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Howard Banwell | profile | all galleries >> Voyage to Antarctica >> Antarctic Peninsula >> Penguin Island tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

At Sea | Penguin Island | King George Island | Gerlache Strait | Paradise Harbour | Lemaire Channel | Neko Harbour | Neumayer Channel

Penguin Island

Eventually we had to move on from the excitement of the Humpback Whales, and the wind picked up as we approached Penguin Island, creating a short, choppy sea. By 9.15 a.m. Lisa and I were ashore on the rocky beach and set out to climb to the top of the 170m caldera; unfortunately, the way up was too crowded with petrel and albatross nests for us to pass without disturbing the brooding birds, so we spent our time along the beach and up on a headland with a large Chinstrap Penguin colony. For the first time we saw baby Chinstraps still at nest the Chinstraps make a gathering of stones in which to lay their two eggs. And I watched a Brown Skua as it surveyed the scene from a big rock in the centre of the colony and then made a sudden dive for a chick when an adult shifted its stance for just a second. It was all over in an instant, and the Skua and its mate shared a good size meal between them.

The wind on the beach made it bitterly cold and it was very pleasant to get back on the ship to warm up. The morning had been pretty overcast, but the clouds began to clear and we were rewarded with wonderful views of King George Island, King George Bay, and Penguin Island which looked totally different when bathed in sunlight.
Southern Giant Petrel
Southern Giant Petrel
Southern Giant Petrel, white morph
Southern Giant Petrel, white morph
Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta antarctica Ionnbergi)
Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta antarctica Ionnbergi)
Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta antarctica Ionnbergi)
Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta antarctica Ionnbergi)
Southern Giant Petrel
Southern Giant Petrel
Southern Giant Petrels
Southern Giant Petrels
Southern Giant Petrels
Southern Giant Petrels
Adelie Penguin
Adelie Penguin
Lisa with whale vertebra
Lisa with whale vertebra
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin colony
Chinstrap Penguin colony
Chinstrap Penguin colony
Chinstrap Penguin colony
Displaying Chinstrap
Displaying Chinstrap
Chinstrap with two chicks
Chinstrap with two chicks
Chinstrap with two chicks
Chinstrap with two chicks
Subantarctic Skuas tear apart a Chinstrap chick
Subantarctic Skuas tear apart a Chinstrap chick
Subantarctic Skuas tear apart a Chinstrap chick
Subantarctic Skuas tear apart a Chinstrap chick
Chinstrap with stone for nest
Chinstrap with stone for nest
Whale vertebra and ribs
Whale vertebra and ribs
Whale vertebrae
Whale vertebrae
Elephant Seals
Elephant Seals
Penguin Island in sunshine
Penguin Island in sunshine