This is a compilation of bird, mammal, plant sightings by Andy Pollard only.
- 47 bird species observed from 23 checklists
- 3 new Falkland Island ‘life species’
- First Magellanic ‘Jackass’ Penguin seen on the 23rd September
- First chick, a Magellanic Snipe observed on the 30th September
- 33 birds observed on the 24th September
- 73 birds observed in 2019
- 83 birds Falkland Island ‘life species’ in total
Highlight Bird Sightings
Ashy-headed Goose – Chloephaga poliocephala (life species)
This vagrant bird, occasionally reported as breeding, was photographed at Volunteer Point. There are at least 30 records for this bird in the Falkland Islands. This goose was found by Derek Pettersson. I am grateful to Derek and Trudi for their hospitality and permission to visit and see this bird on the 24th September. A handsome species, slight larger than the Ruddy-headed Goose and differs by its rich chestnut breast and mantle, combined with a grey head and neck. Male and female birds are similar.
Tawny-throated Dotterel – Oreopholus ruficollis (life species)
A vagrant bird from southern South America. There are about 10 records for this species, all between mid-August and early-October. This bird was found by Sue Morrison, at Turkey Rocks on Cape Pembroke, on the 17th September. This is a stunning bird with pinkish legs, buff and black striped back, warm chestnut throat, grey sides to the neck, a small black patch on the belly, and a narrow white supercilium. This bird was observed the following day, but not after.
Coscoroba Swan – Coscoroba coscoroba (life species)
Rare visitor, and occasional breeding species, that is numerous and widespread in Patagonia. This photograph shows 3 out of the 4 birds that where found at Moody Brook by Roger Spink on the 17th September. These birds are slightly smaller than the resident Black-necked Swan and look strangely duck-like, though it does have a long, slender neck. The bill is bright rosy red and adult plumage is all white apart from the black wing tips visable in flight.
Magellanic Penguin – Spheniscus magellanicus
Summer breeding resident that returns to the Falkland Islands in September. The first birds i managed to see was at Gypsy Cove on the 23rd September. A total of two, that were seen by other people on the 21st. First sightings at Bleaker Island on the 8th September and West Point Island on the 20th September. My understanding is that the males arrive back about two weeks before the females, to clean out the burrows before egg laying.
South American Snipe – Gallinago paraguaiae
This is a resident, widespread species in varied habitats. On the 30th September i found a pair of snipe with one chick on Cape Pembroke, the first chick i have observed this season. I had to stop and encourage them slowly to move off the road. Another first, was when i observed both birds swim across this small puddle of water.
Macaroni Penguin – Eudyptes chrysolophus
A summer resident, the Macaroni Penguin is near the northern limit of its range in the Falkland Islands and is the rarest breeding Falkland penguin. Earlier in the year i observed my first bird at the Murrell farm. This is my second ever bird and and unusual visitor to Cape Pembroke. Whilst a patch os skin at the gape is visible, this individual did not show the characteristic pink of adult birds and density of golden-orange head plumes.
Two-banded Plover – Charadrius falklandicus
At Volunteer Point, a flock of over 100 two-banded plovers was brought together after being spooked by a nearby Peregrine Falcon. Amongst the plovers are some White-rumped Sandpipers.
King Penguin – Aptenodytes patagonicus
The Falkland Islands tallest penguins. At this time of the year, all of last years chicks are still at Volunteer Point. The chicks are often referred to as plump, dark brown, teddy bears!
Other Bird Sightings
Greylag Goose (Domestic type), Upland Goose, Kelp Goose, Ruddy-headed Goose, Falkland Steamer-duck, Crested Duck, Silver Teal, Chiloe Wigeon, Yellow-billed Teal, White-tufted Grebe, Snowy Sheathbill, Blackish Oystercatcher, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Rufous-chested Dotterel, White-rumped Sandpiper, Brown-hooded Gull, Dolphin Gull, Kelp Gull, King Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Northern Giant Petrel. Sooty Shearwater, Magellanic Cormorant, Imperial Cormorant, Black-crowned Night-heron, Turkey Vulture, Variable Hawk, Southern Caracara, Peregrine Falcon, Blackish Cincloides, Dark-faced Ground-tyrant, Sedge Wren, Austral Thrush, House Sparrow, Black-chinned Siskin, Long-tailed Meadowlark, White-bridled Finch.
For more images of birds of the falklands please take a look at this gallery