Gentoo penguin (the white patch behind the eye is typical)
You can recognize those GOING to fish, from those RETURNING from fishing. In the former you can see the top of the feet, in the latter their belly almost covers their feet !
Resting ! The red patches are not blood: just poop (they eat krill so like Flamingos they have red colorant in their system)
On the beach...
... and in the colony
Dirty diaper :(, but a 10 sec dip in the water and they are super clean
Why do they all turn their back to the photographer ?
They expose the black back to the sun and we were in the direction of the sun.
The ragedy-looking ones are the chicks molting. Note that they are not synchronized. And note how full their bellies are !
The wind in this island was fierce, blowing sand and dust in the eyes and the jacket flapping everywhere. Walking with the wind was like having someone pushing me in the back, but walking against the wind destabilized many steps. I was afraid Thao would just fly out like a kite!
King penguins, smaller then the Emperor penguins but just as pretty.
The chick rest on the parent's feet
"You OK little fella ?"
They orient this way to keep their head protected and poop away from the adult !
The only insect we saw on the whole trip !
The penguin in the foreground is a Magellanic penguin.
Caracara try to steal chicks so the adults are on constant watch and scream to shoo away the Caracara
Flexible necks !
The only wildflowers we saw !
The Magellanic penguins nest in burrows !
The same couple reuse it for years
Almost like prairie dogs !
I was afraid the sheep would push that tourist off the cliff !
Imperial Shag rocokery with downy chicks
Black-brow albatross on their mud nest
... on a really steep hill !
Trying the new wings :)
It is a LONG way down !
Those albatrosses know where to nest. The colony of up a steep hill with raging wind so they just have to do a little hop and they are airborne. This would appear to be the world best place to fly a kite. They build an elevated mud nest about 12 cm off the surrounding, and the chick is perched on it. Some did some comical looking around as if they were kids that had dropped a cell phone under their bed and were afraid of under bed monster. Others were practicing tentative wing movement.
The colony smells like the chicken coop when it is in dire need of being cleaned up, but at least chicken eat grains. Here they are on a fish diet and the smell is much stronger.
Not sure if she is incubating but the other couples are far ahead of this one
Beautiful flight with hardly a wing movement
The welcome back kisses
" I love you too !"
"I hate those downy feathers! I am not a baby anymore !"
Fighting the wind
This was an award wining picture !
The little dots are penguins !
The shags practice wing movements too!
Back from lunch with a full belly
"I look unshaven!"
Poor chick and fat chick !
Happiness is a belly full of krill
Big discussion !
"I'll tell you a secret !"
Playing in the waves
This was a “wet landing”, meaning we step of the zodiac and waded in 15-20 cm of waves to get to shore. There were a ton of penguin there and everyone started clicking like this was the end of the world. It is actually hard to take pictures of penguins. In groups one can't get them all in focus and they are rarely in neat “foreground, midground and background”. And isolating a penguin without having a bunch of tails or half bodies is not easy either.
"Mom Mom he hit me !!"
Scratch, scratch, scratch
Neighbors King penguin sit just far enough that they can't hit hard, but they squabble all the time
Bickering back and forth !
A Minke Whale skeleton
Note that the mandible is made of 2 bones and that they are not hinged to the skull
The white flecks are down pulled from the chicks, they are everywhere and the wind blows them like sand
To get an idea of how far the sea is, look at a few tiny speck near the waves that are other penguins
The access was on a rather steep slope and the wind was fierce enough that several time when I had a foot in the air, I lost balance. There was clearly no way to recover in case of fall, and it was a long way down with no brushes to grab.
Linda the Doc on the boat
Note how high on the hill was the whale skeleton, it must have been a tremendous storm for it to be so far out from the shore.
Not cold !!!!