders island

First settled in 1765 by the Brits on their worldwide plan of world domination, lower than 5 years later they have been booted out by the Spanish and over the following century shifted possession till the Brits have been victorious in 1833 ever since, although don’t deliver this as much as anybody from Argentina except you’re able to have your head bitten off.

However again to the birds.

With the human inhabitants is lower than ten, the chicken populations have managed to soar, regardless of a large rat downside.

With gorgeous white sandy seashores and blue waters, it’s not what you may anticipate from such a wild and distant place. Many of the expedition ships like with Quark name into “The Neck” the place the very best focus of wildlife co-exists together with some sheep.

Right here penguins rub shoulders with uncommon seabirds in a spot in contrast to I’ve ever seen earlier than or since. It was the proper introduction to the subantarctic and completely blew me away.

Listed below are a number of the birds you’ll meet on Saunders Island within the Falkland Islands  – get pleasure from!

saunders island

saunders island

Gentoo penguins

Ah the gentoos, the traditional of the traditional penguins, and the more than likely to greet you as you step off the zodiac onto the seaside at Saunders Island.

With an estimated 6,700 breeding pairs on Saunders Island and round 100,000 on the Falklands, you might be positively going to see these guys waddling round you. Whereas the origin of their identify is unknown, it’s fairly cool to notice that gentoos are the one penguin on earth whose inhabitants and house is growing, especiall in Antarctica.

Yay! Lengthy reside the penguins!

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

Striated caracara

Removed from one of the standard birds on the Falklands, the Johnny Rook aka the striated caracara is a scavenger, that breeds across the penguin and seabird colonies, dwelling off useless stuff and even new child or weakened sheep, which led it to be persecuted by farmers previously.

Fortunately instances have modified and whereas they’re removed from considerable, these good and fearless birds of prey haven’t any qualms about us guests, and aren’t even phased.

You’ll see them lurking concerning the seashores, as if oblivious to us people wandering round ooh-ing and ahhh-ing all the penguins.

saunders island

King penguins

Wow wow wow, now let me simply say, nothing will put together you for the way blown away you’ll be the primary time you clap eyes on a king penguin.

Magnificent and superbly coloured, I assumed we’d solely see these guys in Antarctica, however boy I used to be fallacious. Saunders Island on the Falklands is dwelling to them too, and we have been fortunate sufficient to see them on our go to.

I plonked myself down within the sand for ages watching them, and I might barely consider my eyes once I noticed a bit chick peek out from beneath considered one of them – squeee! What a pleasant second!

Request a quote to journey to the Falklands and South Georgia with Quark Expeditions at the moment!

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

Black-browed albatross

With over half one million breeding pairs on the subantarctic islands, on a go to to the Falklands you’ll more likely to meet considered one of my favourite birds – the black-browed albatross.

Albatross are merely gorgeous creatures. Monogamous and dwelling as much as 70 years previous, these guys mate for all times, and there’s a large colony you possibly can go to on Saunders Island.

Rockhopper penguins waddle by means of their nests above the ocean, and the chicks are simply monumental, fluffy gray balls surrounded by their dad and mom. Stunning and smelly, I am keen on albatross.

They’re simply monumental, watching them attempt to land is frankly terrifying as they typically can crash and look nearly like little airplanes hovering above you on the cliffs.

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

Magellanic penguins

As if I haven’t talked about sufficient of the unbelievable creatures you’ll spot on Saunders Island, there may be yet one more penguin mingling amongst the lots – the magellanic penguin.

Named after, you guessed it, the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who first noticed them in 1520, the traditional black and white penguins jogged my memory plenty of related species I’ve seen in South Africa.

Somewhat shy, you would see them hesitantly make their approach up the seaside to their nests from a day at sea, waddling together with their pals.

Actually, I don’t assume you possibly can watch penguins stroll round and never smile! Go on, show me fallacious!

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

Rockhopper penguins

Okay, if I needed to choose a favourite, it will most likely be these guys. I imply, come on, take a look at them.

They’re the rockstars of the penguin world. With unbelievable yellow feathery eyebrows and a somewhat bemused expression, these little rockhopper penguins are onerous to not love.

One among a number of kinds of crested penguins, you’ll discover them on Saunders Island, and these are those that swim so quick they will launch themselves out of the water and land on their bellies. I spent a very long time observing their colonies on the Falklands completely mesmerized by these colourful little penguins.

E-book the Falklands and South Georgia at the moment and use promo code LIZ150 for $150 onboard credit score that can be utilized for purchases on board on the polar present store, or, cough cough, the bar

In New Zealand the place I reside you’re very fortunate in case you see even one of many related Fiordland-crested penguins, and right here I used to be surrounded by hundreds. One even walked proper by me as I sat frozen in awe; it was so shut I might have kissed him. However I didn’t.

Man, penguins are so cool.

Have you ever ever thought of visiting the Falkland Islands? Would you like to see a few of these unbelievable birds up shut and private? Share!

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

saunders island

Many because of Quark Expeditions for serving to get me to the Falkland Islands, like at all times, I’m retaining it actual, all opinions are my very own, like you would anticipate much less from me!

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