Sunday, March 02, 2014

South Georgia day 4 - Gold Harbour

We started the day anchoring in Gold Harbour.  Inquisitive Snowy Sheathbills had flown on to the ship (I counted about ten of them), this one was having a go at one of the lifeboats, I like the reflection of the colour:

We landed close to another penguin colony, enjoyed Gentoo Penguins:

King Penguins (with a Gentoo for comparison):

More Elephant Seals:

When they move the penguins scatter.  A Brown Skua took advantage of the chaos to steal and egg, ehich it had soon devoured:

The Elephant Seals like to gather together in wallows and then lie-on each other:

On this landing as well as the extensive colony we also sighted a King Penguin with a rare plumage condition, which the on-board biologist described as being 'dalmatian'.  Even the feet are mottled pink and black, it looks like either some mutation or could be something akin to leucicism?  I spotted a second such bird further along the colony:

We were told King Penguins breed all year-round, here's proof:

The colour of their plumage is remarkable up-close:

There's a hill to climb at Gold Harbour too which provides excellent views back across the harbour:

Back on the beach, this lone Elephant Seal looks snug and smug:

A not yet moulted juvenile King Penguin had tried having a swim.  They can quickly get into trouble without their adult plumage and then killed and eaten.  This one learned a lesson without actually paying the highest price for it:

From Gold Harbour it was on to our last landing on South Georgia...



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