At our May meeting we were pleased to welcome back, at short notice, Richard Revels who continued with Part 2 of his illustrated talk on the Falkland Islands …
Richard has visited the Falkland Islands several times and tends to travel there during their Spring time – mid November to mid December when there is plenty of opportunity for photographing a variety of bird and mammal species. Richard’s talk centred this time on two islands in the South. Sealion Island and fifteen minutes away, by plane, Bleaker Island. These islands are small, Sealion Island is 4 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, each has a few lodges and a landing strip. The weather can change very quickly from pleasant sunshine to driving hail and the wind is never far away.
Richard began his talk with fascinating photos of the Elephant seals that breed on Sealion island. At maturity they can weigh as much as 3 tons, can be quite aggressive and have a small trunk type feature – hence their name. Richard then showed really excellent action photos of gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper penguins for which the Falkland Islands are famous. Seals and sea lions will prey on the penguins and the caracara bird, known as the Johnny Rook will take penguin eggs and chicks. The Caracaras work in pairs, one to distract the penguins whilst the other takes a chick, which they then share. We were treated to a delightful array of birds from wrens, siskins, finches snipe, teal, grebe, gulls and cormorants. Richard’s photos are just stunning.
Onwards then to Bleaker Island with its extensive coastline, cliffs and rocky areas covered with lichens that attract a variety of birds including oystercatchers, terns, black throated finches, geese, black necked swans and imperial cormorants as well as rockhopper penguins. Richard showed a superb set of photos of these birds taking off, hovering and landing. His patience is well rewarded in the excellent shots showing the characteristics of birds and mammals going about their daily lives. Richard’s presentation was very well received by members and visitors and there were a number of questions on the Falkland Islands generally following his talk. A small selection of Richard’s wonderful photo’s:
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 20th June when Carole Adams will join us to talk about Clematis – the Queen of Climbers.
New members and visitors are always welcome. For more information contact Linda Truscott on 01234 270747