Monday, December 16, 2013
Antarctic Adventure - Day 10
On November 16th, the ship arrived at our next destination well before dawn. This stop was the well known Salisbury Plain, location of the second largest King Penguin colony on South Georgia Island.
The first excursion for the morning was scheduled to land us on shore before dawn for the early light photography. However the skies remained mostly overcast, so there wasn't much "golden hour" light.
A large stitched handheld panorama to try to show the size of the colony
"Let it snow!"
Contemplating the mud?
Mated King Penguin pair
A Brown Skua chilling out before hunting for breakfast
Travelers taking in the incredible scene
"Oakum Boy" portrait
He gets the right-of-way
King Penguins leaving to feed ...
Around midday the ship moved on to Prion Island. The sealers and whalers caused the introduction of rats to most of South Georgia Island. The rats decimated most of the endemic bird populations. Prion Island is one of the few small islands around South Georgia that remained rat free.
The South Georgia Pipit is only found in the South Georgia Archipelago and is the only songbird in the Antarctic region. Prion Island is one of the few places to find these birds. This is the best shot that I got of one.
The omnivorous South Georgia Pintail Duck. These duck will even scavenge animal carcasses.
One of the things to see on Prion Island are the Wandering Albatross chicks that are about to fledge. At this point, the parents have left and the chicks need to learn to fly and feed on their own!
Adult Wandering Albatross
These birds have an average wingspan of about ten feet.