Gold Harbour

14th November 2015. Gold Harbour, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . . . . . (8. Gold Harbour)).

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

The next morning we landed at Gold Harbour, another wildlife hotspot.  Here is a group of penguins wandering down the beach in the dawn light.  As I was in one of the last zodiacs I only caught the last of that light.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Behind the parade of penguins is our ship, out on the horizon.  Near it, improbably is a yacht.  It must take an adventurous person to sail to South Georgia in a fairly small yacht.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A huddle of king penguins, parading along the beach.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I think this is a small river, rather than a lagoon.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

King penguins and elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A giant petrel on a nest, taking advantage of a rare patch of shelter.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

King penguin chicks in front of a colony.  It is raining and some rain has gotten on the lens.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lots of chicks now.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Captions seem redundant for many of these images.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An elephant seal in front of a king penguin colony.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a skua in left centre, on the lookout for a meal such as a dead chick.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A skua again, walking around the elephant seal.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of penguins preparing to prostrate themselves.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Definitely a demigod to worship here.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Hold on a second.  Maybe not.

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Elephant seals, Giant Petrel, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A farewell party not long before we left for the ship.

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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.

 

Right Whale Bay

10th November 2015. Right Whale Bay, South Georgia.

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Our first landing on South Georgia and the only time we encountered snow.  Little comment is required for most of these images.  All the penguins are King Penguins.  There are also elephant seals, fur seals and a skua.

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

The young male elephant seal has been in the wars.  Probably aspirations beyond his station.

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

A view from near the shore looking inland.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

The penguins here are all King Penguins. They are similar in appearance to Emperor Penguins but not as large, up to a metre in height.  Some species of prehistoric penguins reached as high as two metres.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Two methods of locomotion – walking and sliding on the belly.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

A skua, probably on the lookout for a dead penguin.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

The penguins don’t climb up there.

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

Patterns on the mountain side.

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, King Penguins, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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

Fur seals have right of way….

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

A last glimpse before departing in the zodiacs as the weather closes in.

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Sea Lion Island Monochromes

5th to 8th November 2015. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The entrance to Port Howard inlet in West Falkland and the mountains beyond.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

It was wild weather on Sea Lion Island, particularly to the south of the island.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A silvery grebe in a sheltered pond.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The king cormorants were washed out of their earlier roost and had to decamp to higher ground.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now at the quieter end of the island where some were oblivious, including this bull elephant seal.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp geese.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The beachmaster arrives…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and heads for a female…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back in the south of the island, with king cormorants and wild weather.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Ole Jørgen Liodden cleaning his lens in the wild wind and spray.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

North end of the island again.  Elephant seal portrait.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An encounter on a beach…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp and sand.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A dash of a gentoo penguin…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A cruise ship in Stanley harbour.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Geese, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Last Day at Sea Lion Island

5th to 6th November 2015. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands.

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On my last day in Sea Lion Island, I wandered around in the middle of the island, where there is a variety of wildlife, then returned to the Northern end.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Speckled Teal.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Upland Goose.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Flightless Steamer Duck (Male).

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp Geese.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Patagonian Crested Duck.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp and rocks.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The waves were still breaking through the tunnel in the rocks though the sea was much quieter than the first two days.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Patagonian Crested Ducks.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp Goose.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant Seal.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kelp Goose.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gentoo penguins on the northern beach.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Flightless Steamer Ducks.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant Seal with scars.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Getting up close…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sand blowing along the beach.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Elephant Seals.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sand and Kelp.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Looking towards the Lodge.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Flying Steamer Ducks.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Gentoo Penguin Road including a water crossing.

Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

They’d bank up at the edge of the water and when there was enough numbers, they’d dash across as quickly as possible.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After all, you never know when there might be an orca or a leopard seal.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And there was at least two inches of water….

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Kelp Geese, Landscape, Nature, Patagonian Crested Duck, Penguins, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Speckled Teal, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is now the morning of the next day.  There was a little extra time before we were due to fly out.

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Elephant Seal Romance and Combat

4th November 2015. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The beachmaster arrives.

Southern elephant seals can dive for more than twenty minutes and have been recorded more than 2,000 metres down.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I found a remote sheltered stony cove populated by elephant seals.  From my vantage point maybe ten feet above them, I was able to observe their interactions much more successfully than had I been at the same level.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here he is, fresh from an elephant seal beauty contest in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Whether his overtures are appreciated is not perhaps the point as far as he is concerned.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The pup looks on seemingly with curiosity and concern.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An illusory moment of domestic bliss, perhaps.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

As one can see here, the beachmaster and a female are very different in size.  Adult male southern elephant seals weigh up to five tonnes and are up to seven metres long.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife9

Hmm.  I had assumed those wounds on his nose were scars of combat.  Maybe there’s another explanation.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two’s company…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I will resist the temptation to add an anthropomorphic label on this occasion.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… but maybe not this one:  “Always look on the bright side of life”…

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

One may indeed contend whether “romance” and elephant seals should be mentioned in the same sentence.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

It’s possible that Donald Trump aspires to be a male elephant seal, though that’s perhaps being unfair to the elephant seals.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Beachmasters control a harem of up to several dozen females but need to be constantly on the lookout for interlopers trying to muscle in.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Being big is an advantage.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

These contests are serious and they can carry many scars.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The interloper retreats.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And the contest continues in the sea.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

But eventually he gives up and leaves the harem to the beachmaster.

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Sea Lion Island – Quick Tour

3rd November 2015. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands.

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On arriving at Sea Lion Island, I opted for a quick tour of the island in a four-wheel vehicle.  There was just myself and a couple as well as the driver.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were some wild seas.

 

Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and they were washing in and out of the hole in the cliff.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silvery Grebe.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The south end of the island was receiving the brunt of the storm.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The King Cormorants had been washed out of their lower roosting position and had to take refuge further up.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was a wild wind but I was able to photograph from the quiet and comfort of the passenger seat of the four wheel drive.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Back at the Lodge in the east part of the island, I went for as walk before dinner.  This is an elephant seal arriving on the beach.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The seas were a bit wild at this end of the island too.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Magellanic Penguin.

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This is the Gentoo Penguin Road.  Stretching from the beach in the far left distance…

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… past where I was standing to their colony.

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Here is the far point and the Penguin Road in the middle foreground.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And a bit further on they cross some shallow water to get to the beach.

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Dominican Gull in front of the wild sea.

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Flightless steamer ducks.

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Gulls wheeling in the air.

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Elephant seals, Falkland Islands, Gentoo Penguins, King Cormorant, Landscape, Magellenic Penguin, Nature, Photography, Sea Lion Island, seascape, Silvery Grebe, Steamer duck, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

An elephant seal coming in to shore and announcing his arrival.

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Probably the same one.  There were lots of elephant seals on Sea Lion Island but no sea lions at this time.

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A harem of elephant seals stretched out on the beach.

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A couple of young ones practicing for their adult contests.

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Snuggling in the seaweed.

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Peacefully sleeping on the beach.  Note the traces of blood though on the neck.  There have been some territorial contests going on.

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