Some of the best wildlife photography in the world can be had on the Falkland Islands: a remote South Atlantic archipelago. Some of the more popular hot spots include: The Neck on Saunders, Volunteer Point, Steeple Jason, Carcass, Pebble, Sea Lion and Bleaker. All of which offer great opportunities for wildlife photography. One reason this destination is so popular with photographers is because you do not have ropes and guards, you are free to roam the land at your leisure, photographing whatever you like when you like. There are some common sense rules that apply whenever photographing wildlife but the freedom that you enjoy on the Falklands makes it a number one spot for many.
The Falkland Islands are best known for penguins, including: king, rockhopper, gentoo and magellanic. You may also be able to see a stray macaroni penguin if you are lucky. Another species that you would see in great numbers would be the Black-browed Albatross. I have photographed these on Steeple Jason and on Saunders at both the Neck and the Rookery. These are large graceful birds with wingspans over 6.5 feet. They tend to their young meticulously and they are a joy to photograph.
The Striated Caracara, listed as “Near Threatened” is a bird of prey of the family Falconidae. They are commonly called Johnny Rooks. These birds are scavengers but they are also killers. I have seen them prey on young Gentoo chicks and rip them one by one, all day long right out from under the adult Gentoos. They have stolen hats off of photographer’s heads and have dive bombed anyone getting too close to their nest sites. Still they are amazing creatures and loads of fun to photograph.
Other seabirds include the Southern Giant Petrel, Storm Petrels and Diving Petrels. Rock Cormorants and Imperial Cormorants breed on the Islands. There is a decent colony of Rock Cormorant on Bleaker. Skuas, gulls and terns are common to see. There are too many species to name but you get the idea. It is a birder’s paradise.
The Falklands are also home to Sea Lions, Fur Seals, Elephant Seal, Dolphin and Orcas making them ideal for any photographer looking to capture marine wildlife photography. On my last visit, there were many Orcas circling the islands. They were a treat to see as I did not see them on my prior visit. Getting to the Falklands can be a bit tricky. There is one flight per week and if you miss it you have to wait for the next week. Once you get there you can use inter-island flights to get you from one island to the next.