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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Prion Island

11th November 2015. Prion Island, South Georgia.

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(Map of journey . . (3. Prion Island)).

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

From Salisbury Plain we sailed to nearby Prion Island on the afternoon of the same day.  Based on the time stamps, the first two images were taken from the ship on the way there.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

The reason we went there was the possibility of photographing wandering albatrosses and indeed, there was a chick on a nest and a few others further away.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

When an adult, this bird may have a wingspan of up to 3.7 metres (12 ft), the largest for any bird.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

This one isn’t flying anywhere yet but in due course it will fly huge distances, soaring on the air currents.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

… but no reason not to try out the wings…

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

This on the other hand, is a giant petrel.  Colouration and plumage are very different, and also the nostril case above the beak.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

The others were concentrating on the birds (after all, most of them are specialist wildlife photographers) but I was also transfixed by the distant background.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife

The moody shapes in the distance presented a mysterious and changing tableau.

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wandering Albatross, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Falklands to South Georgia

7th to 10th November 2015. Falkland Islands to South Georgia.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Before we left Stanley, we crowded on a lifeboat for a drill, all no doubt hoping we wouldn’t encounter the real-life situation, tossed on a wild sea like a can of sardines.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A last glimpse of the Falklands as we sail from Stanley, out of Blanco Bay.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were huge numbers of birds sitting on the water (and here flying from the ship) but I can’t identify them.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Snow Petrels.

Visibility was generally poor during the crossing so I didn’t chase images then and we are now near South Georgia, three days later.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black-browed albatross.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Giant Petrel, South Georgia in the background.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The looming mountains of South Georgia.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Map of journey.  Click to expand to large size (around 2,000 pixels wide).

The return route line is generally outside the incoming line and the landings are also numbered.

I have been on several tours but this one stands out for the quality of the company.  There was 48 of us almost all photographers, the vast majority of those of professional quality and specialising in wildlife.  They included Ole Jörgen Liodden and Roy Mangersnes of Wildphoto and Joshua Holko, Daniel BergmannEirik Grønningsæter and Bonnie Yap, with whom I journeyed from Spitzbergen to Iceland in 2013.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Cape Petrel.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Right Whale Bay, site of our first landing.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Giant petrel.

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Black-browed albatross, Cape Petrel, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Snow Petrel, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black-browed albatross, flying towards land.

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King Cormorants (Pebble Island)

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A colony of King Cormorants, the Falklands Island subspecies of Imperial Cormorant, or alternatively there may be many separate species.  This is probably Sturgees Point, at the south west of Pebble Island.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is their breeding plumage.  They are not always quite as spectacular.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A dolphin gull over the colony.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and landed inside, probably on the lookout for an unattended egg.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the nest.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Coming in to land.
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Dolphin Gull, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, King Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bringing in the nesting materials….
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Birds of Prey

1st November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Beside the remains of an old wharf we came across a dead penguin that was attracting the attention of the birds of prey.  This was very fortunate as we were able to stay close by in our mobile bird hide (also known as a four wheel drive vehicle) and I was able to photograph them out the window with my long lens.

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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

A couple of striated cara caras inspecting and sampling the dead penguin.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Striated cara cara.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Turkey vulture.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Rock cormorants (interested in fish, not the penguin).
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Striated cara cara.
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife .
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Cara cara, Falkland Islands, Giant Petrel, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, Rock Cormorant, seascape, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wilderness, Wildlife

Giant petrel.
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South Georgia 1

9th to 11th November 2015. Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plains and Prion Island, South Georgia Island. Temporary post. Images only. Minimal descriptions for images.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grey-headed albatross, Scotia Sea.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Right Whale Bay.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

King Penguins.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Salisbury Plains.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Fur seal.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

Wandering Albatross chick, Prion Island.

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Antarctica, Fur seal, Gentoo Penguins, Giant Petrel, Grey-headed albatross, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Pebble Island

31st October to 6th November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands. Temporary post. Images only. Minimal descriptions for images.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Striated caracara.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Turkey vulture.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Giant Petrel.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Rockhopper penguins.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Caracara and stolen Rockhopper egg.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorant.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorants.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Imperial Cormorants.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Speckled Teals.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Wreckage of Argentinian fighter.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Striated Caracara.

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Cara cara, Falklands War, Giant Petrel, Imperial Cormorant, Landscape, Nature, Penguins, Photography, Rockhopper Penguins, Skua, Travel, Turkey vultures, Wildlife

Macaroni Penguins.