When my wife and I visited the Falkland Islands, we first met penguins at Gipsy Cove, not far from Stanley. Since the conflict, it has not been possible to enter Gipsy Cove because of the danger of mines. However, a fenced footpath passes above the Cove that has regular posts warning of the danger of the mines (much of this has now been cleared I gather). The path runs straight through a Magellanic Penguin colony, and far from the fence being a protection from humans, several penguins nest within two or three feet of the path. We were introduced to one very special character who is affectionately known as Harold. He has been coming back to the same burrow for several years. He stands proudly at the entrance, perhaps three feet from his human admirers, and periodically announces his presence, and probable importance, with a racket that seems impossible to be produced from such a little fellow. He puts his head back, his flippers out and brays just like a donkey (a close relative of Magellanic Penguins that lives in South Africa is called the Jackass Penguin).
|Harold standing proudly in front of |
|That was fun, but haven’t we got dirty tummies |
– hope no-one will be cross!