South Georgia Monochromes 1 of 3

10th to 12th November 2015, South Georgia.

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I am now back from Tasmania and will be posting on that soon.  Atacama and the trip to Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, the Caribbean and Southern California will have to wait.  (Fortunately, there were no hurricanes or earthquakes when we were in the Caribbean).  First I will finish off South Georgia with three monochrome posts.

Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information) and if an image does not have a link, use the preceding one.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
Snow Petrels in the crossing from the Falklands to South Georgia.

Falklands to South Georgia.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black-browed albatross.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Emperor penguins at Right Whale Bay.

Right Whale Bay.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fur seal, Salisbury Plain.

Salisbury Plain (Take 1).

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Wandering albatross chick, Prion Island.

Prion Island.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Distant views from Prion Island.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grytviken

Grytviken Part 1.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grytviken Part 2.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Roy Mangersnes and a female elephant seal, Godthol.

Godthol.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Antarctic Tern.

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Albatross, Antarctic Tern, Black and White, Elephant seals, Fur seal, King Penguins, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

South Georgia Cormorant.

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6th April: Falkland Islands (Grand Jason and Steeple Jason Islands)

Today was our day to investigate the Jason Islands, a small group of islands at the north-west tip of the Falklands that is seldom visited, partly due to difficulty of landing.

We woke up to a fine day with some cloud but that didn’t mean it was calm.  35 knot winds prevented us from landing at our first intended landing place of Grand Jason Island so we proceeded to Steeple Jason Island, the most westerly island in the group.  In the afternoon the weather became more calm and we were able to land there.

Steeple Jason has the largest colony of black-browed albatrosses in the world, with 187,000 pairs and unusually, the numbers are increasing.

Grand Jason Island, a few minutes after dawn, a cormorant in the sky

Steeple Jason Island

Steeple Jason Island

There are many rookeries of albatrosses and penguins on bare rock near the coasts of the island. This is a closer view of one, lower mid island in the previous image, mainly penguins in this case with a few albatrosses. Click on the image for more detail.

The rough coastline

Island peaks in cloud

One corner of Steeple Jason Island

A vertical slice of the island near where we landed in the zodiacs

The horizontal panorama above does not fit any larger on this page.  There are very many birds in the air over the point, including a giant petrel trailing its wing in the water, and huge numbers of birds beyond the rocks on shore.

The vertical panorama at the right could fit larger on the page but would take up too much space.

To see either of them “properly”, click on them and a window will open with much more detail that you can zoom in and out of and scroll around in.

In that new window, first click the lower right icon for a full window, then use the mouse wheel or other icons to zoom in and out.  It’s also better to back off a little from the full resolution that you can get in these screens.

4th April: Falkland Islands (New Island)

Wreck on the beach

Google maps location.

The weather was a bit rough early but it calmed down for our landing on New Island.  The contours of the island were gentle enough on the eastern side where we landed and encountered this wreck on the beach.  Then we walked across to the other side of the island where there were steep cliffs, ravines and many wild birds.

This is one of the many rockhopper penguins who effortlessly present an appearance that young punks can only dream of.  Eugenia Skycarpet and Desmond the Decidedly Deranged were also here and you can see them on the next post, for West Point Island.

Some of the photographers from our expedition

Striated cara cara

Five of the sixteen photographers on our expedition are above, photographing penguins and albatrosses.

To the right is a striated cara cara, a small Falklands raptor.

We were in a huge colony of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses that stretched a considerable distance up from the sea.  Cara caras and the occasional turkey vulture circled overhead.

One of the albatrosses is below, sitting on  a characteristic mud nest.  There were many young albatrosses here, stretching their wings and testing the wind in preparation for their first flight.

Black-browed albatross on nest

Rockhopper penguins bouncing along

You may like to watch this short video that shows why they are called rockhopper penguins.  They walk and they also jump.  They seem to gather at a rock until they think it’s safe to proceed, then all bounce along….

The side of a pond filled with feathers from moulting penguins

At the side of the wreck – copper, wood, nails and sand …

… and by the time we came back to the beach and the wreck, the tide was out.

31st March: Drake Passage

A little bit quieter today.  There were always albatrosses and other birds following the ship, waiting for fish that may get thrown up in the wake.  I spent some time photographing them, an interesting exercise in itself, out on the rolling deck with a very heavy long telephoto mounted on a monopod from the belt.

Southern fulmars

Wandering albatrosses

Wandering albatrosses