March/April 1998                    112

P-P-P Pick up a Penguin on P-P-Pebble Island!

Part 2 from our Falklands correspondents

Penguins (14kb)Pebble Island can boast 6 species of penguin - mainly Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic - the latter being locally known as Jackass penguins as at night they bray like donkeys! During our stay here there have also been 4 ”Biscuit wrapper” King Penguins nesting with one of the Gentoo colonies and 2 dreadlocked Macaroni and a lone Erect Crested joining in with the Rockhoppers!
We’ve been lucky to see the chicks too, well, those that survive the Turkey Vultures and Skuas. Like bundles of fluff the Rockhopper chicks form ’crèches’ in the middle of the colony while the Gentoo ducks can often be seen sunbathing, lying flat out on their stomachs, playing dead! The Rockhoppers are the most curious. If you sit at the edge of the colony, it’s a matter of seconds before they start hopping up to see ’what you are’!
Not everything is as simple as the penguins! The Falklands have two time zones - Stanley time and camp time (camp being everywhere outside of Stanley). Stanley time is an hour ahead of camp time - confused?! On Pebble Island the hotel has been on Stanley time for several years making flight times for guests arriving from Stanley more convenient. Every where and everyone else is on camp time! So, our neighbours who both live about 50 metres away are an hour behind us! Imagine St. Agnes, Tresco, Bryher and St. Martin’s being an hour behind St. Mary’s!!
As the Summer Season starts with you it finishes with us and we look forward to coming back to the Scillies via Chile, Peru, Bolivia...!
Jacky Upson & Martin Scott.
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