Berthas Beach

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Bertha’s Beach was named after ‘Bertha’, an iron barque of 500 tons, which was wrecked here in 1892. Its cargo of cedar wood was washed ashore and some of these logs can still be seen today lying on the beach and greens

One of the best wildlife sites in the Falkland Islands, Bertha’s Beach is recognised as a wetland site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Bertha’s Beach qualifies as an Important Bird Area (IBA), a global standard set by BirdLife International.

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The beautiful white sand beach is home to 500 breeding pairs of Gentoo Penguins (400 more pairs at Fox Point close by), Magellanic Penguins, South American Terns, the endemic Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck and Ruddy-headed Geese.

Adult Gentoo Penguin feeding chick

Please take a look at this booklet of Berthas Beach by Falklands Conservation

The coastal areas and lagoon margins are particularly important for large congregations of migratory birds. These include non-breeding summer visitors from the Canadian Arctic: White-rumped Sandpiper, Sanderling and Hudsonian Godwit occur regulalry in higher numbers than other parts of the Falklands; Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Lease Seedsnipe, Baird’s Sandpiper and several other rare visitors have been recorded, often associated with the resident Two-banded Plover, Rufous-chested Dotterel and both species of Oystercatcher.

Adult Two-banded Plover

Bertha’s Beach contains excellent wetland areas for a wide range of breeding water birds, in greater variety and numbers than many other similar areas in the Falklands. The resident Black-necked Swan , the Falklands largest freshwater breeding bird can be found here. These are shy birds and will fly or swim to the centre of a pond when approached.

Waterfowl recorded here include both the endemic Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck (known locally as the logger duck), and its close relative and less common Flying Steamer Duck (locally named as the canvasback). Other waterfowl to be seen on the ponds include Chiloë Wigeon, Silver Teal, Yellow-billed Teal, Silvery Grebe and the rarer Cinnamon Teal.

Silver Teal showing its board blue-green speculum
Adult White-tufted Grebe

Commerson’s and Peale’s Dolphins are frequently seen in the surf. There is also a breeding colony of Southern Sea Lions on the nearby Kelp Islands and individuals may be found basking along the shore.

Commerson Dolphin’s enjoying the surf

80 flowering plant species are recorded at Berthas Beach, including five endemic to the Falkland Islands. The silvery buttercup is found on coastal slopes among grasses and is in flower in November and December. Smooth ragwort grows in rocky places, often associated with tall fern. Coastal nassauvia is a very low-growing perennial producing masses of small creamy star-like flowers from December to February. Clubmoss cudweed is very easily overlooked, growing in tufted mats of tiny grey-white leaves often amongst grasses. The large creamy white flowers of the vanilla daisy are much more conspicuous from November through to January, and have a strong scent of vanilla. Native plants of interest include the yellow violet, dusty miller, fachine, Falkland lavender, and the white or dog orchid. In spring you might come across the pale maiden, national flower of the Falkland Islands. Dusen’s moonwort fern is the site’s most notable and rarest plant, found here on the coastal greens.

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