St Andrews Bay (Take 1)

12th November 2015. St Andrews Bay, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . (6. St Andrews Bay)).

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our next stop sailing down the coast of South Georgia was St Andrews Bay, where we would return some days later.  We all got up well before dawn and piled into the zodiacs for the landing but I was in one of the last zodiacs so arrived just for the last of the dawn colours.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wildlife in this post is almost entirely king penguins and elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And sometimes some humans.  The elephant seal pups can be very friendly.  They start off about 80 kilos but they are quite harmless because they don’t yet have teeth.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Three king penguins in front of a varied vista in the early morning.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The one in front probably knows where they’re going….

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nothing like a nice comfortable place to sleep in the early morning sun.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Penguin city.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Threading past the elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of youngsters having fun.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This bull elephant seal wants to be taken a bit more seriously though.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Threading past the seals at the edge of the waves….

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The upside-down face of the elephant seal at top left looks almost like the face of some strange Japanese toy (if you imagine it as being the right way around).

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

One group going in; another swimming past.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I’d walked for a long while along the beach and past a small river to get to a raised viewpoint for this view.  It gives you some understanding of the amazing profusion of wildlife there.  I probably would have preferred it without the photographer but I’m not going to try to get rid of him.  The bird coming towards us at the edge of the sea is probably a skua. Click the image if you want a larger view.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Promenading at the water’s edge.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a lot of noise going on in these colonies and a lot of calling.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Taken out of context, this image would become almost abstract.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Quite crowded in places.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

That’s a snowy sheathbill in front.  Not the most attractive of birds if viewed close up but surviving here well enough.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Snowy sheathbill, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I had left my camera bag on the beach while taking off with a few cameras and lenses.  I returned to find it was being guarded.  And he wasn’t too happy about giving up his nice comfortable pillow.

 

10 comments on “St Andrews Bay (Take 1)

  1. Hi! How are you? I saw your amazing blog its so awesome! That’s why I followed you 😀 Wow! I hope to read more of your post. I hope we could be friends also. 😀 Nice meeting you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. leecleland says:

    Absolutely drop dead gorgeous back grounds to all these penguin and elephant seal images. Looks an amazing place. The two youngsters is probably my favourite but the Japanese toy is fun! Yes I see it. Lucky for you it wasn’t a bull elephant seal guarding your pack 🙂

    Like

    • Murray Foote says:

      Yes, it’s such a spectacular environment – and I still can’t believe Shackleton climbing over the mountains without proper mountaineering gear. When I was down the other end of the beach, someone said they hoped a bull elephant seal doesn’t go over the top of the pack – because when they are having a territorial fight, nothing gets in the way. Unlikely they’d be interested in the pack though – it’s not a female seal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kerry Scarlett says:

    Awesome photography as usual Murray.

    K1

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many favorites there. Perhaps the abstract penguin neck is the favorite, but the long line of follow-the-leader penguins is awesome too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] landing before dawn, to St Andrew’s Bay again, that we had visited three days before.  This time I managed to get onshore well before the […]

    Like

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