Not wanting new readers to be ignorant of the truth: that that is blog is not entirely, but only maybe a little bit, devoted to penguins.. and also not wanting to disappoint.. this is a follow up to the post about the island trip near Ushuaia in Argentinian Tierra del Fuego.
I am feeling the distance from the Earth’s intense south anyway.
I adore mad latitudes and the rough cold. 54/55 degrees suits me just fine and random penguin appearances can only be a good thing.
New readers will not know I went to Antarctica in January for work as an Australian journalist. I covered the 100th anniversary of the landing of Sir Douglas Mawson’s first Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
The main inhabitants of that part of the world are adelie penguins and at that time of the year they are nesting.
The ship was “parked” by the crew on a thick field of fast ice so helicopters could be launched to hold a Mawson centenary ceremony.
At it’s edge, the ice was 20 kilometres away from the true Antarctic coastline where the penguins were nesting on rocks.
This made it hard for the penguins to gather food to bring back to the nest.
The adelies were attracted to the ship and the people on board. In turn, we were entranced by them.
There was was 24 hour sunlight when we were there in January and the penguins could be seen out of every ship porthole lying, lolling, sleeping, fighting and generally looking adorable.
That brown orangey colour is krill flavoured penguin poo and both chicks and parents were all revelling in it.
You can see the grey fuzzy chicks. They grow big very fast and shed the fuzz to become black and white swimming and fishing machines.
It is hard not to notice the weird strung out look in the parent’ eyes. Parenting is hard, but imagine it in 24 hour sunlight buffeted by fierce katabatic winds.
On my last day on the fast ice, I was lucky to see this emperor penguin wandering towards the water’s edge on its lonesome.
It has a little bit of fluff on the back of his head. Sort of like a scarf or a some sort of party mullet.
But back to the trip near Ushuaia. Here are a few more photos that did not make the last post.
Those two king penguins were quite aggressive, but the gentoos and magellanic penguins gave as good as they got.
When not fighting between species, the penguins had it all sorted out. These magellanic penguins were sharing the spoils of the day’s fishing.
Nothing like a bit of regurgitation between friends and relatives.
This photo will give you an idea of the high number of penguins on the island. The magellanic penguins have well and truly moved in.
You can see the lighter fledglings in the photo as well as the brown, pesky skua hoping to pick off a penguin lunch.
.. and here is a baby magellanic penguin. A very big baby at that.
This creature is getting ready to launch itself into the biting cold waters at the bottom of South America and go live its life until it is ready to nest itself.
Well.. right after this nap.