Thursday, March 06, 2014

Antarctica - Turret Point

The next morning I was on the very first zodiac as we were landing at Turret Point, our only Adelie Penguin colony of the trip.  These are real pack-ice specialists, so their breeding range is declining in line with the reducing sea ice due as we know to climate change.

The tour leader made the mistake of naming the landing tourette point, so I persuaded my fellow passengers in the boat to shout a random swearword as we made land, much to his bemusement :)

Anyway once ashore the location did not disappoint.  First we made for the Adelie Penguins:


This is a want-to-be-breeder, displaying on his pebble nest:








They are a remarkably distinctive species and very very cute:




On another area of the land, Antarctic Shags were nesting.  One bird flew past low and at fantastic speed:


And of course everywhere the Brown Skua:



Here be birds:



Hauled out in this area were a number of Elephant Seals, catching the sunlight, they come across as very irritable:



And resident South Altantic Fur Seals:


Another apparent nesting species was the Southern Giant Petrel, here showing their distinct white morph:


It's a big sweep of a beach between the raised colony and the area where the seals are:


with one very strange rock:


hmmmmmmmmmmmm

The interaction of the cloud, sunlight, sea and ice create some interesting effects both in terms of landscapes, as here:


And in terms of wildlife photography, as in this Cape Petrel with the dark blue of the sea but side lit by a strong sun:




From Turret Point we made for Arktowski, the active Polish research station in Antarctica.

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