I've just got back from a trip to the Falklands, via Chile, and over the next few weeks I'm going to be posting some photos, plus some reflections on what is a pretty extraordinary place.
Where the wildlife is concerned, the thing that strikes you straight away is that you can approach it very closely. Species that you'd usually expect to be nervous and/or aggressive towards humans (such as terns and skuas), are unperturbed by your presence, provided you're quiet and avoid sharp movements. The Magellan Snipe pictured above was another case in point. It's a subspecies of Common Snipe, but rather than flying away fast, high and noisily when flushed, like the birds we see in Britain, it does a half-hearted flush and comes down a few feet away. This, of course, offers good photographic opportunities even to novices like myself. The Rufous-chested Dotterel below fed happily around our feet as we stood on the beach.
It's true of the headline species, too, such as albatrosses, Striated Caracaras (known locally as Johnny Rooks) and penguins - the picture below shows three of the five breeding species, from left, Gentoo, Magellanic and King.