Carcass Island in the Falklands – my first WOW!


Looks like I’m going to do two postings today.

Itinerary (morning):

  1. Wake-up to our first landing at Carcass Island
  2. Finally put some food down the hatch
  3. Get my mind blown by the wildlife on Carcass Island

I woke up feeling fantastic! Breakfast was a treat, and everything tasted much better than usual. Outside the ship was land and the temperature was in the low 50’s with no wind – NICE! It was overcast so the photography was going to be excellent (overcast means no shadows and better color saturation).

My first zodiac excursion put me almost knee high in the water, but my pants and boots kept me dry. These North Face McMurdo boots are also excellent for hiking in – I didn’t slip on any mossy rocks nor the washed-up kelp. Other passengers with regular wellingtons were left in my dust!

I’ll let these photos tell the story about the landing:

Geese coming in for a landing
Geese coming in for a landing
Species either have babies or are courting - what a great time to be here!
Different species either have babies or are courting - what a great time to be here!
Caught this Magellic Penguin on his way back from sea
Caught this Magellic Penguin on his way back from sea
Take-Off!  The most flight a penguin gets is a few inches.
Take-Off! The most flight a penguin gets is a few inches.

I walked off the beaten path and found myself in the middle of 7 Magellic Penguin burrows. I just sat down and waited. Within minutes they started popping their heads out like they were part of that game in the fair where you hit the little things that pop out of the holes with a hammer. Instead of hammering them on the head, I decided to shoot them with my camera.  None of those images are processed yet.

As for camera equipment, I only shot with the 1DMKII and 300mm f2.8L IS. I took everything with me, but 300mm was the perfect length. I wish I had pulled my flash out, but I was so mesmerized by everything I forgot it even existed.

I have many more images from Carcass Island, but haven’t been able to post process them all. I wanted to hear a lecture on the people of the Falklands by Melanie Heacox and spend some time chatting with National Geographic photographer, Flip Nicklin. I can’t get over the fact that I’m eating meals and shooting along side some of the best photographers on the planet!

Now it is time to see a mixture of Black-Browed Albatross and Rockhopper Penguins on New Island in the Falklands.

See you guys again later tonight with those images…if we have an Internet connection.


  1. Dave (nfrs2000nyc) says:

    My word, that’s incredible. Great shots. I figured all these birds would be flying parallel to the boat giving you ample opportunity to shoot. Keep it comin’ brotha!

  2. Mom says:

    Wow Alex!! What a mind blower!!

    This is great fun to follow your trip this way.

    Taking Lesley to dinner for B-day. Will take your card.

    LU. Mom

  3. Cathy says:

    How cool Alex! Bring that penquin home to me.

  4. Jody DeVere says:


    I love Magellic Penguins! Wow! Being that close to them in the wild must be awesome.

    Jody DeVere

  5. axspot says:

    Dave – still coming. I’ve got so many photos to go through! Flip Nicklin (NG Photographer) gave me a new idea on how to post process that I think you’ll be very into. It requires some hefty computing power, so I don’t think I should give it a go on my laptop, but I’ll tell you about it when I get back.

    Mom – thanks for taking Lesley the card. Please wish her a good one for me!

    Cathy – you want a Rock Hopper Penguin. They’re the coolest. They have so much character. I’ll be posting some photos of them while we’re at sea these next two days.

    Jody – thanks for commenting. I was wrong about the Megallic Penguins. They’re actually Megallanic (probably spelling that one wrong too) Penguins. They are all over the Falklands, and if you’re not paying attention you could easily trip over their nesting holes.

  6. Gerald Hand says:

    These are simply some amazing photos, my friend. No matter what kind of equipment you carry, you MUST have an eye, and I think you have it!

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