Springtime in the Falkland Islands is one of the best times of the year to visit. Travelers there will experience a sense of renewal as the islands wake up from the winter and the cycle of life begins anew. Here it is a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 100 species of birds, including five different types of penguins.
During September, expect to see the black-browed Albatross as they return from the sea. Breeding pairs start their courtship rituals and form their bond prior to mating. Upland Geese, the Falklands’ most common bird, are busy tending to their young, which typically include eight to nine hatchlings. As for penguins, the King and Gentoo Penguins remain in the Falklands year-round at their traditional locations. The King Penguin has a long breeding cycle and birds at various stages of that cycle can be seen from spring through summer. Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins are returning to their colonies. Shorebirds are everywhere you go, including the endemic Falklands Steamer Duck and the Striated Caracara, both popular birds to see during a visit. Striated Caracaras, which nest on the edges of cliffs, begin breeding in October and before that live in large numbers on the outer islands like West Point, where they typically roost with Turkey vultures.
Black-browed albatross · Photo by Rodrigo Moraga
Upland Goose in the Falklands · Photo by Rodrigo Moraga
Visit of a farm in the Falklands · Photo by Rodrigo Moraga
While birds may dominate the wildlife scene on the islands, marine mammals are also quite visible during spring. Peal and Commerson dolphins are typically easy to spot along the coastal waters of the island. Male elephant seals arrive in early September while females return a week later to deliver their pups. Soon after giving birth, the females are ready to mate again.
Beyond the abundant wildlife, spring on the island is a busy time of year for the farmers who call the Falklands home. It is lambing season and they are busy tending to their flocks. Travelers can enjoy watching the lambs on the hillsides playing and feeding off their mothers.
Antarctica21’s Ushuaia, Cape Horn, and the Falklands itineraries, which are available in late-September and October, combine perfectly with a trip to Southern Patagonia. Every year, the beauty of Patagonia attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who mostly travel in December, January, and February. One of the advantages of traveling to Patagonia during the austral spring is that you can beat the summer crowds. For nature lovers, birders and adventurers, the Falkland Islands and Patagonia are must-do destinations. The spring is the perfect time of year to see these regions as they come alive with the sounds of wildlife.