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Wildlife Photography, My month in the Falklands - Tracey Lund

On Friday last 8th March the Bangor club welcomed back Tracey Lund who would present her odyssey to The Falklands Islands by the magic of Zoom . Hugh Rooney opened proceedings by by remembering that this was the third time trace had giver a talk to the clubs in recent years and announced that since her last visit she has won The World Nature Photography Award .She is an internationally award winning photographer with a passion for her craft which is evident in her images and has success in in many awards including FEP Wildlife Photographer of the Year,SINWP Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Cosmos Awards Wildlife and Animal Photographer of the Year and many more.

Tracey hosts talks within the photography community in person and by Zoom .

Tracey began by thanking the club for the invitation and said that “Photographing wildlife is an adventure but most of all is a privilege” Her Falklands trip was two years in planning

Since 2022 Tracey has given up her job and is now embarked on a new business venture leading groups on photographic expeditions.

It is Cleer that Tracey has a love and enthusiastic passion for what she does .

Getting to The Falklands Islands is not easy and is possible by arrangement of The MOD and RAF who run two flights per week with a stop in The Assention Islands to refuel .

These flights have no inflight entertainment and the seats don't recline making the eighteen hour flight most uncomfortable but well worth the effort .

Tracey's intention was to visit a total of seven locations the first being Darwin to photograph the specific species of hare which were content to approach without fear a feature of the many species in the Falklands Islands . Thus Tracey was able to get down to eye level to capture detailed portrait shots . An indigenous species of thrush came by which engaged Tracey at this location and also colourful crested duck arrived to add to the variety .

The next location for Tracey was Saunders Island the largest of the off shore islands .

Getting around in the Falklands is by commuter twin engine aircraft which provides the opportunity to photograph the the stunning landscape from the air This was the location where Tracey wished to photograph the five species of penguin native to the Falklands

As with the hares these creatures were curious and approachable and would happily sit on her knees .

Moving further along Tracey was greeted by a colony of albatross ,imperial cormorant yet another species of penguin .These creatures taking advantage of water cascading from rock formations to bathe and drink. Tracey having moved down hill to photograph and with a slippery surface making it difficult to retrace her steps decided to join in with the penguins who lead her to the top and safety .

Moving on to yet another island Tracey encountered sea lion . Elephant seal and many species of bird including cara -cara . The crested Cara-cara which Tracey said it appearance reminded her of Donald Trump.Heron tussock bird and meadow lark also provided good photographic opportunity .

Moving on by ferry to West Point Island Tracy endeavoured to photograph dolphin and whale .

That completed the first part of Tracey's talk and following the break for refreshment Tracey continued with the second instalment .

Moving on once more this time a short flight to Weddell Island the smallest of the Falklands Islands where Tracey intended to photograph The Patagonian Grey Fox also known as The South American Grey Fox or The Grey Zorro.This animal was introduced by the previous owner of the island however the present owner a sheep farmer blames this fox for killing his sheep though Tracey said there is no evidence that this is so .The farmers wife a keen photographer has tried to reason with her husband but without success.

Tracey spent some time photographing this delightful approachable creature and captured beautiful portrait shots of the cubs with their parents having discovered their den .

As a storm had arrived thus making it impossible to venture outside though the hotel chef agreed to drive her group around . Tracey explained that when a storm erupts everyone remains wherever they are as travel is rendered impossible .

Next a long flight to Sea Lion Island where on the landing approach the beautiful scenery

was visible .Elephant seals ,Gentoo penguin, , Macaroni penguin , and Rockhopper penguin all available in front of Tracey's lens

The Gentoo penguins provided much amusement for Tracey but having rolled down towards the shore line she discovered that her phone was missing .I With some panic she retraced her steeps and discovered a penguin sheltering from the strong wind and was relieved to find the phone tucked under the creatures wing .Tracey thanked this individual for looking after her phone .

At the rockhopper penguin colony Tracey was dismayed to see that the storms had dismasted their habitat but was still able to photograph this attractive bird .Magellanic penguin, black browed albatross,petrel,silver teal and. South American Snipe were among other birds encountered.

Off then to Bleaker Island lying off the south east Lafonia an important bird area and nature reserve. Here the only hire car in the Falklands was made available to enable to see more of the location. Here Imperial cormorant ,sea lion and rockhopper penguin

provided photographic opportunity . Tracey said that the imperial cormorant were not great parents as many of their young had perished never the less she was able to get some eye level shots of these beautiful young birds. At a pond Tracey encountered the white tufted grebe

The final destination of the trip was Volunteer Point accessible only by off road vehicle where king penguin was the principal reason to visit here before returning to Stanley.

Many thanks to Tracey a professional who presented such delightful images demonstrating her passion for what she clearly loves to do .

Edward McCavana BNDCC Information Officer

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