Falkland Islands – Day 11 – West Point Island

Just as we thought that our run of great weather had come to an end, the wind dropped and we were actually able to disembark for our first excursion of the day at West Point Island in the Falkland Islands.   

Falkland Islands Excursion Points

When we arrived at the entrance to this point during the night, the winds were waaaay too strong so we kept going, but soon after, the winds had dropped and we circled back for a second attempt.

And it was gorgeous!   Beautiful sunny day, actually very little wind, nice hike over the island in only our shirtsleeves – it felt like the middle of summer after over a week in Antarctica!    And so strange to smell and see grass again!

West Point Island - Falkland Islands

The main reason for visiting West Point Island was to see the Black-browed Albatross colony.  These birds are absolutely beautiful and serene, and most were sitting on eggs or chicks.

Black-browed Albatross - West Point Island - Falkland Islands

The colony also housed our 5th species of penguin for the trip – Rockhopper Penguins.   These penguins nest in Albatross colonies for the extra protection offered by the long necks of the Albatross, defending them from predators from the sky.

Albatross colony - West Point Island - Falkland Islands
Part of the Albatross colony with Rockhopper Penguins mixed in

The Rockhoppers are also affectionately known as “satan’s penguin” due to their fierce faces and red eyes, and are the noisiest of the penguins we’ve encountered so far.  They must really drive the Albatrosses crazy!

Rockhopper Penguins - West Point Island - Falkland Islands
I wonder why they are called “Satan’s penguin”?

They were also starting to sit on chicks – we really lucked out with seeing all these newborns during this trip!

Rockhopper Penguin - West Point Island - Falkland Islands
Rockhopper Penguin and its chick at West Point Island

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