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Falkland Islands

Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys ©Michael Reeves

If you want to get within touching distance to an abundance of wildlife and in particular birds, then jump in a car to RAF Brize Norton and get on the first possible plane departing for the British Overseas Territory of the Falkland Islands. Whilst it’s not teeming with vast quantities of different bird species, it houses some beauts and gives you unparalleled access to some rarities including the Blackish Cinclodes and stunning yet cheeky, Striated Caracara.

Flying into Mount Pleasant, you’ll transfer to Stanley as a base, and a must take trip (and what a trip it is!) is to Volunteer Beach which has one of the northernmost colonies of King Penguins in the world. A variety of waders, geese, gulls and two other types of penguins are found there too.

Away from the main islands you have a variety of smaller islands to travel to. The ‘musts’ amongst them have to be Sea Lion Island to the south and Saunders Island to the north-west which houses the largest colony in the world of Black-browed Albatross, and is the perfect place to sit down and watch the Rockhoppers’ in all their elegance in the water and observing what characters they become when they hop out.

The whole experience is made easy and enjoyable with the help of the islanders themselves, traveling around the islands with FIGAS is hugely entertaining. Most people know their fair share about birds too and who can blame them with this ‘wildlife paradise’ on their own doorstep.

Contributor

John Robinson

Chile

gayleandjohn@lineone.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 230

As at November 2016

Endemics

Number of endemics: 1

Falkland Steamerduck Tachyeres brachypterus

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

Where to Watch Birds in South America

Nigel Wheatley Paperback - 336 pages (27 October, 1994) Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713639091

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds & Mammals of the Antarctic, Subantarctic & Falkland Islands

by Frank Todd Ibis 2004

ISBN: 0934797226

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas of the Falkland Islands

Falklands Conservation 160 pages, colour photos, distribution maps, tables. Falklands Conservation 2006

ISBN: 0953837165

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Bird Song in the Antarctic, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

Mandarin Productions 2006

ISBN: 161465

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Atlas of Breeding Birds

The Atlas is based on records from about 160 observers who sent reports equivalent to more than 550 Breeding Birds Survey forms over a period of ten breeding seasons between 1983/84 and 1992/93. About 80 observers (51%) were Falkland Islanders or contract workers, 47 (30%) were military personnel and 29 (19%) were visitors to the Falklands. The results are substantial, considering that this country of 12,200 square kilometres (4,700 square miles); with land in 255 10km grid squares, has a small permanent human population of only about 2,200.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Focus Nature Wildlife Tours

Tour Operator

Wildlife holidays to the Falkland Islands offer exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. The combination of large seabird and mammal colonies and their relatively good tolerance of human presence affords superb opportunities for intimate encounters and photographs….

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2009 [November] - Dave Farrow

Report

The following morning we found ourselves close inshore at Westpoint Island, where we dropped anchor and went ashore in the zodiacs for the first time. We trekked over the island to view the colony of Black-browed Albatrosses, calmly sitting on their curious nests as cute Rockhopper Penguins filled in the gaps, or lurked in the tussock grass. Some other splendid birds were also available here, such as Upland and Kelp Geese, a single Ruddy-headed Goose, the endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks, Speckled Teal, Variable Hawk, cheeky Striated Caracaras and wheatear-like Dark- faced Ground Tyrants…

2009 [January] - Tim Earl

Report

…Bird of the trip was King Penguin closely followed by Black-browed Albatross. Wandering Albatross and Rockhopper Penguin came third, equally, with Black-crowned Night Heron, Sedge Wren, South American Snipe, Blackish Cinclodes (Tussockbird), Snowy Sheathbill and Long-tailed Meadowlark as close contenders…

2013 [January] - Michael Tanis - Argentina, Falkland Islands, and Chile

Report PDF

…We arrived to the Falklands at daybreak. As we moved slowing into the bay, we were surrounded by rocky peninsulas vegetated with grasses and small shrubs. There were Sooty Shearwaters and Imperial and Rock Cormorants flying around, but also penguins (Magellanic I guessed) swimming in the bays as we slowly made our way toward Stanley. With binoculars we could make out many Magellanic Penguins on shore by their burrows or waddling down to the water….

2014 [January] - Andrew Whittaker - Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands

PDF Report

Our 2014 cruise to our planet’s final frontier, Antarctica, was absolutely outstanding! I was thrilled to return to this magical continent and two spectacular islands (after almost 20 years). Topping this, though, was being able to share this mind-boggling experience with a fantastic group of people....

2014 [March] - Starling Reizen

PDF Report

Flemish

2014 [December] - Kristian Stahl & Roger Holmberg

PDF Report

A since long planned trip to the Antarctic finally starts. We are all in all eight Swedes from various parts of the country who decided to make this trip. Due to private reasons, one of the original eight did not participate. Roger and myself start the trip to Ushuaia...

2014 [April] - Simon Cook

PDF Report

The long journey to Tristan da Cunha via Stanley, Falkland Islands* (Cattle Egret, Magellanic Penguin, Turkey Vulture, Southern Caracara and Variable Hawk) brought many more seabirds, including our first Sooty, Atlantic Yellow-nosed and Tristan Albatrosses, Great, Sooty and Sub-Antarctic Little Shearwaters, Slenderbilled Prion, Atlantic, Soft-plumaged, Grey, Spectacled and Great-winged Petrels, Broad-billed Prion, South Polar Skua, White-faced and White-bellied Storm-Petrels plus Long-tailed Skua. Marine mammals included Hourglass, Dusky and Peale’s Dolphins...

2015 [February] - Andrew Spencer - The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica

Report PDF

2017 [01 January] - Brian Gibbons - Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands

PDF Report

... The Falklands and South Georgia provided unrivaled wildlife spectacles only after we enjoyed fantastic pelagic birding and a few cetaceans along the way. Elephant Seals, thousands of penguins, Shag Rocks, and point-blank views of Black-browed Albatross nesting colonies were some of the highlights burned into our memories as we navigated these remote islands...

2016 [12 December] - Dušan Brinkhuizen - The Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

PDF Report

Rockjumper’s Classic Antarctica I adventure started in the scenic harbour of Ushuaia, the southernmost town of Argentina. In the afternoon, we boarded the impressive Akademik Ioffe, a Russian research vessel that became our home for the next 19 days. The lifelong dream to visit the continent of Antarctica, the world’s largest unspoilt wilderness area, was soon to become reality!

Organisations

Falklands Conservation

Website

Falklands Conservation monitors and protects the exceptional wildlife heritage of the Falkland Islands. The Islands are one of the last great wilderness sites on Earth and form a unique bridge between the Antarctic and South American continent. We have offices in Stanley, Falkland Islands and London, England.

Environmental Research Unit

Website

The Falkland Islands hold the majority of the world populations of Black-browed Albatross, Striated Caracara, Ruddy-headed Goose and Flightless Steamer Duck, but the Falklands are best known for their penguins, with five breeding species and over a million penguins in total. Unfortunately Falkland penguins have declined by around 90% over recent years and are in urgent need of protection.

Other Links

Birds & Seals of the Falkland Islands

Website

The Falklands is a haven for penguins, seabirds, seals, sealions and other wildlife. Indeed the Falkland Islands holds the majority of the world population of Black-browed Albatross, Striated Caracara, Ruddy-headed Goose and Flightless Steamer Duck. But the Falklands are best known for their penguins, with five breeding species and over a million penguins in total. That is a lot of penguins, but Falklands penguins numbered over 6 million in 1984…

Falklands Wildlife

Website

Checklists of Birds, Mammals, Freshwater Fish and Plants…

Falkland Island Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis

Website

Falkland Island Sedge Wrens (Cistothorus platensis) imitate rather than improvise large song repertoires…

Checklist Birds of the Falkland Islands

Checklist

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Mike Danzenbaker

Gallery

Excellent pictures of some of Falkland`s birds…

Focus Nature

Gallery

Aniket Sardana's Galleries of Falkland Islands nature…