We’ve teamed up with our friends at Falkland Islands Conservation and a few local businesses in the Falkland Islands to share a delightful penguin video each day during October half term.
The SS Great Britain – the world’s first great ocean liner – lay abandoned in Sparrow Cove in the Falkland Islands for 33 years with a colony of penguins and the occasional albatross for company. In fact, the SS Great Britain spent more time in the Falkland Islands than any place else (84 years in total, including time as a floating cargo store).
A new family ‘penguin trail’ at Brunel’s SS Great Britain guides visitors to locations in and around the ship connected to the salvage and homecoming story.
This series of videos allows us to meet some of the Falkland Islands’ million penguins – one of the largest breeding populations of penguins in the world…
Penguin video day one
Let’s start our week with a penguin morning commute. Thank you to Falkland Islands Conservation for sharing this one of Gentoo penguins returning from the sea, taking their "penguin paths" through the tussac grass to the colonies. There are no native trees in the Falklands, and tussac grass is the equivalent habitat and attracts lots of smaller birds such as the tussac bird seen hopping around in the clip.
Penguin video day two
We're at Murrel Farm for today's penguin video. Thanks for sharing this with us Murrel Farm! Here you can see King penguins coming ashore in October beside Sparrow Cove in the Falkland Islands.
Penguin video day three
Day three. Say hello to this Gentoo penguin and adorable chick! Sparrow Cove is home to 1,600 Gentoo penguins!
Penguin video day four
Rockhopper chicks for day four. We’ve now featured three videos from The Murrell in the Falkland Islands. The 10,000-acre farm is located close to Sparrow Cove, and farms 3,000 Corriedale-Polworth sheep for their high-quality Falkland Islands wool. However, it’s the farm’s extensive coastline that attracts over 2,000 tourists each year to take tours meeting colonies of Gentoo, Magellanic and King penguins. Find out more about the tours here: https://kidneycovetours.com
Penguin video day five
Gentoo penguins build their nests out of pebbles. They often steal pebbles from their neighbour’s nests, and fights can break out if the thief is caught in the action. Gentoos will swallow small pebbles that sit in their stomach. The pebbles are used to help grind up food, especially the hard body parts of crustaceans such as krill. Find out more about Falkland Islands wildlife in our new guest blog from Falklands Conservation
Penguin video day six
Gentoo penguins coming ashore at the Jason Islands, in the northwest of the Falkland Islands. This is one of the only locations they come ashore on rocky coasts, as typically they come up on sandy beaches. Here they porpoise out and rush up the rocks in groups, as a sea lion is often lurking nearby in this bay.
Thank you to the Falkland Islands Government, Falkland Islands Conservation and Falkland Islands Association for their support and collaboration marking the 50th anniversary of the SS Great Britain’s salvage and journey to Bristol.