Carcass Island – Tuesday
Having completed our doctors’ visit we made the half hour drive from the north end of the island back to the settlement. Carcass Island is the only place that I visited on my 2009 trip to the Falklands that I’ve been back to on this trip, but I couldn’t remember what to expect or match my memories of that trip to individual locations. As we approached the settlement and I saw the beach and the Nissan hut by the jetty it began to seem familiar.
After some lunch, a very welcome salad (vegetables are expensive here), I headed out for a walk down to the south end of the island. I started out with a walk along the rocky beach, which was full of tussacbirds and caracaras, as well as driftwood and bones.
I could hear a lot of songbirds chattering in the bushes next to the beach so I headed inland a little in the hope of spotting something I hadn’t seen yet. No such luck, but I did find a Falkland thrush.
Climbing up the hillside towards Jason Hill, there were some great views down to the two beaches where the penguins hang out.
I also spotted some teaberries, a Falklands favourite.
Along the way I was followed by yet more caracaras, numerous everywhere, but particularly on Carcass it seems.
Having made it up to the top of the hill and then back down again, avoiding the magellanic penguin burrows, I skidded down a steep sandy bank onto the beach.
Walking along the beach I accumulated a trail of caracaras and startled a group of crested ducks, who took to the water.
Falkland steamer ducks
The gentoos were congregating at the far end of the beach and I caught sight of a group porpoising in to the shore.
According to the map there are South American terns at the tip of the island, but the tussac grass was so thick and tall that I didn’t try and fight my way through to find them but instead cut across to the other side of the point to the other beach.
After a long stretch of beach, the rest of the walk was clambering over rocks, getting distracted by all the birds.
One of the species I was hoping to see was the Cobb’s wren and there were plenty of them along the way playing hide and seek amongst the rocks. The biggest problem in photographing them was that they kept coming too close!
As I was happily pootling along I was startled by a hissing sound and I turned around to find that I’d nearly tripped over an elephant seal. Gave me quite a shock.