|Fire trailer on Pebble Island|
|Nic with the starting line of gentoos|
Our first stop today was the Gentoo penguin colony. Their site here is some way inland but they had created themselves a little mud bath to splash around in and many of them were filthy.
|Gentoos on Pebble Island|
They would stop a few metres away, until one would bravely take another step or two, and the others would follow suit. This would continue until they were quite close and then, especially if you had got down to their level, perhaps the boldest would come right up to us and maybe take a little peck to check us out. Thankfully they were usually quite gentle in their pecking, and usually their would go for the boots, trouser legs, or the tabs on the zip of the fleece.
From the Gentoos, we drive on to the huge colony of rockhoppers on Pebble. Their route down to the sea is steep and fairly precarious, but they manage it quite impressively. The even more impressive thing though is that they don’t get smashed on the rocks at the bottom; the waves crash into the coast very strongly, and it is a wonder that the little penguins make it in and out of the sea in one piece. Many of the penguins are still moulting so can't go out to sea yet, and they stay at the nest site. They do look amusing in their various stages of shedding their fluffy feathers, and the ground around them looks like it has been snowing.
|Rockhoppers passing by|
|Argentine Learjet memorial & graves|
|Flightless Steamer Ducks|
From here we drove down to the shore passing a group of steamer ducks. There are two types of steamer ducks, the flightless ones and ones that can fly. Jackie thought these were the flightless ones but as there is very little difference, the only way to be sure which you are seeing is if it starts to fly. These didn't fly but they may just not have felt like it!
|Great Southern Petrels|
On the beach we found more gentoos, before driving up the steep bank to watch the Great Southern Petrels. These large birds look rather ungainly on the land, especially as they run to take off, but once in the air they move rather more elegantly, even if they do look a bit like a lancaster bomber to me.
|HMS Coventry Memorial|