We walked over to the beach where the elephant seals and magellanic penguins would be, and where you can sometimes see orcas out looking for a meal. There were no orcas out today though.
The magellanics kept their distance - they do seem to be the most timid and least friendly of the penguins we've encountered so far - but it was still good to watch them hovering around the water's edge, apparently not being entirely sure whether or not they wanted to take the plunge into the cold sea.
|Elephant seals squaring up|
Although the other birds along the way weren't our main interest, we were at least able to recognise a few of the main types found here. There are the little snipes that run around in amongst the grasses and the diddle dee, the bigger striated and crested caracaras, and the even bigger turkey vultures. We had no idea what most of the others were, but never mind.
|Nic in the tussac grass|
This time we did make it the two and a half miles to the rockhoppers. We took the longer route around as we had been warned that it is possible to get horribly lost in the huge tussac grass. Seeing the size and expensive of it for ourselves, we could see the potential for trouble so kept well away.
The rockhoppers are probably the cutest looking of the penguins here and it is fascinating the way they hop along and over the rocky area they choose to make their home on. Most of the ones here are the chicks, not yet ready to go out to sea themselves. There are some adults standing guard, but most are out getting dinner for the little ones.
|Rockhopper penguin spat|
|Rockhopper pecks Nic's boot|
|HMS Sheffield Memorial|
We stayed watching them for about an hour or so before heading back to the lodge to warm up and have dinner.
First though, we took a look at the nearby memorial to HMS Sheffield and those who died on it in 1982. The islanders are grateful to those who freed them and, along with those who visit to pay their respects, they take good care of the various memorials on the islands.
|Gentoos in the moonlight|
In the evening there was a fabulous moon above the Gentoos, which looked really amazing. Again sadly my pictures don't do it justice.