Friday, February 28, 2014

South Georgia day 3 - Right Whale Bay

For our third day in South Georgia, we'd headed back North over night with a view to landing on Prion Island though with the prevailing winds it was decided to first land on the shore at Right Whale Bay, another King Penguin colony.

It's another 50,000+ breeding pairs colony, so remarkable in size, sound and smell!


In the middle here you can see Brown Skuas, working as a pair, displaying and harassing the King Penguins.  They are very effective predators:



A fellow passenger recorded the moment when a fur seal broke the neck of a King Penguin that was too close or wrong place/wrong time.  The Giant Petrels and Brown Skuas were immediately in to feed:


There's a small hill you can climb to get a view down onto the main bulk of the colony:


which in turn provides spectacular views.  You can see fur seals and various ages of Penguin in this picture, the brown fluff balls are chicks in the final stages of fledging before they can go to sea.  There were no new chicks though, the eggs the adults were brooding were about to hatch but hadn't as yet:


The penguins learn to find each other by sound alone, displaying when they re-meet or are pair bonding:


They are very handsome birds:


and inquisitive:


Fur seal pups however are just so cute:


They know they've been caught fighting:



At the base of the hill is a snow-melt waterfall, enjoyed by Elephant Seals, South Atlantic Fur Seals together with the moulting Penguins:



It's quite a scene:


From Right Wale Bay it was time to head again to Prion Island.

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